Maui…Wowie, Part 2 (A Whale of a Good Time)

The whale is the largest mammal, but as George says, “It doesn’t have to be”—Seinfeld

We spent a week on Maui…

Knowing what I know now about Maui, the above statement is all you need to know. Maui is a US destination that has it all, scenery, climate, beautiful beaches, mountains, hiking, adventure, great food, and for a few wonderful weeks out of the year in the winter…HUMPBACK WHALES!

I really didn’t expect much out of these large sea mammals. I equated seeing whales to watching dolphins on my many other trips to the beaches. Now that I have seen whales, it’s like watching a high school baseball game (dolphins) versus watching a major league baseball game (whales). I can’t imagine going back to Maui when the whales aren’t there, but rest assured there are many other things to keep you enthralled on this Hawaiian Island.

To say Mrs. Big Surf and I were mesmerized by these beautiful creatures would be an understatement. We watched them for hours on the patio of our condo, watched them on our beach walks, and went on a whale-watching tour.

When not watching whales, all we had to see was glorious sunsets, wonderful beaches, snorkeling among the reefs with sea turtles, an extinct volcano, and hidden waterfalls that are only known to millions of tourists (but still seemed untouched).

Before we delve any further into this blog, I realize this can be akin to watching someone else’s home movies from years past. At least if you get bored you can just click out.

The following are some of the photos of whales from afar with my telephoto lens. The title photo was from our whale-watching tour.

When whales jump out of the water it is called a “breach” and it is an impressive sight.

You also want to see a whale tail sighting.

This is an early morning shot of a mama and her baby.

Sometimes you just get a wave “hello”.

This whale came close to the shore in a bay on Sugar Beach one morning.

I would have liked to have traded places with this adventurous paddle-boarder. I was lazily on my patio drinking coffee when I took this photo.

We took a drive up to the top of the Haleakala crater to see the sunset because the Big Surfs are not morning folks. This gave us the day to go to Kahalui and get a carryout lunch from Tinroof and take it to Ka’a point and have a picnic.

The top of the mountain is over 10,000 feet. The drive up to the crater is impressive, however Mrs. Big Surf was a bit anxious due to her imagined, crippling thoughts of my ineptness behind the wheel and lack of guard rails.

You do have to enter the Haleakala National Park and pay a fee. If you get there early, which I recommend, you can hike in the crater.

The following photos are views of the summit of Haleakala…

The sunset above the clouds.

Coming back to sea level, we enjoyed the pristine beaches and sunshine of Maui. Beautiful beaches are everywhere on Maui because, you know, it is an island.

These are a few photos of the beaches on Maui…

Sugar Beach in Kihei with the island of Lanai in the background.

The rocks and reefs of Wakupu Beach in Wailea were great for snorkeling or just relaxing.

Sugar Beach

Sugar Beach

Beautiful and serene Ka’a Point outside of Kahalui on the north shore of Maui.

The beach at Ka’a Point.

Moss growing on the reefs on Sugar Beach.

We did not drive the road to Hana because we did not want to invest the time or car ride it takes to make the drive. Instead we went a short way, through the quaint town of Paia. This would be a great town to spend an afternoon exploring the shops.

A few miles outside of Paia on the Hana road is a trail to the Twin Falls. This is a short hike to a hidden pool with two waterfalls. I took a little swim here in the cold water under the falls, so cool…literally and experientially.

Twin Falls was a great destination for a short hike.

Bamboo trees seen on the hike to Twin Falls.

Old surfboard fence outside of Paia.

Mrs. Big Surf and I are not daredevilish by any means. Our big adventure at this point in our life is standing in line for food we have never tried. That being said, Maui gives the adventurer plenty of sea activities. The following photos are just an example of what awaits you if you so dare…

Everyone seemed to be sailors.

These lift foil boards would be fun. If you knew how to do it.

This could be fun if you were in the back and didn’t have to paddle.

Kayaks are very popular on Maui.

