Author Topic: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor  (Read 3356 times)

Offline Shua

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Planning

My wife and I have been looking forward to going away for a few days for our 10 year anniversary. We needed a place where we could a) relax, b) have enough activities so we wouldn't get bored and c) not have zika. Unfortunately, that last criteria knocked out a lot of close options. Hawaii was always somewhere that I was really interested in but I knew that we would need to spend more time there than just a few days. (I'm not flying 10+ hours to go to one island for 4 days). I calculated that we would need a minimum of 8 days with 10 being ideal. After working out my both my work schedule and babysitting (huge shout out to my mother in law), we were able to get away for 10 days! Hawaii here we come!

Well now which of the islands would we go to? We would really only have time for 2. Besides for Pearl Harbor, Ohau didn't really seem to have anything else to offer. So that quickly whittled it down to 3 islands. After reading up online, it seemed like the big island had the most adventures/activities. If we would want to include relaxing we wouldn't be able to do everything the big island has to offer in the time period we were there. So we settled on Maui and Kauai. We weighed the pros and cons for a while on which island we should go to first and which island we should stay for shabbos. We ultimately decided on going to Maui and then Kauai. Reason being is that we a) would be getting a suite at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai (thanks @bades) which we wanted/needed for shabbos and b) because of the Grand Hyatt new kosher food restrictions we had to stay at Kauai last. After discussing with my wife, she said it would be blasphemous to go all the way to Hawaii and not see Pearl Harbor. I realized that instead of having a short stop over in HNL while flying from Kauai to NYC, I'll just expand the stop over so I'll have enough time to visit the USS Arizona memorial.

For food we ordered meals from pomegranate and bought a toaster oven for $18 in the Walmart in Maui. We were able to stuff in two meals in to it, but as there was no airflow in between the meals, we had to switch it out half way so it still took about 40 minutes to warm up the meals.



I don't remember what nights we ate what so I will just list what we liked and disliked overall.

Great: Schwarma chicken, Sesame chicken, Szechuan beef, Eggplant parm, Mushroom rice, Popcorn cauliflower, Israeli couscous, Portabella mushrooms
Very good: Brisket in gravy, Stuffed cabbage, Spare ribs, Penne Ala vodka, Eggplant rollatini, Cheese blitzes, Mashed potatoes, Garlic broccoli
Ok: Corned beef (very dry), Hot poppers (no sauce)
Bad: General tzo chicken (had a weird taste to it)

We also brought a sandwich maker, bread, cheese and a few dried Salami as well.

For a car, I rented through Costco and got a convertible for Maui. I was supposed to get an Altima in Kauai but got upgraded to a convertible as well.


« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 02:28:19 AM by Shua »

Offline Shua

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Sunday

We flew direct from JFK to HNL. There's no denying it, it's a long flight. But to put it in perspective is shorter than flying to Israel from NYC. We had an hour and change stop over in HNL so we went to the plumeria lounge with our priority pass. Nothing major just basic drinks and snacks. Quickly boarded our second flight and a short while later we landed in Maui. Now I know Walmart is right by the airport but after flying all day we just wanted to get to the hotel and unwind. About a half hour later we arrived at the Wailea Marriot.


Driving into the Marriot



Open Lounge








We got upgraded to an ocean view room which was a regular room (nice but nothing over the top) but had a great balcony with views of the adult infinity pool and ocean.





The hotel doesn't have a beach directly in front of the hotel, some might view that as a negative but we actually liked it as you had unobstructed views of the ocean from the pool.

Sunset our first night from the infinity pool (don’t worry that’s not me in the pool :P)



The “beach/coast” right in front of the hotel



Wailea beach is a 3 minute walk from the hotel where they will set up a beach chair for you.

Customer service was fantastic with everyone really accommodating. They kept my box of pomegranate meals in their freezer and gladly gave me my meals whenever I asked.

There is a Starbucks on the property and they have Nespresso machines in every room

There is a game room with ping pong, a shuffle board, an xbox and kids games. Not 100% what’s in it because I didn’t go in.

There is a mens and womens lounge right next to the lobby. If you arrive before check in or have a late flight past checkout they have showers, towels and lockers set up so you can enjoy the pool/beach until you need to leave. The bellhop will watch your luggage for you until you need to leave.

There is a $30 resort fee as well as a parking fee. $25 for self parking or $35 for valet.

Offline Shua

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Monday

While jet lag affected me the first few days, my wife was able to sleep late pretty much every day. For Monday we had nothing planned besides relaxing and going to Walmart. I have to stress how important it is just to include at least one day of relaxing by the pool/beach. I really enjoyed all the hiking and activities that we did over the trip, but I think the "off days” were just as enjoyable. We made sure to be out by 8:00 to reserve a great seat by the pool.

There are 3 main pool areas.

