We found an excellent deal via WestJet to fly to Maui, Hawaii, in late June. The three of us could get there and back from Vancouver for $1,200. We couldn’t not go!
Those of you with teens know how much easier a vacation is if there’s a friend along. Our girl would have been bored out of her tree just hanging with her parents. I contacted the mom of a good friend of my teen and to see if her friend wanted to join us for just the cost of the flight. She sure did!
I sussed out many different vacation rentals before deciding on Maui Sands at the far north end of Kaanapali Beach. It is seven two story buildings likely built in the 60’s, set in beautiful, lush grounds. Two of the buildings are literally ten feet from the beach. We rented a ground floor two-bedroom condo in one of those. We had a small lanai and a lawn that stretched to the seawall.
In the water directly in front was a small sandy beach that was most often covered by tide. A short lava reef right in front with another about 30 feet past that made for a small protected sandy bottomed swimming area. It was perfect for snorkelling, even for newbies. The pool at the complex was very nice too. The girls were allowed to swim there without adult supervision, unlike ocean swimming. They spent a lot of time there.
We arrived late, got our rental car, and drove about 45 minutes to the condo. I had arranged for a grocery delivery by Maui Grocery Service. I felt the $39 fee was worth it to have all our breakfast fixings and some snacks and drinks ready and waiting for us.
The condo was large and well appointed. As with many tropical rentals, there were some tiny ants in the bathroom; we just ignored them. We only noticed them elsewhere when we left the garbage out too long before taking it out.
My favourite parts of each day involved sitting out on the lanai. Either first thing in the morning with a big strong cup of Kona coffee or at sunset with a glass of wine. Each night after sunset we would have dinner and then play a game of hearts with the girls. It became a nice routine.
Twice that week we headed to Honolua Bay with our snorkel equipment. We parked on the highway and walked through the jungle 10-15 minutes to the bay. The beach is steep and rocky, but once you get in the water the snorkelling was fantastic. It’s a protected area so there’s no danger of interfering with fishers and the fish count is great! Coral and rocks make playing “find the coolest fish” fun. There are many wild chickens in the area too, which was nifty.
We went into Lahaina twice that week. The huge banyan tree on Front Street in front of the old Lahaina Courthouse Museum is a sight to behold. The tree was planted in 1873 and is now the largest in Hawaii and one of the largest in the United States. I recommend getting ice cream at Banyan Treats across Hotel Street.
The second time in Lahaina we went on the Reef Dancer which is a cross between a glass bottomed boat and a submarine. The whole interior is under water with windows along both sides. Once we got out to the reef, about 15 minutes, divers jumped in and brought sea-life to the windows for close ups. We stayed out about a half hour before heading back. Everybody gets a seat too, and it’s air conditioned. I felt it was reasonably priced at $35 per person. We all enjoyed it. Anyone who’s feeling a little claustrophobic can always go up on deck.
We had several really nice dining experiences too. We ate at the Sea House restaurant at the Napili Kai Resort right at sunset one evening, I just wish we had had time for a swim too. What the China Boat Restaurant lacked in decor more than made up for it in delicious food. We ate twice at the Maui Brewing Company and enjoyed that as well.
Most meals we had at the condo; a late breakfast, a swim, snacks, more swimming, and then figure out what we were doing for dinner. There was a Times Supermarket quite close by and an excellent fish shop, The Fish Market, right across the street from our condo.
I love Hawaii, and have now been four times, to three of the islands. I can’t wait to go again.