dreaming of Maui…

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After much discussion and consideration, it has been decided that in 2012 the Flaum family will make our first trip over an ocean… to Maui, HI. Previously the plan was Disney World, however after much debate it was decided that WAITING yet another year until 2013 when the FantasyLand expansions (or the Cars land expansion in CA) are done before attempting a Disney visit. In 2011 we didn’t do a big trip… we kept it local and low key…

I think we’ve got the hotel decided (going to stay up in West Maui, costco travel has AMAZING packages!), and yes we’re going hotel. I have no desire to cook thankyouverymuch and don’t plan on staying in-room much either so hotel/resort is how we’re rollin’.

Why am I sharing? Well, I want to know if you’ve been, and if so any activity or restaurant suggestions. Thanks much my friends!

[if you haven’t been, but have a trip planned somewhere or a dream vacation you’re wishing for feel free to share that too!]

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23 responses »

  1. awesome! That’s very exciting!! My brother has been there many times and loves, loves, loves it. I’ll see what he says and get back to you. Our travel is very limited these days due to finances, but I do have two trips that I really want to take the family on. One is DisneyWorld; I used to go there every year when I lived in North Carolina. It was always my utopia, that is until I did a dories trip in the Grand Canyon through OARS, the other trip I want to take them on. I did a 7-day trip where you hike down the canyon, go 100 river miles on dories (wooden boats, 2 in front, 2 in back, and the oarsmen in the middle), camp each night with amazing food, and hike about 50 miles during the week, and then helicopter out on the last day. It was incredible.

  2. Must know when you are going! #3 son is leaving Juneau (whale tours for 6 mos) on Oct 17 for 6 mos in Maui doing the same thing plus snorkeling.Amazing huh-they’re both a long way from the Ga. swamp. Anyhow he should be able to give me some good info I can relay to you.Maybe you can even book a tour that he’s working!

  3. Hi May. Hope you have an awesome time! I haven’t been to Hawaii in years, but I love it. I would definitely suggest going to Oheo Gulch (or “Seven Sacred Pools”), visiting a bamboo forest, stopping off the road in tons of places (get a guide book) to see what is there, visiting Hasagawa General Store (just on principle, of course), going to Haleakala at sunrise (good luck there!) and also wandering around viewing the eerie volcanic landscape (bring cold weather clothes!). Check out the restaurants — pancakes with macadamia nuts, yummy fresh fruits, fresh fish, stuff like that. And, of course, a plumeria lei!! Your girls might like the shell necklaces sold at the beaches …

  4. How very fun May!! I havent been to Hawaii but it is on my agenda. I plan to go in 5 more years with my hubby for our 25th wedding anniversary. There is so many options and choices in where to go and what to do. I will look forward to hearing about and seeing where you ened up going. Many choices in islands to visit!! Have fun!!

  5. I was in Maui last year and loved it! Get ready for some sticker shock in terms of prices for food. Everything is imported and the price definitely shows that. Visit the North Shore to see the fantastic surfers. There are surfers everywhere but North Shore is classic. Lahaina is a good spot to explore. Lots of walking around to do with many shops and restaurants. That’s also where the huge banyan tree is.
    I did the all day trip “The Road the Hana” and it was beautiful-very historical and you visit many of Maui’s most beautiful places. It is all day though and the roads can get a bit treacherous (I went with a tour group).
    Going to a Luau is a must-it’s fun and interesting. Make sure to do some snorkeling-the sealife is amazing.
    Don’t forget to just go to the beach and relax. Maui is so beautiful and everywhere you look it’s like a postcard. Your camera(s) will definitely get a work out.
    Enjoy!
    Trena

  6. I was fortunate to spend 3 weeks in Maui Feb/March 2011.

    Prices for food are expensive. Yes, there is a Wal-Mart, Costco and Whole Foods. I would recommend checking out renting a condo if you can that makes it more affordable to eat. We spend part of our trip in a condo and part in a hotel much prefer the condo and there are many for rent!

    “The Road to Hana” is an amazing experience. We also took the 340 route which was unbelievable experience…..makes the “The Road to Hana” look like a super highway.

    Our last night there we splurged and went out for my birthday to http://www.mamasfishhouse.com/ it was an amazing meal be prepared if I remember correctly $200 for two. After arriving back at our hotel we were evacuated due to the tsunami coming in from the Japan earthquake. Thank goodness I had taken our emergency radio….no real reason I packed it I just was listening to that “little inner voice”!

    Hawaii does have very high humidity as long as the trade winds are blowing you will be fine weather wise.
    I only found one scrapbooking store there!

    My hubs did go diving and I loved watching the whales as the sun rose everyday in the bay such amazing animals. Best Wishes!

  7. I’ve been to kaanapali 3 times, 1985, 2005 & 2006 the first time I was 6. When I was 6 we stayed in the westin but it wasnt the westin and wasnt nearly as cool. If I had the money thats where I would live!!! when you land theres a costoco, its worth stopping there just to get bottled water and snacks… the vending machines and liquor stores will kill ya. I love it there, and am dreaming of my next trip.
    Funny story about how small the world is. When I went in 05, I ran into a girlfriend one day while in lahina. we knew our trips would over lap by a few days but had no plans to get together. And of course one day we were out shopping and ran into her.

