Author Topic: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).  (Read 3914 times)

Offline rcarentals

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Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« on: January 28, 2024, 06:20:19 AM »
I'm definitely in love with Hawaii. Around four years ago, my wife and I became obsessed with hiking, a hobby that has forever changed every destination for us, for the better. Instead of driving to a lookout point, we now hike to those that have no roads Ė the best ones.

I had been briefly to Maui before. I spent maybe 36 hours in Maui: one night en route to the Four Seasons Lanai, and one day before a red-eye flight back home.

The goal of this trip was to actually EXPLORE MAUI.
And explore we did.
We traversed almost the entire island circumference and loved every minute of it. Fortunately, we didn't see it all, which means we'll have to come back for more!

Hereís the breakdown:

**Food Prep:**
- We bought the HotLogic (thanks, Dan Ė it was game-changing).
- We cooked, froze, and vacuum-sealed seven dinners.
- We pre-ordered groceries for pickup at Walmart and Whole Foods.

**Accommodations:**
- We booked a two-bedroom, two-bath condo at the Residence by Hyatt Polo Club, at just over an average of 39,000 points per night.

**Transportation:**
- Rented a seven-seater SUV from Hertz, a nearly brand-new Chevy Tahoe for $300 for the week.

**Day 1, Sunday:**
- The United gate in LA was like ElAl, with half a dozen people in tefillin at 7:30 AM for an 8:20 AM departure.
- Landed at 12 PM, caught the lovely tram to the car rental location.
- Walmart pickup took a solid 25 minutes, which was annoying.
- Whole Foods took around 2 minutes.
- We received a text at 2 PM, while at Whole Foods, that our residence was available for early check-in. Official check-in is at 4 PM.
- Check-in is off-site for the residence, but they give you everything you need: leis (boys style only), a wireless parking hang tag, and all codes texted to you. Very easy.
- The condo was really nice, Apartment 409, with ocean views and some mountain views of Lanai.

**Note:** Amazon delayed my freezer bag by three days! So, I used a regular suitcase to transport my frozen and fridge goods. My freezer has a deep freeze setting which I used. We packed the frozen and fridge items at 6 AM and unpacked at 3 PM. Everything was still frozen solid.

- Upon arrival we double-bagged some of my house-smoked chicken we brought and microwaved it. The condo has carpet, so we made use of the tile balcony for all meals with my four little kids. By the time we finished eating, everyone's eyes were popping out at the sight of whales making full breaches and huge spouts right in front of us. A few minutes later, we discovered binoculars, which was a tremendously fun activity: spotting tails, fins, spouts, and breaches. It was incredible.
- We then all went down to the pool. There were a total of six people there: two in the pool, four in the Jacuzzi. But after a few minutes, we had the whole pool to ourselves. The Polo Beach Club is an insane property. To call it steps to the beach is an understatement. The property is ON the beach. You're stepping on sand the moment you leave the building. It's the ONLY property in Wailea that doesn't have a boardwalk between it and the beach. One thing I found snobby... but awesome. Technically the beach is public, but the only way to get to this beach from public property is to swim around the rocks from the next-door beach by the Fairmont (spoiler alert, no one does that). That also means... this beach is EMPTY. The contrast to other beaches is insane. Most times I went, I was the only one there. And it's gorgeous. The waves look mighty... but the beach is shallow deep into the water and the waves are soft... the sand powdery. And just no one there... It's a slice of private paradise steps away from crowded tourist beaches.

**Day 2, Monday:**
- We had bought and toiveled a pot from Walmart, so we had eggs for breakfast.
- Next, we stuck a shepherd's pie in the HotLogic, in an 8x11 container, still vacuum sealed.
- For our activity we wanted something light as we were still getting over a long day of travel.
- So we went to Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop (on AllTrails: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/hawaii/maui/iao-needle-lookout-trail-and-ethnobotanical-loop?sh=jvaloc&u=i). Don't be fooled by the trail; it's only one drop of beauty. There's a gorgeous
stream at the base, perfect for families to get their feet wet. Many couples and families were enjoying the rushing water at various safe spots in the stream. The rush of the water and the natural beauty was breathtaking and refreshing, a really great light activity.

- Next, we went looking for a nice beach to explore. We went to Ulua Beach. It was decent enough, but the waves were a bit too intense at that time for my kids. They mostly played on the sand, with sticks, various rocks, and washed-up coral.

**Dinner:** Ready and hot when we came back. Every night, we take out the next day's dinner and defrost it overnight in the fridge.

