I’m married. I’m married to the most wonderful, patient and kind man on earth and I don’t know how I got so lucky. I was so blessed to have a beautiful wedding with the most wonderful friends and my amazing family surrounding me. I’ll definitely post about my wedding day, but I’d like to wait until I have some professional photos back.
We are back from two blissful weeks in Hawaii. We had a jam packed schedule of activities, so rather than recount every single thing we did, I thought I’d just share my favorite things from each leg of the trip.
We flew direct from NYC to Honolulu on Hawaiian air. It’s one of the only direct flights anywhere outside of California and a few other western states, so we were thrilled to make a long flight, slightly quicker. The plane was pretty crapped, I had very little personal space for the 11 hour flight, but we quickly connected to Maui and before we knew it, we were on vacation. Hawaiian airports are real throwbacks, which is fun in itself.
#1 Four Seasons Wailea
We loved our hotel in Maui, in fact this Four Seasons may have been my favorite of the whole trip. The grounds were lovely and the service was impeccable. Honestly, I’m not even sure we saw the entire hotel, it was so expansive! There was a great workout schedule and a beautiful open air gym. We took advantage of the ocean view yoga offered every morning. There was also an gorgeous path along the ocean with lots of runners that we fell in love with.
We enjoyed all the restaurants we dined at and really liked the nightly live music in the lobby. The meal below was from Spago. The tuna was out of this world.
#2 Swimming with the Sea Turtles
This was the #1 thing I wanted to do in Hawaii. I just love sea turtles, turtles in general, but especially sea turtles. We were lucky that there are lots of turtles in Maui and we could see them by snorkeling right in front of our hotel. We saw two the first day and 5 the second day. The little ones were so cute. Everytime they stuck their heads up to breath, I squealed with delight.
#3 Old Lahaina Luau
We were debated between this and one other laua, but Frank’s cousin recommended this one and we purchased tickets right away. We actually purchased tickets in January because the earlier you book, the better your seats. It paid off, our seats were great.
The laua was on a beautiful little property and there were bands, local artisans and little games to play before the actual meal and show.
The show itself was really well done and the waiters were really friendly. I didn’t actually enjoy the food at the buffet, but it was more about the experience.
#4 Ocean Side Massages
After much debate, we decided to do our massages in Maui. The hotel had 20% off and they had these amazing oceanside hales that were too cool to pass up. You can see the little thatched huts in the far left of the picture, those were the hales. It was a pretty funny experience, we waited in the spa lounge and they marched us across the pool deck in our robes with two other couples. When we got to the little grassy area in front of the huts, our six masseuse were waiting for us. It kind of reminded me of when the contestants meet their trainers on the biggest loser. Hearing the ocean crashing while getting a massage was incredible. It’s so much better than recorded music. Even Frank, the massage skeptic, said it was awesome.
#5 The Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is a beautiful 40ish mile stretch over 1 lane bridges and around hair pin turns that is filled with opportunities to stop and see waterfalls, scenic overlooks, small communities and do all kinds of hikes. I highly recommend downloading the Gypsy Guide for Road to Hana, even when we lost service on our phones, it knew right were we were and on the way home, it explained the history of Hawaii. We decided to stay two nights in Hana in order to get a little more local hawaiian flavor–and we did. In retrospect, it wasn’t the best plan because we learned that you can’t leave things in your car while on the road due to potential car breaks. So we had to drive straight to Hana making only stops where we could be close to the car. If we’d did it again we’d definitely do it in one day out and back. The stops we did make were really nice….
Another fun thing about Hana, banana bread! There is a place every three miles or so claiming to have the best. We got some straight from the oven in Ke’anae at a stand called Aunt Sandy’s. It was insanely good–I wish I had some right now. We also got some great coconut chips at the Nahiku Marketplace.
After we dropped our stuff at the hotel, we could finally do some real hiking. We drove to Haleakala National Park. We did a short hike to the Seven Pools of O’heo, due to little rain fall, they were pretty low and only one was swimming worthy. After that we did the Pipiwai trail. It was amazing. Around .5 miles in there is a small waterfall. Soon after you enter the bamboo forest, which was by far my favorite part. The bamboo was as tall as trees and created an amazing path.
Finally, we reached a 400 foot waterfall….
The second day in Hana, we checked out Wainapapa State Park and the Black Sand Beach, which were cool.
# 6 Travassa Hana
I wanted to stay in a little cabin in Hana to soak up the local feel and remote Hawaii. Frank is more of hotel guy himself, so when our travel agent suggested an upscale spa resort, it seemed like a great compromise. The 60 acre ranch was charming. There were multiple pools and activity centers. The Travassa included a jam packed schedule of activities including things like, juicing, lei making, throw net fishing, yoga, wine tasting, coconut husking, bootcamps and more. It also included transportation to the nearby Hamao Beach, which is supposed to be one of the nicest in Maui. While we really enjoyed our stay, it was the most expensive hotel we stayed in and it to maintain the rustic feel of Hana, it didn’t have AC, wireless or even clocks in the room. It was just too expensive despite being incredibly charming, unless you stay three nights, in which case they will fly you charter to your next destination, which would probably make it worth it.
Anywho, our sea cottage was lovely and had its own hottub on our cute porch. They also had banana bread and champagne waiting for us, which was so nice.
I will say two of our favorite activities of the whole trip took place at the travassa.
#7 Throw Net Fishing
It was a 3 hour lesson with a hawaiian native. We caught nothing and had the time of our lives.
# 8 Name that Grape (wine tasting)
We lucked out at the travassa in that we were the only ones that signed up for any of the activities. So we enjoyed an amazing private wine tasting and even got to take a bottle home!
We did a few other things that were really great, but they are more of honorable mentions. We liked walking around Paia and eating at the Paia Fish Market. We also went to Mama’s, which is highly recommended. I really liked that they told you who caught your fish, but I thought the food was very good, but not great. Frank would definitely say walking around Lahaina is a must. It is a bustling little town with lots of fun shops. It was a great way to kill time while waiting for the ferry to Lanai, which was part two of the trip….