Sunday, Aug 31
This morning we took the hotel shuttle to Sea-Tac airport and boarded our Boeing 767-300 for a non-stop flight to Kahului, Maui (OGG).
Here’s our plane.
The flight was amazingly smooth and comfortable. It took a little over four hours with an airplane that was only about 60% full. It was a complete reversal for me when compared from the last time I flew on a 767 from Cincinnati to Amsterdam a few years ago. I had no legroom in a middle seat and a man behind me who got up every ten minutes to use the restroom… and he was incapable of getting up without grabbing the back of my seat. Moving on… We were very comfy in an exit row and enjoyed our turkey sandwich meal. Using my own headphones, I watched the in-flight movie Ironman. Well… I listened to it through only one ear as they still have the double headset jack meant for their headphones. I enjoyed the film, but I’d like to see it again on a significantly larger screen.
Here’s Bill filling out the required US Dept Of Agriculture Declaration form… promising that we aren’t bringing any fruits, vegetables, dirt, animals, etc with us to Maui.
Some shots from the plane on approach.
The window was a little scratched up, pardon the graininess.
You can see Kahului Airport on the left here. (above)
We arrived a little earlier than scheduled, picked up our rental car and were on our way. Based on the advice from our friends and the Maui Revealed travel book, our first stops were to Costco and Kmart in Kahului. EVERYTHING is more expensive in Maui, from groceries to toiletries, and getting some shopping done at these stores was going to help us save a lot of money. Plus we planed to do a lot of driving and wanted to have snacks and a Styrofoam cooler for the car. We bought a case of bottled water from Costco and kept it in the car or in the hotel fridge the whole trip. It saved us a bunch from having to buy water at grocery stores and souvenir shops, and kept us hydrated. After we got all of our shopping done, we drove the twenty-five miles to our hotel in Ka’anapali. We stayed at the Sheraton Maui which is partially located on Pu’u Keka’a which translates to Black Rock. It’s a large lava rock left over from one of the last of Maui’s small volcanic eruptions. Ancient Hawaiians believed Black Rock was the jumping off point for the spirits leaving this world. In the 1700s the king of Maui, Kahekili, was a fan of cliff diving and once jumped off of Black Rock to prove to his people that he had god-like powers. Every night at sunset, the Sheraton has a guy light some torches on the cliff and dive off in a ceremony commemorating Kahekili. It’s kind of cheesy and very touristy, but it’s pretty fun to watch. Our hotel room has a fantastic view of Ka’anapali Beach. When we first chose this hotel, I was worried that we’d end up in a room that was far from Black Rock with a charming view of the parking garage. As you can see in this photos, they have a bunch of buildings with hotel rooms.
The red arrow points to where our room was. Not the big round one on the end, (that’s the Presidential Suite), we’re right next to it. When we checked in the woman at the front desk raved about the view from our room. Well, it was awesome… see?
A couple of hours later, this was our view during sunset.
Not a bad sight to wake up to every morning.
This is the view looking to the left. A beautiful shot of the mountains… which almost always had clouds around them.
We got ourselves settled and rested then headed out to find some dinner. Before this trip Bill and I had both been researching Yelp and other restaurant reviews in addition to getting recommendations from friends on restaurants. For dinner we found ourselves at the Hula Grill in the Whaler’s Village in Ka’anapali. We were seated in the outdoor patio with a beautiful breeze. They also have a Barefoot Bar that’s right on the sand. Because we were both pretty tired and still on West Coast time, we opted to share a few small items instead of ordering two large entrees. We shared a Pupu (appetizer) platter that consisted of a few Imu style pork ribs, lobster and scallop pot stickers with a guava plum sauce, and a crab cake. We shared a salad that consisted of mixed greens, a few thick slices of Big Island beefsteak tomatoes, slices of Maui onion and a crumbles of a creamy Mauna Koa goat cheese with balsamic vinaigrette. The third dish we shared was a simple plate of Ahi tuna sashimi. It was very fresh and we dipped it into a traditional mixture of shoyu and wasabe. For dessert we shared a Baked Hawaii. It’s a slice of pineapple upside down cake topped with vanilla ice cream and then frozen solid; some recipes call for coconut ice cream.. Once solid, the entire thing is covered in a sweet and thick meringue and then torched to brown the top. Ours was also served with chucks of pineapple resting on a puddle of dark caramel.
Isn’t it cute? And, yes, the plate is a Hawaiian shirt.
The whole dessert was incredibly sweet and delicious. The cake and meringue were all so sweet that Bill and I could only have a few bites. But we were both incredibly impressed with the flavor combination of the tart pineapple and sweet caramel. The caramel was cooked dark, just before the point of burning and it was an amazing flavor when combined with the tartness of the pineapple. This combination alone would be an amazing dessert for the two of us. We both took note of this to serve at home. All of the food was delicious and a nice and light way to end the evening… well, the dessert wasn’t so light. The only downside was that it was overpriced… and we drank water! Thankfully we were sort of prepared for this… and we have many more restaurants we plan to try.