Yes, I may be a little bias with my love for Maui seeing I have not been to any of the other islands, but from what I’ve heard Kauai doesn’t have the greatest of beaches, Oahu is a concrete slab, and The Big Island gets a lot of rain. Now of course I am generalizing. I’m sure you can find great beaches on Kauai, you can get away from Honolulu by going to the other side of the island, and The Big Island has its own perks, but I really do think Maui has the best of all the islands: amazing beaches, quiet towns but still great amenities with a lot going on, and a ton of sunshine and blue skies.
If you missed it, check out the first four days of our trip to Maui via the link.
Wednesday morning we slept in, went running, and then got ready for a late breakfast at The Gazebo. The Gazebo is literally hidden between two resorts and while a lot of people have come to find this gem, I think there’s a lot of people who still don’t know it exists because of its secretive location. (I am going to do a more detailed post on the restaurant since there isn’t a lot of information online about it.)
This was definitely a sugar overload: pancakes with bananas, macadamia nuts, pineapple, and a lot of whipped topping! Can’t do that every day. Afterwards we hit up one of our favorite beaches: Napali Bay. It is always very busy, but there is still room to do whatever your heart desires: stand up and paddle, snorkel, boogie board, swim, etc. You can do all of these in this bay, which is why it is so popular and great for people of all ages.
After a few hours in the sun, our skin was starting to feel dry and tight, so it was time to head back to the condo, relax a little, and then get ready for our sunset dinner cruise that evening.
We enjoyed a lovely meal. I had the fish, Craig had prime rib, which also came with potatoes, steamed carrots, a salad, and cheesecake.
We sat across the table from another couple until (we think) the wife got a little sea sick and had to go down to the lower deck, so Craig and I ended up having the table to ourselves to talk and hang out.
Once the sun went down, they turned off the lights on the boat so could see all the stars in the sky. I was in heaven. I don’t think you realize how much I miss my stars! I rarely see any stars in Anchorage because in the summer there’s too much daylight and during the winter it is often too cloudy. Although we also do live in the city, so if we went somewhere else we could see them. But come on, who wants to sit in their snow suit looking at the stars? Not me.
Thursday morning after an 8 mile run in the late morning sun, Craig and I headed to Choice Maui to meet up with Yolanda and her husband, Bill. I met Yolanda through my blog a few years ago and when we discovered we would be in Maui at the same time, we of course had to meet up.
Yolanda and her husband were so friendly and we all connected right off the bat. I distinctly remember Yolanda telling me a couple of years ago that running a marathon was beyond her reach and capability. But with diligent work over the years, she finished the Portland Marathon this past fall. I truly admire her persistence and believing in herself to do something she thought was unattainable.
Choice Maui is a vegan, raw restaurant with amazing food and was on our must-go-to restaurant while we were there. (We actually went twice.)
That afternoon we headed to Kihei, which is about a 35 minute drive from Lahaina. While in Kihei we went to Lululemon, the fancy mall, and a beach. While we were at the beach, I started to feel a slight headache coming on, so we headed out. We had spent a lot of time in the sun so far that week, so we thought it would be best to get out of the sun. We ended up at Monkey Pod Kitchen for a bite to eat.
Craig really liked his kale salad though. I only had a few bites because greens did not sound appealing. I wanted savory foods. It was about this time when my headache started to intensify and I was not feeling so hot. As soon as we finished eating, we headed back to Lahaina. Unfortunately, I was the designated driver for the rental car all week, and I am not sure how I stayed focused enough to safely drive us back; I was feeling worse as time went on.
As soon as we got back to the condo, I immediately laid on bed and didn’t have the energy to move a muscle. I didn’t even want to watch TV because the thought of the extra noise and stimulation made my head ache more. The headache and intense fatigue also lead to vomiting and a fever. A few hours later Craig came into the room with Gatorade and declared I had heat exhaustion. I was grateful for the overly sweetened beverage because even though I had been drinking a lot of water, it wasn’t cutting it. I sipped on the Gatorade the rest of the evening, slept for 12 hours and thankfully woke up feeling like new.
We boarded the small super raft for a trip across the ocean to a smaller island, Lanai. They dropped us off on the island for a few hours while we explored the area.
There isn’t a lot on the island—mostly just locals live there and rich people who can afford to stay at the very, very nice resort that starts at $600 a night.
We hiked around the area, checked out Sweetheart Rock (the rock on the right), while Craig took pictures of the lava formations, birds, and other various creatures. After exploring the island, we were picked back up by the boat and then stopped at another spot to snorkel. This little cove area had so many fish in the area it was unreal. I only snorkeled for about 20-25 minutes before I got too cold and had to get out of the water.
That evening we went to Hula Grill and had dinner on the beach. We had received a couple of recommendations for this place as well, but we were sadly not all that impressed. Has anyone else gone here? Should we have eaten inside instead of on the “Barefoot” side? Or did we just order the wrong items? Craig did have the fish tacos, which were supposed to be very good.
We ate some of our breakfast foods in the condo but by the end of the week we were running low on anything substantial, so we headed to Cafe Cafe for a quick bite to eat. If I lived in the area, I would definitely be a regular at this small, quaint cafe with outdoor seating and the best bagel I’ve ever had. Plus you can rent scooters here!
Our next destination was Waihee Ridge Trail on the northern side of the island (a.k.a. the rainy side). After seeing this trail featured in a recent Runner’s World magazine as one of the Rave Runs, I knew I had to hike the trail myself.
The scenery was absolutely breath-taking. It was about a 5 mile hike to the top and back. Overall it was a moderate hike in my book—moderately steep and the rains made for some slippery, muddy conditions coming down.
We also made sure to stop for a lot of water breaks to avoid any more heat exhaustion. The Gatorade bottle was repurposed and came in handy.
Saturday evening was our last night on the island. As I mentioned in my first post, there was a family we knew from Anchorage who was also staying there, so we met up for dinner our last night.
We had a very lovely evening enjoying each others company, watching one last sunset, and eating amazing food cooked on the BBQ.
Sunday I did one last run in Maui because I couldn’t let an opportunity to run in shorts and a tank top pass me by. We got our things packed up and checked out of our condo before we had to head to the airport. It was a very sad drive to the airport and things like, “Can’t we stay?” “It is okay if I don’t show up for work, right?” were said.