A Bad Start To A Good Day
Trip Start Apr 25, 2009
7Trip End May 01, 2009
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I woke up around 5 due to the combination of incredibly loud birds outside and nightmares about cockroaches eating me. Jon was sort of awake and we turned on the TV and I read magazines and Jon dozed. We decided that as soon as it was a decent hour, I would go downstairs and ask for a room change because neither of us could imagine sleeping in that room again. We even had my mom bring out our bags so we wouldn't have to walk back in there. Then, I showered and Jon slept.
Once Mike woke up, he started making breakfast burritos with what we had purchased the day before. They were pretty good, but the cookware was stainless steel and since we didn't have oil, the potatoes stuck and burned a little. After everyone was fed, we talked about what to do. Some of us wanted to drive, some wanted to snorkel, and some wanted to wander. We finally decided on a plan that included a lot of these things. I went downstairs to change our room while people finished dressing and they said they'd have our stuff moved to a new room around 2pm and to check in when we got back.
Our first stop was Maui Ocean Center, which Sarah had talked about non-stop for the past few weeks. Mike and Sarah missed the shark dive, but they had also dived the day before and seen the real thing. This aquarium doesn't look like much from the outside, but it's well organized and the exhibits were very clean and informative. They also had huge tanks for a few fish, no overcrowding here. They have a hammerhead exhibit with a tunnel you can walk through so you're surrounded by rays, sharks and fish. We discovered unicorn fish here - which are hereby addressed as Katefish. They also had a very cute turtle exhibit complete with baby turtles. The placards explained that baby turtles are "positively buoyant" and they spend the first parts of their lives bobbing at the surface and learning to dive down for food. We watched them try to break the surface and it did, indeed, look very difficult.
Next stop was the Maui Tropical Plantation. They had a tour here that we decided not to do and instead we wandered around the grounds looking for cool photographs and wondering what the hell those trees were (mangrove?). We also quacked with the ducks.
At this point, we all decided it was time to snorkel, so we headed south to Ulua Beach, where we snorkeled and saw a manta ray! We were all in the water together and had seen some puffer fish, a sea turtle and lots of cool coral. Just as we decided to head back, Mike saw a manta ray 15 feet below us. We took pictures and enjoyed the amazing sight of a manta ray in the wild (how many people get to see that?). Then, it started heading up towards Jon and I and we freaked out and booked it. It looked like it unhinged its jaws. Maybe we overreacted a bit, but we're still alive, so it worked. This was a great snorkel spot, though once you went past the rocks, the waves were pretty high. I didn't have a water guard in my snorkel, but it only affected me once. However, the surge was strong. There is also a spot where people (locals?) jump off the rocks above into the water. For the snorkelers, this means keep an eye out for falling dudes and beware the murky waters in that area. After, we tanned for a while on the beach and then decided it was time to go.
We continued to head south all the way down to the bottom of the island - La Perouse Bay -because my aunt had just told my mom that there was a really cool lava field down there. We drove past the swanky areas - Wailea and Makena - and ended up on a windy road right next to the rocks and sand barely big enough to fit 2 cars on. We took this for 15 minutes or so and were suddenly in the middle of a huge lava field. It was beautiful because to one side you had the ocean, to the other lava rocks with the green hills in the background. At the end of the road is La Perouse Bay - apparently the first place outsiders landed on Maui - which is basically a lava rock and coral strewn beach. It was pretty, but not overly interesting.
On the way back, we stopped at the Grand Wailea Hotel, where Jonathan had stayed with his grandparents 12 years earlier. This was probably the most amazing hotel I've ever been to - it rivaled the Getty Villa in terms of artwork, architecture, views and class. The grounds were filled with gazebos, amazing landscaping, a lagoon pool, waterslides, a wedding chapel on a small lake, waterfalls and bridges over streams. The "inside" part - though nothing is inside in Hawaii - has famous sculptures and paintings, water features, marble and granite and a small shopping center. This is definitely a place to honeymoon and we saw 3 weddings while we were there.
Once we were done with the Grand Wailea, we had hoped to make it to a restaurant called Joy's in Lahaina which we found in one of the guide books. However, it was already past 6 when we left the Grand Wailea and the restaurant was closed. We thought of multiple places to eat along the way and finally decided to use the rest of the hotel credit we had. Once back at the hotel, we out down our stuff and headed to The Beach Club where we dined al fresco and within earshot of the ocean. That's my favorite part of this - sleeping, eating, walking within earshot of the ocean.
After dinner, Mike and Sarah went back to the car to check on something and Jon and I headed up to the room. We saw the Oliver kitty and another black one we'll call Cyber kitty. They were eating off of plates behind the restaurant, so I guess they really are hotel cats. Back up to the room, where I showered and slept, while the boys ate ice cream.