Our first time in Maui was in 2016 with mom and dad. Due to the fact that they were with us, and dad had some medical issues at the time we really didn’t get to explore the island as much as we wanted to. This time around I made sure we hit everything we wanted to see, specifically to hike the Pipiwai trail to see the bamboo forest. We also finally got a chance to go whale watching for the first time.
As soon as we landed we decided to get some authentic Hawaiian food. We ended up at Poi by the Pound that was within walking distance from our car rental company SIXT. We actually didn’t realize it was within walking distance, and ended up driving around the block.
Joe and I shared the Hawaiian plate which consisted of kalua pork, lau lau, poi, chicken long rice, ahi poke, and salmon lomi. This gave us a chance to taste all the various local dishes. My favorite was the kalua pork, but due to it’s saltiness I ended up mixing it with poi, which by itself is rather bland. However, the combo was actually pretty tasty.
After lunch we were on our way to our hotel – the Kaanapali Beach Hotel (the same one we stayed at 4 years ago). I decided to stay at KBH due to it’s proximity to the Sheraton where the conference was being held. The other reason why I picked KBH was that they do not charge a resort fee like all the other hotels. Personally, I don’t like paying for resort fees as they really don’t add much value to my stay – I don’t need wifi and free local calls, as that’s was a personal cell phone is for.
Instead of driving clockwise from Kahului to Kaanapali like we did last time, we opted to drive counterclockwise to check out the part of the island we didn’t get to see last time. The clockwise route is a major thoroughfare between Kahului and Lahaina, whereas the counterclockwise route is a one-way winding route that is slower, but much more scenic.
The cloud cover lifted as we continued on.
The one thing I love about Hawaii is how lush and green everything is, especially the windward side of the island.
The contrast of the green mountain and blue ocean.
Imagine living in a place like this. Terribly inconvenient, but you’re in your own paradise.
One thing we’ve learned over the years, is that if you see a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road – stop, and check it out. This is what we were awarded with after a 2-minute trek on the trail.
Getting closer to the ledge, at risk of getting blown over.
It was really windy the week we were there as you can see from the waves being picked up by the wind.
A closer look.
Interestingly, there are no signs along the road pointing out scenic vistas. One of them being the Nakalele blowhole I’ve wanted to check out last time. The only reason why we ended up at the blowhole this time was all thanks to the telltale sign of a huge gathering of rental cars. We didn’t even know what we were stopping for until we saw this sign on the trail.
One other thing we’ve learned over time is to always heed warning signs. So we steered way clear away from the blowhole – maybe we stayed a little too far. The other reason for not hiking all the way down was due to the fact that I was wearing flip flop sandals, which was not the most appropriate footwear for the situation.
With all the stops along a narrow winding road, we finally reached the hotel some time after 4PM. As soon as we dropped off our bags, we headed over to the Whalers Village to pick up one of my favorites – Honolulu Cookies, to bring back to the office after the trip.
Caught a rainbow on our way back to the hotel room.
For dinner, we opted for sushi since we hadn’t had sushi in years despite the fact that we live in California. We opted for Miso Phat given that they get their fish same day off their own boat “Shiso Phat”, and let me tell you the fish is absolutely fresh and delicious, especially their hamachi. I can’t remember the last time I had such good sushi other than back in 2009 at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. In fact, it was so good that we ended up having dinner there 3 nights out of the 5 – we would’ve gone 4 had it not been for our 13-hour Hana highway trip that drained us by the time we got back to the hotel in the evening, and we opted to skip dinner all together.
If you ever end up at Miso Phat, make sure to order the Miso Phat roll, TNT roll, and spicy hamachi roll. Also the joint doesn’t have a liquor license, so BYOB (there’s a deli next door that sells good Japanese beer and sake).