**Day 3, Tuesday:**
- Dinner goes into the HotLogic Ė meatballs this time!
- We started with an early morning swim at the private Polo Beach Club beach. It was amazing.
- Next, we did an incredible hike. This was one of the best hikes I've done with my kids. They were entertained the entire time and had so much fun that they didnít care about getting their shoes wet once or twice. My 3-year-old kid did the entire hike, with at most holding his hand at some narrow spots and lifting him over a crossing or two. The hike is called 13 Crossings (Makamakaole Stream: 13 Crossings on AllTrails: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/hawaii/maui/makamakaole-stream-13-crossings?p=69518814&sh=jvaloc&u=i). Truly though, it's more like 20 crossings, and there's an additional waterfall you can hike to if you're looking for more. But we did one, the main one. The hike includes an incredible bamboo forest, tons of fun crossings where you need to hop from rock to rock. I did the hike (and every hike) wearing my 1.5-year-old baby. Full disclosure: I also wore the legendary Lowa Zephyr mid GTX waterproof hiking boots. BH, I've never lost traction enough to slip while wearing a baby and hiking in these. The hike ended with a beautiful waterfall and a deep pool. And so, yes, while it was freezing, I jumped in and took a shower under the crashing waterfall, which some will say is not advised, as rocks can be dislodged by the moving water and land on your head. The hike back was just as fun. The views on the drive were amazing. We stopped at a lookout to take it in; it was jaw-dropping. One note: a common theme by each parking lot was broken glass from windows of robbed cars. Sad to see, unnerving, but definitely DO NOT pile anything high in your car. Maybe leave a window open. Your call. But it did seem like there's a lot of car robberies recently, judging by the glass. Next, we went to a beach by the airport. It was gorgeous. The sand was nice. The waves were non-existent. It was a bay of sorts. So I took the opportunity to teach my kids how to snorkel, with some gear we bought off Amazon. It was great, very successful. After a few tries, they each snorkeled for a full 5-6 minutes without picking up their heads while holding onto my arm.

**Day 4, Wednesday:**
- The next day, we did shachris at Chabad Maui. They have a very cute shul, a beautiful Aron Kodesh, and a very nice and warm shliach.
- Then we did the Maui Kosher Farm tour, which was nice.
- Then we hiked the Nakalele Blowhole via Acid War Zone Trail (on AllTrails: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/hawaii/maui/nakalele-blowhole-via-acid-war-zone-trail?p=70097529&sh=jvaloc&u=i). This was an insane experience. The rocks here tell a story of a time so long ago, it's hard to comprehend. The crystals in the rocks are mind-blowing. The views of the coast, contrasting with the ancient natural wonder of lava rocks, are mind-bending. The blowhole itself performs well at high tide. During low tide, when we went, it still shot up a few big ones, but nothing like what you can expect if you time it right. Right by the blowhole, there were crabs, and in some of the little ponds, there were cute little hermit crabs, which my kids loved to play with, as well as some ponds with fish. The hike was easy but mesmerizing. It felt like walking on the surface of the moon. My 3-year-old kept saying he found an asteroid rock. It's really something out of this world, not like anything I've experienced in Hawaii (or anywhere) before.
This is an atypical hike for those interested in the unique experience of ancient rocks, and nature so old you can feel and see it. It's not a tropical hike at all.

