Sunday morning, we boarded the Four Winds II charter boat for some snorkeling and snuba, heading out into the water toward the Molokini crater awaiting our exploration. Sadly, the wind was such that the “weather permitting” caveat for that excursion meant we diverted to the Coral Gardens location, but we still enjoyed numerous colorful fish and a couple of large sea turtles that were close enough for me to reach out and touch (but I didn’t, because they’re protected animals, and such conduct is illegal).
The swimming and exploring underwater was great after I got over my trepidation about my young children being underwater and breathing through a tube for the first time in their lives. Being in wet clothes on a windy 70-something degree day was not great. I shook so violently that I could barely eat my bbq sandwich. The boat had a glass bottom section, so the children and I climbed below the main deck and watched fish through the glass after our lunch. As we headed back to shore, we saw several humpback whales and dolphins surface above the ocean waters around us, except our boy, who was focused on talking up one of the female crew members and helping her accomplish various tasks at the back of the boat while imparting all his marine wildlife knowledge upon her, such as the varying gestation periods for sharks.
Since we were already wet, we went back to the hotel pool, and I had the bright idea to try and film the ride down the faster of the 2 tallest water slides, except the force of hitting the water caused the phone to leave my hand and spend a minute or 2 at the bottom of the pool, but luckily, the iphone 8 is water resistant, and it still worked just fine!
That evening, we drove back up to Lahaina to attend the Old Lahaina Luau. We reserved this far enough in advance that we had front row seats and got to hit the food bar ahead of everyone else, and the smoked pig was delicious.
None of us had ever been to a luau before, and our research indicated this was the best one to see in Maui, so we felt it worth a 45-minute or so drive, despite the fact that our hotel had a luau we could have watched from our balcony. I think we made the right choice. The food, atmosphere, and staff were great. And did I mention how much I love smoked Hawaiian pig? My second plate of dinner was exclusively filled with it.
The next morning (Monday), I took the children to brunch at Kihei Caffe, a recommendation from my friend Dave, who’s been many times. I had some macadamia nut French toast with blueberries and bananas on it that were delicious, and we beat the enormous line by about 5 minutes. I brought some back to my bride, who’d volunteered to pack the kids’ bags while I distracted them with breakfast.
We flew home overnight, landing at like 6am in Atlanta, giving us just enough time for the children to go home and bathe for school, because we’re mean parents like that (my bride and I took a nap).
This was an amazing trip–we had the best meals I’ve ever had on a vacation, including our trip to France last summer. We saw a wide range of topography, people, and climate while exploring both coasts and the upcountry area in the center of the island. I’m beyond grateful for my bride’s diligent research of multiple tour books, websites, and personal recommendations to put together our itinerary of activities, lodging, and meals. She’s already hard at work putting together our next Pacific adventure: Japan in June!