Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vacation Report

We are back from our much anticipated trip to Maui, and it was fabulous. Everything seemed to go right on this trip. Weather reports were looking a little uncertain before we left, but we arrived to sunny skies and warm temperatures that lasted through our entire stay. We enjoyed it so much that we didn't want to leave and extended our stay for 2 more days. Thanks to some of my recent business travel we were able to get confirmed upgrades to first class in both directions, even with the last minute return flight changes.

We repeated some things on this trip, and tried some new things. We stayed once again at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel and had a beautiful oceanfront view. We returned to some of our favorite restaurants like Leilani's, the Hula Grill, and Cheeseburger in Paradise. We also tried some different restaurants including the Black Rock Steak & Seafood at the Sheraton and the Sea House restaurant at the Napili Kai. Those who know me are familiar with my "if it swims, I don't eat it" attitude toward seafood. But Janet convinced me that the fish in Hawaii is delicious, and if I was ever going to try it I should try it there. So I had some Mahimahi at the Black Rock ( I hedged my bet by ordering the combination plate that included an equal sized piece of steak, just in case), and Ahi tuna at the Sea House. I have to admit, both were 'ono, and I just may be a convert.

While we enjoyed the Sea House restaurant, our reason for driving to the Napili Kai was to attend a concert where we were delighted by the talents of slack key guitar masters, George Kahumoku and Dennis Kamakahi. We were also impressed with the ukulele and vocal talent of the young Peter deAquino.

The Ka'anapali Beach Hotel is known for its preservation of Hawaiian culture. In the past we have participated in their free hula dance and lei making classes. On this trip I had the fun of taking ukulele lessons. I'm no Peter deAquino, but tomorrow I'll offer a small sample of my skills.

We returned to the top of Haleakala, this time driving the winding road that leads to the crater. It was cloudy most of the way up, but the clouds cleared enough at the top to give us some great views. The temperature was a chilly 50°F. We continued up to the 10,023 ft summit where we met some hardy Canadian bicyclists who had ridden the 36 miles from the ocean to the summit in about 6 hours. On the way down we stopped at the Maui Winery and sampled some pineapple wine. It's not bad, similar to a spätlese Riesling.

While we had enough activity to keep from being bored, the one thing we did a lot of on this trip was simply relax. We had time for walking on the beach, sitting on the lanai reading and listening to the surf, lounging in the sun (or shade) with tropical drinks, and watching the sun slowly set. It was peaceful, refreshing, and regenerating.

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