Our wedding weekend was nothing short of magical. I fully intend to blog all about it, post pictures and reviews, and recap as much as I can recall - but since a piece of me is still thinking flawless sunscapes and serene beaches, I am going to post our Maui pictures first.
Under the famous Banyan Tree in dowtown Lahaina
Kelly gifted us tickets to the Old Lahaina Luau
This was said to be the luau to go to in Maui. We had heard so many people rave and brag about their experience and now we can rave and brag about ours! From start to finish, everything was TOP NOTCH! We arrived early, received a lei greeting, and then walked the grounds to view the imu where the pig was cooked, watch young Hawaiians make hand crafted souvenirs, and of course, visit the open bar ;) Everything was all inclusive, yet the quality was in no way sacrificed. The staff there is exceptional and the show was authentic and flowed well. I can think of nothing but good things to report on it.
One of the first few days we were there, we decided to take the advice of many and do the sunrise bike tour of the Haleakala crater. This required us getting up at the ungodly hour of 2am (while on vacation!) and meeting our tour providers, the Haleakala Bike Company.
Some have described this sighting as the 8th wonder of the world. I may have to agree with them. One minute I was telling Mark how I have never seen so many stars in my life, and then the next moment the light starts creeping in and you suddenly realize that you are standing ABOVE the clouds with nothing but glorious sunlight smiling at you. It was positively a little slice of heaven. And I was no longer sad that my camera had failed me, as I know my photo skills (or lack there of) would have never been able to capture the spectacular light and feeling.
Next, they pack us back into the bus and stop at about 6500 feet, where they give us our bikes and gear and we intently listen to their directions on how to get back to their shop, a thrilling 28 mile, unguided bike ride. Left-Right-Left-Right-Right. That's the only thing you needed to remember to get you safely back to your car in Haiku, right?! Um, sure... I was actually thankful that we opted for the self guided tour; it gave us the freedom to go at our own (sluggish) pace, instead of having to keep up with the clan. Shamefully, I haven't been on a non-stationary bike for years and never on a mountain bike! And never down a volcano! But with great pride, I can now say that I did. And I didn't even fall, though I supposedly caused Mark's brief encounter with the asphalt. A great benefit of marriage: you now have someone to blame stuff on! haha JK!
Some not to shabby pictures taken on my blackberry...
Some Misc Maui/Honeymoon advice:
- Don't skip your honeymoon! A week before our wedding, Mark and I nearly cancelled everything since we were worried about where we stood financially. However, our philosophy is this... there will always be money to be made, and only one shot to do this the way we had always dreamed of. Even if you put off your big trip for a later time, take a mini-moon. You don't have to go for very long or very far, but trust me... you need this time together more than you realize, more than I realized!
- SPF & Bug Spray! Mark would be glowing red right now if it wasn't for his SPF Sport; the sun is way more intense out there. And unless you want to end up like me, with a collage of insect bites plastered all your legs, get some bug repellent! I forgot and am paying for it! You have officially been warned.
- Maui Revealed (Author: Andrew Doughty) - If you forget everything else, remember to bring this book! It is jammed pack with unbiased reviews and info. I had it in my bag everywhere we went and referenced it for maps, food finds, tips, phone numbers, everything! I promise you will find it invaluable.
- Stock up. I can't calculate an exact number off the top of my head, but I imagine we saved a pretty penny by purchasing snacks, drinks, etc at the grocery store. If you are in staying the Lahaina/Ka'anapali area, the Lahaina Cannery is a good place to stop early in your trip. We made the mistake of going to Safeway first, only to find that Longs Drugstore carries lots of our items for significantly less. Prepare yourself for island prices - everything costs more! But we stocked our hotel fridge with water, cheese and crackers, sandwich stuff for our picnics, fruits, etc. You know how it is when you get back to your room from the beach - your typical options would be $16 hotel nachos or to starve. I rest my case.
- Other fabulous finds:
- Roy's in Kahana - Our meals were flawless! Macadamian Shutome, Filet, & Chocolate Souffle'
- Leilani's on the Beach - Best drinks, inexpensive too!
- Gazebo Restaurant, Napili - Pancakes & a view to die for!
- Kahuna Kabob's - One hell of a meal for less than $10!
- Warren & Annabelle's - We didnt eat there but it can be a dinner show. By far, the most funniest magic show I have ever seen. Warren will leave you in awe for days. I would definitely recommend this show!
Lastly, do not have a life or death itinerary. This is coming from a girl who lives for itineraries! Maui is just not the place for it, especially if you are honeymooning. I would think of a few things you absolutely want to do and book those well in advance. But leave lots of down time in between to have the freedom to just kinda go with it. It was this adaptation of easy going-ness that made this vacation so different for us; we pretty much made it up as we went. For example, one of my favorite favorite moments was getting ice cream at the mall and then on the way home just deciding to pull over on the side of the road to eat it. We sat on rocks that neighbored the ocean and just soaked up the view, ate our ice cream, and then practiced skipping rocks... all the while, enjoying the whatever-ness of it all. It was so simple, yet anything but ordinary for us. I loved it. The abolute best thing about Maui is that it can be anything you want it to be... relaxing, adventurous, a shopping mecca, a foodies paradise, expensive, cheap... really whatever you make of it. Maui moves at a much different pace then what you are probably used to and if you try to rush it or plan too many things, you are more than sort of missing the whole point. Take it easy & have fun, you won't regret it!
For more pictures and videos from our Maui honeymoon CLICK HERE