Love, LOST, and Limping - Hawaii 2014

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Mar 30th, 2014, 09:23 PM
  #21
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Thanks, kanunu. I've had to plan another itinerary for a different trip, and a couple of other things have kept me busy, but hopefully I'll write some more tomorrow.

Lee Ann
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Mar 30th, 2014, 09:50 PM
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I am trying to decide whether to splash out on the Old Laihana Luau. It is a $ 109 per person, not sure if it is worth the money. Spent yesterday afternoon reading reviews on Trip Advisor. I wasn't going to do it but now am wavering!!!

I am taking note of some of your food spots ElendilPickle.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 07:40 AM
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Looking forward to more Lee Ann!

I am curious to read how you found the drive around the east side of Maui to Hana and beyond.

Aloha
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Mar 31st, 2014, 10:52 AM
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YES! Old Lahaina Luau is definitely worth the money (imho). nelsonian, if you have any specific questions about it I'm happy to answer. I went (maybe 5 years ago) with a group of 10 to celebrate my parents 50th anniversary. It was fantastic (and I'm not a tours-activities kind of person, at all).
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Mar 31st, 2014, 11:55 AM
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That's good to know Suze. Also looking forward to reading about your trip to Hana Lee Ann it is on our list also.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 02:31 PM
  #26
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Thursday, March 13th

We made our finally final LOST filming stop at the renowned Rainbow Drive-In for breakfast. It isn't far from Leonard's, so save some room if you want to visit both on the same day. Breakfast was fairly inexpensive and very tasty.

We returned our rental car and, after we printed our boarding passes, were pleasantly surprised to find we'd been chosen for TSA's precheck - a very short line, you keep your shoes on, etc. If we traveled more, it would be worth signing up for.

Hawaiian's flight from Honolulu to Kahului gives the flight attendants about enough time to hand out POG for everyone and collect the empties before landing.

Time to meet up with the family! Mr. Pickle's sister, her husband, and son arrived earlier that morning, picked up our rental minivan, and spent the morning in Lahaina before returning to OGG to get us.

Costco is practically next door to the airport, so that was our first stop. We picked up some limu poke (very reasonably priced), coffee, eggs, and some wonderful steaks, plus a couple of other items. We ate breakfast at our condo almost every morning, and made two dinners, so we didn't need a lot of food.

We rented a three-bedroom condo at the Grand Champions Villas at Wailea. http://www.rudgeprops.com/maui/about.html It was lovely - close enough to walk to the beaches while being quiet and peaceful. We heard lots of birds and saw a stunning moonrise over Haleakala one evening.

The kitchen was stocked with everything we needed (including instruction manuals for all appliances), and there was a very good selection of beach equipment - snorkeling gear, chairs, towels, all the good stuff. My only quibble was the bedroom doors. If you look at the pictures on the website, they aren't very good at keeping noise out, though we were usually all tired enough that it worked out fine. The master bedroom has a king bed, the second bedroom is a queen, then there are two twins plus a sofabed in the living room.

After we settled in, Mr. Pickle and I went to Safeway to pick up some fruit and a few other things we hadn't wanted to buy in Costco sizes.

We didn't have much time to relax before a family gathering that evening. Fortunately, my other brother-in-law (we'll call him PickleGroom) picked up my father-in-law at the airport and dropped him at the condo, so that saved us a little time.

None of us had met my new sister-in-law (aka PickleBride) or her family, so we went to their place for dessert, mai tais, and a conch shell blowing contest. The winner got to blow the conch shell Friday night before the wedding. PickleBride's niece plays French horn, so she won. Since our family members had been traveling most of the day, we called it an early night.

Lee Ann
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Mar 31st, 2014, 02:52 PM
  #27
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I added a few more photos to my trip album.
https://plus.google.com/photos/10725...Kyj4easp5qOqwE

Lee Ann
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Mar 31st, 2014, 05:22 PM
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Beautiful photos, Lee Ann. I so love Hawaii.
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 06:06 PM
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Great photos, and how fun to have the LOST theme. I live here and haven't seen all those spots! Your photo #73 in the first set looks like a haole smoke monster....
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Apr 2nd, 2014, 06:57 PM
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Don't groan but did everyone get "pickled" at the wedding reception?
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Apr 4th, 2014, 01:29 PM
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lcuy -

Sorry this is so slow. I finally finished the itinerary for a group trip we're taking at the end of May, so back to the report!

Friday, March 14th

Today was fairly laid back. The other family members went to the beach for an hour or so while Mr. Pickle and I looked around The Shops at Wailea. We hoped to find somewhere to buy groceries that was closer than Safeway there, but there's only the ABC Store and Whaler's General Store, which did have tasty-looking prepared foods and sort of decent fruit prices.