My favorite paddle-boarder.

Sunset walks are about as daring as I want to be now.

The island of Molokai is a short ferry ride from Lahaina.

Maui is a destination that should be considered for any vacation, if you don’t mind long plane trips. Adventure and relaxation awaits the travelers to this idyllic spot in the Pacific.

So one last sunset…

So, Aloha until Big Surf takes another trip or has a memorable meal or wants to show more home movies of the kids…

Not Mr. and Mrs. Big Surf but would have been a good ending.

Maui…Wowie! (part 1)Food !

I believe Hawaii is the most precious jewel in the world—Don Ho

With my apologies to Chuck Mangione, the title of this blog was how Mrs. Big Surf and I felt the whole week we were in Maui.

This blog is about the food we ate in Maui, other blogs to follow will entail the rest of our trip because with me the food is the most important part of the trip.

I’m sorry, but this blog is lengthy because I eat a lot. And since Hawaii was still in the throes of Covid protection, most of our food was take-out and styrofoam and plastic doesn’t photograph as well as fine china.

Now realize I researched many restaurants on all parts of the island and was ready to put my eating plan in action on the first day. So no matter where we were on Maui, I had multiple restaurants on my radar. Until we discovered….FOOD TRUCKS!!!!

We did sit down in a few restaurants, but due to Covid, if you needed reservations, some were hard to come by. Also I discovered the Maui sunset from our patio on the beach. So whenever a restaurant was marketing their sunset view, and somewhat elevated prices, and the wait for reservations, the option of a delicious meal from one of these food trucks looked a lot better. We just took the food back to our patio for our own private table to view a sunset like the one in the above photo, taken from our patio on Sugar Beach.

Day one started with an early breakfast pick up from Sugar Beach Bake Shop in Kihei. They have incredible malasadas, a Portuguese fried dough. Think of a solid cream-filled doughnut. We had these every morning. I also picked up some good coffee at the Java Cafe in the Azeka Mall in Kihei.

These malasadas were simple and delicious.

We had an early lunch from the OAO Sushi Go food truck. We had the Hawaiian Poke Bowl, the best thing we ate all week. We enjoyed this dish so much, we went back two more times for the poke bowl. We also got some wonderful sushi here during our last day, the Black Mamba roll…so good.

This Hawaiian Poke Bowl from OAO Sushi Go was the best thing we ate all week.

This Black Mamba sushi roll from OAO Sushi Go was really, really good.

We had a late lunch or an early dinner in Kahului. We stopped for carry out at Tin Roof, operated by Top Chef finalist, Sheldon Simeon. This was great food for a picnic at beautiful Ka’a Point on the north shore and a great starting point for our sunset viewing trip up to Hakalekulae Crater.

This pork belly was such a good dish, pork belly Kao Kao tin, from Tin Roof.

The Missus allowed me one of her pork belly spice wraps from Tin Roof. I was glad she did.

Day two in Maui started with another visit to a food truck, this time for coffee. Kraken Coffee served very good coffee for me and decaf for Mrs. Big Surf, this was a common stop for coffee.

After watching whales all morning and sitting on the beach, we worked up another appetite and decided to visit another food truck and eat in the setting provided for the food trucks behind the Azeka Shopping Center.

We had lunch at Vidad Local Kine Grindz food truck. We split an order of very tasty fried calamari and dry main noodles with braised short rib and had a ginger lemonade. Grindz is a local word for food.

The fried calamari and dry main noodles with braised short rib was a really nice lunch from Vidad’s.

Earlier in the morning, I stopped at Maui Farmer’s Market in Kihei and picked up some fruit, pineapple jam, and great homemade guacomole.

We couldn’t pull ourselves away from the beach and watching the whales and the sunset so we had an evening sunset meal of assorted goodies from the purchases of the day.

The Farmer’s Market Maui in Kihei had wonderful fresh fruit and very good homemade guacomole.

