McKay Family

Our Trip to Maui - December 2nd to 16th, 2011

View Maui Pictures Slideshow


We arrived after a very long (~19 hours) day of travel. I am not a great traveler and I pretty much collapsed when we got to the condo. Nice little place but the stress of the day and the length just about did it for me. Some day when teleporters are created I will be a much better traveler. I had a number of firsts today, 1. the smallest plane I have ever been on and the only one with propellers. 2. The largest plane I was ever on.


The first was kinda cool. I had never been on a Dash 8 before but we ended up on one going from Vancouver to Seattle. It wasn't as bad as I thought, even when the one propeller didn't start with the first propeller. It was a fairly empty flight and while they offered me to have my own row, so I could look out the window, I declined. I was really happy that I did as the landing was kinda bumpy.

The second was that from Seattle to Hawaii we were flying in a 737-800. The seat booking page showed us a plane that was 3 seats by 3 seats by 3 seats, but when we boarded , no such luck, it was a little longer but, still not a lot bigger than our 737's. Well, I guess bigger is bigger. It was a long, bumpy, hot trip from Seattle and I just about lost it a few times. The only other time I was in more turbulence was when we went to San Diego and flew into Denver over the mountains. When you least expected it the plane was like being in an elevator, and your stomach couldn't keep up. There were a few times I felt almost weightless as the plane changed altitude. I guess all in all it wasn't too bad, according to Derrick and the fact we didn't crash.

The first few days

December 3rd

Woke up this morning to sun and the sound of birds. Looked around the Condo, since I didn't last night, and it is a quaint little place. Thomas is on the hide-a-bed which is about 3 feet from the end of our bed. It is a studio condo but really not bad. Today is stock up day, time to shop for groceries and make sure we have what we need to feed the teenager. We were happy when we found the condo as we couldn't afford 2 weeks except having this at the lower cost. I am happy making my own coffee and most of the food as long as everyone pitches in it won't be onerous.

December 4th

This is a get your bearings day. Derrick is getting use to the POS Jeep Patriot, and we did a little driving to see what was around us. Of course, we slept in a bit but as we are 2 hours earlier than the yukon, I was awkae at 7 am Hawaii time and decide that reading with coffee for the first few hours is appropriate.

We also checked out the Kamaole beaches this afternoon. They are nice and there were not so many people it made me not want to be there. Thomas took a belly board and played in the water for a little bit. It ended up being a people watching couple of hours. We then managed to find a Radio Shack that we could get Pay as you go phones. This gave us the ability to get a SIM card for Derrick's phone and a phone for Thomas.

December 5th

We went to the Maui Ocean Center today... a.k.a the Aquarium. This was the highlight of my trip so far... I love looking at tropical fish, whether in an aquarium or in the wild. They have a lot of amazing fish here, but not as much invertabrates as I thought. I guess I will have to see how many there are in the ocean. I have decided that the sharks, while cool, are not my favoriate, I prefer the colorful fish, anenomes, shrimp... over all of them. We got a couple of presents at the gift store, but we are being fairly selective as we will be back in time for Christmas and want to make sure we get what we think people may really like.

We went an rented Thomas a mountian bike this afternoon as well. We decided that he needed to be a little independant and that everything is close enough for him to ride to. He rode it home, then proceeded to sit in the hot tub and give himself a good case of cook the teenager. He layed on the couch with a headache until we sent him to a cold shower, then he was much better. We had a long discussion on making sure you don't get dehydrated and how to prevent sunstroke.

December 6th

Well, finally today was a day to sit in the sun. I choose the beach across from our condo (Kalepolepo Park) and Derrick was pool side. This was the first morning I didn't go overboard with the sunscreen and I think it shows in the pictures. I had Derrick take one of my back, it doesn't hurt and it will turn fairly quickly as I think i caught it before it got really bad. Looks worse than it is for all of us.

The first week

December 7th

This was mostly a sun day. We sat around the pool for a while, then we went down to South Kihei to do a little sight seeing. We wound up at Kam2 Beach Park, and then went for tacos at Fred's Mexican Restaurant. Wonderful food, an awesome sunset, and nursing some sunburns after the day.

December 8th

Took a drive today to Lahaina and Kaanapali. Saw the 150 year old Banyan Tree in Lahaina, and braved the tourist traps on Front Street. Drove up the coast to Kaanapali after that and had lunch at one of the ritzier restaurants on the beach (after sneaking through the yard of one of the swanky hotels to get there). Word to the wise: research your parking options in Kaanapali before going. It's pretty much a resort town, and there isn't much other than resorts that we could find.

