Trip 1 - June '06 Journal Entries

Before we created this website, we had to capture our Maui memories the old fashion way...with an actual journal!

Below are the typed version of the hand-written journal entries Cindy penned during our first trip to Maui in '06.

Tuesday, May 30th
Day One
Wednesday, May 31st
Day Two
Thursday, June 1st
Day Three
Friday, June 2nd
Day Four
Saturday, June 3rd
Day Five
Sunday, June 4th
Day Six
Monday, June 5th
Day Seven
Tuesday, June 6th
Day Eight
Wednesday, June 7th
Day Nine

Sheraton Pool

Black Sand Beach from Above

Tuesday, May 30th

The day after Memorial Day, Kris and I say Aloha Chicago and begin our 8 night stay in beautiful Ka'anapali, Maui.

As the Maui Guide puts in:

"Maui, also called the Valley Isle, is just a small dot in the vast Pacific Ocean, but is has the potential to offer visitors unforgettable experiences: floating weightless through rainows of tropical fish, standing atop 10,000 foot volcano watching the sun come up, listening to the raindrops in a bamboo forest. This is the fabled Maui you see on postcards with it's jagged peaks, green valleys and a wilderness full of native species - the majestic West Maui mountains are the epitome of earthy paradise."

Aloha from Ka'anapali (West Maui)

For the next 8 nights, we will be staying at the Sheraton Maui. After landing at Kahalui airport at around 3pm and collecting all of our luggage (not losing any this time), we got our rental car and made it our to the hotel at around 4:45pm. We didn't have time to do much at that point.

The Sheraton Maui is at a premier location along Ka'anapali Beach. We have this beautiful ocean front room, which lets us have a view of Molokai to our right and Lana'i to our left.

Since we arrived on the late side, we didn't do much. Kris and I took a walk along the grounds of the resort, had dinner at the Lagoon Bar outside, and watched the Black Rock Cliff Dive Ceremony.

In Hawaiian tradition Pu'u Keka'a (Black Rock) is a place where natural forces come together, creating strength through enlightenment. It is here that a tradition, the re-creation of the story of King Kahekili, began over 40 years ago with the cliff dive from Pu'u Keka'a on the grounds of the Sheraton Maui Resort.

King Kahekili rules Maui and O'ahu for 45 years up to 1794, and lived in Ka'anapali for most of his ruling years. One of his many adventures included the Hawaiian sport of "lele kawa", leaping feet first from heights as high as 300 to 400 feet and plunging into the ocean.

In 1963 when the Sheraton Maui opened the doors to the public, they decided to honor the Hawaiian ruler who once called Ka'anapali home with its nightly tradition of torch lighting. Shortly before sunset each evening, a young warrior dressed in the traditional "malo" (loincloth) sets torches aflame shedding light upon the lawns of the hotel, then journeys across the white sands of the Ka'anapali Beach lighting torches set on the crest of the rock. He forges to the tip of the Black Rock and commences with the ceremonial offering of the torch and flower lei by lifting it to the sky in all four directions. The ancient leap is replaced with a dive from the Black Rock as the sun sets on the Ka'anapali skyline.

It's a beautiful thing to watch. Kris and I also took a romantic walk along the Ka'anapali Beach, starting from the North end and heading towards Whalers Village.

Aloha for now!!!

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Wednesday, May 31st

Today was a gorgeous day in beautiful Maui. The sun was shining with bright blue skys and temps in the mid 80s. Today as a day of relaxing and taking a walk to Whalers Village.

Kris and I went down for breakfast around 8:30am and at at the Keka'a Terrace restaurant. After breakfast, we walked down to Whalers Village and looked around. Whalers Village is one of West Maui's most popular places for shopping, dining and live entertainment. It's West Maui's only premier beachfront shopping village.

When we came back from walking, it was all about fun in the sun until we went to dinner. Kris and I played frisbee on the beach and then relaxed by the pool. Around 5:00pm we had dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Lahaina, and afterwards, we took a walk down Front Street and Old Lahaina Center. Go figure, we were able to find a Starbucks there.

