Saturday, March 23, 2019

Hawaii 2019: Maui Part Two

Oahu | Kauai | Maui Posts | Maui Oceanfront Marathon Report

Monday was designated "chill day".  Our group of eight started the day with a mile walk to have breakfast at Kihei Caffe.   The line was out the door and all the seating is outdoors on the main drag of town.   Fortunately the long line moved quickly at the cash-only restaurant.  The food arrived by the time we found seating that worked for our larger group.   The dishes were varied - Holly got a kalua pork loco moco (which lasted another 2 breakfasts) and Dave got the macadamia nut/banana french toast.  On the way back Dave stopped for shaved ice while everyone else got to pet a cute dog.  

Our afternoon was spent south of Wailea on Big Beach in Makena State Park.  This was a perfect place to spend the afternoon.  The beach was both long and wide, allowing visitors to spread out.  The water was a little rough at times, but still very clear.   This is where we saw our first sea turtle swim by.  There's a small outcropping separating Big Beach from Small Beach so we took a walk to see the other side.  To our surprise it was clothing optional.   Put the cameras away kids.

That evening we broke off from the rest of the group to visit with friends that live on the island.  Mike took us to a secret area along the Kihei shoreline where sea turtles frequent.   No turtles tonight, just some kids playing on the rocks.  Right after a lovely sunset his wife Nora got off work and we walked over to the Kamaole Bar at the Maui Coast Hotel for a lively cocktail hour with a live musician.   For dinner we headed into Wailea (via Uber) to a newer restaurant from a local chef called Lineage.  Dishes were served family style and there's a "dim sum" cart that comes by with other smaller samplings.    Within the same shopping complex is The Pint and Cork, a gastropub with a nice beer and bourbon selection.  We made it back to Kihei via a crazy Uber driver.   For once we used our better judgment and decided not to follow our younger friends to The Moose for one more.

With one more full day left in Maui we had to decided not to do the Road to Hana - a 100 mile round trip to the town of Hana and back filled with beautiful views.   None of us were up for it.  We chose to tour the Iao Valley State Park, a place considered sacred by the original Hawaiians. 

After about an hour we left the state park, drove through the cute town of Pa'ia, and stopped at Ho’okipa Beach where the turtles hang out.  We could see about 24 turtles on the beach lounging while others were making their way in from the sea and out to the sea.   We were amazed at how close some of the surfers were going to the grounded turtles despite the signs.    Lunch was near the airport at a locals favorite: Da Kitchen.

On the way back to Kihei we enjoyed Happy Hour at the Mill House on the grounds of Maui Tropical Plantation.  We became obsessed with the Mill House when our friend Mike was working there and we'd see the pictures of the wonderful views that were quintessential "Maui".  

Before going to dinner at South Shore Tiki Lounge (finally got our excellent pizza) we spent one more night on the beach and lucked into a great sunset with multiple whales breaching in the distance.

Maui was a surprising destination and we only scratched the surface.  We were amazed at how friendly everyone was and it wasn't as commercial as we expected.  We are definitely looking forward to returning to Maui again sometime.

Here's some video from Maui, primarily Haleakala, whales, and turtles:


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