Tag Archives: Bikini Blonde

Adventures in Maui: Part One

16 Jan

When I first got my job fresh out of college and I found out I’d get the opportunity to travel all over the US (and possibly the world) I was pumped. I mean…who DOESN’T want to globe trot on someone else’s dime? Getting paid AND getting to see new places…amazing. How did I get this lucky? As I soon found out, traveling quickly starts to wear on you. Spending 10 days at a time in places like Las Vegas, Dallas and Orlando sound like fun in theory, but when you’re working 18 – 20 hour days you really don’t get a chance to enjoy where you are (let alone a meal). My co-workers and I started saying “we go lots of places but we don’t see lots of places”, because we would really only see the inside of a hotel.

All my bitching and complaining aside, I love my job, the people I work with and what I do. There is one trip every year that I have the privilege of taking that allows me to travel to an absolutely gorgeous place AND enjoy it. Each October since 2009 I have  gone to Maui and then extended my trip to explore. This past year (trip #3) was no exception and my stepmom and sister came out to enjoy this beautiful island with me. Below are pictures of our incredible trip.

View from Breakfast

For the first few nights of their trip, we stayed on the West side of the Island in Ka’anapali at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa. It’s great for novice surfers, whale watching (in season), shopping and eating. Nearby (10-15 minute drive) is Kapalua for golfing and Lahaina for shopping, eating and water activities.

Ashley & I - Lahaina

Lahaina Banyan Tree - 138 years old!

I'm convinced this is what heaven must look like

View from lunch at Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina

I HIGHLY recommend Mala Ocean Tavern if you’re in Maui. It’s on the far end of Front Street, so you don’t get the hustle and bustle like you do in the middle of Lahaina. Their restaurant is based on the following: small plates, organic whenever possible, whole grains, no preservatives, no hydrogenated oils and everything in proportion. All good things :).

Mala Ocean Tavern

(808) 667-9394
1307 Front St  Lahaina, HI 96761

Flourless Chocolate Torte Soufflé for lunch 🙂

Mala Mai Tai for Denise (I had the Malarita)

Later that afternoon the three of us were picked up at the hotel and whisked off for a private beach dive. It was our first time scuba diving and we were pumped. Denise stayed on the beach to take pictures and relax in the sun while Ash and I suited up.

Suiting up for scuba with our instructor, Timmerz in the coolest blue camo wet suit

Heading in

Swimming with Sea Turtles - we saw 4 that day

Playing with Sea Urchins

Reef Shark - not dangerous, I promise!

Seahorse in shallow water

Overall, an AMAZING experience and I can’t wait to do it again! I was so happy that we decided to use Tiny Bubbles Scuba instead of adding scuba onto a snorkel sail with one of the bigger companies. The biggest difference is personal attention. Tiny Bubbles only does private dives, which made these two first timers feel totally at ease. The second biggest difference is that Tiny Bubbles does beach dives. If you were to do a dive on one of the bigger snorkel boats you would be required to jump into the water…weights, tank and all. The beach dive allowed us to go at our own pace and get used to the water. Tim also owns a crazy fancy underwater camera, so he takes hi res pictures and video during your dive and then delivers them to you before you leave the island (that’s how we got all those awesome shots above). Tim is patient, kind and passionate about scuba diving. He and his wife, Marcia, own the company. When I go back to Maui next year I’m bringing Ben for his first dive and it will definitely be with Tiny Bubbles.

Tiny Bubbles Scuba

(808) 870.0878

Rainbow # 9,834,590,385. Seriously...they're EVERYWHERE!

Maui Flower

The next day we left Ka’anapali for the North Shore and checked in to the Paia Inn.

From their website: Located in the heart of charming Paia Town and just steps away from a 3 mile stretch of beautiful white sand beach, Paia Inn is a hip boutique hotel on the gorgeous Northshore of Maui. Our small town upscale hotel offers a haven of relaxation in the popular town of Paia, which has a variety of cafes, bars, restaurants, galleries and boutiques to explore and enjoy.

They’ve played host to quite a few named celebrities…pretty cool, huh?  This was my 3rd time to Maui so I’ve been to just about every place on the island. Paia is by far my most favorite spot so I was excited to finally be spending more than just a few hours there. The hotel was perfect. It was beautifully yet simply outfitted and the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. I will definitely be back to this adorable inn.

Paia Inn
93 Hana Highway
Paia, Maui, Hawaii
(808) 579-6000

Our cute living room

Bedroom # 1

Full Kitchen

After checking in we drove to nearby Makawao, Maui’s own little cowboy town.

Aloha Cowboy - Makawao

Denise posing with a cowboy

We walked along the main drag and besides Aloha Cowboy we really didn’t get much of a cowboy feel…maybe we went to the wrong spot.

View on our drive from Makawao

We headed back to Paia and ate lunch at Flatbread Company just down the road from our hotel.

Flatbread company serves amazing pizza and salads with mostly organic, natural and local ingredients. The price point is perfect (especially because Maui is so expensive) and the food + atmosphere is even better. We split the organic salad and the Jay’s Heart + Pa’ia Bay Ohana flatbreads. I added my favorite local beer, Maui Brewing Co. Bikini Blonde. Just steps to the water, this is heaven I tell you.

Flatbread Company
89 Hana Highway
Paia, HI 96779
(808) 579-8989

After lunch we walked around Paia to check out the awesome shopping. My favorite boutique in Maui is Alice in Hulaland. It’s overflowing with unique clothing, shoes, hats and accessories + some of the most beautiful hand crafted jewelry on the island.

We had some fabulous Ono’s Gelato before heading back to the hotel to shower.

We ate dinner that night at the famous Mama’s Fish House. Sounds like a hole in the wall, but quite the opposite. Mama’s has been a Maui landmark since 1973. With the freshest fish you will EVER eat (that’s a promise), phenomenal drinks and effing awesome desserts it’s the holy-crap-you-must-eat-here-once-in-your-life spot to eat in Maui

Me, Denise & Ashley at Mama's Fish House

Denise & I

Hello there, gorgeous!

Ashley & I

Denise & I

I don’t remember what any of us had, but it doesn’t matter. EVERYTHING IS AMAZING. You can’t order wrong off of this menu. I do, however, remember this dessert. It was Mama’s Chocolate Kuau Pie Baked in a caramel cookie crust. And now I’m hungry.

They have a list of awards that goes on for days, but even if they never won a thing I would still be sitting here typing to you to PLEASE GO TO MAMA’S.

Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Pl
Paia, HI 96779-9708

That’s all for Part 1 of my Maui trip. Part 2 includes the road to Hana (an entire post in itself) and Halloween in Lahaina on Front Street. I promise not to post the NSFW costumes that I took pictures of (but will happily send then via e-mail if you want a chuckle).

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