  8. My dream is to go to Florence, Italy for a month, rent an apartment, and sight see from there. I have been to Italy many times, and want to base myself in Florence THIS time. There will be more! I haven’t been to Hawaii for 22 years, but remember the Hyatt Regency pool area. Fun slides.j

  9. That is awesome, May! I’m so happy for you! I can’t wait to hear more about it!! I don’t really have any big dream vacations – pretty much anywhere we would get away for a while would be awesome. 🙂

  10. We (me, dh and our three girls ranging in age from just 6 and 8 at the time) were in Maui over Christmas and New Years just ten months a go. I have 2 suggestions…the first is very fancy, particularly with kids but Spago at The Four Seasons Resort in Wailea was one of the best meals I’ve had in my life ever…and don’t be shy about bringing your girls…they didn’t bat an eyelash, had coloring sheets and even got the girls cushions when they started to fall asleep at the table (big time difference between NJ and HI, lol…took some getting used to). There were other kids there too. ON the much less fancy side…we stayed at the Grand Wailea Resort. Right there is this stand alone, not part of any resort pizzaria whose name escapes me but it was really good BUT it gets CROWDED.So you either get there early OR get it to go. I believe it was Matteo’s. Maui is beautiful, have fun!

  11. Oh wow May, sounds amazing! I’d love to go to Hawaii too! I haven’t been since our honeymoon nearly 20 years ago and we just went to Honolulu, not Maui. I know that Disney has just opened a resort somewhere in Hawaii (and even has character breakfast) but I don’t know where it is. Have a great time. I hope the trip will inspire you to do a class on scrapping travel pics!!!!

    • It’s on Oahu (called Aulani) and it’s FABULOUS looking… also like $450 – $600 a night. Just for the cheapest room. And no packages either.

      *eep*

      So yeah, we’re not going there. 😉

      There is a direct flight our local airport > Maui so it’s going to be a nice 5hr flight no muss no fuss. 🙂

  12. I’ve been to Oahu, big island, and Kauai. I haven’t been to Maui yet but my husband has and loved it. He highly recommends the road to Hana and some snorkeling. He said a snorkeling boat trip to Molokini Island has some of the best snorkeling of all the islands. I recommend The lonely planet Hawaii guide book. It includes all the islands and gives great secret spot tips. Ive used it an all of our trips to date. Above all enjoy your time and relax. Hawaii is incomparable for it’s slow pace and can be a real refresher from the hectic pace of everyday life. Much better than Disney any day.

    • Well, to each her own- for me there’s NOTHING I love better than a Disney Vacation!! 🙂 We are huge fans.

      That said, yes this will be a much different pace and style of vacation. That’s definitely something we’re looking forward to. It’ll be much more laid back and it will be a lot of fun. I appreciate the tips – I will be sure to check out the book.

      May

  13. We love Maui….my in-laws used to own a condo there, so that’s where we always went. This year we decided to give the big island of Hawaii a try and stayed on the Kona side. Not our favorite, but we stayed close to our condo, and mostly did the beach, which was the most relaxing Hawaiian vacation I think I’ve ever had. On Maui, the volcano is cool, but it’s a long drive for kids. Same with Hana – my husband got car sick so we turned around about 1/2 way – really long drive. I think Polo Beach was our favorite…but really? you can’t go wrong. The best thing about Hawaii is it’s pretty close to the west coast, and you truly are in paradise. Iao Valley is an easy trek. One thing: don’t ever leave any valuables in your car. We’ve never had a bad experience, but I know plenty of people who have.

  14. Yes, and we were there to procreate. Ha! But we did two islands…Kauai where we did the beach at Na’Pali Coast State Park by zodiak boat (accompanied by sea turtles), snorkeled at Tunnel Beach (where it rained and we had a rainbow), and hiked the Alaka’i Swamp trails which are the wettest in Koke’e State Park. Just amazing. To get to the swamp we had to venture down a steep jeep trail and then stay on the boardwalks or risk never returning. And we wore our ponchos…it dripped water constantly. Spooky. But we saw an enormous white owl. It was magical. Then we flew to the Big Island were we visited the volcano and hiked across the cooled lava at night (with everyone else) to see the lava hit the ocean. And we also did the resort thing on the Big Island. I remember an endless waterslide. So, there are risks in Hawaii’s wild side. But with some research you can find easy snorkeling…areas to see fish without any swimming involved. We went in May when the waves were small (winter the surf can be very tough).

  15. Don’t have time to read all and UNFORTUNATELY haven’t been there, just hear from close friends with a condo. I would definitely do this (if girls and hubs would agree 🙂 http://www.proteasofhawaii.com/ (disappointed that there are no pictures of the place–it is beautiful!!!)

