Maui Review – What We Did,
What I Actually Wore, and How I’ll Pack Next Time
Aloha! We are back from a fabulous trip to the Hawaiian island of Maui. Ten days in paradise . . . with thousands of other vacationers! In spite of that, our vacation was great. We had some fun excursions and I already have my packing list for next time. (I plan for my suitcase to be about 15 pounds lighter!)
This post is a little long, partly because I’m combining some travel info with the “what I wore” journal. Also, I’ve been away from Dez & Dot for 2 whole weeks; I need to catch up!
There are a lot more photos in this post than usual because I want a journal for myself about what I actually wore out of that 52 pound suitcase (embarrassing but true), and I thought it would be fun to share with you so that you might gain some insight into what’s really needed on a Hawaiian vacation.
Photo disclaimer: Although I did bring my nice camera along, mostly we traveled around light, so the photos are all taken with an iPhone, and the quality isn’t quite what I like them to be. (All photos are credited to my patient husband; I warned him in advance that I’d be asking him to snap my outfits!)
Day 1 – At Last! Palm trees, ukeleles, and Hawaiian sunsets
Our very early morning flight (7:00 am) was well worth it when we arrived at 9:30 am and had the whole day ahead of us. However, much of the arrival day was spent stopping for groceries (we have an apartment at a resort with a full kitchen and barbeques placed around the property), waiting for our room to be ready, and scoping out the resort. I actually don’t remember if we made it to the pool that first day.
Every single day, except arrival day, we walked between 3 and 5 miles. There’s a boardwalk that runs parallel to the beach, and it was a beautiful and energizing way to start each day and burn some calories pre-piña colada! I brought exercise wear for walking (2 sets of shorts and 2 exercise tops) and for the gym (2 pair of workout leggings), which I visited only once. Next time I’ll stick with 2 walking outfits and just bring 1 pair of workout leggings.
Day 1-10 – Poolside (woo hoo!)
Pool and poolside tropical drinks, delivered!
I brought 4 swimsuits on this trip. Yes, it’s a lot, but I knew we’d be in swimsuits every day, and how often am I in a position to wear them. So . . . 4. Plus 6 cover-ups (excessive). I wore all the swimsuits and only 3 of the cover-ups.
I also brought 2 hats, and, although I wore both of them, hats are not easy to transport on a flight, and, really, I didn’t need 2. Next time I’ll bring 1 and wear it on the plane. I threw in a visor last minute (I hate to look like an old lady in a visor, but sometimes they are convenient), and I actually wore it a number of times.
Day 2 – Starting to feel vacation-y!
Yay! We are on vacation! Enough said.
Day 3 – Hula Girl Sunset Sail
We enjoyed two amazing outings on the Hula Girl catamaran. There are many companies that offer catamaran sunset sails, dinner cruises, and snorkeling outings. Hula Girl was recommended by a friend who has a home on Maui and has experience with this company. We took the recommendation and booked a dinner cruise for our third night on Maui. We weren’t disappointed! The boat is beautiful, the crew was nice, fun, and professional. The food was delicious (more about that below). And watching the sunset over the Maui horizon was like a picture.
We definitely recommend an excursion on the Hula Girl if you visit Maui (Kaanapali area). Check out Hula Girl outings at sailingmaui.com. Things to know: Different from the other catamarans, the Hula Girl is equipped with a kitchen and offers a variety of menu items that you can order for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (depending on the cruise you take). Since the (delicious) food is prepared fresh to order, you pay for the food separately from the cost of the outing itself (the other companies include the cost of food in the price of the excursion but it’s prepared ahead of time and the selection is limited). A tip: make your reservation directly on their site for a discounted price rather than going through a hotel concierge.
Day 4 – Resort Day
Not much to report about this day. We enjoyed a leisurely and pampered day around the pool then out for aloha hour (aka happy hour) at the Hula Grill (not to be confused with the Hula Girl!).
Day 5 – Lahaina Town
Spent a fun few hours in Lahaina strolling the street and popping into a couple of well-know watering holes. It’s a nice side trip, but I wouldn’t plan on spending hours and hours there. It’s fun to shop a little and enjoy the water views. There are a number of popular restaurants there also.
From the web: “Once known as Lele, which means “relentless sun” in Hawaiian, Lahaina is a historic town that has been transformed into a Maui hotspot with dozens of art galleries and a variety of unique shops and restaurants.
“Once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom in the early nineteenth century, Lahaina was also a historic whaling village during the whaling boom of the mid-1800s. Up to 1,500 sailors from as many as 400 ships took leave in Lahaina, including Herman Melville, who immortalized the era in his classic novel Moby Dick.
