Posts Tagged ‘maui’

Lahaina SunsetSometimes words aren’t necessary.

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Snorkeling the Molokini crater topped our agenda for day 2 of our Maui getaway.

After waking up early to capture a Napili “before sunrise” photo, we filled a backpack with sunscreen, hats, cameras, towels and our ids, enjoyed some yogurt and drove to Maalaea Harbor where our 64′ catamaran, The Trilogoy II, awaited.

The Trilogy II

After checking in with Captain Jeff, we boarded the boat and were happily greeted by the rest of the young crew.  Fresh coffee, tea, hot cocoa and pineapple juice were served along with a variety of seasick remedies including ginger tablets (which I took advantage of.)

Sailing to MolokiniAfter everyone signed in around 8:00am, we set sail to Molokini.

Breakfast nummies being servedWhile enjoying the fresh ocean breezes and gorgeous views, delicious hot cinnamon rolls (Mom Coon’s 4th generation recipe) and fresh seasonal fruit were served by the crew.

MolokiniIt didn’t take long before Molokini came into view.

Snorkel funThe crew assisted each passenger with snorkel gear…

Visitors to Molokini
…and advised us to stay clear of the other boats.

IMG_9020Once the boat anchored and we were given a safety briefing…

Snorkeling fun…the snorkelers were let loose!

SNUBA was also a popular activity.

FishColorful fish and coral were a feast for the eyes!

SnorkelingAfter 40 minutes, we sailed to our next snorkel site famous for sea turtles.

Sea Turtle and hubbyMy hubby even got to hang out with one!

About 20 minutes into our snorkeling, the wind grew stronger, and the waves became choppier making it a challenge to get back to the Trilogy.  Sensing my dilemma, one of the lifeguards (crew member) gave us a lift on his surfboard, and we kicked our way back to the boat.

A delicious lunch of BBQ’d teriyaki chicken, rice, salad and ice cream awaited us…

Sailing…along with more gorgeous views.

Us and Captain JeffOn our sail back to Maalaea Harbor, we enjoyed chatting with Captain Jeff…

Hoisting the sail…and learning more about the Trilogy.

Happy!Sailing with Trilogy was a highlight of our trip, and I highly recommend the experience!

Between the personable Captain and crew, they made sure that all of our needs were met, questions answered, stomachs happy and wonderful memories fulfilled!

They made sure everyone had a day to remember…and we did!

Thanks Trilogy!

To contact Trilogy:
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-225-MAUI
Local Phone: 1-808-874-5649
Email Address:

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Napili Bay

On day 2, before the sun, sounds of laughter and beach goers filled Napili Bay in Maui, I woke up around 5:30am with camera & tripod in tow and enjoyed a tranquil moment listening to the waves caressing the shore and watching the changing colors of the sunrise paint the sky.

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At 8:45am on a Friday morning, my hubby and I took to the skies on our 5 hour United flight to the island paradise of Maui.

About an hour into our journey, the pilot announced that there would be an in-flight game and the winner would win a great prize.  The mission:  Figure out the exact time we would be midway between the mainland and Maui.  He gave us some useful information to get us started like time we left, time in Maui, headwind stats, etc…

…and honestly…it wasn’t in any way useful to me!

As for my hubby, he got to work right away & had his answer written down before I knew it.

I decided to add a few minutes to my hubby’s answer (I know I know…cheaters never prosper…) and handed in my answer.

About 15 minutes later, the winner was announced.

The flight attendant walked down the aisle and with a big smile stopped at our row.  “Congratulations!  You were less than 45 seconds off the correct answer!”  And with that, my hubby happily accepted his well deserved Lonely Planet Guide Book to Hawaii!

In addition to our new guide book, we became fast friends with our row mate named Larry who was on his way home to Maui.  “Come visit me at the Sheraton, & I will fix you the best drink…on the house!”  Larry is a bartender there at the Grotto Bar and was as nice as they get!  Unfortunately, time did not permit us to visit Larry during our brief stay on West Maui, but we spoke fondly about his aloha spirit during our trip.

After a pleasant and fun flight, we arrived at the Kahului Airport around 11:30am, collected our luggage & proceeded to Hertz to pick up our wheels.

Once we exited the airport, a blast of humid wind engulfed us.  The strong winds blew our hair, as well as the palm trees, in every direction.  I resigned to the fact that for the next week, good hair days would be a rarity, and I would soon find myself enjoying the carefree days of hats and pony tails.

With 4 hours to spare before check-in, we decided to drive about 20 minutes south of the airport to explore the Iao Valley State Park which contains the 1,200 foot towering emerald peak known as the Iao Needle.

Iao Needle
It’s hard to believe that in 1790, this beautiful location was the site of the bloody battle between King Kamehameha and Maui’s army in an effort to unite the Hawaiian Islands.  Needless to say it didn’t end well.