  16. I love Maui, though I love Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island even more. I’m not much of a beach person (I know- weird), so I appreciate the other islands for their botanical gardens, historical sites, plantation tours, etc. If you’re beach people, you’ll love Maui. I’ve never heard of anyone who didn’t love any part of Hawaii! Have a wonderful trip!

  17. We’ve been to Hawaii a couple of times – Oahu, Kauai and Maui…Maui is by far our fave. We might be taking our kids for their March Break this year. Food there IS expensive and I have a tip for you. Buy snacks and water, juice packs, fruit, cereal bars at Costco or the like. When we got up early because of the time change (7 hours for us), we’d eat some of the snacks we’d purchased for breakfast. Our hotels had breakfast buffets. We’d go as late as we could to the buffet (11 or 12ish) and have that for ‘lunch’. We’d take snacks, juice and water with us to the beach or on treks and just buy dinner in the evenings.

    I agree with Suzanne that Spago at the Four Seasons was the most delicious food I’ve ever had, right down the the after dinner cappuccino – to die for! It was pretty expensive though but I see they have a 3 course kids menu for $25/per child. My friends have raved about Mama’s Fish House but we’ve never been. We enjoyed Ko restaurant at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea and it has a reduced dinner rate between 5:30 and 6:30 – $39 for and adult 3 course meal. It would be a good idea to plan where you want to eat and make reservations before or as soon as you arrive – things book up fast.

    The road to Hana is a loooong drive along a windy (hairpin turns) road but if you don’t mind spending time in the car, a beautiful trip. Your hotel can probably provide you with a cd guided tour that you can play in the car on the way (or you can purchase one at the last garage before the road to Hana).

    Try a snorkling trip to Molokini – well worth it, underwater camera would a great thing to take along!

    The old Lahaina Luau was fantastic. A lot of hotels provide shuttles to the Luau – a good idea if you don’t abstain from alcohol….the waiter service is very attentive and the drink top-ups frequent.

    You’re going to have a fantastic time!

  18. Great book with tons of accurate information is Maui Revealed 5th Edition ISBN 978-0-9814610-3-8. You might try getting this on Amazon before you leave it took me a while to find it on the island and finally found one copy at Wal-Mart!

  19. My hubby & I went in 2009 on our anniversary trip. I’m sure we would have planned things a little different if we’d had to take our (then) 3 yr old & 6 yr old, but these are my thoughts.

    We stayed at the Four Seasons because he’d gotten the trip as a bonus & they booked us there. FABULOUS hotel and the food there was FABULOUS as well. Super pricey. So what we did (as a recommendation from a friend who visits Maui alot) was make our first stop right off the airport to Cosco & Kmart. They are right outside the airport, you can’t miss them. We stocked up on croissants & other sandwich makings, bottles of water, juice, fraps, snacks, and even wine. A FABULOUS wine (we like them sweet) is the Volcano Winery’s Macadamia Nut Honey Wine. So we had croissants & fraps every morning, and made sandwiches for most of our outings, and spending lots on dinner was balanced out.

    Our highlight was the snorkeling to Molokini (and to think that I’m deathly afraid of deep water!) It was gorgeous and swimming with turtles is a once in lifetime experience. They outfit you with as much gear as you want so there was no way I wasn’t floating, and there were some kids. We purchased a disposable camera for that, and came away with great pics without sacrificing our expensive camera nor spending lots of money to make it waterproof.

    2nd best was the helicopter ride. We used Air Maui & toured the West part with all the waterfalls. Our pilot was a riot!

    3rd best was the Old Lahaina Luau. Drinks were watered down, food was good but let’s face it compared to restaurants in Four Seasons not in the same league….but it’s the entertainment there.

    4th favorite was the Aquarium. IMO, rivals Monterey Bay. It just has so many neat water animals, many that we don’t normally see at the aquariums we visit. (I live in the Bay Area)

    5th favorite is a food item! At the Hali’imaile Genral Store they have a crab pizza appetizer. OMG, I ate 2 of those for dinner. The owner put out a cookbook and that is the only recipe not in it. She wrote that she will carry the recipe for the crab pizza to her grave!

    The road to Hana IS super long. We stopped at every place (there’s a kiosk where you “start” that sells a narrating CD which was actually very nice) and by the time we were at the end, at some super cool falls, it was 5pm and getting dark. (we went in Oct) The ride back in the dark with hairpin turns, single lane each way, behind slow people was kinda scary. We were tired, damp (it’s always damp), starving and far from our hotel. about 3/4 way back I looked up the Hali’imaile General Store (had vague recommendation from friends) on my cell phone (that’s about when I got reception again), they fit us in for dinner by the time we got to them, which was around 8pm. So I recommend if you do that trip, pick and choose which places to stop at, and/or start earlier than we did, which was around 10 am. (so NOT gonna get up early on vacation!)

    One more thing. We did do Jet Ski’s a little north of Lahaina, can’t remember the town/hotel we did it off of, but we had it reserved for 5pm. In the evening the wind kicks up. Not an enjoyable experinece to be jet-skiing in choppy, now cooling down water.

    Whew, maybe I’ll just copy this comment when I go to scrap those pics!

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