Maui, HI (Bienveberg Honeymoon Part 1)

September 21, 2015 by NJPainter

When we told people that we were honeymooning in Hawaii; a week in Maui and a week in Kauai, so many of them said, “Oh you’re going to love Kauai.”

We considered cutting Maui short or even skipping it altogether but I’m so glad we didn’t because MAUI IS AWESOME, Y’ALL. Kauai is awesome too, but that’s for the next post.

Maui is so great that it makes you forget about all the flying you endured to get there. And let me tell you, a 12+ hour trip with a 6 hour time difference is brutal.

But we adjusted quickly. It feels like you’ve discovered the secret to the way life should be lived; carefree, full of sunshine, morning yoga on the beach followed by a swim, lots of hiking, a fish-based diet and an early bedtime. I felt my shoulders relax more than I have in a long time on this trip.

And it’s a fascinating place! It smells so unique; sort of like the humid southern states mixed with sweeter florals and volcanic ash. Did you know that Hawaii is the most isolated set islands on earth? It’s further from another landmass than Bora Bora or Easter Island or any of those other remote places you’re thinking of. It’s also the only state that is currently growing. Volcanoes are the coolest.

Anyways, we landed in the middle of the night and woke up to this:

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We stayed in Paia the first night, a little town on the north shore, about 15 minutes from the airport that I would wholeheartedly recommend at least driving through. The shops are cute, there are several great restaurants and it’s filled with attractive, tan surfer people.

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After swinging by the Lao Valley State Park we headed to the Andaz in Wailea where we really slipped right into vacay mode. This was the perfect hotel for us; it was brand new, mostly adults and they really left all that cheesy Hawaiian luau / fake grotto/watered-down Mai Tai stuff at the door. It was super sleek but not stuffy and the pool side drink menu was excellent.
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On day 2 we drove up to the top of the Haleakala Crater to watch the sunset and partake in an astronomy tour which was – nerd alert – so cool. It was sort of like landing on Mars and seeing the sky from space. (Also, it was about 40 degrees by the time the sun set, in case you’re wondering why we’re bundled up).

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We had a few extra days of poolside lounging (rough)…
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And then we popped the top off our Jeep and embarked on the infamous Road to Hana!
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As we were warned, it was full of cliff-drop hairpin turns, but so much fun. We essentially spent the day trapped in a car commercial…

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We stopped at the Twin Falls farm stand (mile marker 2), got some sugar cane juice and swam under it’s falls:
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Hiked around the Waikamoi Ridge Trail (mile marker 9.5):
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Pit stopped at the Wailua Valley State Wayside:
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And ended at the Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach (which was closed for swimming due to high tide – but stunning none the less):
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You get the idea… it was spectacular day!
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We opted to actually stay in Hana for our last two days in Maui, which we learned was not a common thing people do. I just couldn’t imagine driving that road TWICE in one day. Plus, there was a few fun spots on the east coast of the island that we wanted to explore. It’s a really small town so the dinner options weren’t so great but our B&B was excellent:
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Despite this (terrifying) neighbor who set up shop right outside the bedroom window:
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On day 6 we hiked the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park which was FULL of wonderful (dangerous?) twists and turns like this enormous climbing tree, a bamboo forest, two huge waterfalls and natural pools to swim in!

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And on the very last day in Maui – when we had to drive the road from Hana, back to the airport to catch a flight to Kauai – we found this secret little red sand beach down a narrow mountainside trail that Barry loved so much. We both wished we could have brought a picnic and spent the day swimming around here.


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It has to be said, we had gotten really good at capturing BARRY + LAURÉN + LANDSCAPE selfies by this point (this is Ho’okipa Beach Park).

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The week seemed to fly by but you know what cures the blues from your week in Maui ending? A week in Kauai ahead! Stay tuned.

MAUI RECOMMENDATIONS

TO STAY:
* Paia Inn

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* Andaz at Maui
* Hana Guesthouse

TO EAT:
* Anthony’s Coffee in Paia (where we learned what an Acai bowl is)

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* Paia Bay Coffee
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* Morimoto (inside the Andaz hotel)
* Ka’ana Kitchen (inside the Andaz hotel)
* Mama’s Fish House

TO DO:
* Lao Valley State Park
* Maui Stargazing
* The Road to Hana
* Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park / Seven Sacred Pools
* Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach in Hana