Now it’s a place of tranquility and peace offering 10-miles of easy hiking paths, streams, lily pad-filled ponds, tropical foliage and idyllic photo opportunities.

Iao Vallay National Park

Pepper in some low-lying clouds and you get a very mystical wonderland.

Iao Valley National Park

After taking in the glorious views, it was time to head to our Maui home for 3 days.  We decided to take what we thought was a shortcut, but had we looked closer at the map in our Lonely Planet guide book, it would have shown the white knuckle adventure we were about to embark on…complete with narrow twists, turns, hands covering eyes, imaginery brake pressing and one way roads with unintentional games of chicken.

It put the Road to Hana to shame! 

Evil Road!Construction on Maui’s northwest coast road from Kapalua to Wailuku
(or as I like to call it –
the Road to Hana’s evil big brother!)

But I can say this about Maui’s northwest coast –

Maui's northwest coastthe scenery is beautiful!

The next day on our Trinity catamaran snorkeling adventure, a crew member confirmed that we weren’t alone in our sentiments: “Even the locals don’t take that road!”   Um, good to know.

A sigh of relief filled the car when we found our way out of the labyrinth an hour or so later and enjoyed the wider, straighter lanes taking us to our paradise getaway at The Napili Bay condos.

The Napili Bay Condos
The condo we rented was recently renovated and just as lovely as the photos shown online.  It came complete with full kitchen, laundromat, beach chairs, boogie boards, comfy bed, ceiling fan, wifi and tv…

Napili Bay Condo

…and the view from the lanai wasn’t too shabby either!

View from lanai

15 years ago, I experienced Napili Bay for the first time with my best friend and her family.  Let me just say, the water is just as clear and the atmosphere is still as idyllic as I remember it to be!

Napili Bay

That evening, we dined at the popular “Sea House” restaurant.  Reservations are recommended, and luckily my hubby was one step ahead and reserved our table a few days prior.

Not realizing we could actually just take a short stroll down the beach to get there, we took a less than 30 second car ride to the parking lot instead.

A bit early, we enjoyed some tropical beverages in the lounge, and at exactly 5:30pm, the patrons  were allowed into the main open air dining hall complete with refreshing breezes, sounds of crashing waves,  and a gorgeous view of Napili Bay…the perfect ambience for our first night in Maui.

Tropical drink

Only having eaten 2 granola bars since we landed, it was time to indulge!

We both opted for the 3-course “Early Bird Special.”

It started off with the Island Salad comprised of fresh Upcountry greens, tropical salsa and Lilikoi vinaigrette.

The main course followed.  I opted for the Macadamia Nut Fresh Catch while my hubby chose the Sea House Mixed Grill.

Dinner at the Sea HouseMacadamia Nut Fresh Catch

Our meal concluded with the Pièce de résistance:  Pineapple Tiramisu…

Pineapple Tiramisuneed I say more? 

Although I was growing uncomfortably full by the minute, it was too good to stop, so I forged ahead and cleared the contents of my plate.

So much for those ab exercises…

The vibrant colors of a painted sky were on display that evening, and so with stomachs full and happy, we took a leisurely stroll on the beach…

Napili Sunset

…and a kind passerby took our photo.


After our promenade, we stocked up on dinner fixings, vino and snacks at a local market for the days ahead.

Relaxing on the lanai was the perfect way to end our first night in Maui.  As the last bits of sun bid adieu, we looked forward with half-opened eyes to the 8 fun-filled, blissful days ahead.

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First off, a Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!

Tonight we’re taking my Dad to go see the new Superman movie – “Man of Steel”.  It looks soooo good – I can’t wait!

Now on to the business at hand. 

aloha mystery giveaway

The other day I chose a winner for the Aloha Mystery Giveaway, but alas, our winner did not claim her prize…which means that I had to choose another name a few minutes ago.

I’m very excited to announce that Libby Sawyer from The Little Dabbler is our winner!

Libby, I loved your answer to the question, “What is your idea of paradise?”

I want to wake up in a white cottony bed with gauzy curtains drape all around and blowing in the breeze that makes it’s way in through wide open French doors that open out onto a veranda overlooking crystal blue ocean waters. I also want an incredibly sexy, half-naked man laying in that bed next to me. Wherever this is, I want to be there.

Cheers to that!

Okay Libby, I need you to email me your mailing address & prize you have chosen (click here for 2 prizes to choose from) at

Congratulations Libby! I hope you enjoy your little piece of aloha!  🙂

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Aloha everyone!

I’m back from my Hawaiian getaway, & let me just say…it was FAB-U-LOUS!

The last time I visited Maui was over 14 years ago…I was a mere 25 years old…wow.

