Monday, May 6, 2013

Hula Grill, Maui, Hawaii

The Hula Grill is located in Whalers Village on the beach front. There are two dinning options, the dining room or the Barefoot Bar located on the beach. The Barefoot Bar has a better view and more wallet friendly prices.

We ate at the Barefoot Bar on our first visit to Hula Grill. Sam had a Long board and I enjoyed a Hana Hou. The Hana You is an iced tea type drink. It was so tasty that I didn't realize how much alcohol was in it until I was near the bottom of the glass. Be careful!

Sam had the burger and added bacon and blue cheese for $4. The burger was huge and came with a side of tasty fries (I of course had to try a few of those!).

I had the fish tacos which were accompanied with a side of chips and salsa. The chips were fresh and the salsa was slightly spicy, though not overly so. The fish was grilled not fried. There was some cabbage on the taco, but it was not over the top as seems to be the usual in SoCal. A good heaping of guac was also on the taco as well as a little sauce. I'm not sure what kind of sauce it was, but again it was just the right amount. Too often I find my tacos drenched in sauce that runs down my elbows. Thankfully this is not the case at Hula Grill.

We are looking forward to going back to Hula Grill. They have a happy hour from 3-5 that we would like to try out. There are a number of items on the pupu (appetizer) list that we would like to try (crab wontons, sashimi, calamari).

The sunset from the Barefoot Bar should be fantastic. If this rain let's up then we will be back again soon to see for ourselves.

No pictures this go round as we had a lunch date sans phones.

The Whaler at Ka'anapali Beach

The units here are individually owned at this Aston property. We stayed in 665. It is a studio with a nice ocean view as well as views of the mountains. The kitchen is equipped with a blender, coffee maker, wine opener and other essentials.

The room smelled a little funny, as do most places with carpet at a beach setting. Other than that we enjoyed the room. It was tastefully decorated. The bed was comfortable. The water pressure in the shower was good, however it did take a while for the water to warm up.

There is no restaurant or bar on the premises, however it is located next to Whalers Village which has 3 restaurants and plenty of shops.

There is also a full kitchen including an electric stove, microwave and full sized fridge. We saved a lot of money by eating in for 2-3 meals a day.

A short stroll on the beach or beach side trail brings you to Black Rock. There is fantastic snorkeling here. We saw plenty of tropical fish and one large sea turtle.

This is also a great spot to explore Lahaina. There is a shuttle that costs $2 a trip and leaves from Whalers Village next door. You must pay in cash and be sure to have exact change. A bus pass can be purchased for use during the day at a cost of $4.

Stay tuned for Sam's video of the under water life. 

Hale Huanani B&B, Maui, Hawaii

We found this little gem via Trip Advisor. It had great reviews and I was impressed by all the little extras mentioned. We were not disappointed.

This is the perfect location for exploring the south, north and east sides of the island. It is a short drive from beaches, restaurants and shops. From this location we easily explores Haleakala National Park, The Road to Hana, and the southern beaches and towns.

Susan and Chuck offer great recommendations as to where to go, what to see and where to eat. Chuck recommended going going to Eskimo Candy for our first dinner in Maui and we were very impressed. Eskimo Candy also has a selection of uncooked seafood (fresh and frozen) that you can carry out and prepare at home.

We stayed in the cottage and there was a large grill for our use on our own patio. Unfortunately we were too busy exploring to make use of it.

The bed was comfortable, the shower was hot and had good water pressure, there was an abundance of extra towels. There were also so many little extras that really added up to make our stay so enjoyable.

There was a little basket of travel sized toiletries and two regular sized toothbrushes under the sink. A large bar of Dove and Irish Spring each for use at the sink or shower.

Also for our use was a ton of beach gear including coolers, snorkel gear, an umbrella, beach bags and more. We used the cooler daily in an effort to save cash by not eating out all day.

