Author Topic: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor  (Read 1973 times)

Offline yoohoo

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Interesting, did you download the maps beforehand?
no, navigation may not work but map and location do, I also used a guided tour app which uses Gps, worked great

Offline Dan

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Great TR, keep it up!
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Shua

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Wednesday

When researching the highlights of Maui, I saw that sunrise at the Haleakala summit was one of the must doís. The problem is that my wife and I are not exactly morning people (that's an understatement!) Being that sunrise was at 6AM we would have to leave out hotel at 4AM. Further complicated the issue is that there is no real prediction if the weather would cooperate for sunrise. Even if it doesn't rain, if the clouds arenít perfect, then it turns a spectacular sunrise into an ordinary sunrise. Well I thought, what about sunset? While it's not talked about as much, I did see that people said that sunset is also quite beautiful. So, for Wednesday we decided to end our day with sunset at Haleakala summit.

Now what to do the rest of the day? We wanted to do some watersports and my wife suggested Jet skiing as she had never gone. There is only one Jet skiing place in Maui. They have an interesting setup as you arenít allowed to Jet ski off the beach. You meet a boat in front of the Hyatt Regency which then takes you to their jet ski ďislandĒ. There they have a large area where you can Jet ski and do tricks.

As the meetup was at Ka'anapali beach we decided that we would do the western Maui loop in between Jet skiing and sunset at Haleakala summit.

We left our hotel at around 9:30 as we wanted to stop off at Front street in Lahaina to buy some souvenirs. Front street feels like a seaside town with some cool Hawaiian flair. Nice place to have a quick stop and there is also a giant banyan tree that takes up a whole block

Yes, thatís only one tree



Ten minutes from Lahaina we pulled into the public parking lot next to the Hyatt regency. While we signed up for an hour session, from start to finish it took closer to two hours. You have to take a boat to the ďislandĒ, sign in, get some safety/instructions, jet ski and then wait for the boat back. To top it off everything is on Hawaiian time!

That being said, it was fantastic. I've gone jet skiing before, but there was something really amazing about zooming over the waves at 50mph with the Western Maui mountains in the background.



Leaving Ka'anapali beach we drove to our first stop on the western Maui loop. The two-tiered pools. This entails a 10-minute walk through a field, then to a dirt path and finally down some steep rocks and you come to, some pools by the ocean.



There was no one around and while pretty, it seemed like the reward was not worth the effort.



We then left and drove about ten minutes to the blow hole. This was pretty cool as it was erupting every 30 seconds.



After that we drove to the olivine pools. Again, another walk/hike which led to some really steep rocks and finally the pools. Not one person was there and while it looked pretty, again not really worth the effort.



We then drove through the over the top road to complete the loop. Now this is some road!



I took this picture from the plane. At the bottom of the mountain, you can see the over the top road cut into the mountain side.



This felt like the back road to Hana but was completely paved. Was great driving at the edge of the mountain with some insane switchbacks. I would highly recommend driving the over the top road as its both beautiful and adventurous.

After finishing the western Maui loop we stopped off in Walmart for some snacks (you have to bring your own shopping bags!) and started the drive up to Haleakala summit.

The drive up is really nice with some great views. The temperature kept dropping as we went up the mountain. We were prepared and I was wearing 2 sweatshirts and my wife had on a light winter coat. Truth is it was more windy than cold at the summit. We bought ski caps as well but didn't need them.

Finally, we got to the summit.



Sunset was absolutely amazing.





And Gone.



Once the sun set we waited around a bit for it to get really dark. I have never seen that many stars in my entire life. You could even see the milky way! Unfortunately, my camera phone wasn't able to capture it. We then took the long drive back to our hotel.

I think that sunset at Haleakala summit might be an option for some people who might hesitate about sunrise. It was absolutely beautiful, it wasn't crowded at all, itís not as cold as sunrise, you don't need to make a reservation and most importantly you don't need to wake up at an ungodly hour on vacation.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 11:11:40 PM by Shua »

Offline tageed-lee

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Very nice TR! Good job with the pics! Thanks for sharing!

