Sunset on Lahaina
In June of 99, we made our first visit to Maui. I'm not really sure why it took us so long to get there, but now I would certainly recommend it as the first island for the first-time visitor.
Well, it's got a big central volcano, like the Big Island.
On the east coast, it's got lush green landscapes, like Kauai.
In Lahaina, it has cutting edge restaurants, and a semblance of night life, like on Oahu.
It's even got huge resorts filled with Japanese tourists, like - ummm - every one of the Hawaiian islands.
In other words, it's a great sampler. See what you like, then explore the other islands.
So, what did we like best?
Well, the Old Lahaina Luau was the best we've seen.
I'd highly recommend that.
East Coast of Maui
Secondly, the restaurants of Lahaina are among the best in the world.
We ate at The Hula Grill (wok charred ahi, lobster pot stickers), David Paul's Lahaina Grill (kona crab cake, tequila shrimp and firecracker rice), A Pacific Cafe (wok charred mahi mahi), and PacificO (prawn wontons, Maui onion salad), Longhi's (cioppino over pasta). Our worst meal was still a taste of heaven.
I took surfing lessons one morning. Yes, I caught a couple of waves. But man, that's a seriously tiring pastime. I kept looking for the lift line!
Then on one day, we drove around the island. My car lease said I couldn't, so of course I had to.
We went around the north side of Maui, through the town of Haiku (do they have the shortest newspaper articles in the world there?).
We continued along the dramatic coastal road, spotting an
occasional mongoose and trying not to hit them.
I didn't want a replay of Australia, where I once saw my first-ever possum, then ran him over. Oops.
At least it wasn't a kangaroo...
Anyway, we continued on to Hana.
We stopped at the Seven Sacred Falls and went on a two hour hike through the biggest, coolest, muddiest bamboo grove I've ever seen. The payoff was a 400 foot tall waterfall.
The Seven Sacred Pools were pretty cool, too. I really like the name, because there are way more than seven of the pools, and they aren't remotely sacred (in a religious sense, that is - you could, of course, argue that anything created by mother nature is inherently sacred - but then you'd have to include Rush Limbaugh and Madonna, and if that isn't faulty logic, then I don't know what is).
Well, after the hike was behind us, we drove the rode around the south side of the island, through a barren, beautiful volcanic landscape (otherwise known as rental agreement hell) and back to Lahaina and some wok charred Ahi.
Just another day in paradise.