Visit: Hawaii

There are few things greater than the luxury of time. I wrote a marketing paper in college analyzing Ralph Lauren’s print campaigns and how they feature ‘upper class’ sports, tennis and polo to name a couple, which are considered as such because the time it takes to complete these long games is not something everyone has. Only a select few can take hours away from job and other responsibilities for a game. It’s an interesting concept and one that I haven’t thought about for a while, but given my recent trip to Hawaii, I can’t help but think about what true luxury it is to be able to kick back and relax for a full seven days.

Growing up in California, the chance to vacation in Hawaii was a bit more common than in other parts of the US. I didn’t realize until I embarked on this adventure from Denver, that it is nearly as far as a trip to Europe, making it all the more special. I can’t remember the last real vacation I took, one where you don’t have to think that hard and really come back rested and relaxed, so this trip was much needed and very much appreciated. We had the very good fortune to stay that the amazing home of some family friends, which meant lots of pool time, sleeping in and showering outdoors! We had a nice mix of relaxing days and adventuring days, after which I came home sans bags under my eyes and a fresh tropical glow to my skin. I couldn’t have asked for a better spring rejuvenation.

Here are the things I would highly recommend:

  • Molokini Snorkel trip with Trilogy – Not only did we go to Molokini but we went to a sea turtle location, seriously one of the coolest experiences I have had. We were up close to some rocks and saw 4 or so of them floating along just under the surface, feeding when they got close enough. I don’t like swimming with fish in general, but the sea turtles are non-threatening, albeit huge, and were such a sight under water. Trilogy also provided breakfast, a hearty lunch and cocktails to enjoy while the sails were raised for the trip home!
  • Surfing Goat Dairy – We spent one day in Upcountry and made a few stops including the dairy, but it was my favorite. Baby goats are just SO DARN CUTE and we got to feed them!! The tour is worth it, you get tour the property, feed the babies, learn the process and taste some cheese! Other stops we made – Ali’i Kula Lavender farm is a gorgeous property and while MauiWine didn’t have my favorite wines a tasting there with lunch across the street at Ulupalakua Ranch Store is worth it.
  • Tin Roof – The restaurant of two time Top Chef alum Sheldon Simeon is great. A little hole in the wall in an industrial area has limited seating and is only open from 10-2, but is worth timing it just right. He offers a small variety of seafood over rice and a daily fish special, but the chicken is a house specialty and very very tasty. You can also get dashi in a cup to go that I wish I had tried!
  • Kihei Beaches – There are so many beaches, it’s hard to go wrong, but we found beaches in Kihei to be slightly less populated and less windy than others. Be sure to go early regardless to avoid crowds and winds.
  • Paia Fish Market – The original location is in the cute northern town of Paia (also the town with my favorite snow cone of the trip) but the one we went to was in Lahaina. A variety of fresh fish you can have prepared one of a few ways, all of our dishes were cooked well and very large portions.
  • Local Markets/Produce – We stumbled across a cute farmer’s market across the street from Launipoko beach on our last day (only open Saturday from 8-12). It only had four stands, but the variety was great, everything from fresh baked banana bread to eggs to fruit to freshly made juices. I saw a few road stands to buy produce across the island, but not all of the goods were locally sourced, where as all of the folks here were selling goods from their own backyards or kitchens, which tasted wonderful and felt great.
  • The River of Doubt – Not related to Maui specifically, but I have to give a plug for my current favorite non-fiction book. If you have not read The River of Doubt go out and pick it up now. You will not be disappointed. It is about Teddy Roosevelt’s trip down an uncharted river in the Amazon in 1914. He is a pretty remarkable person and this book that reads like a novel is filled with adventure, history and keeps you wondering about how it all turns out.

// view from the house //// back yard beauties //// a glorious sunset //// pool approach //// banyan tree details //// sunset from Lahaina //// sailing day – look up//// sailing day – look down //// mai thai on the boat / Paia snow cone //// Surfing Goat Dairy – the December kids //// upcountry roads //// Alii Kula Lavendar farm details //// Maui Wine //// Ulupalakua Ranch Store – local beef, elk and lamb burgers //// Paia Fish Market in Lahaina //// Tin Roof / garlic shrimp //// upcountry cow //// last beach day //// last sunset //// Launipoko Farmer’s Market //// local eggs //// fresh produce //

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