Maui (Part 3) & Back to the Mainland

After our brief stay at Camp Olowalu, we headed for the city of Lahina. We became hungry and had time to kill before we could check into our next hotel so we found a really nice shaded picnic area at Waihikuli beach.

Niner had a 6-pack of the local brew, Primo, chilling in the cooler since the day before, so we enjoyed some cold ones and watched the waves for a while. We even watched a sea turtle scare two pre-teen boys out of the water.


Then we checked into The Royal Lahaina resort and we instantly felt like we were in a relaxing, tropical paradise! We freshened up and left to grab some dinner.

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We had heard good things about the Hula Grill so we decided to eat there. Our table was beachside, under some palm trees. We shared a couple of appetizers in order to save room for their popular desert – the baked Hawaii, which is pineapple upside-down cake, Tahitian vanilla ice cream, and toasted meringue, caramel rum sauce. Yum!

Sunset was approaching, so we headed back to the resort. We grabbed the cameras and walked to the resort’s private beach to watch the sun plunge into the ocean. We also did a bit of wading into the perfectly refreshing water. Then we took a quick dip into the pool and called it a night.

The next morning, we rented some snorkel gear and then had a quick lunch at a fresh fish market/cafe. We shared a big bowl seafood chowder and a seared furikake ahi tuna steak.

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The equipment rental employee recommended that we hit up Napili beach. The area was really crowded and it took us a while to find a parking spot. When we finally made it to the beach it was packed with people and the waves were really rough. Niner is the better swimmer, so she decided to check out the water to see if the waves were too rough..and they were. The waves were so rough that they ripped open the velcro pouch on Niner’s swim shorts and the key to the rental car along with her driver’s license were lost at sea. Terribleness! We were without phones, money, everything!

DB went into one of the beachside hotels and they were extraordinarily helpful. They let us use their front desk phone, gave us drinking water, and let us use their restroom. Next time we go to Maui we will be staying at the Napili Surf Beach Resort because of their amazing customer service!

This is where our AAA membership really came in handy! As you can imagine, there aren’t too many tow truck companies on the island of Maui, so we ended up waiting a while. In addition to having to wait to be picked up, we had to have the car towed 1/2 way across the island in “rush hour”traffic. Thankfully, the driver was really nice because we spent a lot of time together. Once the car was turned in to the rental place, we paid the exorbitant lost key fee, and they gave us a new rental car, the sun had set and our last full day in Maui was gone. It was time for a drink!

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Our friend Marvin, told us about a marvelous beverage called pineapple wine. Yes, wine made from pineapples! We called the liquor store closest to the rental car place and purchased a bottle of pineapple wine.

We decided to spend the evening in Kahului rather than drive back to the Napili area to check in to our next hotel with empty tummies. We made our way to Da Kitchen for a long-overdue dinner. That meal was outstanding. We really enjoyed the Korean Chicken and their signature deep fried Spam musabi.

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After dinner, we needed a sweet treat. When the two of us think of Hawaiian desert we always think of the malasadas (Portuguese donuts) we had at the famous Leonard’s on Oahu. So, DB did some research and found Home Maid Bakery and luckily it was still open (which is amazing because stuff closes early on Maui). There were a few folks waiting for their orders because the bakery makes the malasadas fresh! We put in our order: two regular and two cream filled. Once we got those delightful doughy pillows of joy into our mouths we almost (almost) forgot about the towing nightmare! Well, we think of it this way… we were only able to have the malasadas because we were in the area because of the location of the car rental place. If you are in Maui, we highly recommend the cream filled malasadas from Home Maid Bakery!

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With full and happy tummies we headed to our hotel to check in and what do you know… it was across the street from where we lost the keys! Anywhoo, we got into the room and cracked open that bottle of pineapple wine and had a good time and a very good sleep.

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When we woke up early the next morning we decided to return to the scene of the crime – the Napili beach. We were hoping to maybe get some use out of our snorkel gear and see at least one fish, but it was not meant to be. The water was surprisingly cold and the waves were still too rough. Regardless, it was nice to be there so early to make some of first footprints in the sand.


We packed up our stuff, returned our snorkel gear, and headed to the airport to get there early knowing that Niner would need an additional security screening. Since Niner’s ID was somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, she would have to subject herself to additional security screenings in order to get on the plane. And the folks at the Maui airport really hooked her up. It was invasive and it took place right next to the carry-on x-ray machine for all to see. On top of that, they lost her boarding pass and she had to jump through hoops (thankfully, only figuratively) to get a new one.

DB ended up in a different line for screening and missed what Niner now calls her “weird, free, airport massage.” When we finally settled in at our boarding gate, several folks came up to Niner and offered their sympathy for what she went through. One fellow commended Niner for her patience and said that he was angry about the way she was treated. DB mentioned that she had not witnessed it and he looked her in her face and proclaimed, “it was terrible!”

Thankfully, terrible stayed at the airport and we had a pleasant flight back to San Jose. We were very happy to be reunited with our Becky and are forever grateful to our good friends Marc & Marvin for taking care of her for us and for their hospitality!

The next day, Niner woke up early to go to the DMV to get a new Driver’s License. When she got back to Marc & Marvin’s we did some laundry and packed up. Marvin came home from work and we chatted with him for a bit before we headed out to have dinner with Niner’s cousin and Auntie.

We met up with Niner’s cousin Lisa, her 2-year-old son, and her mom, Niner’s Auntie Kayoko, at Yakitori West. The place was picked out by Niner’s Auntie, who is Japanese so she knows whats up. It was so good. The sashimi was incredibly fresh! We were so busy enjoying the food and conversation we forgot to take pictures of the food! It was so nice to have some traditional Japanese food and to catch up with our family. Huge thanks to cousin Lisa for treating us to an amazing dinner!

We then hit the road for the long drive out to Lassen National Park. We made it to our campsite after midnight, set up camp, and were so tired we slept in our clothes.

Our next post will be about our adventures in the incredible Lassen National Park in Northern California!