Speaking of food, Susan prepared lovely breakfasts each morning. If we were out exploring early we would find fresh fruit neatly packaged in our fridge. The one morning we were there late enough to enjoy the spread we were so pleased. We had fresh from the oven banana bread, melon, clementines, and kiwi. It was delicious! The patio was a nice play to start planning our day while enjoying breakfast.

There was also a gallon jug of POG in the fridge upon our arrival. If you are not familiar with POG its a juice made of passion, orange and guava juices. It tastes great and went well with breakfast.

The resident cat, Mike, was a delight to see each night upon our return to the cottage. We would find him waiting for us when we pulled up. He really runs the place. We enjoyed letting him in and out of the cottage as well as petting him while we planned out our next day.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay at The Hale Huanani. I would definitely recommend this B&B if you are headed to Maui. You will not be disappointed.  Our only regret was not choosing to stay longer to enjoy this great cottage.

Please note, this was written from my phone and is thus hard to edit. I will revisit this upon returning to the mainland. I apologize for the lack of organization at this time.

Kimo's, Maui, Hawaii

We arrived at Kimo's in the rain. There were a slew of others there due to the weather.  It was before dinner and we wanted to grab a spot at the bar.  After stalking around for 5 minutes, we grabbed a spot when a group left. 

The things I love about this place: 
  • Location: On Front Street. On the Beach. Great patio. 
  • Happy Hour: 3-5 PM: great app specials (many are around $5) and drink specials. 
  • Friendly, attentive (and attractive!) staff
  • Good food and drinks
We enjoyed the calamari appetizer as well as the coconut shrimp app.  Both were great, but we loved the dip with the shrimp app the best. 

It was Cinco De Mayo, so of course we had to try a margarita.  Or two. They were great! 

For my next drink I tried an Island Sunset which is peach and strawberries blended with vodka and peach schnapps. Delicious!  Sam tried a Mai Tai, but was not impressed by the sweetness and the intense amount of alcohol.  No problem they comp'd the drink and he ordered a Longboarder instead.  

If you are in the area, I strongly suggest checking out Kimo's.  Preferably during happy hour.  With some sunshine.  Though it really wasn't that bad in the rain.  


Hooks under the bar for your bag: 

Island Sunset: 
Margaritas: Happy Cinco De Mayo!
Calamari app/pupu: 
Sweet, strong Mai Tai: 
Coconut shrimp pupu: 
Sam enjoying the coconut shrimp: 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Aloha from Maui!

We arrived in Maui yesterday morning. We loved the island even as seen from the old airport. The airport is open and you can feel the breeze as you make your way to get your baggage.

Our first stop was a farmers market. There are several across the island on various days of the week. The first was located at a mall. We drove around the entire mall never seeing anything that looked like a market.

We decided to leave and head to another location a few minutes away. Also at a mall. This time I decided to park and head to the shops. The market was in a court yard in the middle of the shops. There were vendors with flowers, leis, pastries and loads of fruit and veggies. The only fruits and veggies we recognized were bananas (they are small as they aren't pumped with hormones) and tomatoes.

At the mall, we were able to use my Ben & Jerry's coupon for a free scoop!  It was the most pathetic Ben & Jerry's I have ever seen.  They only had about 4 flavors of ice cream and 4 flavors of greek yogurt.  The guy behind the counter was friendly enough to make up for the lack of ice cream options. We learned from him that it takes the ice cream 4-6 weeks to make it's way from Vermont to Maui!  If you plan on visiting New England, please be sure to visit the Ben & Jerry's Factory.  They have free tours with free ice cream at the end. But, I digress, that's another trip!

Next up we stopped at Maui Tacos for a quick bite. I thought the grilled fish taco was a little pricey at around $5. It did come with chips and there was a great salsa bar.  I liked the corn salsa which was slightly sweet and the mild and hot salsas mixed together.

We then tested out the water at Kam III and took a nap.  After applying loads of sunscreen of course!  We then checked into the B&B and got some great recommendations on local restaurants.

Now to bed early to make it to sunrise at the crater on time!