Thursday, January 8, 2009

Maui Day 3: Snorkling and Lahaina

Waking up in the morning, we were sad to pack up and say goodbye to our Maui Lu hotel room.  Despite the filthy carpets and torn screens, we had the sound of the ocean and a spectacular view right outside of our window:

However, we were off to go snorkling!  With our bags in storage and our towels borrowed from the Maui Lu, we headed off towards Po'olenalena, a beach on the south east coast, south of Wailea.  The beach was relatively empty, but already there were some snorkelers in the water.  Will and I put on our scuba boots, fins, mask, and snorkel, and feeling a little overprepared, went into the water.

The wildlife at this diving spot was fantastic, with coral and tropical fish right beneath our eyes.  I spent a long time looking at a Hawaiian sea turtle, huge and asleep beneath a coral ledge, who cared not a bit that I was splashing around above him.

Done with our scuba diving, we set out for Lahaina.  Along the way, Maui Revealed recommended a stop at Dina's Sand Witch, a darling, tiny bar with fantastic portuaguese bean soup:

... And finally, we entered Lahaina.  Mom had introduced us to Barrett, the General Manager of Aina Nalu, an Outrigger resort in Lahaina.  When we arrived, Barrett was there to welcome us with a cute Outrigger bag, water bottles, and -- my favorite -- coupons, coupons, coupons!!!  We subsequently spent the rest of the trip trying to eat at all of the places with coupons for discounts or free stuff.

After a quick nap, we headed up north to Ka'anapali, where all of the big flagship resorts were.  We were looking for a sunset and found Leilani's, another beautiful restaurant on the beach:
A closer look at the napkins showed that this was another restaurant owned by the same company as Duke's in Waikiki, and Kimo's back in Lahaina.  The big give-away was that all the restaurants owned by this company serve Kimo's Hula Pie.  This company does amazing restaurants!  All right on the water, with excellent drinks!  We caught the beautiful sunset:

Barrett had recommended Lahaina's Front Street as the central location for strolling, so Will and I enjoyed a late evening walk down the street.  The highlights were:

  • Several art galleries, one with paintings blending modern Hawaiian life with scenes of the spirits of native Hawaiians;
  • A furniture art gallery with beautiful glass tables, supported either by real bamboo stalks, or metal sculptures of frogs or gecko's on branches;
  • A store selling huge, real vintage European posters, like the replicas you see in furniture stores sometimes, but these were the real things!
Tired and getting hungry again (hmm, we must have been growing), we stopped by Kimo's Restaurant, where we got a table with the ocean right beneath us and an older uncle playing Hawaiian music on his slack key guitar sitting next to us.  We had a few drinks and headed home.