Going Upcountry

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Trip 5 Journal

Trip Journal entry for Tuesday, September 15th, 2009.

There were quite a few things left from our trip in February that we needed to catch up on this week, and visiting more of Upcountry Maui was near the top of the list.

With only a few days to ourselves before the Maui Photo Festival starts, we knew our schedule was going to be pretty ambitious. Our plans for Tuesday were no exception, as we found ourselves driving across the island to the upcountry and up to the hills of Kula.

First on the morning’s agenda was a trip to H. A. Baldwin Beach park, which is a favorite spot of our painter friend, Mort Luby. While we had a later start to the day than anticipated, we made pretty good time and had our feet in the sand before we knew it. I was a little thrown by just how big Baldwin Beach actually was, but that just meant more ground to cover.

Baldwin Beach

Baldwin Beach

Baldwin Beach

In fact, I was shooting for over an hour, even though I was battling a pretty stiff wind on the way back to where Cindy was sitting.

That’s when the late start began catching up with us, because we had a booking for the 2:30pm walking tour at the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. That meant we had less time to spend on our next stop, which was walking through Paia town. Short on time, we found a little place called the Green Banana Cafe that looked worth a shot. We ordered a few panini sandwiches (and Cindy’s favorite, Smart Water) and ate outside.

Green Banana Cafe

The food was good, and the people were really nice. Certainly worth a return visit when we visit Paia again. Looking down at the time, we realize we had to jet, which meant we had to pass on the Ono Gelato place right down the street. Plans are to pay them a visit before we leave on Sunday.

Off to Kula
Nervously watching the clock, we began our mad dash to Kula and the lavender farm. We ended up making it with about 5 minutes to spare, and as fate would have it, we were the only ones signed up for the 2:30pm tour, so it wouldn’t have been too big of a deal if we were a little late.

Lavender Farm Gift Shop

The View from Kula

Plants at the Lavender Farm

Plants at the Lavender Farm

I, of course, was blown away by the views from that elevation. The fragrance in the air up there was memorable. That could also be from the lavender samples we brought back with us that filled the rental car with that sweet aroma for the rest of the day. :)  The air was noticeably cooler up in Kula, too, which was a welcomed change from the morning at the beach.

Close, But No Cigar
Well, you can’t win them all. Our next stop on Tuesday was supposed to be the Surfboard Fence that Shelia at Go Visit Hawaii recently posted about, but I couldn’t find it. :(

It was ultimately my bad, since I hadn’t been prepared enough to map out the directions ahead of time. Yup, I do that sometimes, but in my defense, it’s been a busy week already. ;)

I decided to follow along with the GPS on my phone, which itself chose when it wanted to work and when it wanted to lose a signal around important turns and intersections. No worries, though, since it was still a beautiful drive back to the Hana Highway and heading back towards Lahaina. Leave it to the lavender to have that calming effect on getting lost.

Let the Night Begin
With a day of close calls in terms of timing, we made it back to the hotel early enough in the evening to enjoy the sunset from our balcony.

Sunset from 20 floors up

It was lovely scene, for sure. But than again, West Maui sunsets always are spectacular.

Back to the timing, we would have had plenty of time to make our way back to our room if it hadn’t taken 20 minutes to find parking at the Hyatt. Adding that to the list of things we like much better about our rooms at the Sheraton over the Hyatt, but I’ll save that for another time.

Who’s Hungry?
After a full day of driving, sun, and lavender, it was time to get cleaned up and think about dinner. We didn’t have to think very hard about what we wanted, since Leilani’s at Whalers Village was on our minds for most of the day. More specifically, the Hula Pie.

Hula Pie - Before

Yes, that’s an old photo, but perfection like that doesn’t change much over time.

After dinner, we took our usual stroll around Whalers Village, but this time headed south instead of north back to our resort. We actually were able to take our time this trip going back to the resort, as opposed to February where the weather wasn’t exactly cooperating with our attempts to enjoy the beachwalk at night.

And A Lovely Night It Was
Speaking of the beachwalk, it was as lovely as it gets at night. Once again, the sky was filled with stars above us, and we just had to stop more than a few times to enjoy the view. It was all too much to for me to pass up, so after we made it back to our room, I packed up the camera gear and headed back downstairs.

Swan Court at Night

Beachwalk at Night

Milky Way over Lanai

If that’s not as lovely as it gets, I don’t know what is!

- Kris

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About Kris

Kris and his wife Cindy are avid Maui fans, and have visited the island half a dozen times since '06. Over the years, they have made many friends living on Maui or through social media, which keeps them in touch with the island until they can return again.

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