Going to Maui to visit a dear friend, who is having a tough time. I found a good condo, Wailea Grand Champions in Wailea for a good price, right on the Wailea golf courses. I much prefer the Kaanapali, Kapalua, Lahaina area where our original timeshare is located. But it will be easier to stay closer to Kihei where she resides. And I can play some of the golf courses on this end of the island.
South Maui is much quieter, and many tourists prefer that. I like a combination of quiet, busy, and active if that makes sense. I like to start early with an outdoor activity, whether golf, walk, hike, or bike. Then after a light lunch, and a hot shower, relax indoors when the afternoon sun is hottest, and write my blogs and emails. Then off to dinner, and another walk through the shopping areas and beachfront. Being so close to Haleakala, I may have to bike down the crater again. The only problem is the 3am pick up van at the hotel. I also love the Haliimaile General Store, probably the BEST place to dine in all of the Islands.
People in South Maui, natives, that is, tend to make fun of people who prefer the Lahaina and north areas, like Lahaina. I think they prefer that we tourists gather up north and leave their piece of paradise relatively unscathed. But generally, the reason November is a great time here is the dearth of tourists, whale migration, and the cooler weather. As the locals say, “More trades“.
In Kahului, where the largest shopping center (Macy’s) and airport are located, there is also a big Walmart store and a Costco. So much for peace and quiet. But with a condo, a stop at Costco really does pay off. Really, all I need are a few bottles of champagne, fresh fruit, and more golf balls.
Then, we hope to meet another dear friend, Denise in Wailuku, to meet her new baby, Olivia. She introduced us to more of the local places, in towns like Wailuku. The Sam Sato’s restaurant there is now one of our favorites in all of Hawaii. Thank you and mahalo to dear Denise.
Undoubtedly, Maui offers almost as much as the booming metropolis of Honolulu and whacky, whacky, Waikiki. It is somewhat quieter at night, and a little more honeymoon and family friendly. Food is a little more expensive than either Honolulu or Kauai. But activities abound. However, the beaches here are a little less to my liking than east Oahu, and almost anywhere on Kauai.
My two favorite golf courses on the entire Hawaiian chain are here. I enjoy the Kapalua Plantation course where the PGA pros play their season opening tournament. And on the south side, down in Wailea, I enjoy the two Makena golf courses at the Maui Prince Hotel.
Our favorite place to eat on Maui is up in Lahaina at Aloha Mixed Plate. For those of you, not in the know, they share the same kitchen as the expensive Old Lahaina Luau next door. Instead of paying $100 for a luau, just sit down in the open air of Aloha Mixed Plate, and for less than $10, you get the SAME food and a beautiful sunset.
On a serious driving note, perhaps you notice that I never mention the Road to Hana? I took it many moons ago, and told myself that I would only do it once. If you have never taken the long and winding road, it is a long and winding road, somewhat dangerous when wet and raining. I strongly urge patience if and when you make the drive. It is not for the weak of bladder or heart!
Another observation here is regarding the Tuesday elections. Hawaiians on every island LOVE to stand at key intersections and direct their placards and campaign at the passing motorists. Highly enthusiastic, and full of hope, they wave at EVERY car that passes, even the tourist cars! Just how effective this is, I do not know. But it seems like they are having fun. And most of the political races here on the islands, as well as the mainland do NOT seem like fun. It gets down and dirty. Take a lesson, it is not so darn serious!
It is also time for me to have a spam musubi, always a treat, whether on the golf course, or sitting on the beach. To explain to you neophytes, a wad of rice is formed into a rectangular block, about 2 inches by 4 inches. A slice of teriyaki spam is placed either in the middle or on top. The coup de grace is a sheet of seaweed wrapped around the entire package. Quite salty, but also quite heavenly.
We have already visited two of our favorite places here. When the plane landed on Saturday, we went directly to Sam Sato’s in Wailuku for their famous dry mein and chicken skewers. Of course, we are the only non-locals in the place. Then, in Wailea, we had to wait until 3pm to check in. So, we just had to go over to the Tommy Bahama Tropical Cafe for some champagne, crab bisque, and pina colada cake.
Our condo here is the Wailea Grand Champions Resort, right on the Wailea Golf Courses and the Tennis Club. In my earlier sporting career, I actually played tennis here on their grass courts. They call it Wimbledon West, a rather grandiose name for only two grass courts of their dozen or so hard courts. But, on the plus side, I am undefeated here!
For you diehard sports fans, you would be pleased to know of two sports stars on our flight to Maui. The first was the deposed Golden State Warriors coach, Don Nelson, the winningest coach in the history of the NBA. He was travelling with his wife, Joy, and a guy named Hondo. I am pretty sure Hondo won at least an NBA Finals MVP, and perhaps a league MVP during his career. Hondo is former Celtics star player, John Havlicek.
So, chalk up another day in paradise, this time the quieter, civilized side of Maui. Hardly any traffic, good for walking, jogging, and cycling. On the downside, what am I going to do for four days without an ABC Store nearby?