Week 350-353 - Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii - 05-19-2013

Aloha!

(Hello)

"In Hawaii, don't they use aloha for, like, hello and goodbye?  So? So if you're on the phone with somebody and they won't stop talking, how do you get them [to stop]? You say, 'Okay take care, aloha' don't they just start over again? " Sandra Bullock as Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality.

Aloha. You probably thought we were stopping, but we are starting again.  We just got back from our vacation in Hawaii.  Some of you are probably confused as you think we are always on vacation. But no, Pete works full time and Ellen assists, taking photos, creating and updating websites.  Speaking of which, we are always looking for referrals for new websites or updates. Check out our portfolio at MattsonExpress.

Now back to Hawaii, specifically Maui. [In this email, for those who might want to visit the islands, we have listed the costs we encountered.] In 2000 we purchased an every other year, ocean view, one-bedroom suite at Marriott's Maui Ocean Club.  We have returned every two years, one year opting to visit Kauai.  For us this has been a blessing. A time to totally relax doing anything or nothing.  While Pete might have to field a couple of emails or calls, most everyday is filled with swimming, snorkeling, walking, sunbathing, reading, eating and touring the island.  This trip began by parking the Mothership at the Elks in San Jose, 10 days for $132.  Just a block away is the VTA (Valley Transit Authority) Light Rail.  For $4 we took the 20 minute trip to the free Airport Shuttle which got us to the Hawaiian Airlines terminal for our flight out (this year $420 per person).  Then in just five hours we landed in Kahului, Maui. 


Another free shuttle got us to Enterprise car rental car ($318 for the week) and we are ready to go.  Kahului has a Costco and a Whole Foods market. So we stocked up on food and headed 40 minutes to Marriott's Maui Ocean Club resort on Ka'anapali Beach.


Our timeshare has our bedroom and the living area with a kitchenette and sleeper sofa for guests.   The Ocean Club has four tower buildings. Our is the Lahaina Tower and out the window of the bedroom you can see the Molokai Tower. Both were originally built as hotel rooms. As such, they had no kitchens.  While the kitchenette is nice, it cannot have a stove or oven as the rooms were built without exhaust vents for those appliances. 


1) View from the living room with a cruise ship off the shore of the seaport of Lahaina Town.  2) View from the entrance door of our suite on the 8th floor.


Views looking down from our balcony are quite nice!


On the ground level is one acre of pools and manicured landscaping.


From the pool you can see our rooms.  Very prevalent in the ocean are the canoe racers.  Hawaii's national team sport is Outrigger Canoe Paddling.


1) On Saturday evenings pool goers are serenaded by local musicians.  2) Since the rooms have no stove, there are a dozen BBQs sprinkled around the property.


Food in Hawaii costs about 40% more than on the mainland.  But, if you'd rather pay than cook, the Longboards restaurant is right on the property.  And if you travel the mile+ long Ka'anapali Beach walk you'll find a dozen more places to eat.


Marriott Ocean Club has expansive grass areas between the resort and the beach.  Here is the view from the Longboards restaurant.


Throughout the week we took many pictures for couples we met along the way. And of course, they returned the favor.


1) This is the Napili Tower, built from scratch as a time share "villa".  This tower has one and two bedroom suites with full kitchens and laundry.   2) Ellen enjoys one of the many hammocks on the Marriott resort lawns.


This is view from the hammock and looking down the beach.


The day we arrived we were greeted with warm but wet weather. So what better to do than to scoot on over to the tourist town of Paia (ya, like aren't they all tourist towns?)  Shops abound in Paia and here's a sample.


Another great outing is to visit the interior of island. [Fuel $4.63/gallon] This is the Ulupalakua Ranch Store, Deli and Winery.  The ranch has it's own elk farm from which they raise elk for this elk burger $12, yum!


Unlike Paso Robles with its 250+ wineries, there are only two wineries in state of Hawaii.  So we have visited half of them!  They have a selection of about eight wines, some from grapes and some from their own pineapple farm. Wine tasting is free.


We were going to invite the friends we met at lunch, but they looked like they had too much wine already!


Lahaina is just a darling little town to visit with hundreds of shops.  In the 19th century it was the center of the global whaling industry. And prior to moving to Honolulu, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii.  The town is now filled with shops, restaurants, hotels, people, surfers and boats.  Parking is difficult but both days we visited, we managed to get a spot right on Front Street. Shopping? $0 to thousands!

Lunch above at "Cheeseburger in Paradise" $30.

In Lahaina Banyan Court Park stands this banyan tree.  Originally planted in 1873 it stood at eight feet tall. Today it is over 49 feet tall, has 16 trunks and covered 2/3 of an acre.


Note how the branches from one trunk extend and join into other trunks.


There are endless activities that your can pay for on the islands.  Snorkeling, SCUBA diving, zip lines, cruises, luaus, magic shows, renting bicycles or scooters, tours, to name a few.  Part of our bi-annual trek to Marriott's Ocean Club is a voluntary visit to the "Preview Center (sales)" to see their latest offering.  So we go and sit for an hour and a half, enjoy their snacks and listen to a no-pressure presentation of what they would like to sell us next.  After a delightful exchange with pleasant people, we decline and leave with a gift for coming.  This year we opted for the Sunset Cruise on the Teralani 3. $free.


It was a wonderful 3-hour tour without Gilligan. But Captain Pat was there as well as first mates Liz and Mark.  They were great hosts with Hors d'oeuvres and drinks.  The sail was put up as we passed by our resort with a great view from the boat.


1) Meet Jerry and Vicki.  They may look poor, but they have a house in Seattle for the summer, a house in Goodyear, Arizona for the winter and come to Maui every year.  2) Meet Pete and Ellen. They may look rich, but they are poor. They live in one house, so they must haul it around the country with them trying to look rich.


1) Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas was at port in Lahaina. 2) And as promised we had sunsets on our Sunset Cruise.


One of the best parts of owning on Ka'anapali Beach is the beach walk. Along this walk you pass numerous, gorgeous resorts. In the middle of the walk is Whaler's Village, full of shops and restaurants. At the north end of the beach is Black Rock. Snorkeling at Black Rock is easy and one of the best locations on Maui.  In this small cove we spotted large turtles, a 3-4 foot shark and a group of three Spotted Eagle Rays (photo from the Internet). Snorkeling $15/day or $30/week.


It has been a great and relaxing week, can't wait until you can come with us!

Aloha. "Oh no, you're not starting over?".  No, we said Aloha (Goodbye).

Love, Pete and Ellen without Mandy.



Photos from May 2013

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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