In Search Of The Next Great Vacation

It could be all summed up in one word…..Can you guess what that one word might be?

Maui!!!!!

Since I had lived on Oahu for four years with my parents as a young teenager and had traveled there several times over the years, I felt this would be a fun time to give some helpful hints for exploring the islands.  First step is to plan ahead.   I know this sounds simplistic, but you should figure out with your travel partner what are your combined ideals of a great vacation.  In my case, my travel companion Donna was super easy to work with in finding common ground of what we wanted to explore.

My view from my condo in Kihei, Maui.  We had our very own beach! It is good to note know that all beaches on the Hawaiian Islands are public beaches.  Many tourists do not know this.

My condo view in Kihei, Maui.  It was like having our very own beach! It is good to note, however, that all beaches on Hawaii are public domain. Many tourists do not know this.

The second step is to take advantage of your friend’s experiences that have been to Hawaii. This begins with finding the right place to stay.  I have found VBRO to be a nice internet site that I have utilized, but some folks I know have had unlucky experiences with it.  To be honest with you, my all time favorite way is to talk to others that have stayed at places on the island.  Since I was looking for a beach front property, I went with a suggestion from a close friend.  If you want cost effective,  staying across the street from the ocean is great.  The beach is only a few minutes to walk to especially on Maui!   Since I am get older, I feel like it is OK to splurge.  Who knows if I will be back.

We stayed on the south side of Maui known to the locals as Kihei.  It is a lovely part of the island and is rated number one in some guide books for Maui’s beaches.  Another area that I would recommend to stay near is the town of Lahaina or the west side of the island.  It is a populated area, but has groovy sites to peruse.

The third step is to find the right beach.  Kihei is nice because of the dunes that protect the swimming.   We were given a hint to go to mile marker 14 between Kihei and Lahaina for snorkeling.   We weren’t disappointed.  The water is calm and easy to maneuver.  Needless to say, you may be picking up that I am not an avid sportsman that is looking for giant surf!  Do not stop reading because I do have the spot for you!

My friend Donna and I were taking photos of the surfers on the location west of the little town of Paia which is the wind capital of windsurfing.  70% of this town's population is under 45 years of age!  Photo by Donna.

My friend Donna and I were taking photos of the surfers on the location west of the little town of Paia which is the world capital of windsurfing. 70% of the population is under 45 years of age! Photo by Donna. 

Great surfing was noted on the roads leading toward Hana on the Kahului Airport  side. Make sure you have your map as some really great surf is noted right before you come to the town of Paia. For those of you who know how to feel the ride of the wave, I suggest this area.  It is away from the more resort area of Kaanapali, but by all means you should really go there too! There is not anyone stopping a surfer from checking out every place that shows  “shaka” waves!!  If you are wondering what shaka means, let me explain. Shaka It is the universal Hawaiian surf culture sign for friendship and comradeship.  I loved showing the “shaka” sign to my friends as a kid living on Oahu.

I was one lucky kid to live for 4 years with my parents on Hawaii.  This photo was taken when we first moved to Oahu. Guess which one I am?

I was  lucky to live for 4 years with my parents on Hawaii. This photo was taken when we first moved to Oahu. Guess which one I am? HINT:  I still love wearing bracelets made in Hawaii

The fourth step is to decide what sites you want to spend time exploring.  Visiting the quaint town of Lahaina close to the beach was quite appealing to me.  It’s a leisure way of feeling the sense of the culture and ideals of Maui.  This town was a perfect place to spend a day of enjoying the unique stores, scenery, and the amazing Banyan Tree that is next to the historic courthouse.

The Lahaina Banyan Tree was planted over a 125  years ago in honor of the missionary work brought to the islands in the early 1800's. It is like a forest with many trunks.

The Lahaina Banyan Tree was planted over a 125 years ago in honor of the missionary work brought to the islands in the early 1800’s. It is like a forest with many trunks.

We also stopped for lunch at the Lahaina Fish Company with a view of the ocean.  Eating locally is highly recommended especially if you want to enjoy  authentic Hawaiian food.   Make sure to also try some homemade ice cream or shave ice.  Lastly, by all means if you have some family that asks you to bring something special back, shopping in Lahaina is tops in my view.

My friend Donna snapped this photo of my poke salad right before I enjoyed every bite!

My friend Donna snapped this photo of my poke salad right before I enjoyed every bite!

Stay tune for my next post with Whale Watching photos.  Go here to see some of them right now.  As a side note, I want to share a photo of my dad visiting Hawaii in the early 1950’s as a young GI. My family has a long, rich history of enjoying the islands.  Mahalo (  thank you in Hawaiian) for reading.

This is a photo of Hawaii before it became a state in 1959 showing my dad on R and R (rest and relaxation) after serving in the Korean Conflict.

This is a photo of Hawaii before it became a state in 1959 showing my dad on R and R (rest and relaxation) after serving in the Korean Conflict.

 

Please go to my photography page .  This page is Instagram.   You may need to sign up for a free account, but it is actually an easy way to see some great photography.

