Monday, July 30, 2007

Weekend in Maui staying at the Outrigger Maui Eldorado in Kaanapali.

If the slideshows are too fast, move your mouse over and click the pause ( || ) button.

We had a 6AM departure from HNL on Friday morning. We were taking advantage of the Aloha Airlines Alii Club Membership thing and spending time in the "Lounge". I don't think that helped us out. We ended up missing the flight by what looked like 30 seconds. Boarding time was 540AM, we left the lounge and got to the gate about 555AM and saw that nobody was in line and the workers were closing up the door. They said we were too late. I don't believe this. I have never in my life missed a flight! Now my 1st flight that I miss is becuase I was in the Alii Club Lounge! They don't announce anything in the lounge. I suppose you are just supposed to be able to relax in there. But not only that, they knew we were there. We were already checked in. They should not have closed up the boarding so early in my opinion.

Our 1st Morning in Maui. We started the day with brunch at Sam Sato's in Wailuku.

I drank a double shot iced americano from Maui Coffee Roasters on Friday. It was about $2.40 or so. Very nice taste. If you need some coffee while you are there, but are avoiding the Starbucks cafes, I recommend this place. It's in Kahului across a Starbucks.

Picture from my phone at Maui Ocean Center.

We stopped at the Maui Ocean Center to check out the ocean life! This place is worth the money! I've been to Sea Life Park (Honolulu) many times, but this place still seemed like a nice experience. No dolphin shows and stuff like that, but the Jellyfish exhibit and touching those Starfish things were something different.

Below are Kelli's Maui Ocean Center Pictures.

On our 2nd morning in Maui, we started the morning pre-sunrise and headed up to Haleakala.

After returning from the 10,000+ feet elevation, we stopped at Kahului McDonald's for a quick breakfast.

On our 2nd morning, as you read, we headed up to Haleakala. We drove all the way back down to Kahului to get a "quick" bite to eat before our insane plan to head around Hana! I had a meal at McDonald's. The "Premium Roast Coffee" was quite a disappointment. I actually spoke to the manager lady working in the front about it. The coffee was so watery I asked her if it's normally like that. Of course, I know what the coffee usually tastes like in Honolulu. This cup was really bad. Anyway, she gave me a new cup (just as bad) and explained to me (the tourist?) that they use 10% Kona Blend so it's very light tasting and not bitter. Ok. Thank you.

So, my next step is to prove to myself that I can make 10% Kona Blend Coffee taste good on my own in a HOTEL ROOM! On Sunday Morning, I made my pot and poured it into my used Maui Coffee Roasters cup and here it is. Nice, dark, flavorful and GOOD! They better calibrate their machines at McDonald's or something.

Then we began our journey to Hana and Kipahulu. Play the video below to get a sample of the "Road to Hana". This is the mild part. Notice the nice pavement and painted highway lines. Dozens of miles are barely wide enough for 2 vehicles and there are hundreds of narrow, sharp and sometimes blind turns.

Anyway, the whole reason for Kelli and I going to Maui was for my friend's daughter's graduation party. The party was packed with amazing entertainment, I forgot about taking pictures or video! This is the only picture I took at the party!! Oh well, why is it in my coffee section? Because besides the food here at King Kamehameha Golf Club, the coffee was also good. I'm sure it was a 10% Kona Blend here also. I guess it's the the way the person making the coffee was trained.

Day 3, Sunday.

We casually started the morning. I still woke up at 7am without any alarms or anything. Made that coffee I discussed about up there /\. We were going to ride the Sugar Cane Train because Kelli wanted to. I tried calling the phone number several times in the morning after 9am (the time it says they open). Nobody answered the phone. The published rates were like $30. I wanted to know if a Kama'aina rate was affordable. Since we couldn't find that out, Kelli decided she didn't want to ride because it's "a rip-off".

I drove Kelli through Lahaina to check it out. Seemed like a ghost town. There was nobody around.

The intersection of Ala Moana Street (Not Boulevard in Honolulu) and Front Street in Lahaina.

I have a Hawaii Driver's License, but I don't know what this sign means. It reads, "Speed Table" and has those lines painted on the road. I am sure it means to drive slow. If I were playing a video game like Super Mario Cart or something, I would think it means to GO FAST. Weird. Why not just have a sign say, "Drive Slowly" like everywhere else on the island.

Brunch in Kihei. Cafe' O'Lei is located at 2439 South Kihei Road and their phone number is 808-891-1368. The food there was good. Our tab was about $24. I had the Crispy Chicken and Kelli had the Maui Onion Soup and Manoa Lettuce Wraps. One thing to mention is the menu descriptions were not very accurate in my opinion. The chicken I ordered was described to be fried chicken with "Roasted Pepper Sauce", but this was just a sweet chili pepper sauce that is normally served with Vietnamese foods and Kelli's "Manoa Lettuce Wraps" actually was like a butter lettuce not "Manoa Lettuce". Luckily, the food tasted good so it didn't matter that the descriptions were inaccurate. It may seem like a small thing to others, but just think what if the "Maui Onion Soup" was actually made with onions from Texas or like that place that is not in Napa Valley making that wine called Napa Valley wine. It's just not right.

This is Iao Needle in Wailuku or Iao Valley.

This guys camera better be taking better pictures than my Samsung Mobile Phone Camera!!! (These Pics are all from my phone!)

Too many pictures, just take a look at the slideshow version below.

On our flight back, the airport was "Threat Level Orange". I don't know if this is higher than when we flew there, but it was pretty hectic at OGG (Maui). Not only that, the TSA guy claimed that the 3 ounce bottles in the ziplock quart bag are supposed to be labeled! Kelli's dad has a distribution business and supplies places like Longs Drugs and Don Quijote. This product is one that he provides. It's a quart size ziplock bag with generic bottles in it that are all 3 ounce or under for TSA traveling rules. No where in the rules does it say the bottles have to be labeled! Anyway, I told Kelli to just throw them away. No sense check our bags in and go through this thing again. No response yet from Maui TSA about why we weren't permitted to take this through except that it's at "the discretion of the TSA Officer".
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