After dinner, we stopped at the grocery store and did some more walking around Ka'anapali Beach. Tomorrow we have the Road to Hana tour.

Till then,
Aloha :)

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Thursday, June 1st

Roberts Hawaii picked us up at 7:30am, and there were 9 of us in our group. We were treated to breakfast at 9:00am after picking up the last two members of our tour near the airport at the Maui Marketplace. They had flown in from O'ahu just for the tour. After that, we started our road trip to Hana.

The drive begins in Kahalui near the airport and goes through Haleakala National Park, then to Hana, and around the west side of Haleakala back to Kahalui. Round trip, it takes about 6 hours. Along the way, we visited the Waikamoi Ridge Trail, Puahokamoa and Haipuaena Falls, and Kaumahina State Wayside Park. We also stopped at or passed through were the Keanae Arboretum, Pua'aka'a Wayside park, and Waianapanapa State Park, where we stopped for lunch and visited the black sand beach.

We arrived back at the Sheraton around 5pm, and Kris and I walked to Whalers Village to buy a new digital camera (our Sony didn't survive the trip for some reason). After picking that up, we hung around and had dinner at the Rusty Harpoon.

After dinner, we took our time on a nice, romantic walk back to the hotel along the beach. Once we got back to our room, we grabbed our beach towels and went back down to the sand and sat long the water listening to the waves and gazing up at the stars. It was so romantic.

Tomorrow is our Sunset Dinner Cruise on the beautiful Maui Princess.

Aloha :)

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Friday, June 2nd

Aloha from the beautiful island of Maui, where the ski is blue, the sun is shining, a slight breeze is in the air, and the birds are chirping. Today was a day of walking around in the daytime and plans in the evening. Woke up around 6:15am and watched a little television before having breakfast on our balcony.

Kris and I took another walk down the beach to Whalers Village, and spend some time around the mall and testing out the new camera we bought the night before. There were a lot of good displays and scenary to photograph. We took it easy for lunch at the food court, with good ol' Chicken McNuggets for me and pineapple pizza for Kris. We've now had pineapple pizza on three of the four main Hawaiian Islands, not just back home.

After the mall, we headed back to the hotel to catch some sun before our dinner cruise, but instead we ended up stopping by the pool concierge at our resort. The good news was that we were able to book a sunset cocktail cruise for Tuesday night (our last night on the island). The bad news was that it took longer that we had hope to book and we ended up handing out in our room until we had to leave for our dinner cruise.

The Maui Princess dinner cruise boards from Slip 3 at Lahaina Harbor, and check-in was at 4:45pm. Of course, we got there early and had time to kill before checking in as well as after check-in while waiting for the water taxi. We were able to entertain ourselves by walking around downtown Lahaina and checking out some of the shops.

The Maui Princess itself is a pretty large ship, so since it's too large for the harbor, we had to take a water taxi, the Lahaina Princess, out to the boat to board it. We boarded the Lahaina Princess at about 5:15pm, and by the time everyone was set and we made it out to the Maui Princess, it was 5:45pm. We had our picture taken by the crew after we boarded, and then stepped into the main salon where a cool Mai Tai was waiting. After that, we went up to the upper deck to our reserved table. We sat on the left side (there are 4 settings to a table) all the way at the end of the boat. Since the other couple didn't show up, we had the table to ourselves, and everyone said we were lucky. It was so perfect and so beautiful.

Once we were far enough from the harbor, we headed North up the coast past Lahaina, Whalers Village, some of the other hotels, including the Sheraton (we could even see the balcony of our room from the boat). It was so romantic getting to watch the island and the coast drift by and seeing the sunset over the ocean.

Dinner itself included bread and salad with Italian dressing as starters, with a main course of Prime Rib with carrots and red potatoes. For dessert, we had cheesecake with the choice of strawberries or passion fruit. It all seemed to go by so fast, and we ended up back at the harbor by 8:30pm. We had a great time.

Leaving Lahaina, we made it back to the Sheraton a little after 9pm. Kris grabbed his beach towel again and went back down for more star gazing, while I just stayed back and unwound with a little television. Tomorrow we get to do whatever we want.