Offline davidmal

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-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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Thursday

Originally the plan for Thursday was to go on a snorkel cruise to Molokini crater. ButÖ.  we had been running around Maui the past two days (Road to Hana and Western Maui loop) and we really enjoyed our first day of relaxing. As we had plans to have an active day in Kauai on Friday, we decided to just relax by the pool and do some snorkeling off of Wailea Beach.

Itís hard to say no to this view.



I swam/snorkeled from Wailea Beach (on the right) to Ulua Beach (on the left). While there weren't as many turtles as in the afternoon, the visibility was better so I saw plenty of fish.



Here is where the hotel lounge really came through. Our flight was at 5pm to Kauai and check out was 12. They had no problem storing our luggage and keeping our food in the freezer while we hung out by the pool and relaxed. They had towels and showers in the lounge so we could change for our flight.

Before we knew it, it was time to leave and head to Kauai.

Overall, I would highly recommend the Marriott. The staff were extremely accommodating, everything feels new as it was recently renovated and the adult infinity pool is amazing. Also at 13.3k SPG point per night it's a very good deal.

Had an uneventful flight to Kauai and got upgraded to a convertible at Alamo.

Chickens everywhere!



Drove through the tree tunnel to the Grand Hyatt Kauai



There have been many trip reports with the Grand Hyatt Kauai pictures (so I apologize in advance) but hereís a few more.

The open lobby with the ocean window is beautiful



View from the front of hotel from the beach/salt water lagoon area



The hotel is huge covering 55 acers. The pool situation is really nice with an adult upper pool, a lazy river (with waterfalls and hidden caves) and a lower family pool. The lazy river connects the upper and lower level pools. There is also a huge salt water lagoon with a fake beach. The lagoon is so big that you can rent kayaks and paddle around the lagoon!

Salt water lagoon with the ocean in the background



Lazy river



Lower family pool



We got upgraded to the garden suite. We specifically requested the garden suite as it was on the ground floor which would be better for us on shabbos.





While I requested an extra fridge, the fridge they had in the room was large enough to fit 10 pomegranate meals.

We had an early day planned for Friday so we crashed after eating our Pomegranate meals.

Offline yoohoo

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Nice. How did you go about arranging shabbos (Doors, heating food etc.)? Plan on being there in Nov

Offline Shua

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Nice. How did you go about arranging shabbos (Doors, heating food etc.)? Plan on being there in Nov
Will talk about it more in the next installment (which I will hopefully finish before the end of the week!)

Offline JS69

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Great report.

I had room 1029 a few weeks ago. Good suite in a quiet section of the hotel.

Offline Shua

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Great report.

I had room 1029 a few weeks ago. Good suite in a quiet section of the hotel.

Thanks!

Not sure what room number I stayed in (1029 does sound familiar) but I attached a picture of the map below with an red X of where my room was. While it was really nice and quiet, it was also really far from the lobby and the pools.


Offline Shua

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Great report.

I had room 1029 a few weeks ago. Good suite in a quiet section of the hotel.
Ha! I just found my invoice and we actually did stay in Room 1029! Yes, really nice room but again very far walk

Offline Shua

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Friday

We started our day by getting breakfast/lunch from the grand club where they had our 4 kosher bagels waiting for us. There is also cereal, cream cheese, juice and fruit that are kosher as well. We then drove to the airport as we had booked the Blue Hawaiian helicopter tour at 9AM. The reasoning for booking it early in the Kauai portion of the trip was if there was bad weather and we would need to postpone, we would still have an opportunity to go on the flight later in our trip.

Blue Hawaiian is a really professional, well run outfit. There were a lot of people who were flying at the same time as us and they had everything down like clockwork. When you check in they ask you to step on a scale as they have to balance out the helicopter by weight. While I requested the front seat, they wouldn't be able to confirm what seat I had until just before boarding. Finally, after a short safety demonstration I got my seating selection. Front row, right side! As the helicopter goes around Kauai in a clockwise direction this is the best seat on the chopper.