We had lunch with PickleGroom and PickleBride at 5 Palms http://www.5palmsrestaurant.com It sits right on the beach, and we enjoyed a delicious, leisurely meal with them.

Soon it was time for everyone to get ready for the wedding. PickleBride lived at Wailea Ekahi Village until recently, and had arranged to use their pavilion and private beach entrance. We had appetizers at the pavilion, watched the storm clouds gathering over West Maui and Kaho'olawe, and saw a few whales way out to sea.

As sunset approached, we removed our shoes and went down to the beach. If you've looked at my pictures, you've seen the wedding photos. It was really nice to have both PickleBride's dad and my father-in-law perform the ceremony.

Lee Ann
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Apr 4th, 2014, 02:09 PM
  #32
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Saturday, March 15

I forgot to mention - when we stopped at the Nuuanu pali on our LOST sites drive, I looked at all the cars in the parking lot and thought, "Wow, that's weird. I don't see any out-of-state license plates." Then I thought about it a little more...

Most of the group had planned a snorkel trip to Molokini with Redline Rafting Co. https://redlinerafting.com/ Several of PickleBride's family had done Molokini with Redline on a previous trip, and they were able to set up a group rate.

$100 per person was still out of our price range, though, so Mr. Pickle and I had gone on Friday to Snorkel Bob's, just down the road from our condo, and rented gear. http://www.snorkelbob.com/ Mr. Pickle needed a prescription mask, and they have a wide selection and really helpful employees. When the man found out we are from New Mexico, he said he would have given us a discount if we'd brought green chile. We took our gear to the pool that afternoon to get used to using the mask and snorkel.

Ulua Beach is about a mile from the condo, and we'd heard it has good snorkeling, so we walked there. As we were leaving, my sister-in-law called to say they had decided not to go to Molokini after all. The weather was picking up, and Redline gave everyone the option of canceling or going. Some of the group still went, but our immediate family decided to go have breakfast at Longhi's instead.

As it turned out, we were the only ones who actually got to snorkel that day. Those who ended up going to Molokini got out there, and once Redline got a good look at the conditions, they took everyone right back to Kihei. We got to Ulua Beach around 8:30 a.m. to avoid the crowds, and spent a couple of hours in the water.

It took a couple of tries for me to get the snorkel working; I have a really strong gag reflex and it was hard to keep it in my mouth. But I persevered and I'm so glad I did! We saw all kinds of cool fish - I think I even saw a devil scorpionfish. I wouldn't have noticed it at all, but it flashed its bright red fins briefly, which caught my eye, so I stopped and watched and saw it again. As I was heading back to the beach for the last time, I looked down and saw a turtle swimming past about three or four feet below me. So cool!

We called the family to pick us up, cleaned up, and grabbed a sandwich at Subway (not my favorite, but it was on our way) as we drove over to Pa'ia. We stopped at Kanaha Beach Park to watch the kiteboarders. Conditions there are, apparently, almost always great for windsurfing and kiteboarding, and some of the people could really make those boards fly through the air.

Once we got to Pa'ia and found a parking place (warning - by 2:00 on Saturday afternoon, traffic gets really backed up going into town), everyone else decided they wanted lunch. If we'd realized that, we would have waited and eaten with the family. Since Mr. Pickle and I were heading back through Pa'ia the next day, we looked at a couple of places which advertised box lunches, then went to Ono Gelato. www.onogelatocompany.com We got a mixed pint of...I don't remember the flavor names, but one was coconut, one was peanut butter with a variety of yummy things, and the third was chocolate with chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts. It was really, really good. We sat on a bench and people watched while we enjoyed our gelato, then crossed the street to Paia Mercantile and bought some neat Christmas ornaments for us and our kids.

PickleGroom has been a ballroom dancer for years, and that's how he and PickleBride met. They are part of a group who dances weekly in Kahului, so they threw a reception for all their dance friends Saturday evening.

Mr. Pickle and I have a dance skill level of about "high school prom" - you know, go around in a little circle and try not to run into anyone. We both felt a little intimidated watching everyone else dance, but the DJ made everyone get out on the floor to learn the Electric Slide. I was wearing a pair of heeled sandals, and a shoe with a heel strap would have helped - I was worried I was going to lose a sandal and bean someone.

They also had a marriage dance-off of sorts; all the couples got on the floor and were gradually eliminated based on how long they've been married. At the end, we were one of the three couples left. There we were, going around in our little circle while the other two twirled all over the place.

Before the reception, we'd returned the minivan and gotten two smaller cars so everyone would have transportation for the rest of the trip. Mr. Pickle and I took a different route back to the condo so we could drive through Kihei and along a bit more of the coast. It was too windy and a little too chilly to walk along the beach like we'd planned, but it was a lovely drive all the same.