The adult infinity pool in middle overlooking the ocean




Cabanas in the water which you can rent (for what I am assuming is an outrageous fee, I didn’t ask)



 
The Kids area with waterfalls, sprinklers and 2 water slides (which they claim are the highest in Maui)





View from the top of the water slides




Then there is regular infinity pool (for kids as well) with hot tub attached. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of this area. There is also a regular (lap?) pool and a dive pool where they offer free scuba diving lessons.

The adult infinity pool is fantastic with unobstructed views of the ocean (it seemed closer to the water than other hotels in Wailea) but it is a drop cold at night.

After hanging out by the adult infinity pool for most of the morning, we decided to go to Wailea Beach (a 3 minute walk). The Marriot has someone who will set up a chair for you at the beach. We rented some snorkeling gear and snorkeled in front of the hotel. While the visabillity wasn't as great as the morning there were at least 5-6 turtles swimming in the shallow water.

Turtle sticking his head out of the water with the Marriot in the background.



Later in the afternoon we decided to check out lapperts ice cream in Wailea shops. A bit pricey but really good.

Its kosher!



After Lapperts, we drove to Walmart to get a toaster and some other essentials and made it back in time to see another amazing sunset.

The Marriot has a luau a few nights a week. If you want to just see the show (for free) just sit on the hill outside of the kids area pool. You have a great view of the whole luau and save yourself a $110

Originally we planned on going to Front Street in Lahaina to walk around, but we had to be up early the next morning for the road to hana so we decided to go there a different day
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 02:22:42 AM by Shua »

Offline ckmk47

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Beautiful pictures!  The adult infinity pool looks continuous with the ocean. Clear narrative. I like understanding your choices.

Offline yoohoo

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Memories.....Great write up.
Happy to see Lapperts displaying the hashgacha (had certification behind the counter when i visited)

Offline 12HRS

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How did you book your flights?

Offline Shua

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How did you book your flights?
Through CSR. As I very specific dates when I had to fly, there was zero saver opening in both economy and/or business. After searching for a few weeks and seeing the prices slowly tick up I finally took the plunge and booked flying Hawaiian. JFK to HNL, HNL to OGG, OGG to LIH, LIH to HNL, HNL to JFK. 81,000 UR x 2

Offline Shua

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Beautiful pictures!  The adult infinity pool looks continuous with the ocean. Clear narrative. I like understanding your choices.

Memories.....Great write up.
Happy to see Lapperts displaying the hashgacha (had certification behind the counter when i visited)


Thanks! My first real TR (with pics and going into detail). Harder than it looks! I can see why so many people fail to finish...

Offline davidmal

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Thanks! My first real TR (with pics and going into detail). Harder than it looks! I can see why so many people fail to finish...
Do it now before you fail too!

I added a Wiki for you!
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

Offline Shua

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Do it now before you fail too!

I added a Wiki for you!
Lol, thanks! I'll use it as motivation to finish

Offline Shua

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Tuesday

We were on the road (after a quick stop in the Starbucks in our hotel) at 7AM. Made sure we had a full tank of gas and reset the odometer at road 360. We were about to take the full day long, exhilarating, amazing road to Hana.

I packed all of our valuables and essentials in one knapsack. I took this out at every stop without bothering to even close the top of our convertible. Too many stories of people getting robbed which would quickly turn the day into a nightmare. Snacks and a change of clothing we left in the trunk.

If there is one place to rent a convertible, this is it! With plants and greenery surrounding you on all sides, some sights would be missed in a regular car that you would only be able to see with a convertible.

The Maui revealed app was a lifesaver. Service is really spotty so Google maps is out. Relying on mile markers isn't great either because if you turn off the road to visit the ke'eane coast or the Nahiku road then your mile markers are going to be off. Another good thing about the app was the ability to favorite/mark places so it would allow you to quickly find it on the map

Its physically impossible to do all the sites in one day. It’s imperative to plan were to stop, were to hike/swim and were to keep driving. While I was making my list, I realized that if I would stop and swim in every waterfall that I wanted to see, I would run out of time and energy really quickly. So, I planned to have an extended stay by one of the waterfalls a third of the way in (either Ching’s pond, Three bear falls or Wailua ike) and then another extended stay by the black sand beach.

As we got an early start we took the drive slow allowing locals to pass us whenever there was a place to pull over. Nothing nicer than driving through the jungle with the top down and a perfect 80 degree sunny weather!




Our first stop was half mile past 11 Haipua'ena Falls. A 3 minute walk through a jungle path lead us to a pretty pool with a small falls.




After staying there for a few minutes, we drove on to the 13 mile lookout. What a view!





Next we took a small detour towards Ke'anae Peninsula. The ocean crashes up on the lava rocks, really cool to see and definitely worth the detour.



We took a quick stop over at Wailua Valley State Wayside which had nice views in either direction

Looking out towards the ocean



180 degrees behind us to the mountains
 



After that we arrived at Ching’s pond. After going down the trail for 2 minutes we get there…. and its completely empty. I know people really enjoyed swimming here and watching the people jump off the bridge. As no one was there and we didn’t feel the need to go swimming yet, we decided to push on.

