The girls spent a few days in Maui after TRU’s short stint into motherhood didn’t work out. They rented condos at a small resort in Lahaina called Noelani. It’s about thirty condos and has ocean front pools and it’s own little beach. Secure and tucked away and definitely not a mega-resort. Each of them have some suggestions for anyone thinking of visiting Maui.
TANOOKI – Go snorkeling! If you have a lot o’ cash you can get on one of the snorkel or scuba tours, but you don’t have to. Just rent a set from All About Fish for 8 bucks for a day and drive up to Honolua Bay. There’s an awesome jungle trail to the water with wild chickens. The water is still and warm and there’s TONS of colorful fish swimming everywhere. Watch out for urchins though. Bring booties or flippers.
Oh, and don’t bother with the trip to Turtle Town. Just stay at Noelani. Everyday sea turtles come RIGHT up to the shore by the condos. One night we sat and watched about 50 of them feed off the rocks. Turtleriffic!
9KEY – Monkeypod Kitchen. Best frikken Mai Tai on the planet. Screw the “sugar-infused-baby-bottle-juice-Mai-Tais-with-a-drop-of-crap-rum-that-you-get-at-all-the-other -places-that-cater-to-the-bland-tastes-of-the-fly-over-states.” Make the trip to Monkeypod (ignore the sterile décor) for a drink or two then go down the street to South Shore Tiki Lounge for cheap beers and good service.
NESSA – If it’s your first time to Hawaii, go to a luau. I know, I know, sounds all touristy, and it is. But it’s really fun! We went to the Old Lahaina Luau and got front row seats. Each table seats six so you might end up with some people you don’t know. Make friends. Everyone is there for a good time and good food. A LOT of good food. It’s a buffet, be greedy.
The show is beautiful. The dances tell the history of Hawaii. It’s filled with beautiful women and hot men that hula their tails off. The costumes are well made and swapped for each dance. It’s pure eye-candy. They don’t spin fire at Old Lahaina however, if you want a more intimate setting, exotic food, and fire go to The Feast at Lele Luau. Book early though, we missed it by a day.
TRU – Maui is beautiful. For such a small island there’s many different environments. From fields to jungle to volcanos to beaches the landscape will never get dull. I highly suggest going on a road trip for one of the days you’re there.
Iao Valley is a short drive from the west beaches where most of the resorts are. Past a small town there is a steep, little trail that heads up to a landing where you can look out over the tropical forest and see the Iao Needle mountain top. It’s a fantastic site and doesn’t take the entire day to do.
The road to Hana is a much bigger endeavor. Get up at 6 or 7 in the morning to get on the road if you’re on the west side. The roads are windy and dangerous, so hiring one of the many drivers to take you isn’t a bad idea, plus you get to see and learn more as you go. You’ll see giant cliff drop offs, breathtaking waterfalls and hidden coves. It’s the full experience of Maui if you have the time and the will.
EVE – There is just a ton of fun activities to do in Hawaii. If you’re a big surfer, go to Oahu instead of Maui. If you’re in Maui and you want some ocean speed go to the North Shore and try your hand at wind-surfing. The ocean is a bit choppy but there’s plenty of gusts that will keep you standing. Paia is the little town close to the better wind-surfing spots. It’s…strange. It’s feels like someone scooped up a couple streets from Portland or Venice Beach and dropped them onto a little island in the Pacific. There’s hippies on every corner trying to sell you crap paintings and playing wind flutes as you walk by. Ignore them and head to Momma’s Fish house for a bite, then get yourself on the water.
If wind-surfing isn’t your thing there’s also boogey boarding, parasailing, small wave surfing, paddle-boarding, and tons of zip-lining. Pick one and be adventurous! Don’t just sit next to the pool all day *cough* NESSA *cough*.