On day three, we went to Lahaina for a whale watching tour and had a great time. Afterward we stopped in Lahaina for lunch at Down the Hatch. Mrs. Big Surf enjoyed her fish tacos and I had a delicious local fish and fries. Very good lunch in a busy tourist town, but was really good.

On the way back to our condo in Kihei, we stopped for some fresh homemade pies at Leoda’s. This was a great idea. The pies were a delight, especially the key lime.

Fish tacos from Down the Hatch is a good choice.

If you are in the mood for some fried fish, I recommend the fresh fried fish and fries from Down the Hatch.

Satisfy your sweet tooth for some of Leoda’s homemade pies, these were coconut cream and key lime.

I highly recommend a stop at Leoda’s outside of Lahaina on the way to Kihei.

Lunch on day four was at a local favorite in Kihei, Nalu’s South Shore Grill in the Azeka shopping center. It was a good lunch menu, however Mrs. Big Surf called an audible and went for the late breakfast since she could not pass up the banana pancakes and I must say they were impressive. Big Surf on the other hand went for the raw salad to show his sensitive side.

These banana pancakes at Nalu’s were special.

The raw salad at Nalu’s is beautiful and great for a light lunch.

After snorkeling at beautiful Wakapu Beach in Wailea, we stopped for some take-out from highly recommended Paia Fish Market. We split an order of seafood pasta and clam chowder and headed back to the our patio for another Maui sunset.

This seafood pasta from Paia’s Fish Market is so good and was big enough to split for two people. The clam chowder was also delicious.

On day five of our week in Maui, we traveled north and hiked to Twin Falls. On the way back we found a roadside fruit stand and a huli huli chicken stand beside each other. The fruit and the fruit juices were so good and fresh.

Huli huli chicken is a Maui staple, often seen at roadside stands, if you are able to get some, by all means eat some of this. We love to sample local delicacies and traditional food when we travel and huli huli chicken is one of those traditions.

This lovely fruit stand outside of Paia was a great place to find fresh fruits and juices and the bonus was the huli huli chicken.

After consuming guava jelly most of my adult life, this was the first time I had ever seen fresh guavas in the wild. Now I understand my love of guava jelly.

Star fruit and passion fruit from our stop at the roadside fruit stand.

More fruit from our fruit stand purchases, mangoes and guavas. The pineapple and orange we got at the local grocery store. Don’t judge, the pineapples were local, fresh and cheap. We ate pineapple every day for breakfast.

We saved the huli huli chicken for a sunset dinner and stopped at the food trucks in Kahului for lunch. We settled on Aloha Thai Fusion. The missus ordered garlic shrimp and I ordered the Thai drunken noodles. We took back it back to our condo to consume. For some reason, I was given cashew chicken instead of the drunken noodles, but it was a very good mistake.

Though I was disappointed to not have the drunken noodles, the cashew chicken was delicious and also the garlic shrimp was scrumptious from Aloha Thai Fusion.

Day six was our last day in Maui and we finally got some Hawaiian shaved ice from Ululani’s.

Most of the blogs recommended Ululani’s for shaved ice and I have to agree. This is so refreshing and large enough that Mrs. Big Surf and I shared.

Our last meal was at Dinah’s sandwich shop at the Sugar Beach Resort. We didn’t feel like going anywhere, just wanted to stay on the beach and watch another sunset. We ordered a saimin, a traditional Hawaiian soup. I highly recommend this tasty Hawaiian staple for at least one meal while on Maui.

Dinah’s Sandwich Shop served a wonderful bowl of saimin.

Though most people don’t go to Maui for the food, you could. If you enjoy food as much as I, you can’t go wrong on Maui. This is a sample of a week’s worth of good food, not fine dining, but relatively inexpensive fare to enhance our week on Maui and I was not disappointed in any meal I was served. Part two of Maui…Wowie will be about all the other stuff we did on Maui.

Aloha and e hau’oli i kau mea’ai (bon appetit).