You can find Part I here.
Maui was the second leg of our wedding vacation, and also the island where we said our I Do’s!
Of the three islands we visited, Maui seemed to be the best of both worlds; calm and relaxing, but also lots to do, see, and eat.
We hopped in the rental car and made the journey to Kaanapali where we checked into our first hotel (we switched hotels three times while in Maui). The majority of our hotels were booked through either Hotwire or Priceline using their secret rate feature. This allowed us to save tons of cash but still get a super nice room.
Our first hotel was the Westin. We loved the hotel, and felt so relaxed here. The bathroom was amazing, and the bed was super comfy.
Our only complain was that the pool was 3.5 feet at its deepest. Jason and I both love swimming, but definitely prefer something a little deeper to float around in.
After checking out the room and grounds, we headed out to the beach so we could meet up with my mom and sister! I hadn’t seen my mom in nearly three years before this, which is entirely too long. We live on opposite sides of the country, so having them join us for our big day was quite special.
I was so focused on spending time with everyone, that I forgot to take any pictures. Here’s a throwback of my sister and I, circa 1995ish.
My mom, sister, and I decided to hang out while Jason met up with his mom and her boyfriend for dinner. It was nice being able to just sit and talk after being away from each other for so long. Before the night ended we made plans to meet up together the next day for a little sight seeing. We had to check out of our hotel in the morning anyway, and would have a lot of free time until the 3:00 p.m. check in at the next hotel.
The next morning my mom and sister asked us to meet them at Whalers Village and guaranteed we’d love all the shops. they had made the rounds earlier in the morning and had put quite the dent in their wallets from all the shopping they did. The outdoor style mall was the perfect setting for shopping while still maintaining a vacation feel.
Sorry:( I forgot to take pictures of Whaler’s Village. But seriously, it was a great shopping area to walk around and shop.
We decided to stop for lunch at Hula Grill, which is part of the Dukes chain. Can you see a theme? Jason and I just couldn’t turn down the chance to eat at Dukes, or enjoy another Mai Tai.
Our next stop was Lahaina Village, another great place to do some shopping and sight seeing. Lahaina is right on the water and was basically a downtown area full of touristy shops, restaurants, and the largest Banyan Tree in Hawaii.
Oops, I forgot to take daytime pics.
Bring sunscreen (duh) and a hat, because it was H-O-T! The sun drained me nearly every day that we were in Hawaii. I’m naturally super sensitive to the sun and heat, so we had to take a few breaks to refuel and cool off. I bought a large sun hat to help keep the sun off my face, and wish I had done so sooner. It was a total game changer.
Okay, so this isn’t the hat I bought. But how often do you see Indiana Jones’s hat?
After a busy day of shopping and spending time with family, we checked into the Honua Kai Resort and Spa in Kaanapali. This was the only hotel we didn’t book through Priceline or Hotwire. We wanted to be sure we had a nice room for the night before and night of our wedding, so this was the only hotel we splurged on.
Quick note – This was the only hotel where we could spell the nearby poop plant wafting through the room at certain times of day. Yuck! Jason’s mom had the same problem at their hotel too, so maybe it depends on which side of the building your staying on. Something to keep in mind if your sensitive to smells, but it wasn’t much of an inconvenience for us.
The room and view was nice, but we weren’t overly impressed by anything the hotel had to offer compared to others on our trip, except that they had a Duke’s onsite which we took advantage of… again. The main pool, which was part of the appeal in the pictures we looked at prior to booking was closed down and surrounded by a temporary wall, which really took away from the beauty of the place. We both agreed that we felt like we wasted quite a bit of money by booking with the Honua Kai. The staff were friendly, but the website impressed us more than the actual resort.
We got to bed because our wedding was the next day! Getting ready for our 6:00 p.m. ceremony consumed the entire day, so Hawaiian Wedding Part III will be entirely dedicated to our day. In the mean time, here’s a quick glimpse.
Photo credit goes to Mariah Milan Photography
Our first day of married life was pretty much the same as engaged life. Except, we were finally done with the stress of planning a wedding and could start our lives together as husband and wife! Oh, and I was sick for half the day:(
But lets back up a bit to before I got sick… we started out our first day as newlyweds with a trip back to the airport to return our rental car. The check engine light had come on after the wedding when we were pulling up to our hotel for the night. The rental company told us to stop by to exchange it, so we headed straight there when we woke up in the morning. The nice perk to that was the company upgraded us to a Camaro for half the price! Given our addiction to Hawaii Five-O, we were just a little excited (they drive a silver Camaro on the show).
We topped the trip off with a visit to Coconut’s Fish Cafe in Kihei for lunch, and finished with a coffee from Java Cafe just a few stores over. The fish tacos are apparently the draw to this place, and they were great. The combination of the slaw, fish, cheese, and mango was just fantastic. And the coffee? It was probably the best coffee i’d had in a long time. I ordered a kailua and cream latte, or something of the sort, and it was just perfect.
I think the combination of travel, eating tons of food/sweets, and the heat had gotten to me and my belly just couldn’t handle anymore. We were able to make it to another out door shopping village on our way back to the hotel, but I was down for the count for a few hours afterwards. Everyone understood and even chimed in that they also had their bouts of sickness during the trip… so I wasn’t the only one feeling the combo of circumstances. I’ll tell ya, a six hour time change and great (but heavy) food really does a job on the system.
The rest of our time in Maui was spent relaxing, visiting with family, and enjoying the scenery. One of the especially scenic outings we took was to Iao Valley in Wailuki. The ride to the monument traversed a winding road surrounded by homes and lush greenery. The weather became more and more cool as we neared the top and eventually started to lightly rain.
After finding a place to park we headed up the stairs to the top of the monument for a few pictures. This place was absolutely beautiful and just felt like we were in a far away land, completely removed from civilization.
Our time in Maui was wonderful. We were so happy to have family join us, and start our lives together as a married couple in such a beautiful place. We will always remember how much fun we had, and how special this particular leg of our trip was.
Stay tuned! “Part three, The Wedding” will be up soon.