Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Maui Travel Tips

A year ago we planned a trip to Hawaii to relax and enjoy a little one on one time.  Little did we know that our Daisy girl would make a surprise into our lives a month after planning our trip. Ha ha...I guess that's life right?  Due to breastfeeding she was invited on our trip.  So everything in this here travel tip post is ALL baby accommodating and family friendly.

I feel like I spent hours and hours researching activities to do on Maui and things to eat.  After all the research, we put it to the test and tried so many of the things suggested, and I have to admit that most of them were a huge hit!  So I've broken it all down in hopes that it makes it a bit easier to plan your Maui vacation and hit up all the wonderful, and beautiful, things the island has to offer.  First most important. *wink wink*


The food on Maui is more than delicious.  The seafood is usually caught that morning making it the most fresh and tasty.  So even if you're one who doesn't like fish, I dare you to just taste it while you're on the island...cause you might just change your mind.  Here are a few restaurants we absolutely loved...

Barefoot Cafe,  Hana Maui

While Driving the road to Hana we took a wrong turn and ended up at a cute little beach off the beaten path.  Locals were enjoying the sun with their families and having a bite by this small cafe...which is the epitome of a "whole in the wall" restaurant.  Don't let that deter you though.  This place was YUM!  Above is a picture of what I sadly had to share with the hubs.  I seriously wish I could've licked the plate clean it was that good.  Nothing beats a Wasabi Tempura Mahi cooked to order and eating it right on the beach.

Kihei Caffe,  Kihei Maui
Breakfast was a rough one for us to find...especially with baby Daisy.  Having her with us meant we woke up at 4:00 am everyday and we were all starving.  Thankfully we stopped by a local grocer to pick up some breakfast snacks to hold us over, but after we found Kihei Caffe we were all a bit bummed we hadn't eaten there every morning.  They open at 5:00 am for all us early birds and serve some of the yummiest and filling goods to start your day.  From sweet to savory it was a win.  Our recommendations include eggs benedict, pork fried rice and eggs, and huevos rancheros.

Wow Wow Lemonade, Kihei Maui
Another perfect breakfast stop.  Super fresh lemonade and the yummiest of acai bowls.  Piled high with fruits found on the island. Make sure to buy a glass tumbler to take home with you as a souvenir.   I've been sipping on ice water from mine since our vacay.  

Sadly I was too busy eating all the food to get any more pictures but here are a few other awesome places we ate that you HAVE to check out while you're there.
Mama's Fish House, Paia Maui
Paia Fish Market, Paia Maui
MonkeyPod, Walea Maui
Pita Paradise, Walea Maui
Now on to the adventures.  I'm sure if you're planning a trip to Maui you've already heard about traveling down the windy road to Hana.  Well, I will happily agree with the rest of the world that it's something you can not miss.  It allows you to see the infinite beauty that lies on Maui.  Traveling from jungle to tropical, african desert and volcanic terrain, you see it all.  It's literally awe-inspiring.  We all stood at turn offs to take pictures and the only words that came to mind were "Holy Canoli". Ha ha. We were just that baffled by the beauty(and the beauty of my friend Kayti...amiright).
Before you head out on your adventure, keep in mind that there are soooo many stops you can take along the way on the road to Hana.  Look through the list HERE and pick and choose what you want to see/do.  Some of the stops require an entry fee so bring along enough cash just in case they don't take card.  Due to having Daisy with us, we skipped some of the hikes because the bugs are out of control. So first tip...bring bug spray.  We forgot this very important tip and got eaten alive at our first stop...bummer.  Don't make the same mistake we did. Also, here's tip number two, if you suffer at all from motion sickness, take some Dramamine an hour before you head out the door.  You'll thank me later for that one.  A few of the stops we loved, followed by their mile marker and cost (if any), were

