Maui Paradise in January

Wow! Sorry guys, it’s been too long since I last update the blog. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve had both a horrible case of the flu and also been to paradise and back. All I have to say about the flu is… I hate you.

I have much more to say about Maui, though. :) Joe and I flew out the Friday before this immediately previous one and stayed for four nights. The purpose of this trip was for wedding planning (yes, we’re getting married in Maui in May!) and to enjoy some beautiful sunshine.

Started off the trip right with my comfy Oiselle Boatneck Sweatshirt, new for Spring ’13. It’s so cozy because it’s made out of French fleece! Umm, doesn’t that scream comfortable!? Made for a nice traveling outfit.

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As soon as we touched down, the first thing we did was find a place that served plate lunch. Hawaiian plate lunch usually consists of scoops of rice, Hawaiian mac salad, and an entree. This place we hit up called R.V.N. Deli Kitchen served a really delicious plate lunch consisting of teriyaki chicken. The portions were huge and the mac salad was especially good. We’re big fans of Hawaiian-style mac salad.

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With our tummies full, we made our way over to the Kaanapali Beach area of Maui (west side of the island) to the Sheraton. Located at the iconic Black Rock, the Sheraton is a great place to stay for a resort atmosphere. It was our second time staying there and we weren’t disappointed. This is the view upon arriving:

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As soon as we checked in, it was time for us to hit up the hotel pool for sun and piƱa coladas. Yum.

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At sunset, the Sheraton has a daily cliff diving ceremony at the Black Rock.

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That night, we had a couple more drinks and dinner at Leilani’s on the Beach Beachside Grill located at Whaler’s Village in Kaanapali Beach, just a short walk away from the Sheraton. I had an IPA and a delicious salad consisting of mixed greens, maui sweet onion, mandarin oranges, strawberries, and papaya vinaigrette. Delicious. I’m tempted to make my own papaya vinaigrette at home.

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Oh, before I forget to mention, it was really unfortunate that I got a whopping case of the flu on the Tuesday prior to the trip. It completely laid me out on the couch for the day, unable to function, crazy body aches, muscle fatigue, and fever. Not a great way to spend the days leading up to the trip. I was sick and recovering until mid-way through Maui. Since I was sick, I hadn’t run since a 10 mile long run with Lauren and Lauren on Sunday.

Joe and I brought our workout gear to Maui in the hopes of getting in a run or two. Saturday morning, we did just that. We got in a 3 mile run along the Kaanapali Beach boardwalk and man was it hard! It was likely a combo of recovery from being sick, but the temps of mid-70s and humidity of 80-something percent made it feel harder than it would back at home. By the end of the run, we were both soaked with sweat. But very proud that we ran during a tropical trip.

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It was time for more pool lounging for a couple hours before our first wedding planning meeting of the trip with our planner. At the pool, I had a refreshing “skinny” cocktail consisting of Stoli blueberry vodka, strawberries, blueberries, and lemonade. Super refreshing in the heat and less than 100 calories. Wow.

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Oh, one big tip/reminder for sunny travel is to never forget your sunglasses at home. Yep, that was me. Luckily, there were plenty of shops along the boardwalk and also a Sunglasses Hut. It was a good excuse for me to get my first pair of Ray-Bans.

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In the afternoon, we had a wonderful meeting with our wedding planner, Lori, and finalized a ton of details. If you ever plan on having a Maui destination wedding, I’m happy to pass along her information or any other tips. After our meeting with her in Makawao (Maui Upcountry), we headed to Kihei to Cafe O’Lei for wedding food tasting! Umm. You must try Cafe O’Lei as it’s one of the best restaurants in the area. They’ll be catering our wedding and we got to taste so many yummy dishes. Won’t be posting pictures of the food to keep it a surprise for the wedding. But, wow. Yum.

After our tasting/dinner, we headed over to Lahaina to walk around the Front Street strip. This is where there’s a ton of cool local shops, restaurants, bars, etc. We ended up at Fleetwood’s on Front Street, a restaurant owned by Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. Pretty cool. What enticed us to go in was that they had a really sweet rooftop bar/lounge, and live music! The music was awesome. A local duo called Barefoot Minded played an awesome set of music and sounded very Jack Johnson. They even perform weddings. I would highly recommend hiring them if you end up having a Maui wedding!

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Fleetwood’s also has a very expensive menu item consisting of a burger and a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Dang. And apparently they’ve sold 3. Deep pockets much?

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Sunday came and we got to spend the whole day free from wedding planning. But, there was no sleeping in for us because the Seahawks playoff game was airing in Maui bright and early at 8am. Boo to the outcome of the game, so sad. :( But the only bright side was that we got to spend half of it poolside watching the game and enjoying Big Swell IPAs. The rest of the day basically consisted of this but was dampened by some sunburns.

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We had a jam-packed agenda on Monday! Literally from 8am to 8pm we were away from the hotel. We headed out in the morning to drive 30+ miles away to Wailea/Makena area (south part of Maui) to view the private oceanfront estate that our wedding will be held at. It was absolutely breathtaking. FYI – my sweet tank top is the new Oiselle Go Long Running Tank.

