The Hawaii Trip

On November 22nd, Kelli and I flew to Maui for 11 glorious days. Good times were had by all. Here is the recap.

I had a whole row to myself on both the flight there and the flight back. This was awesomeness incarnate. Read “Under the Banner of Heaven” on the flight. It contained a lot of information that I didn’t know about the Mormon church, specifically relating to polygamy. It also tied into my “religious people are crazy” kick I’ve been on recently.

The first hotel we stayed at placed us in a relatively small studio type room, but within a rock’s throw to the ocean. These were good times. Sleeping to the sound of surf is just awesome.

The second place we stayed was a “resort” in Kehei. This was a time-share hookup from our buddy Doug. The room itself was pretty awesome. It had 2 bedrooms, living room, full kitchen. Unfortunately it was nowhere near the ocean. From the top floor of the building closest to the beach, you could barely see it across a large park. But certainly couldn’t hear the waves. Our building on the other hand, was the furthest from the beach, closest to the street (which was busy) and closest to the maintenance shed. Apparently it’s customary to start maintenance work in Hawaii at 7am. So almost every morning we were treated to the sound of mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, etc. Good times. The Second place sucked. Thank god for rum and coke.

The Locals
Like my last trip to Hawaii, most of the locals are very very rude, and they make hanging out in Hawaii pretty unpleasant unless you never interact with them. Even something like a trip to the grocery store is an opportunity to be ignored, or talked to with contempt in a stupid display of passive aggressiveness that you’ll get over and over. In most of the stores you get a feeling that people could care less about their jobs, and you’re just an annoyance.

For the most part.. hey whatever, who cares. Just something to keep in mind when planning a trip to Hawaii. Interact with the locals as little as humanly possible. They will affect your trip and your views of Hawaii.

Snorkeling off of Molokine and turtletown: Pretty freaking awesome. Unless you hate the ocean, do this while in Maui.

Drive to Hana: Driving to Hana initially was a little nerve-wracking. That was until we drove the road past Hana. Yikes. There’s nothing here that’s insanely dangerous, but there are definitely some places that are more narrow than you’d like, and some very close scrapes with other cars. It’s essentially 30 miles of hairpin, blind switchbacks. But for the most part everyone is driving at reasonable speeds, so you never really get into freakout mode. Driving back from Hana, after getting into the nasty stuff was tremendous fun. It was nighttime, and I followed a local for a good bit of it. Locals drive very fast on this road, so it was a lot of fun. This was easily the most fun I’ve had driving in 10 years.

Dinner Cruise: There are a couple of options on this, and we took an open air, casual cruise. It was oldiecruise2007, and rescued only by the fact that we found a somewhat interesting couple to talk with. If you want to do one of these, be aware that it’s probably going to be packed by retirees. Being out on the water is very nice though.

Drive to Haleakala: Driving up a 10,000 mountain is just about as fun as it sounds. Add to that the fact that you’ll be doing most of the drive with about 5 feet of visibility, as you’ll be in the clouds for most of the trip. We got to the part entrance, but didn’t have cash to enter. The trip down puts some real stress on your brakes. I’m sure I missed something awesome here, but I couldn’t get up the gumption to make the drive twice. I was just feeling too lazy.

Miscellaneous Beaches: There are a ton of beaches on Maui, and many of them have lots of nasty rocks and coral in very shallow sections, so you have to be really careful if you want to swim. As such, we didn’t end up doing that much beach swimming. If you want to, get water shoes that will protect your feet, and a snorkel so you can see what’s going on. Many of the beaches are actually pretty small, with the majority of the coastline being pretty rocky.

Maybe it was a lack of vision on my part, but I found Maui really hard to shoot. At least from a landscape perspective. If you’re into shooting flowers and plants, you’re golden, but unfortunately, the flat horizon of the ocean doesn’t make for the most captivating images. There’s a lot of ocean, a lot of forest, and little patches of stuff in between. Unfortunately, a lot of that stuff in between is pretty inaccessible, and off limits to tourists. A lot of the island is owned by ranchers and farmers, so there’s just a lot of it you can’t get to. The day we were going to shoot the big waterfall past Hana, we arrived to late to make the hike. I suck.

After my last trip to Hawaii I was feeling pretty done with it. I wanted to give Maui another chance. At this point, I wouldn’t go back for anything other than free. If I did go back, I would try to not deal with the locals at all. I would spend all my time snorkeling or scuba diving.

Everything in Maui is just off the charts expensive, and had we eaten out for every meal, we would have blown the budget out of the water.

There are so many beautiful places in the world, where people are actually happy that you’ve come to visit, have just as many, if not more opportunities to get out and explore cool things, and won’t destroy your wallet in the process. While I had a good time in Maui, I think there are a lot of better options available to spend your time and money.

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