Lee Ann
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Apr 9th, 2014, 06:15 AM
  #33
 
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Great wind-up to your Trip Report, you have created lots of lifelong memories for yourselves, and allowed some of us to re-live ours.
Thanks for adding links, too, I have checked out a couple, researching our next trip!
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Apr 9th, 2014, 03:44 PM
  #34
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Thanks, kanunu - but I'm not quite done yet!

Sunday, March 16

We left around 8:00 a.m. to drive to Hana, equipped with a copy of Maui Revealed. We'd read the road to Hana section and planned some places we wanted to stop, which was helpful.

We made a quick stop in Pa'ia at Hana Picnic Lunch Company, two doors down from Ono Gelato and owned by the same couple. http://hanaheadquarters.com/hana-picnic-lunches/
While they made our sandwiches, we browsed a nearby gift shop and did a bit of window shopping. Since it was Sunday, most of the roadside food stands were closed on our route, so we were glad we stopped. The sandwiches were very good - nice fresh rolls and tasty combinations of ingredients.

Maui has gotten a lot of rain this year, so the waterfalls are full and there are a *lot* of them.

Our next stop was one recommended in the "adventures" section of Maui Revealed, a trail that is supposed to take you to four waterfalls. This involves some slippery mud, crossing a stream on a plank and/or boulders, and trekking through quite a bit of bamboo. We found the first waterfall fairly easily, but never did find the way to the second one. We ran into a few other people who were also equipped with their blue books, but I don't know if any of them found the waterfall.

A quick trek through a cattle pasture brought us back to the car and more gorgeous scenery.

At our next stop, we walked down a short trail to look at a waterfall near the road. Even though I was being very careful to watch my step, my left foot slipped as I was stepping on a boulder, and down I went. I ended up straining my knee and pulling a muscle in my calf; thankfully, it wasn't anything worse, though it got more painful as the day went on.

We stopped at the Ke'anae State Wayside to use the restrooms and eat lunch. There is a nature trail that leads partway up the hillside, with a beautiful view of the Ke'anae Peninsula and the ocean.

Just past Wailua is the Wailua Valley State Wayside. Go up the stairs and you can see four or five waterfalls falling into the valley, with a great view over Wailua on the other side. At this point, my knee let me know it wasn't very happy with the stairs, or with much walking.

We stopped at Makapipi Falls and a couple other places before reaching Wai'anapanapa State Beach. Neither of us had ever visited a black sand beach before, and what I was able to see it was lovely. Sadly, I was having trouble walking, so I ended up going back to the car while Mr. Pickle explored and walked to the blowhole there.

Our last stop for the day was Hana, where (surprise!) it was raining fairly hard. Since I couldn't do much, we just bought some drinks and a snack and headed back to Wailea. It would be nice to spend a little more time there in the future.

Monday, March 17

Not much to report - we flew back to Phoenix, spent the night there, and flew home the next day. Mr. Pickle asked the various airline staff if I could board early (he's so great - I would have just suffered through the line), and that helped a lot; I didn't slow down the other passengers and was able to get to my seat without running into anyone.

I'm really not a beach person, but I would definitely return to Hawaii. We really loved snorkeling, and there is plenty to do if you aren't into sand and surf.

Lee Ann
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Apr 9th, 2014, 03:58 PM
  #35
 
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Lee Ann, Loving your report!!! Mahalo.

I'm really sorry you hurt yourself. At least it was towards the end of your trip ;-)

And it's great to hear about you enjoying Hawaii even though not a beach person. That's a stereotype that's hard to break (on this forum, talking with people who don't "like" the beach so figure there's nothing for them in Hawaii, when nothing could much be further from the truth).
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Apr 10th, 2014, 01:48 PM
  #36
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Thanks, suze. My knee is better now, but I need to get out and walk more before we leave for Wales in May.

Lee Ann
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Jun 11th, 2014, 11:31 PM
  #37
 
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Reading with interest, possibly going to Maui in October, this time renting a house. LeeAnn, were you able to look up location before renting? I checked the website, there is no map.
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Jun 12th, 2014, 04:03 AM
  #38
 
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Sounds like a great trip, other than the knee, but at least that waited for the last day. Thanks for the report, and hope the Wales trip is without incident.
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Jun 12th, 2014, 11:24 AM
  #39
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Dayenu, I did look up the Grand Champion Villas location (probably on Google Maps). If you mean the specific condo, I Googled their website and used this:
http://www.drhmaui.com/pdf/2013_Gran...ropertyMap.pdf

emalloy, the Wales trip was fantastic - and no injuries!

Lee Ann
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Jun 12th, 2014, 12:35 PM
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Thank you, Lee Ann!
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