Thursday, August 13, 2015

Maui - Part 4


Our last full day and suddenly Ron was thinking of all kinds of things he still wanted to do. Six days on Maui just isn’t enough!

We spent the day exploring Iao Valley National Park and Lahaina. First stop was Iao Valley, a lush valley in Central Maui and the second wettest place in the state, getting an average of 380 inches of rain a year. Ron and I both loved it! We got there early enough that there were few other people, and it was so peaceful, breezy and cool. We walked up the short lookout trail and then followed the mountain stream back down, climbing around on the rocks. I spotted some more yellow ginger so Ron had a “drink”. It took less than an hour to see the whole park but it was well worth the visit.

Iao Valley

mountains and trees

Iao Needle
Iao Needle

Ron in the creek


mountain and stream

Next was Lahaina. The last time we were in Maui, we’d just gotten a taste of Lahaina when we went to the Old Lahaina Luau. This time I wanted to see more of the town, especially after I realized it had a lighthouse. :-)  Lahaina’s combination of whaling history and touristy souvenir shops reminded me a little bit of Key West. Also like Key West, it was compact and walkable. Ron and I aren’t big shoppers but there were a few things we wanted to bring home, and Lahaina had everything we needed. We went to MauiGrown Coffee where we sampled five different blends, starting with a light roast and working up to a dark French roast. I like the medium roasts so we bought one pound each of the Maui Mokka and the Lahaina Beach, plus a couple of smaller bags to give to friends.
Then we wandered around Front Street. Ron bought a new pair of Reef flip flops and I spent way too much money at Crazy Shirts buying a turtle t-shirt and a turtle hat. Shopping done, Ron found a shady bar while I walked around the harbor taking pictures of some of the historical sights – the lighthouse, the giant banyan tree (a gift from India in 1873) and the old courthouse. It was another hot day, a good time to check one more item off my must-try list – Ululani’s shave ice. Shave ice is huge in Maui. It’s kind of like a snow cone, but much better. The ice is finely shaved instead of crushed, and then holes are poked into the cone to allow the flavored syrups to really soak in. I chose mango and banana flavoring and it lived up to the hype. Very refreshing. 

West Maui

sailboats in Lahaina

Front Street
Front Street

Front Street vendor

flip flops

Lahaina Lighthouse

lighthouse and flag

Ululani's Shave Ice

shave ice
my first shave ice

Finally, we drove a few more miles up the road to Ka’anapali Beach for lunch at Leilani’s on the Beach. Ron and I shared the Ahi Poke Bowl and the fish tacos. The poke was amazing, seasoned with just a touch of sesame oil and soy. After we were finished eating, we walked down the beach and watched people jumping off of Black Rock. Ka’anapali was big (3 miles long) and busy. It seemed like a fun place to visit but not to stay, a little too commercial for me.

Leilani's on the Beach

poke and fish tacos

Ka'anapali Beach
Ka'anapali Beach

When we got back to the condo, Jenny’s friends Jeff and Stephanie had arrived for their 2-week vacation (lucky Jeff and Stephanie). We all had dinner together at Joe’s Nuevo Latino in Wailea, a new Latin-inspired restaurant and tequila bar. The food was meant to be served family-style so we ordered just about everything on the menu to share. Ron and I love Latin food and this was my favorite meal yet. Every single dish was delicious and full of flavor. I was really going to miss all the wonderful food in Maui! 

the whole group at Joe's
the whole group (except Jeff, who took the picture)


We didn’t have to leave for the airport until 11 so Ron and I decided to make the most of the morning and drive down to La Perouse Bay. Jenny went with us so we could spend a little more time together. We went by Jenny’s church in Makena and stopped at One’uli Black Sand Beach (black because it is made of ground lava instead of shell). As we got close to the end of South Maui, we passed through the lava fields, the site of the last lava flow on Maui in 1790. The dark brown lava looked like freshly plowed earth, contrasting sharply with the green slopes of Haleakala behind it. At La Perouse Bay, we parked the car and walked down a trail along the rocky shoreline. I read later that the trail goes on for miles, part a 16th century road called the King’s Highway that at one time circumvented the whole island. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to find the end of the trail because we had to get back to the condo and finish the last of our packing. Sniff, sniff…

Black Sand Beach

La Perouse Bay

La Perouse Bay

It was an amazing trip, filled with family, food and spectacular scenery. We just wished it could have been longer. If we’d had more time, I would have loved to have taken a day trip to Lana’i or maybe driven up Haleakala. I DEFINITELY would have done more snorkeling (and seen more turtles). But I guess now we have an excuse to go back. I hope this time it doesn’t take another 16 years!

Where We Ate
Da Kitchen (Kihei and Kahului)
Sea House (Napili)
Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar (Kihei)
Ko at Fairmont Kea Lani (Wailea)
Mama’s Fish House (Paia)
Maui Grown Coffee (Lahaina)
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice (Lahaina)
Leilani’s on the Beach (Ka'anapali)
Joe’s Nuevo Latino (Wailea)

1 comment:

  1. Your whole vacation was wonderful to follow. I hope you get to go back again soon so you can share some more.