Twin Falls (2) This was out first stop and we were devoured by mosquitoes.  Spray before you hike! There are two different hikes to the falls.  One is basically a small walk up to the first falls.  Then there's a longer hike up to the falls at the top.  Since we got eaten alive we skipped the second hike but after seeing pictures online of what we missed out on we wished we would have seen the upper falls.  So, definitely hike the rest of the way.
Upper Waikani Falls (19)  This waterfall is right off the road, so no need to stop if you don't want to but it's beautiful.  You'll pass it on your right but keep driving and you'll see a small parking area on your left. Take a few minutes to hike down to the bottom and bring a camera.  Also I've been told by the hubs that the water was really nice, so don't be afraid to swim a bit.
Lava Tubes (31) $12 per person.  The Lava Tubes don't open until 10:00 am so make sure you take enough stops so you aren't just sitting around waiting for it to open.   
Black Sand Beach (32) The beach is pretty rocky in most parts so wear water shoes if that bothers you, and the waves are pretty intense.  If you aren't the best swimmer I'd just stick to chilling on the beach. Bring a towel and sunscreen and keep in mind that it's WAY hotter than you think it'll be due to the back sand. 
Seven Sacred Pools (42) $20 per car. Our last stop on the road to Hana was the seven sacred pools.  You have to pay to get into the Haleakala National Park and it's whopping $20!  So here's another tip for ya.  If you're planning to drive all the way up to the Haleakala Crater to see the sun rise plan your trip within three days of each other and keep your receipt, that way you don't have to pay twice for entry into the National Park.  You're welcome.  All along the road are great hiking areas so plan ahead and bring good hiking shoes and clothing.  Some of the hikes take a while so also plan on bringing some kind of backpack to bring water and snacks if you desire.  We also just wore our swimsuits the whole time in case we wanted to hop into any of the waterfalls or swim at the beaches along the way.

After the seven sacred pools there aren't many stops left so you can choose to turn around and drive back or be the risky type and drive all the way around the bottom half of the island.  My the rest of the way.  The scenery alone is worth the drive.  So stunning!  I'm still amazed that people live out there and every morning they wake up to such beautiful views of Maui.

Haleakala Crater

By far this is the most flattering photo ever taken of me.  I mean duh. Ha ha. Our first morning on the island we woke up SUPER early and drove up to Haleakala Crater to see the sunrise.  We were TOTALLY unprepared I might add.  I'm talking the windiest road ever (enter motion sickness emoji) and we didn't do our research as to just how freaking cold it was going to be up there. I'm talking mid 40 degrees.  Of course we grabbed some blankets on our way out of the hotel to bundle ourselves up with but that was it.  My advice...pack a jacket and some warmer shoes if this is on your "must see" list. Sadly, luck wasn't on our side.  We got up to the top of the mountain just minutes before the sunrise and BAM!!! Just like that the clouds rolled in and we saw nothing but wet fog that drenched us all and had us shivering to the core.  The good news is that up on that steep mountain is a tiny little visitors center that has toasted macadamia nuts and dried bananas.  Sure they cost an arm and a leg, so forget about your child's college fund, but these macadamia nuts are pure deliciousness!  Buy like 5 bags.  For REALS and then send some to me!!! K thanks...Also, I will mention, once again, that to enter the national park it costs $20 per car. Save your receipt and make sure to hit up the seven sacred pools within three days as to not pay an additional $20. Again, you're welcome.

While on Maui we had our fare share of rain...and flash flooding.  This, as told to us by the locals, isn't common so don't you fret.  However, even with a bit of bad weather and some cancelled plans, we still had such a wonderful time.  I basically lived in my swimsuit, drank more shirley temples than  I can count, and showed my nursing boobs to too many passersby...sorry...ok totally NOT sorry.  

A few things that saved us, as far as traveling with baby Daisy?  First off we borrowed this City Select stroller and bassinet attachment from our friends and I don't know how I've been able to be a parent without it.  Daisy slept in comfort in that little bassinet at the pool, beach, and restaurants.  She isn't a fan of her car seat (can you blame her?) so this honestly made our entire trip so much more enjoyable.  

I also couldn't live without my Stekki Bebe wrap.  The fabric is soft and stretchy but still holds baby close to you.  It's also WATER SAFE!! Whoop Whoop!  Take a dip in the pool with just doesn't get any better.  We carried Daisy in it while we hiked, took walks to the beach, and around town to be hands free. 

Another must have is a stroller fan.  I mean what baby doesn't want a light breeze while they travel around or take a snooze?  The one we loved came with a clip and we attached it to the bassinet cover to give Daisy a cool down while she napped.  

I truly hope this info is helpful in planning your Maui getaway.  There's no doubt that even if you decide to sit by the pool at your hotel you'll still have the most wonderful and relaxing time.  As they say in Hawaii...Mahalo and Aloha!

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