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22 thoughts on “In Search Of The Next Great Vacation

    1. alesiablogs Post author

      My mother did this and enjoyed it very much. I have some reservation with this especially if you want to enjoy the island and you would have to pay so much extra probably to really get a good feel for the island. I am glad you liked the pictures. My friend has helped me improve my shots so I hope to be getting better and better. You might want to check out my instagram link too…I put that on the blog post…I am having so much fun with this hobby and it sure makes me feel like I am doing something productive especially when I have days of not feeling good.

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  1. Michele

    This was informative- I had no idea you lived on Oahu for 4 years! We’ve been to the big island twice and Maui once- but we Love Maui and even thought about moving there some day- but probably won’t because of the high cost of living.

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    1. alesiablogs Post author

      Michele,
      Thank you for sharing your insights. I know what you mean on living there. I would love to live there for maybe 3 months out of the year. That would be fun! If the right place could be found for the right price—oh boy —I just might bite the bullet! Haha

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  2. Garden Walk Garden Talk

    We had a great time, even if we did not plan it out to the letter. Some things not planned turned out to be some of the most interesting and even a bit daring. Who said, “I am not an avid sportsman” since you went rock climbing and fast moving river crossing on our trip. These are good tips for those visiting Maui. One thing to add, it was really easy getting around the island. Finding places to go and how to get there seemed effortless with our maps and GPS. Many other places that is not so even with good maps.

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  3. alesiablogs Post author

    haha. I “blocked” that rock climbing event! If that was fast moving—I had no idea! You are right about the ease of getting around the island.. This is a very good point. Glad to see you are home. I have put some “new” learning tools to work with this post. It is by far the longest post I have ever written. I am not sure what folks will think of it since I usually write such short posts. It was a fun one to put together after I just started putting my thoughts down. Glad you are home. I have missed you all day. It is strange getting back to my routine after such a busy and fun time with you.

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    1. alesiablogs Post author

      You are funny! It is quite a beautiful place. It has been raining nonstop here in Seattle. I am wondering why we did not stay another week on Maui! haha I did get out today and walk with Luke for an hour (only time no rain) on a trail on the Puget sound!

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    1. alesiablogs Post author

      I am really glad you got a lot out of this writing. I was worried that it would not be appreciated. It does take a lot of extra time to put together a post such as this. It was written to really give a glimpse into taking a trip as this without the advertisement…haha Let me know if you are back in Seattle and we must meet for coffee!!!

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  4. Dawn McCoy

    Loved the Blog Alesia!! I can’t wait to talk with Brendon to see if he has read it! I have to share…wondering if Brendon ever did with you~~His Tata & Tutu (grandpa & grandma in Hawaiian) moved to Maui in 1987, a little over a year before Brendon was born. His first visit to Maui was when he was 3 months old!! We lived in W. Germany at the time! Brendon had flow more miles in his 1st year of life, than many travel in a lifetime!!! LOL!! The funniest part is…. Tata & Tutu told everyone ” why not move to Maui?!! Figure a year or so… we’ll be back in the Great N.W.” Just shy 25 years later… they moved back here to the “mainland”! They absolutely fell in LOVE with Maui & the years that followed were filled with amazing adventures & fabulous fun family memories that will last mine and I know my entire family’s lifetime! Brendon took surf lessons across the street from their condo, there in Kihei, when he was around 14 years old!! And a Surfer was “Born” to say the least! He has surfed some amazing spots, that is for sure!! I have never been on Instagram, but, plan to figure it out, so I can see more of your photos. You are a great photographer! Looking forward to “sharing” this with Tutu as well!!

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    1. alesiablogs Post author

      Hi Dawn,
      Thank you so much for the kind and thoughtful message about Brendon’s formative years! I know he has such a love for surfing and he did tell me about his grandparents, but I did not know they lived in Kihei! What a coincidence! He actually has a lot in common with me with the connection of Germany and Hawaii. Those two places are my favorite places in the whole world….Yes. I suppose Seattle is not too bad either! haha Please let me know what Brendon’s grandmother thinks of my photography and story! Tell her I loved Kihei!

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  5. Krystle

    I love your comment about “splurging, because you never know if you’ll be back.” Good advice to all travelers. We definitely have a budget for every trip, but sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we are in (insert some awesome destination here) and how often does that happen?! 🙂
    Looks like you stayed at a beautiful location. We typically stay up in Kahana, next time we head back to Maui I’ll have to consider staying near Kihei. Aloha.

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    1. alesiablogs Post author

      Hey Krystle, I was so glad you wrote this comment. I had a friend write a comment that he could not understand how I could afford such a trip. I deleted it and told him it was not very kind and that he should be happy for me. He has gone to Hawaii every year and I don’t say something like that to him. Anyway you made my day by negating his ridiculous comment. It is funny how some people think that a person can not save and find prudent ways to take a good vacation. Where there is a will, there is a way!!

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  6. Pingback: Celebrate: Earth, Ocean, And Whales | alesiablogs

    1. alesiablogs Post author

      sorry I did not realize you were commenting on my maui post…lol The Ipad shows comments different than my PC and I could not tell…thx for stopping by!!!! love Hawaii!!

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