Travel: Aloha Maui! (Day One)

What a better way to pass the time during a 5 and a half hour flight to Maui then to start writing this blog post.  Of course I won’t finish this post until we’ve enjoyed the entirety of our glorious trip in paradise, as I was to be sure to give you a glimpse into the whole experience.

First, general note for you travelers out there, don’t be that person.  You know, the person that leans their seat ALL the way back, as to encroach on the already limited space the person behind you has.  Especially don’t do this for the entire 5 and a half hour flight.  Okay?  End rant.

Onto the fun…

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We chose Hawaiian Airlines because we wanted to get into the Hawaiian spirit before actually landing on the island. Our flight took off from LAX early in the morning on Friday.  We made it to our gate just before boarding closed but it worked out perfectly. After finding our seats we settled in, got situated and decided on a couple of movies to watch to help pass the time.  (Note: Hawaiian Airlines does not offer wifi on their overseas flights, this may be standard of all flights, but I don’t know).  Of course, I multi-tasked and started on this post while listening to Bohemian Rhaposdy in the background (very good movie by the way). Jon decided to rewatch Avengers: End Game, another good movie.

Before too long the flight attendants were cruising down the aisles serving us some very delicious drinks and snacks. We chose POG (pineapple, orange and guava juice) to kick off the flight. It definitely got us into the aloha spirit. We were also given some surprisingly good egg, mushroom and boursin cheese sandwiches for breakfast.  (Note: Hawaiian Airlines is one of the few airlines that offers meals on domestic flights).  To top all that off we got a yummy little pineapple coconut granola bite.  For dessert you ask? Well, a Honolulu Cookie Company Cookie of course.  That is not all either!  About 30 minutes before the flight landed we were sent off with a super delicious (and kind of strong) Koloa Ranch Rum Punch cocktail.

The flight was quick and before you know it we were on the ground and making our way off of the plane.  I have to say that the Maui airport has changed quite a big since our last trip just three years ago.  There are now cute little welcome to Maui signs, a Starbucks near the baggage claim, a tram/train to take you to the rental car pick-up and a rental car pick-up building which changed from former rental car parking lot.  The area around the airport was built up a lot too, but more on that later.

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We made our way to the Alamo counter to pick-up the Jeep we would be driving during our time on the island.  (Pro Tip: Use Costco to book your car rentals, they are some of the cheapest I’ve found and offer additional discounts like a free second driver).  We got to pick the Jeep we wanted and Jon of course made his way through all of them to find the best one.  Unfortunately we just missed out on the newest model but the one we got was nice too.

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After getting our luggage in the Jeep and bending by engagement ring in the process (waaaah) we made our way to one of our favorite spots to eat on the island, Da Kitchen.  This is conveniently located near the airport and has been featured on several TV shows including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Bizarre Food and Man verses Food.  We’ve tried a few dishes there now and everything has been so yummy.  I think it is impossible to go wrong with any dish you choose at Da Kitchen.  Jon opted for the Kahlua Pork Loco Moco and I chose the Lumpia.  We also shared the Kahlua Pork Wontons.  Again, I can’t say enough about this place, everything is literally so delicious.

After lunch we stopped at Target to pick-up a few essentials and then headed towards Paia Town to check it out.

Paia Town is very eclectic and very small.  There is a free parking lot right at the entrance to the town on your right.  The lot is small, and finding parking can be a bit of a pain, but be patient and you will come along a spot.  We walked past several small boutique shops, none of which are really our cup of tea but if you are into this kind of shopping, you will love it!  It look us all of about thirty minutes to walk through before we were done.  Right before heading to our car we made one last stop to Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice.  We had researched prior to our trip and knew this was the place to go and we were pleasantly surprised to see one in Paia.  Jon and I decided to share one and he let me pick the flavor of course!  I chose macadamia nut ice cream for the bottom, banana syrup for the top and sweetened condensed milk to finish it off.  It was absolutely delicious, everything went together so perfectly and the ice was shaved like snow.  The service was amazing and the coolest part is that they make all of their syrups in house from cane sugar, real fruit and high quality extracts!

After dessert, we headed to our hotel, The Grand Wailea where we got “lei’d,” checked in and settled in our room.

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We got some drink tickets at check in so we decided to start off our night with a couple of drinks (a mai tai and blue hawaiian of course) before walking around the beautiful hotel and down to the beach to take it all in.

For dinner we left the hotel and headed to Kihei were we dined on some delicious sushi at Miso Phat Sushi.  A must if you are in Maui, get the TNT Roll (MISO the Bomb)!  It is so yummy!

After dinner we finished the night off in the pool, hearing the waves crashing in and the taking in the beautiful night sky full of gorgeous stars.  We even saw a shooting star, it was the perfect ending to our first night on the beautiful island of Maui.

Stay tuned for the scoop on the rest of our time in Maui.

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