Monday, March 8, 2010

Snorkeling with sea turtles (Maui, Hawaii)

We decided to not do one of the guided tours in Maui for a snorkeling trip. Since we were staying at the Westin Maui, we were a ten minute walk from Black Rock. This is a very popular snorkeling spot in Maui and people staying close by in Ka'anapali.  There is public parking if you can't walk at the Sheraton Resort. You can rent snorkeling gear from the beach front are at the Sheraton for about $7 an hour. We usually went around late afternoon but apparently early morning is the best time.

We saw two different sea turtles and tons of brightly coloured fish. There are also lots of people cliff jumping off black rock all day. The best time to go to take photos of this is around sunset since it sets over ocean.

These photos were taken with the Olympus waterproof camera. Great for any water related activities. We also took some amazing videos with the camera.

Sea TurtlesSwimming with Sea Turtles



Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lahaina (Maui, Hawaii)

We took our rental car to Lahaina for an afternoon and toured around and did some shopping on the main strip. There are tons of touristy shops, art galleries, surf shops and restaurants. The view is incredible around sunset so make sure you schedule your trip so you are there for this amazing view.

Mala in Lahaina

We had dinner at the local restaurant Mala. Call ahead and make reservations and then make sure to arrive early to wait for a ocean view table. We had the most amazing table and it only took a 20 min wait. The food at Mala is all local and incredibly prepared and delicious. We shared the ribs, seared Ahi tuna, fresh fish special and a salad. All were great but I liked the ribs the best.

They are known for the mojitos so make sure to try them. I feel in love with the mango mojitos.

 Mala in Lahaina

 Salad at Mala

 Ribs at Mala

After that we headed to Cool Cat Cafe. It is a cute spot on the second floor above some stores on the main street. This place has drink specials every night of the week for $3. I actually found out about this place while doing a search for Maui on Twitter. I know, I'm letting my geek show. They post their drink specials every night and I kept seeing them as I waited for my trip to come while being in snowy Toronto. The prices are a nice change from the $8 drinks at the resorts and restaurants around Maui. They have live music most nights and seems like it doesn't get too busy. I think everyone in Maui goes to bed at 11pm, damn honeymooners.

Cool Cat Cafe

We did our Luau at the Westin but we heard that the Lahaina Luau is the most authentic in Maui. You can find details here: Old Lahaina Luau.

If you have a lot of time on your hands, check out the entire Maui album on my Flickr page:

Halaekala Sunrise (Maui, Hawaii)

Viewing the sunrise from above the clouds is a once in a lifetime type of thing... I highly recommend this if you are in Maui.

Halaekala is an old volcano that is 10,000 ft  high. You can drive all the way to the top and watch the sunrise there. It is recommended that you get there 2 hour before sunrise so you see all the crazy colours from above the clouds. It's a good idea to bring an SLR camera, lots of battery and memory card space!

The drive up is very crazy. It will be dark and the road curls up around the crater, tons of turns and very small road. Make sure you have a driver that is alert and not sleepy. It is very cold at the top. You can borrow blankets from hotel front desk. It was 1.5 hrs from our hotel so we left around 3:30am. Generally people are apprehensive to get up this early. Have two alarm clocks set in case your boyfriend turns one off and threatens to break up with you if you make him get up at this hour. You can stop at the 24 grocery store and get snacks before the trip there.

On the way down the volcano, check out the spots below...

Kula Lodge - This is a great place to get breakfast after driving for 2 hours and standing in the cold for an hour. I think it opens around 7am and breakfast is sooo good. Try the traditional eggs/bacon/potatoes and also the pancakes with coconut syrup. Delicious. The views are incredible and the staff is great. Keep your sweater on, still very cold.

View from Kula Lodge
Surfing Goat Dairy - Little goat farm with surfboards everywhere, free tours and sampling. All the local restaurants in Maui use their goat cheese, Mmmm. If you're lucky, you might even be there when one of the goats gets onto the surfboard. Best. Moment. Ever.

Full album of Maui pics: 

Here I am.

I have decided to capture some of my experiences traveling over the past 10 years. Please bear with me as I am new to this whole crazy thing. Feel free to leave comments about how bad I am at blogging or about how I'm not as witty as I think I am.

Bon Voyage.