Maui is still gorgeous as ever!  And we both got to experience the Big Island of Hawaii for the first time which was a complete treat for us…as well as our cameras!  (More on that in a later post…)

Now it’s time to get down to business…

aloha mystery giveaway

 A big thank you to those of you who entered the contest.

So you must be wondering what treasure(s) I found.

I have to admit, it was tough work!  There were so many fun goodies to choose from that I actually bought 2 items, and the winner will get to choose one!  (The other one will go to a family member or friend…or me!)

On day 3 of our Maui getaway, we traveled to the artsy town of Paia filled with quaint boutiques, delicious eateries and beautiful art galleries.  One of the shop owners suggested we check out the “cowboy” town of Makawao about 10 minutes south that had even more boutiques and rustic charm…so off we went.

We decided to check out the store “Designing Wahine Emporium” filled with local arts and crafts.

Designing Wahine Emporium

As my husband paid for some jasmine soap that I was salivating over earlier, I looked to my left and saw a basket of what appeared to be lava rocks in the shape of feet.  Intrigued, I inspected them closer…

and fell in love!

I’m all about clever and creative ideas, and this was both…and it’s super cute!


Wrapped in a turquoise ribbon are these adorable pumice stone footsies and sweet smelling tuberose soap.


Who wouldn’t want their feet to smell scrumptious while scrubbing away the stress of the day away using a little piece of aloha (literally!) 

Needless to say, we snatched up the footsies and continued on our journey.

I was pretty certain that this was the giveaway prize.

Then the very next day as we neared the finish of the famous Road to Hana on Maui’s east coast, we came upon a random row of shops, outdoor eateries and free ranging chickens, roosters and chicks.  (Yes, you read right.)

I decided to check out the shop “Nahiku Ti Gallery” and started browsing around.

Nahiku Ti Gallery

I don’t know about you, but I love shell jewelry…and this shop did not lack in that department!

Strewn across the back of a door were dozens of unique shell necklaces.  My heart beat faster, and my eyes widened at the sight of them.

The heavens opened…the birds sang…and I quickly snatched up a mother of pearl necklace (for me) and this lovely abalone shell necklace for the giveaway:

Abalone Necklace

I love the design and delicate finish of this necklace.  The way the light plays off of the shell is just gorgeous, and it’s a really striking piece.  It gets my seal of approval! 

OH…and bonus!  The shop keeper let me choose a cute decorative bag to keep the necklace in…and that, my friends, is included with the necklace…SCORE!

Decorative bag

So there they are – the 2 giveaway prizes.

But WAIT – there’s MORE!

While on the Big Island of Hawaii, we did a lot of sunset watching and beach strolling.  The thing I loved most was what was scattered all over the beach – CORAL!

The beaches were full of them!

It was like Christmas morning for me!

I spent so much time just looking at the various shapes, sizes and intricate cuts.  But my favorite had to be the ones in the shapes of hearts!

So along with the prize you choose, you will also be receiving a heart-shaped piece of coral.


Now it’s time for the second item of business – who won?!

Today I had my partner-in-crime, the hubby, do the honors of choosing a winner.

Can we have a drum roll please?

And the winner of the Aloha Mystery Giveaway is…


(Round of applause echoing through cyberspace!)

Congratulations to Christine, whose idea of paradise is “a week of no work”.   I hope this little piece of paradise brings you bliss!  🙂

Christine, please email the prize you would like and also your mailing address to

If I don’t hear from you by midnight on Friday, June 14th, another winner will be announced on Saturday, June 15th.

Thanks again to all who entered.

Many happy alohas to you all!  

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aloha mystery giveaway

What is the Aloha Mystery Giveaway, you ask?   Well check THIS out!

As of a few minutes ago, there were 10 entries.  For those who entered, that makes your odds of winning the “mystery gift” REALLY GOOD!

If you LINKED this post to your blog or MENTIONED the contest on your blog, please let me know so I can enter your name in the drawing.

For those of you who are thinking of entering but haven’t – why not give it a try?

The more the merrier!

My hubby and I are leaving on our Hawaiian getaway first thing Friday morning (CAN’T WAIT!), so as of today, that gives you 11 days to enter the contest.

What is the prize?  Well that is the mystery now, isn’t it?

I’m going to search all over Maui and Hawaii for that island treasure, and as promised, it will not disappoint!  (well…at least I hope it doesn’t!)  lol!

With that said, I need to finish packing and give my abs one last killer workout.  Yep, this is what happens when your husband insists you bring a bikini when you are so NOT bikini ready!  Thanks honey (in sarcastic tone.) All I can say is thank God for green smoothies, Michael @, Laura @ and Jessica @…all of who, in 2 weeks, helped me to somewhat flatten (emphasis on somewhat) my midsection through their motivational and hard core workouts.

So until I return my dear readers…

Aloha…and GOOD LUCK!!

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