“Today, Lahaina is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can still get a feel for old Lahaina as you stroll down lively Front Street.”
Day 6 – Hmmm, what did we do?
Should have kept a journal. Maybe a pool day. Stuck around to bbq at the resort.
Day 7 – Hula Girl Snorkel Cruise
Since we’d had such a great time on the Hula Girl dinner cruise, we booked a 5-hour snorkeling outing for a few days later. Neither of us are big on snorkeling, however, when on an island, shouldn’t one be on and in the water?! The snorkeling cruise (you can also scuba dive, even if you’ve never done it before) was a lot of fun. We enjoyed lunch made to order and mixed-to-order tropical cocktails from the on-board bar. The boat anchored for about 2 hours while guests enjoyed the warm ocean water – swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving. After our 30-minute snorkel (we saw a sea turtle!), we hopped back on board and soaked up a little sun accompanied by a Mai Tai! (I know sunning isn’t what we should be doing, but it’s hard to escape it in the tropics.) The ride back to Kaanapali Beach was full sail and fast – so much fun!
Day 8 – Outrigger Canoeing and Coastal Drive
I’ve always wanted to paddle on an outrigger canoe. John agreed and we took the first canoe out at 8:00 am from the beach next to our resort. We did a little less paddling than I expected, but what we did do was pretty challenging. We learned how to paddle in unison and took a try at powering the canoe alone with the weight of 7 adults. We listened to entertaining stories of Hawaiian history and culture by our guide. We enjoyed the one hour outing and got a bit of a workout on the water. It’s a great activity for families too.
Check out Ali’i Maui Outrigger Canoes. The canoes are guided and driven by competitive outrigger canoe paddlers (I don’t know if that’s the official title, but you get what I mean). We were surprised to learn that the outrigger canoe sport is the most popular sport in Hawaii.
Lots of the day left after this mini adventure. We put in some pool time and then took a drive north and enjoyed some stunning views and landscape. We stopped on the way back to watch the sunset from the Sea House Restaurant, known for it’s beautiful Napili beach view.
Day 9 – Jet Skiing!
I wish I had photos from this day. It was wild! We had the first time slot at 9:00 am so that we’d get the calmer waters early in the day. Best laid plans . . . It was the windiest day we had and the water had white caps. First time jet skiers = hoping for calm water. It was fun, but the water was rough and half the time I had a face full of water as I navigated against the current. The other half, going the opposite direction, was much better, but still pretty challenging. I lasted about 40 minutes of my allotted 60; John stuck it out for pretty much the whole hour. Would love to try it another time when the waves are a little meeker.
Had to cap off the wild ride and celebrate our last night with another Hula Grill visit!
Day 10 – Heading Home
We were able to squeeze a couple of hours by the pool before heading to the airport. Knowing we’d be back helped keep the departure light.
Read below for my trip takeaways!
Maui Vacation Takeaways
What I packed and what I should have packed: I packed WAY too much. I know why. There are things I have but don’t have opportunities to wear. So I brought my hot weather vacation pieces on vacation. But . . . I just couldn’t even wear everything. And, news flash: Hawaii is very warm and people dress very casually. We enjoy being casual when we are home and when we travel. No need for dressy clothes. And for heaven’s sake, our condo has a washer and dryer; there’s no need to bring a wardrobe. I’ve already made my packing list for next time. (The resort we were in is a “timeshare,” so we know we’ll go back regularly.)
Here’s my next time Hawaii packing list:
3 tank tops
1 pair of jeans
2 exercise tops
2 exercise bras
1 pair exercise leggings
3-4 swimsuits (I’m okay with excess in this category)
1 set of pj’s
5 pair of undies
2 bras (1 nude/1 black)
1 pair walking/workout shoes
2-3 flip flops/sandals
1 wedge/platform sandal
Now it’s in print!
Portable travel steamer: YES! This was a winner and I highly recommend adding this to your travel accessories. My friend, Emily, took my advice and brought one on her trip to the Dominican Republic, and she agrees. So simple and fast to use – no need to walk out wrinkled or hassle with iron and ironing board. Check mine out here.
Food: Since we have a kitchen and plentiful barbeques, we purchased food to stock the fridge. Again, over-abundance. We’ll skip the Costco run (we are only two people after all) and opt for a stop at the grocery store instead.
Poolside drinks: Maybe fewer! We can make our own tropical drinks. (It gets expensive!)
All in all, we had a fabulous time, and I treasure the memories.
Finally, the gorgeous sunsets
Meet new bloggers
Jo-Lynne Shane, a blogger I follow and like, features a “link-up” each Friday for other bloggers. Take a look here (scroll to the bottom) – you may find someone new you love! (You’ll find me there too!)