Pictures don't do it justice.

Jurassic Park Falls




Waimea Canyon



Waterfall in Waimea Canyon



Na Pali Coast





Itís impossible to capture the beauty



Inside the Mount Waialeale Crater



As many have said beforehand, this is a must do. So little of Kauai is accessible by foot/car that if you really want to see the hidden beauty you must see it from above.

After leaving blue Hawaiian we took a 15 minute drive to the Hawaiian village to kayak to the secret falls. I called them beforehand to set aside a kayak for us. It's a good thing I did because they ran out of kayaks shortly after we got there. Hawaiian village is the closest place to rent a kayak to access the secret falls trail. While there were many people who were on tours it's really not necessary and very easy to do yourself. It took us about 15 minutes of paddling to get the trail head and we took our time. There is also a fern grotto that you can kayak to if you are interested in kayaking more.

Map from the Hawaiian Village



We really enjoyed the whole experience. The hike was really easy but very enjoyable through the woods/jungle.



While some have warned that it was very muddy we got lucky as it was dry the entire time. We went slow enjoying the sights and it took us about 45 minutes to get to the falls.



We swam in the falls, ate lunch and enjoyed our hike and kayak back. On the way back to the hotel quickly stopped off in Safeway and Walmart to see what food we could get for shabbos.

We didn't have to shelp grape juice for 5000 miles!



Salmon was perfect for Shabbos day and Shalosh Seudos




We got to the hotel in the early afternoon so we had some time to hit the pool before we got ready for shabbos.

As Dan has stated before there are a few issues with the room for Shabbos. To get around these issues you have to enable VIP mode on the thermostat, unplug the bidet, cover the sensors in the closet so the light wonít turn on, make sure the darkeners are up so you can walk out on the porch and tape the latch on the front door.

I had trouble with taping the latch shut (even when it was fully taped with heavy duty tape the door would still catch) so having the ability to walk out onto the ground floor was a life saver.

For food we warmed up the food in the toaster before shabbos and then lowered it to 200 and put on the timer for the longest possible time. I finished davening and food was perfect temperature for Friday night seuda.

Good Shabbos from Kauai!



Offline JS69

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Ha! I just found my invoice and we actually did stay in Room 1029! Yes, really nice room but again very far walk

Hysterical, We didn't mind the walk, it added to the activities everyday.

Great pics!

Offline Shua

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Shabbos/Saturday

This might have been the most relaxing shabbos of my entire life. We didn't bring/buy anything to heat up food for Shabbos day, but we still had plenty to eat. We had dried salami, challah and deli that we brought from home. The salmon that we had got from Walmart was delicious cold. We also had lots of snack, chips, and salsa that we found in Safeway.

It was really nice walking around the hotel grounds or just sitting on the swing overlooking the ocean. Unfortunately, they donít give the cabanaís out for free anymore (it used to be a perk for Diamond members but that changed when they changed the program), otherwise we would have reserved that.

Nothing more relaxing (picture taken before Shabbos)



Before we knew it shabbos was over. We decided to go to the Kukuiula shops which was about a 5 minute drive away. Was nice to walk around in and they had a Lapperts which had delicious ice cream.

Watch out for those crazy chickens!



When we got back to the hotel we went to Stevenson library for some drinks as well as a few games of pool. Cool place with a nice vibe. We didn't stay out too late we had a full day up north planned for Sunday.

Offline efflpetzel

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Thanks!

Not sure what room number I stayed in (1029 does sound familiar) but I attached a picture of the map below with an red X of where my room was. While it was really nice and quiet, it was also really far from the lobby and the pools.


Hey that was my room

I'm starting to think that they put the DDF crowd in the same room.

Seriously though I loved the location of the room, whilst being a walk from the pools the grassy area was great for the kids