December 9th

This was another one of the laid-back beach days... We drove south through Wailea (BIG expensive houses.. the farther south you drive, the more elaborate the houses). We went to "Big Beach" and wandered around. Any beach is a good beach in Maui!

December 10th

Another beach wandering day. The only difference was that we watched Thomas take his surfing lesson. He didn't do too bad, but there was such a strong headwind coming off the beach, that the people would just get up on top of the wave, and the wind would bring them to a stop. Thomas got his "surfing pictures" though, and could have gone back later for some free time with the gear, but I guess he wasn't that interested... He never went back. The rest of the day was... guess... beach time.

The last week

December 11th

We went into Kahului to do some shopping, and wound up at a couple of the malls there. We didn't bother going back to the zoo called Costco, but found a couple of other interesting places. Thomas wanted to shop for clothes and other stuff, so we spent most of the day just roaming around.

December 12th

It was kind of cloudy, so we decided to roam around Kihei and check out some of the small markets there. We didn't buy much, but a few knick-knacks for people (just so that we could have tangible proof of a trip to Hawaii I guess).

December 13th

A whole lot of beach time today... We topped it off at Fred's for "Taco Tuesday". Stuffed ourselves with huge tacos, drank mucho margaritas, and for 3 of us it only cost about $60. Ended the day with another fantastic Maui sunset.

December 14th

Spent the day lounging around the pool and soaking up sun. In the evening we drove up to Lahaina for the luau that we had booked. This was the quintessenitial Hawaiian experience. Huge meal, free drinks, scantily clad servers, hula show, and of course, the beautiful Hawaiian sunset that went on during the evening. Once in a lifetime experience. We enjoyed it, but I don't think we'd do it again by ourselves. It would be a gas with a group of friends though.

December 15th

This was the busiest day we had. We (Cheryl and I) got up at 3am to make the drive to Mount Haleakala to witness the "spiritual experience" of the sunrise. I was skeptical about how nice it could be, but I was game for the trip. We drove in pitch black up the side of the volcano, twisting and turning through many, many 90 degree turns that took us from sea level to just over 10,000 feet above sea level. The last 14 miles takes you up 7000 feet alone. Talk about ears popping, and doing a little gasping as your body tries to get used to the elevation. Once we got there, there was so many people there before us (this was about 5am)we had to search for a spot beside the rim. We stood around for about an hour just so we wouldn't lose our spot. The temperature was only about 10 degrees celsius, which doesn't sound bad, but once the sun started touching the clouds on the horizon, it wasn't long before a wind started, and the wind chill was brutal.There was a lot of frosty people standing around like it was Antarctica. Cheryl and I fared better, but it was still chilly.

Once the sun started rising people stopped and just watched. At the precise moment the sun broke over the horizon, the park warden broke out into a chilling and moving traditional Hawaiian greeting to the sun. Even most of the silly young people quieted down to take in the moment.

OK... I have to admit, it was pretty awesome. I filmed the whole thing, and will put it up when I get the rest of my files sorted out. After the sun rose, Cheryl and I made our way up to the very top, and just drank in the view. It was awe inspriring to see almost the entire west side of Maui from one spot. I think this view was what sold me on Maui as my favourite spot yet.

This wasn't all though. After driving down the mountain (which almost made Cheryl sick from the roller coaster like road in daylight), we headed up to the North shore of Maui. I had read about "Jaws", which is the one spot where the geography of Maui amplifies incoming waves, and it's the only place where you see 70 foot waves. This is the place where Duke Kahanamoku (the Hawaiian surfing legend) was the only person to have actually surfed one of these monsters. We got some pictures, but on this day the waves weren't quite right, but we got some pictures of dozens of surfers tackling 20 footers at a different spot just west of there.

After that, we headed back to the condo to get some last minutes sun, and then started packing.

December 16th

Not much to say... Last morning trip to Starbucks for coffee, and then we finished packing and left for the airport. It was kind of nifty to go into an airport that, well, we didn't have to actually go into, because there were really no walls until you got past security. About the last thing that happened before we got on the plane back to the frozen north, was that when the plane arrived that we were going to be on, Cheryl's aunt and uncle, and her cousin, go off the plane to just start their holiday. Cheryl squealed and jumped up and down (I thought that some of those crazy airport cops were going to tazer her) and ran to her relatives. After a quick few words, they departed one way, and us the other way.

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