I have passed the halfway point in this vacation, so I figured now might be time to take stock in the things I’ve learned so far about Maui (and give advice to anyone who might be reading this in preparation for your own trip!).

Where we stayed: a vacation rental in Makawao (we are going to stay at another rental in Hana, so I’ll give you another report when we get there).

Pros:

  • Far away from people
  • Quiet
  • It is HUGE
  • There is a frickin’ jacuzzi on the back deck and a fireplace in the master bedroom
  • The landlady was very nice and communicative.

Cons:

  • Far away from people
  • It is really far up the side of the mountain, with a lot of twists and turns to get here. Not so good if you are tired or prone to motion sickness.
  • I think there might be a mold problem in this house. My sinuses go nuts whenever we step inside the house, and I can’t stop coughing.

Tours:

So far we have only taken one tour: Trilogy’s whale-watching tour. That was a really great experience (not for Ray, though), and I would definitely recommend them to anyone else.

I wanted to go on a zipline tour, but there were too many obstacles in our path. First, they were all booked up on the day that we wanted to go. Then, when we finally did find an opening, it turned out to be more expensive than we thought. But the most important impediment to our adventure was the requirement for closed-toed shoes, like sneakers. Ray only had flip-flops, and I didn’t want to spent the $190-per-person (!) fee if they were just going to turn Ray away at the gate.

If I ever come back here, I would love to take a cruise out to Molokini, a little half-crater island that apparently is a great snorkeling spot. They also call it “Turtle Town,” so I’m bound to see turtles there!

I would also love to explore the lava tubes on the southern part of the island by boat or kayak. But I have a feeling Ray wouldn’t be so keen on such an experience, so I will just have to plan a trip with lots of friends!

Places to Eat:

We have now eaten at lots of different kinds of places, from heavily-advertised restaurants to little holes in the wall that we just discovered in our wanderings. My favorites were
Kula Lodge and Market Fresh Bistro. Kula Lodge not only has a great view on the way to Haleakala, but they had some gorgeous gardens to wander while waiting for your table to be ready. It is a little pricey, but totally worth it.

Market Fresh Bistro is a smaller restaurant tucked away in a corner of Makawao. We almost missed it because it lies behind the Makawao Steak House and a big glass blower gallery, but I’m so glad we wandered into the little nook, because the food was fabulous! Apparently the chef is a bit of a rising star; I overheard someone congratulate him on winning some award or other, and I am not the least but surprised.

Both places used a lot of fresh, local produce and meats, and the menus were creative, healthy, and extremely delicious. I would say you should not leave the island without visiting both of these places. You will not be disappointed.

So that’s my midway summary. We go on the Road to Hana today, so I’ll have much more to tell tomorrow, I’m sure.

Reflections
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