Aloha :)

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Saturday, June 3rd

Our 4th full day on the beautiful island of Maui, just another beautiful day. Today was a day of rest and relaxation. We woke up and had breakfast at the Keka'a Terrace, follwed by a quick run over to Safeway and Starbucks (of course) at the Lahaina Cannery Mall.

With that out of the way, we came back to our room, jumped into our swimsuits and headed to the pool, for a short swim, some good relaxation, and working on my tan. It's awesome having pineapple wedges and sipping a drink out of a full sized pineapple, all while enjoying the gorgeous sunshine.

In the evening, we watched the Cliff Diving Ceremony from the Black Rock again. This time, we wanted to take pictures and headed down to the beach to get a better view than we had earlier in the week. We were right in the sand on the beach, and the view was great.

For dinner, we strolled down to Johnny's American Grill, which ended up not being what we had imagined. We headed back to Whalers Village and thought about having dinner at Hula Grill, right on the beach, but the wait was an hour and a half and it was already 8pm. It wasn't a total loss, however, because I ended up getting a cute, custom-fitted toe ring from Beachy Boutiki right outside of the restaurant. It was worth it.

We ended up having a nice quiet dinner at the Keka'a Terrace at the Sheraton, and by around 9:30pm we were headed up to our room to rest up for our helicopter tour on Sunday. It was originally scheduled for Monday afternoon, however, we got a call in our room earlier this morning asking if we wanted a complimentary upgrade to the full island tour instead of the West Maui tour we reserved. Of course we were interested, and couldn't wait.

Aloha for Now!!!

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Sunday, June 4th

Good afternoon. It's 1pm and we just got back from our helicopter tour of the island. It was originally scheduled for Monday afternoon, however, we received a call on Saturday morning asking if we wanted to reschedule for a Sunday morning tour of the entire island instead of just the West Maui mountains.

It was awesome, worth the time and the money. We arrived at the Kahalui Heliport around 8:15am for check-in, and our flight started at 9am. We were in the A-Star helicopter, which has two passengers up front with the pilot and a bench for four in the back. I got the window seat and Kris was next to me. The company we flew with was Blue Hawaiian, which has been flying in Maui for 20 years now and 15 years on the Big Island.

The tour we were on visited quite a few sites on the entire island, including the Iao Valley, "Jurassic Rock" which was featured in Jussaric Park and No Escape, waterfalls on Kopiliula Stream, the Haleakala Crater, Hana and the rainforests. As with the dinner cruise, it seem to go by so fast, and by 10:15am, we were already back on the ground and getting our picture taken in front of the helicopter. They had a gift shop at the end of the tour as well, where we picked up a few things, including a DVD of our flight. Pretty cool.

Coming back from the heliport, we stopped of at the Maui Marketplace for Starbucks and actually checked out the pet store they had in the shopping center. They had four white lop rabbits running around in a pen near the door. We arrived back at the Sheraton just at about 12pm, and walked around a few of the parts of the hotel that we hadn't seen yet or hadn't taken pictures of yet. Later tonight we have the luau at the Royal Lahaina Resort.


At 5pm we left the Sheraton and drove up to the Royal Lahaina Resort to find out that check-in was actually pushed back another hour. Check-in wasn't until 6:15pm, with the luau starting at 6:30pm, which gave us some time to stand in line for a while. I had fun at the luau, which there had to be a good 500 people attending with about 16 to a table. The atmosphere was nice. I had a Mai Tai and a Pina Colada in a full-sized pineapple. Unfortunately, the first pineapple sprung a leak, so we had to get a second one.

The luau was a buffet style, and the selection of food varied from the traditional poi to salad, chicken and pasta. Yummers. The show was spectacular, and we saw Tahiatian dancing and other traditional dances from different cultures in the Pacific. I even had an introductory hula lesson with about 60 other people on stage. I had an awesome time. We had never been to a luau, and I would go again.