**Day 5, Thursday:**
- We started the Road to Hana bright and early, out the door by 8 AM.
- First, we used the Shaka app. We accidentally downloaded the classic tour, though we were doing the full circle. Nonetheless, it was well worth it. My advice is to download Maui on Google Maps and pay for the shaka tour on the app. My kids loved the facts, and I appreciated the driving and stopping tips.
- We stopped at Twin Falls and did the lower falls. We'll have to come back for the upper ones. The kids enjoyed a short swim there.
- Next, we stopped at the FREE arboretum, bypassing the Garden of Eden. Our goal was to see the rainbow eucalyptus, and we got up close and personal with them. It being Tubshvat, it was a great day for appreciating nature and trees.
- We made another stop at a Shaka-suggested lookout. Just a few steps led to 360-degree views.
- Then we stopped at a lava tube/cave. That was awesome.
- I stopped at one or two fruit stalls, but the fruit looked terrible and bugs literally inside them running out as I touched them. Finally, I stopped at Uncle Bobís stall and met Joel, the owner. His name isnít Bob, but "Bobís his uncle." :) He had a mini watermelon-sized avocado, some perfect bananas, and oranges, so I bought a bunch. The oranges werenít great, but the avocado we had on Shabbos tasted amazing, and the bananas were delicious.
- We had a reservation for the black sand beach for 10-12:30 PM. We arrived at 12:15 PM, and they let us in, asking us to try to be out by 12:30 PM.
- there are a lot of fruit stalls on the road down to black sand beach. The first stall was 4x the price of everyone else. But others had passion fruit, bananas Mandarin and more.
- The original plan was to hike Waimoku Falls, but we discovered the waters were super clear on the black sand beach, so I took one kid at a time snorkeling. We saw lobsters, coral, schools of beautiful tropical colored fish, some large silver fish, and an eel - massive success for their first snorkel experience. If you go in from where the black sand turns to white rock and coral, in the center of the beach, you'll find the fish. Many people were also snorkeling the rocks to the right, but I didn't want to do that with my kids without some sort of flotation device.
- My kids each eventually got some water in their eyes or mouth and needed a ride on my back, back to the beach. They are decent swimmers, but I think the key would have been a lifejacket so they could float more easily... notes for next time.
- We then drove to the Hana town grocery store. I was curious about what kosher products they had. They carried a lot of basics: tuna, cereal, various bars. I picked up some drinks for the kids and an energy drink for myself.
- Next, we went to Koki Beach (https://roadtohana.com/koki-beach.php). It was insane. Red sand beach, incredible waves, and incredible surfers. Thereís also an island right in front of you with a single palm tree at the very top of the rock, said to have been planted by a father in memory of his soldier son. Nature here presents far more than the habituated.
- We then began the "off-road" trip around the back of Hana. I can tell you, things must have changed a lot since the world scared everyone out of going the full circle back from Hana. 95% of the roads were super smooth paved roads. The first 5% was unpaved roads. The biggest issue with these roads was that many points are only one lane. If you face a car here, you may have to reverse 5 or 150 feet, to get to a spot wide enough for the other car to pass. Luckily for us, we only had to reverse twice, 5-6 feet to a spot for the other car to pass. But I would say it was mostly empty of cars. If you go during a high season, that 5% stretch has the potential to be a nightmare. Almost the entire rest of the trail was two lanes and paved. And by the way, the views are insanity. Every curve, every turn just gets better. You're seeing some of the most beautiful views, coasts, and cliffs Hawaii has to offer. In my opinion, it's an absolute MUST do for anyone who can confidently reverse a few feet and drive through narrow spots. As far as four wheel drive; I saw dozens of two wheel drive cars do the trip. From convertibles, to tiny sedans - and everything in between.
- At some point, the sun began to set, and the skies lit up in beauty. We pulled over by a field of cows on an ocean cliff and took some family pics. The rest of the drive home, we gawked at the sunset. Hana was incredible. Though we didn't have time for Waimoku, we'll be back.

**Day 6, Friday:**
- We managed for flexibility to secure reservations for three mornings for the Haleakala sunrise ($1 each). Friday was our last morning. So at 4:45 AM, we left for the 90-minute drive from Wailea. The reservation suggests it takes 3 hours from Wailea, which it could if you don't overtake any of the super slow drivers. Sunrise was around 7:05 AM, and we arrived at about 6:15 AM.
- We expected it to be cold and windy, and it was. We took turns going out to the view and then back to the warm car with the heating on full blast.
- Finally, we saw the sunrise. The upper lot had shown "full," but I saw a car leave, so before sunrise, we went around the barrier to the top/summit. We got a parking spot and enjoyed the view from the summit.
- The elevation was definitely interesting. My daughter's stomach didn't like it, and we pulled over for her to throw up due to some altitude sickness on the way down.
- We didn't hike on Haleakala. The sunset was amazing, but with smaller kids, I would skip it. Perhaps sunset would be better, not view-wise, but for sleep.
- We came back and, after a small nap, went down the boardwalk for a walk past all the Wailea hotels. It was cute and nice.
- We hung out at a spot where, with our binoculars and without, we just saw an insane whale show: mother and calves showing off fins, tails, full bodies, surface body turns, breaches, and full breach jumps. It was insane.
- We then headed back to prepare for Shabbos and hit the pools again.

**Friday night/Shabbos:**
- I ordered the Shabbos package from Chabad, to support the cause and for the convenience of extra Shabbos foods.
- It was delivered to us and was super cute: challahs, wine or grape juice, 2 full first and second courses per meal, some sides, and brownies. All in all, a super easy way to get Shabbos done in Maui while supporting the basic infrastructure and overhead they need to keep this up.
- Friday night, Chabad was moved into the Four Seasons, courtesy of some guests staying there, I guess. At 6 PM, we had a beautiful mincha kabbalos Shabbos with lots of singing and joy.
- The Rabbi invited everyone to stay for the meal, but I headed back to make kiddush for the wife and kids.

**Day 7, Shabbos Day:**
- Shabbos day began with shachris at 10 AM at the Four Seasons. It was a beautiful minyan, possibly one of the last on earth.

