Maui Has my Heart

Craig and I spent 9 days in Maui and had an absolutely AMAZING time. Beautiful beaches, tons of sunshine, great food, a plethora of activities, and lasting memories.

This was our second trip to Maui—as we went two years ago, and we were definitely not disappointed we went back for a second time. We would happily go back again and again.

We flew in on Saturday and while we were greeted with clouds and a tropical rain, I did not care; I was in Hawaii with an open airport concourse.


DSC_0011Our first stop after picking up our luggage and rental car was a bite to eat at Whole Foods since we don’t have one in Anchorage. We then drove to Lahaina, where we stayed all week, to check into our condo. The first time we traveled to Maui, we stayed at Aina Nalu. When I was looking for a place to stay, I found places that were cheaper and closer to the ocean, but we loved this place too much not to stay here again.

I booked our condo through a private owner (Coconut Condos), which I found on VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner). I’ve used VRBO in the past for several other vacation stays and have always been pleased with the service I receive from the owners.


The resort is very quiet and family-friendly. Each condo feels very private and not like a hotel at all. DSC_0351

Our particular condo was a one bed, one bath unit with a full kitchen and very modern amenities and upgrades. DSC_0356

The living room was spacious and had a ton of natural light with a door that opened to a small balcony. DSC_0357

The bedroom had a full-sized bed, TV, large closet, and dresser for storage.DSC_0353

Every time I use this bathroom, I want to change our bathroom at home to be exactly like this one. I love the open shower with stone tiles and spacious area for getting ready. DSC_0355

Outside on the private grounds, there are two pools. This is the salt water pool, which gets a great deal of natural sunlight during the day. Off to the right is a covered area with seating, bathrooms, a TV, kitchen, and areas for entertaining. DSC_0347

There is also a hot tub and several cabanas for relaxing. DSC_0348

The other pool is a regular chlorine pool with tons of seating and a grill for preparing food.

I would highly recommend this resort for your next stay in Lahaina. DSC_0349

The rest of Saturday evening we laid low, went to the grocery store to get groceries for the week, and watched cable TV since we don’t have it at home.

Sunday morning we slept in (okay, we slept in every morning) and took our time getting ready before heading to the beach. DSC_0015

The first time we went to Maui, we didn’t feel like we spent enough time at the beach, so we made sure to remedy that this time.


We spent some time on Kaanapali Beach soaking up the sun, snorkeling, and simply relaxing.   DSC_0022

After a good hour at the beach, it was time to grab some food.We headed to Aloha Mixed Plate, which is a favorite spot of ours to grab lunch. It might even be one of our overall favorite places to eat.


I absolutely love the fact you sit right on the beach and enjoy views of the ocean. DSC_0026Craig and I each chose an entree and shared a salad.

DSC_0024Craig had the Aloha Mixed plate with shoyu chicken, fresh fish, and teriyaki beef. I liked Craig’s plate, but for once I actually liked my pick better. (This doesn’t often happen, so I’m pretty proud of myself with this does happen because Craig says I lack the skills to pick out good things off the menu.)

He’s not mad or annoyed; I promise.


I chose the Kalua Pig Sandwich, which totally hit the spot. (Gotta support my family’s pig farm.)  DSC_0025

Sunday evening we had a BBQ with a family we know from church in Anchorage who was also in Maui at the same time. It was fun to see familiar faces on the island.

Tuesday morning—after sleeping in, of course—I headed out for a run. I absolutely loved running in the heat of Hawaii! I didn’t care if I was sweaty afterwards. Actually, I am not a heavy sweater, so I don’t sweat that much when running in warm temperatures. I was on cloud nine running in shorts and a tank top every day as well as dry pavement. DSC_0028

After breakfast at our condo, we headed to Paia and beyond to Twin Falls waterfall and short hike. DSC_0029Bamboo!


It was a short hike (10-15 minutes) back to the waterfall. There were several different types of vegetation unique to the area to look at and admire on our way back to the waterfall.

(Craig and I were a little too matchy-matchy in our orange tops, black Lululemon shorts, and Chaco sandals.) DSC_0070

After exploring the waterfall, we didn’t care to drive any more of the Road to Hana (Craig didn’t feel so hot last time.), so we headed back to Paia to grab lunch at Flatbread Company. We received many recommendations to eat here, so it was on our must-go-to list. DSC_0089

We started with salads that sourced nearly all ingredients from local farmers. DSC_0092

We ordered a pizza with two different toppings—one half had sweet potatoes on it and the other half had sausage. I liked the sweet potatoes and macadamia nuts the best. DSC_0094

When we got back to West Maui, it was time to hit the beaches again.  DSC_0106

I’m a happy, happy girl on the beach. DSC_0108

It actually started sprinkling a little and pretty soon there was a gorgeous rainbow behind us. DSC_0117After some more snorkeling and late afternoon sun, it was time to shower and get snazied up for dinner.

We also received a recommendation for Fleetwood’s, so we walked down to Front Street (a big perk of staying in Lahania) to enjoy a nice dinner at this new-to-us restaurant.  DSC_0123I tried to get seating on the rooftop, but they were booked out until 8 p.m.; however, if we do go back, I would definitely call sooner to request seating on the rooftop overlooking the ocean because it was absolutely breath-taking. Plus the ambiance was fun and entertaining. We did venture up to the rooftop and order drinks while we waited for our table downstairs.


Our dining experience at Fleetwood’s did not disappoint. We both had great meals with prompt service and high quality dining experience. While it was pricy, it was one of my favorite dining experiences.

I’m pretty sure this day encompassed everything for a perfect day in my book: sleeping in, going for a run, a hike, great food, the beach, and a special dinner with Craig.

Part two of our trip to come shortly! There is a lot more to recap including a hiking trip, more great food, and a blogger meet-up.



Craig and I often feel like we travel for the food. Do you seek out the best restaurants when you travel?

What would be your ideal day?


10 responses to “Maui Has my Heart

    • You HAVE to go to Maui! I’ve talked to a lot of people and it seems like most people like Maui the best–although I did talk to them while they were all in Maui–but I honestly think you will fall in love with Maui!

  1. Aloha from Hawaii right now! I was wonderingwhenyour trip was since I thought maybe I would overlap with mine. I’m on kauai but headed to maui next week. How were the whales? We are planning on a kayak trip where we will hopefully run into them so I hold they’re still around. If you really like hiking and nature you must try Kauai next time! It’s heaven.

  2. Looks like a gorgeous trip! I’m not much of a sit on the beach and chill kind of vacationer though. My dream trip to Hawaii would probably be a backpacking trip somewhere, but yours looks nice!

    If I have time to research restaurants ahead of time, I like to go local and light meals. Normally, I do a lot of picnics. After a few restaurant meals in a row, my stomach gets angry at me.

  3. Pingback: The Best Hawaiian Island: Maui, Part II | The Runner's Plate·

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