Till Tomorrow!!
Aloha and Mahalo

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Monday, June 5th

Aloha from Maui. Another beautiful day. The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and the trade winds are from the Northeast at about 10-15 mph. We started the day by driving to the Lahaina Cannery Mall, walked around there for a little bit, and then drove down to Lahaina Square. Kris and I walked up and down Front St. looking in the different stores along the way. Kris found his Hawaii state flag, and I found a cute dress and some more souveniers. One side of Lahaina Square you have the shops and across the street is the ocean. The view is awesome.

We arrived back at the hotel around 3pm. We hung out there for a little bit before walking back down to Whalers Village. We did some more shopping there and ate at Hula Grill for dinner. Hula Grill is located at the very end of Whalers Village and is right up against Ka'anapali Beach. Where we sat we had a gorgeous view of the Sheraton where we saw the cliff diving ceremony while we waited for our table. To top it off, while we were waiting for our entrees we had a beautiful view of the sunset overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Not to mention great food and good entertainment. They had a band there playing that night who's name was "To Be Announced." They thought it was a funny name.

Kris and I are having the most awesome vacation in beautiful Maui; not thinking about work, walking along the beach holding hands, looking into each others eyes, laying on the beach gazing at the stars.

After dinner we did some more shopping (of course). I stopped at one of those little stands near the entrance that let you pick a pearl and make a ring. Almost an hour later I was leaving with a new Maui Divers white pearl ring to match the black coral ring we got in O'ahu. We walked back to our hotel and laid down on our balcony, gazing at the stars for a little more. You can get an amazing view of the stars overlooking the ocean, and they all are shining so bright.

Tomorrow is a day of "soaking up the sun" by the pool during the day and our sunset cocktail cruise in the evening.

Aloha

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Tuesday, June 6th

Good morning. It's Tuesday and our last full day on this beautiful island of Maui. Once again, the sun is shining and the temperatures are warm. Since it was so nice out, I took advantage of the sun and sat down by the pool and soaked up as much of it as I could. I had some pineapple wedges, read a few chapters in my book and finished off my tan. What a good life. Maui is definitely an island of fun in the sun.

About 2:45pm, I went back up to my room and got cleaned up (from all the sun tan lotion and stuff) and at 4:15pm we out to the beach near Whalers Village to set sail on our sunset cocktail cruise. The catamaran picked us up at the Ka'anapali Beach hotel right on the shore of Ka'anapali Beach, and we set sail heading North along the coast. It was a great experience and I had a good time.

We arrived back at the Ka'anapali Hotel around 7pm, so Kris and I spent some more time in Whalers Village and had ice cream for dinner. We went to Ha'agan Da'as, where I had my Macadamea Nut ice cream and Kris had some Banana Split blast or something.

We walked back to our hotel, where I started packing. Tomorrow is the day where we say Aloha Maui and Aloha Chicago. :(

Bye

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Wednesday, June 7th

Well, only a few more hours until my husband and i leave this beautiful island of Maui. As I write this, I'm sitting on our balcony and staring out at the ocean one last time. I think back to the last eight days and I'm really going to miss this place. We visisted the Hawaiian islands two years ago, but never to Maui. I understand why my aunt and uncle love this island so much. It has beautiful beaches, views, flowers and much more.

We had a beautiful time these past eight days. We took a trip down the Road to Hana, with its twists and turns. That was awesome. We had the helicopter tour, flying over the island of Maui and seeing things that you can only see from the air. The dinner cruise on the lovely Maui Princess, traveling along the Lahaina coast out past Ka'anapali and towards Molakai. Not to mention the sunsets and the cliff diving ceremony at the Sheraton.

The hotel we stayed at was awesome. No matter what floor you were on, what building you took the elevators to, the view, the trees, the flowers were awesome. The sunset walks on the beach with Kris, laying on the beach and looking at the stars.

I can't forget to mention sitting by the pool, soaking up the tropical Maui sun. These last days have been great and there is no other person I would want to share this experience with other than my husband, my love, my best friend.

We're already planning our next vacation to this beautiful island.

Aloha and Mahalo
from Maui.

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