Despite being one of the furthest geographical locations from Eretz Yisroel, we delivered a heartfelt rendition of the song "Mi Sheberach" for our chayalim.
This was followed by a lovely Kiddush and farbrengen. After the Kiddush, we attempted to hold a mincha, but we didn't manage to get a minyan, so we left.
- The experience of Shabbos was both beautiful and warm.

**Day 8, Sunday:**
- It's 1:15 AM, and I had a good Shabbos nap, so I'm writing this trip report now, so I don't forget to.
- Check-out is at 11 AM, and our flight is at 2 PM. We may catch one more beach swim tomorrow morning, but otherwise, Maui has been incredible. We'll be back.

Regarding Lahaina and the fires, as you can read, our time in Maui was packed full nearly every day. While I remember Lahaina from our last trip, there is so much to see and do in Maui that, in my opinion, you will not experience any lack due to the fires. We didn't even have time for basics like whale watching on a boat (the nonprofit is the recommended one) or snorkeling the crator.

That said, Maui is hurting from the worst natural disaster it has ever experienced. Support local businesses. Be respectful to locals. But come to Maui. You will have an amazing time while supporting the regrowth of Lahaina and Maui.

Pictures to come:
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

Offline rcarentals

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2024, 06:24:14 AM »
Day 2
Pictures: Iao needle point.
The needle is the small pointy mountain.
St the base is the beautiful stream.
And Ulua beach.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2024, 06:29:54 AM by rcarentals »
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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2024, 06:29:33 AM »
Day 3.
13 crossings
The pool by the waterfall is a solid 7+ ft deep.
And view point on the road to 13 crossings. Then...
Airport beach
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2024, 06:32:39 AM »
Day 4.
Chabad Maui
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

Offline rcarentals

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2024, 06:36:52 AM »
Day 4 farm
The kids loved the animals, and collecting macadamia nuts.
Lunch was served as well which was great.
If your kids love animals this is highly recommended.
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2024, 06:43:38 AM »
Day 5. Road to Hana
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

Offline rcarentals

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2024, 06:50:39 AM »
Road back from Hana
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2024, 06:55:49 AM »
Day 6.
Haleakala
And board walk.
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2024, 07:00:42 AM »
Day 6. Shabbos food.
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)

Offline Dan

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2024, 07:08:09 AM »
Great TR, on our way there now :)
Maui Nō Ka ʻOi!

My 12th trip to the islands since the 2006 Northwest glitch and 11th trip to Maui!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2024, 07:15:11 AM by Dan »
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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2024, 07:11:44 AM »
Did you skip the Olivine pools in West Maui and the drive back via the 340 south?
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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2024, 10:08:59 AM »
Awesome. Did u book directly with Hertz? Sounds like a really good deal

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2024, 11:02:39 AM »
Nice meeting you on Shabbos at the four seasons.. I was the one who asked you how you can keep your food in the Hot Logic without burning for so many hours

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2024, 11:07:05 AM »
on our way there now :)
We might meet  :) I am here till Wednesday.
 
Did you skip the Olivine pools in West Maui and the drive back via the 340 south?
We did the top of West Maui road not recommended for everyone, very terrifying.


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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2024, 11:21:02 AM »
Nice meeting you on Shabbos at the four seasons.. I was the one who asked you how you can keep your food in the Hot Logic without burning for so many hours

Which food got burnt?
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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2024, 11:21:30 AM »
We might meet  :) I am here till Wednesday.
 We did the top of West Maui road not recommended for everyone, very terrifying.


Yes, only for brave drivers. But I find it exhilarating. ;D
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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2024, 11:57:26 AM »
Which food got burnt?
I had a cherry pie that was in a plastic container got slightly melted after 3 hrs in the hot logic

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2024, 12:20:38 PM »
I had a cherry pie that was in a plastic container got slightly melted after 3 hrs in the hot logic
Yup, plastic isn't advisable for a long time.
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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2024, 12:31:46 PM »
Did you skip the Olivine pools in West Maui and the drive back via the 340 south?
We did the entire circumference of Maui pretty much. And loved it.
We did the back road from Hana on the 360 to the 37.
After the Acid warzone trail to the Nakelele blowhile hike we went north and took the 340 over the top of Maui to kaanapali. And then south to wailea. The drive on the 340 was also beautiful.
Unfortunately we did skip the olivine pools. Yet another activity we need to come back for.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2024, 12:57:12 PM by rcarentals »
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Offline rcarentals

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Re: Maui - January / Yeshiva week (post fires).
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2024, 12:32:54 PM »
Awesome. Did u book directly with Hertz? Sounds like a really good deal
Yes. Hertz direct. Using Amex plat CDP. There are a few plat CDPs some better than others. Try them all.
Do not boast for tomorrow, Because you do not know what the day will bear.(Mishlei C27.V1)