I can’t believe that this time last week I was sitting in beautiful Maui sipping tropical cocktails and lounging by the pool. Ah, reality. Either way, I wanted to recap our little island hopping adventure in case anyone was interested in reading about it and seeing some snaps 🙂 We flew out at the crack of dawn (5AM flight!) on Friday to really maximize our long weekend and headed back to Oahu late Monday night. 4 full days gave us just enough time to see the people and places we wanted, as well as transition into full vacation relaxation mode!
Our first stop out of the airport was trying to figure out some food. During our last trip to Maui, we stayed in Kihei and discovered the Kihei Caffe, so we opted for there to see the sunrise over the ocean and because it was one of the only places open at 6AM 😉 We split that delicious looking macadamia nut breakfast roll (top left corner) and then enjoyed some eggs Benedict before driving along the coast up to Lahaina and flying the drone. We were staying at Hotel Wailea, so we were pretty eager to check in, since they have a pretty sweet pool and the sun was shining! Our room wasn’t quite ready yet, but we checked in, put on our suits and saddled up to the pool for some sun and cocktails. It felt good to just “be” with no real agenda. We had plans for a sunset whale cruise that afternoon/evening, but the hotel was offering a complimentary Aloha Friday happy hour and we wanted to capitalize, so we rearranged to do it Saturday instead. We grabbed dinner at the original Monkeypod Kitchen (delicious mai tai with lilikoi foam from Monkeypod is a must, photo above – top right) and got in bed kind of early, because we were totally wiped out from getting up so early from our flight!The first thing we did on Saturday was wake up and get in a run around the property. Hotel Wailea is GORGEOUS and it’s situated on 15 acres right on the ocean so there was no shortage of beautiful run views and we finished up at the gym, which is kind of an open-air balcony set-up. More beautiful views when you’re cursing your workout, LOL!We picked Hotel Wailea for our visit for two reasons:
1. It’s adults only.
2. They offer all sorts of complimentary activities and experiences that sounded fun to us. One of the activities was a mixology class that we attended on Saturday morning and holy wow – it did not disappoint. It was hosted by the lead pool bartender who was easily the funniest bartender I’ve ever encountered, but he made the cocktails all seem so easy to recreate at home, which is nice. He talked us through ingredients combinations, the “why” behind certain garnishes and more. I don’t want to give too much away, but we made/drank 3 different types of mimosas, a traditional mai tai and a coconut mai tai. All were delicious…and strong!
After our class, we enjoyed lunch at the poolside cabanas (I highly, highly recommend the kale salad with truffle fries) before heading back to our room to get ready for the whale watching boat tour. Thankfully before we left Oahu we had thrown in our rain coats last minute, so we were sure to bring those along. Good thing, because the boat ride was very, very wet…HA! I didn’t mind too much, because the whales were really active and we even spotted a beautiful rainbow over the water. Of course, as we headed back in, it stopped raining and a warm glow surrounded us. Oh well – it was a ton of fun and seeing whales in their natural habitat is something I feel strongly everyone should experience. Seeing those moms teach their whale babies the ropes is just…stunning. I marvel at nature sometimes! After our tour, we met our good friends Jen + David in Paia (the cutest sleepy beach town if you plan to visit Maui) for dinner at Flatbread. It’s an absolutely delicious restaurant that sources all local produce/ingredients and caters to vegan/gluten free diets. It’s hands down my favorite Maui restaurant and I think Dane might agree (though he’s fond of Paia Fish Market, too). As we were getting ready to leave, Dane noticed that we were in the company of Owen Wilson and told me I had to go introduce myself. I was super nervous – he’s just trying to live his life, right? But I mean – I love his movies. All I could think in my head was how much I love Marley + Me. All that actually came out of my mouth is “Thank you for your movies.” Why am I so awkward?After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and crashed. It was late for us (we go to bed at 8:30 pretty religiously), so between the sun, boat ride and excitement of meeting Owen, I was exhausted! Our Sunday plan was to wake up early to see the sunrise over Haleakala, but the insane amount of rain and storms the island was getting (and was projected to get) made it a dicey choice. The views can be absolutely amazing, but any type of cloud cover prevents a good “show”. It required us to wake up at 3AM, so I took a hard pass unless I was guaranteed something good! Can you blame me? I snapped the below photo of the pool are all lit up at night as we were walking back to our room. I love how it kind of looks like Avatar!Sunday ended up being a pretty rainy day around the island, so we laid low and went to the gym, Dane attended a two hour complimentary yoga flow that the hotel was offering as part of their activities and then got brunch at the Paia Inn Cafe. I had Eggs Florentine and it was so good! A must if you’re visiting the island 🙂 We got a call late morning that my very best friend and her boyfriend had gotten engaged, so we figured that was as good an excuse as any to pop open some afternoon champagne and celebrate! Dane watched the Olympics and I took some time to catch up on reading, which was glorious! Normally I might be annoyed about sitting around doing nothing, but it was so welcomed. It helped that we could see the ocean from our suite and caught whales breaching every now and then!We had been anticipating our dinner Sunday night our entire trip, because we were dining at The Restaurant, which you might remember from this post. Everything about the dining experience is why we like to go out and treat ourselves from time to time. Amazing service, food and ambiance! From the tomatoes and Burrata to the kale salad, craft cocktails, seafood and flaming dessert – you truly cannot go wrong with any menu items here. We like it because it looks out over the ocean and the menu offers island-to-table fare – nearly everything is sourced locally and sustains island farmers and fisherman. I love that! Anyway, make a reservation for sure if you plan to go 🙂We savored our dinner and spent nearly 3 hours chatting over food and drinks, so when we rolled out of there at 11PM, we hit the bed hard, LOL! Monday was our last full day on the island, but we got up early and hit the ground running. The weather was BEAUTIFUL, so we wanted to make the most of all the time we had. I met my friend Tara for breakfast with her sweet daughter. We had the most delicious savory crepes at Cafe des Amis. She is also the creator of those adorable rainbow keychains you saw above! It was so nice and a total treat to be able to catch up in person.After, we headed back to enjoy our last little bit of pool time before showering, packing up and heading out. As a side note, is anyone else obsessed with asking for late checkouts? We always do this on trips so we can go to the pool/beach on our last day and still shower before getting on the plane. We got back to Oahu around 7PM and it was go-go-go to try to get the dogs, pick some food up at the grocery store, start the laundry and jump back into “life” before the work week began again. We had an absolute blast on our trip, so thank you for following along!
If you’re planning a trip to Maui, be sure to check out some previous travel posts I’ve done on the island highlights.