Soon we came up to the three bears falls. Here was completely the opposite problem. It was packed! We then realized we would have to park up the road and walk all the way down to the beginning of the trail. We also noticed that the beginning part of the trail was a bit steep. So we decided to just take pictures from the bridge and move on.




Finally we came to Wailua Ike falls. With our permit in hand ;), we went on a short walk through the woods that would lead us to a huge falls.



We kept going a bit further and it lead us to a really nice pool with a nice waterfall.

Only a few people were there and there was a nice rock to jump off and swim to the falls. Perfect! The water was a bit cold but really nice after walking through the woods to get there.

The girl is taking video of someone jumping off the rock



Right next to the falls




After spending a bunch of time jumping off the rocks and swimming to the falls, we walked back to our car and drove to Pua'a Ka'a State Park. While the falls were nice, we mainly stopped to use the bathrooms!




We kept driving and made two quick stops at Hanawi Falls (I don’t think I took a picture) and
Makapipi Falls just to see the view from the top of the falls.



Both took a minute each but wouldn’t spend any more time on that.

We then took a detour on the Nahiku Road all the way to the end. There is a sign at the end saying the bridge is closed (for good reason, it’s a rotten wooden bridge) so just park in front of the church and walk to the coast. The drive on this road is incredible. You feel like your car will get swallowed up by lush greenery surrounding you from all sides.



At the end of the road (about a 10 minute walk) is the coast with a picnic bench to eat and chill.



We stayed there for a few minutes but not before checking out Nahiku Pond




Now we started getting in to the outskirts of Hana itself. We drove by a few food stands and finally came to Wai'anapnapa State Park, which has the Black Sand Beach



Apparently, there are a bunch of hikes/trails to the lava arch on one side and the cliffs on the other, but as we were getting tired we decided to just stay at the beach itself. As you can see the “sand” is actually small black rocks made from lava




To the right of the beach there is this cool cave that is worth checking out.



Now we drove to Hana bay to try to find the red beach. We found it but rust color is more accurate




At this point we were starting to get tired but we drove on to see the Seven sacred pools. Until now we barley encountered any traffic coming the other way. Now, as it was later in the day there was a lot of cars making the way back from the seven sacred pools. This made it really annoying to pull over every minute or two and maneuverer to let the cars go through. I wanted to yell at them to just do the full loop! That section from Hana bay until the seven sacred pool was the worst driving part of the trip.

We breezed by Wailua Falls without even getting out of the car because as Maui revealed warned us might happen, we had waterfall fatigue!

We finally got to the seven sacred pools. As we were getting tired we decided to do the 0.5 mile loop. Unfortunately, the pools were closed as there was high surf. Not only were they not allowing people to swim they even closed accesses to get close to the falls.



As it was getting late and we were pretty tired we opted out of doing any of the longer hikes through the bamboo forest or to the other falls.

While most of the cars were turning right to go back the way they came, we went left to do the full loop. Wow, what an amazing road. First, if you think there is even a possibility that you won’t finish this road while it’s still daylight out, don’t do it. Many times, you are driving on a one car width, unpaved road at the edge of a cliff.




Then you realize, wait this part doesn’t even have a guardrail!



It’s hard enough during the day, its verging on suicidal at night. That being said, I would highly recommend it. Totally different then the first part of the road but in some ways just as beautiful.








After driving through some narrow, windy, one car width roads we finally came back to normal highways. We got back to our hotel just in time to see another amazing Wailea Sunset




So just some advice for the Road to Hana:

•   Do your research beforehand. What I might have loved, you would skip (for example we skipped some caves that you had to crawl through, we heard people who loved it).
•   Make sure you spend some time by at least one or two waterfalls. More than that you will probably run out of time or get too tired.
•   Rent a convertible! Its made for this road
•   Leave early. Then you won’t feel rushed and it wont be as crowded
•   Pack all your valuables in one bag. This will make it easy for you to grab quickly by each stop and you won’t worry about getting robbed.
•   Do the detours at Ke'anae Peninsula and especially Nahiku Road . Well worth it
•   Drive the full loop! Its beautiful. Just make sure you’ll have enough time to do it while its still light
•   Get the Maui revealed app. A real-life saver when you have no service
•   If you aren’t going to drive the back part of road and you can’t swim in the seven sacred pools (you can check online I think), I would just turn around by the black sand beach and go back there. Not worth the time and the annoyance driving to the seven sacred pools just for that

« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 01:57:53 AM by Shua »

Offline yoohoo

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Not sure why some have issues with Google maps on RTH. Worked perfectly for me all the way around even though I had no service.

Offline Shua

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Not sure why some have issues with Google maps on RTH. Worked perfectly for me all the way around even though I had no service.
It kept going in and out if service while I was driving. But I do have AT&T :-[

Offline yoohoo

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It kept going in and out if service while I was driving. But I do have AT&T :-[
I had no service at all but gps still worked

Offline Shua

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I had no service at all but gps still worked

Interesting, did you download the maps beforehand?