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And… Steven Tyler’s Maui home is directly next door. So cool. Per Becky’s request, maybe we can have him come over and sing ‘I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing’?? Anyone have a connection to make that happen?! ;)

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After viewing the property, we headed up a few miles to Wailea to have coffee and chat with our photographer and DJ. The meetings went well and we’re sure excited for the big day. Any suggestions for must-play wedding songs?

Before we met with our cake vendor for our eagerly anticipated wedding cake tasting, we had to grab some lunch as our stomaches were growling. Per an amazing Yelp review for Coconut’s Fish Cafe in Kihei (500+ Yelp reviews and 4.5 stars), we knew that we had to try it. Umm, we were completely blown away by their fish tacos. They were quite literally the best fish tacos that we’ve ever had. Made with fresh Ono and Mahi fish and topped with a medley of mango salsa and coleslaw. Wow. I also love that they cater to fresh healthy ingredients. All of their ingredients including sauces and dressings are freshly prepared on a daily basis and even the fish is cut freshly daily. If you go to Maui, put Coconut’s on your list of must-try restaurants.

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Don’t worry, though. The fish tacos were quite filling but we still had room to taste cake! The flavors will be kept a secret until the wedding, but we were very excited by what we chose. A bonus was that they sent us along with so much cake… which became a snack the next morning.

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By the time cake tasting was done, it was about 3pm and time for our last meeting of the trip with our florist up north in Kahului (same town as where the airport is located). Choosing flowers can be a very difficult process, but luckily I had already had multiple conversations with her before the in-person meeting and she had a solid idea of what my vision was. I’m so excited for the wedding so that you all can see the finished product for the big day!

Kahului is nearby the town of Paia dubbed as Maui’s coolest little town. It’s a very quaint beach town with lots of local surfers, surf shops, boutiques, and good restaurants. In driving through the town, we stopped for a few minutes at a small beachside parking lot. I kid you not… this was the actual incredible view that I took with my phone of a real rainbow and people with a matching umbrella. So beautiful.

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With all the meetings and driving that we’d done, we had worked up an appetite by 5pm and had to try Paia Flatbread Company Pizza which had incredible reviews from online and lots of friends who raved about it. They specialize in all-natural, wood-fired clay oven pizza. So much organic and fresh goodness.

We started off with some IPAs and shared an organic salad consisting of “Kula Farm mesclun and organic sweet leaf lettuces tossed with organic green papaya and carrots from Hale Akua Farm, toasted sesame seeds, organic Arame seaweed and our homemade Maui pineapple vinaigrette.” So fresh and tasty! Again, I think I need to find myself a good homemade papaya or tropical fruit vinaigrette recipe.

The flatbread that we chose was half Pele Pesto (“Homemade organic Maui basil, macadamia and garlic pesto with our own blend of Hawaiian goat cheeses, whole milk mozzarella fresh Haiku organic tomatoes, Kalamata olives and organic herbs”) and half Pa’ia Bay Ohana (“Our wood-fired cauldron tomato sauce, caramelized organic onions, organic mushrooms, premium whole milk mozzarella and imported Parmesan cheese baked on organic bread dough with homemade organic garlic oil, sprinkled with our own blend of organic herbs”). Absolutely delicious, not too heavy, and the fresh ingredients stood out. The rave reviews were right.

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We strolled around the main street after dinner and came across a cool shop with a sweet fence outside made of multiple surfboards and cool colored walls.

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Before we finished up Monday evening, we went on one more trip to Lahaina Front St. for an after-dinner refreshing dessert oh Hawaiian shave ice. It’s “shave ice, not “shaved ice.” And it’s not a Sno Cone. Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice is the absolute best shave ice. They use all pure cane sugar, purified water, and 95% of their flavors are premium purees, concentrates, and extracts. None of that high fructose fake stuff. And their shave ice is so creamy and dreamy. Ours consisted of coconut, Lilikoi passion fruit, and passion orange. A perfect way to end the trip.

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Tuesday was the day of our return to Seattle. We hit up the beach for a short while before packing up.

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Our last meal of the trip was eaten at a small popular cafe called Okazuya & Deli Honokowai in the Kaanapali area. Their Yelp reviews were outstanding and they featured plate lunches at good prices. My last meal consisted of panko crusted Mahi with their “famous” tartar sauce, rice, and mac salad. Really tasty and the prices were decent.

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Alrigh, folks. Hope you enjoyed my recap of our Maui wedding planning trip. We’re so happy that we were able to make this short trip a reality and can’t wait to say our I Do’s. Four month countdown.

14 thoughts on “Maui Paradise in January

  1. Ditto the Lauren’s comment above, although this does makes me extra excited for my trip there in March :) I’ll have to get some tips from you before we go. SO excited for you!!!

    • Hey Sun! Sorry for the delay, just checked comments. I believe the difference in Hawaiian Mac is the lack of onion, pickle, and celery. And I don’t think there’s as much vinegar (or any) in the Hawaiian version. So simple and delicious.

  2. Hi, I just came across your blog from SkinnyRunner. My hubby and I got “maui’d” this past Sept. We also stayed on the west side of the island. Loved every moment we spent there. You couldn’t have picked a more beautiful location!

  3. A Maui wedding, that’s awesome, you’re a lucky girl! I just went to Oahu for the first time in Jan. and it’s pretty amazing. You’ll have a beautiful wedding I’m sure! Side note, high 5 on the Big Swell, fell in love with it when we were out there, good taste girl! Lol

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