A Squared: Aloha and Mahalo: Hawaiian Memories

Friday, February 3, 2012

Aloha and Mahalo: Hawaiian Memories

Recently we went out for a few cocktails to say goodbye to an old new friend (old to me, newer to Alex).  He's leaving the amazing city of Chicago for one of the only places that is more amazing: Hawaii.  Ted had the unfortunate luck of finding a new job that will take him to Oahu for a year.  Poor guy.  In all seriousness, we are insanely jealous of Ted's year ahead and will definitely miss his company back here in [cold and gloomy] Chicago.

Bidding aloha to Ted at Haymarket
Talking to Ted about his trip also started to bring back some memories from our beautiful Hawaiian honeymoon.  It's only been a few months since we were there, but it already feels like ages ago-- I guess work, bills, and real life will do that to you.  I am ready to go back again.  Alex, just say the word and I will book the tickets!
I wish I could tell you about all of the cool and exciting things that we did during our stay in Hawaii, but I have to be honest-- we barely "did" anything.  We ate a lot (see our exploits below), we drank a lot, and we spent almost every day sleeping at the beach and/or pool.  We had a lot of grand plans in mind before we left: to drive the road to Hana, tour a pineapple plantation, go on a helicopter ride, but after the 9-hour plane ride [and that whole wedding thing] we were low on energy.  Even without having done much, it was the best vacation either of us have been on.  Having a mostly empty itinerary was one of the things that we loved most about this vacation-- a welcome change after almost a week of regimented wedding-related activities.  And Hawaii is a wonderful place to wind down.  Everything there is just a little bit slower, so you can't help but relax and just go with it.

Our perfect honeymoon started off a little rocky when we arrived at O'Hare to find out that our flight to Honolulu was so delayed that we would miss our connection to Maui that evening.  We ended up spending our first night in Hawaii (a.k.a. our overnight layover) in a hotel on Waikiki Beach.  It could have been a lot worse, but my dad generously booked us a room here in order to avoid spending the first night of our honeymoon in the "fleabag" accommodations he was sure that the airline would provide for us.  He was probably right.  We didn't see much of Oahu in those short 12 hours, but there were 2 Starbucks and live penguins and flamingos on the hotel grounds.  I'll take it.
Once we finally got to Maui we checked into Grand Wailea.  The hotel was beautiful, really peaceful, and right on Wailea Beach which is probably why we rarely left. 

I'm not an adventurous person and neither of us is very outdoorsy, but one thing I did agree to do while visiting Maui was a kayak tour out of Lahaina.  Since we were there during the off season we were the only two people in our group, so we basically got our own private tour.  I was also happy that there was nobody else there to witness my [lack of] kayaking skills.  We paddled around with sea turtles, sharks, and we saw a baby monk seal that had beached himself just a few feet from the shore.  It was really amazing!  Unfortunately there was no zoom feature on our crappy disposable waterproof camera so there is basically no photo documentation of our encounters with these creatures.

We only made 2 dinner reservations (and 1 for a luau, of course) prior to our trip to Maui.  They were the two restaurants that everyone recommended to us and they are the two that I would also recommend to any of you when you visit the island as well.  The first was Capische, an upscale Italian place with an amazing view.  The second was Mama's Fish House where we had some really delicious authentic Hawaiian food.  I learned on this trip that I enjoy beets, Maui onions, and basically anything encrusted in macadamia nuts.

Some of the other restaurants that we tried are below... Aloha, mahalo, and enjoy!
  • Fat Daddy's Smokehouse -- My picky Texas husband actually gave their BBQ pretty high marks.
  • Lahaina Pizza Co. -- Yes, it's lame that we left Chicago and ate deep dish pizza in Hawaii.  We were starving and exhausted after the kayak trip and it was right there.  And it was good.
  • Monkeypod Kitchen -- We enjoyed this restaurant so much that we actually ate here twice!
  • Joe's -- We ate here on our last night in Maui.  It's like upscale Hawaiian comfort food.


  1. After visiting your blog, You reminded me my visit to Hawaii, it is the best and most famous tourist destination to visit, and have a long list of Hawaii beaches. Personally I have visited there numerous times. Oahu is the thirds largest Hawaii Island. This island is the surfer’s paradise, with the swelling waves. It also offers the Waikiki beach in Honolulu. Do you know about the vegas monorail service.

  2. After reading your blog it seems like that you enjoyed a lovely and memorable journey. It reminded me my Hawaiian tour. I went there with my family. We saw many attractive places in Hawaiian. We visited to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu, Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Big Island and Panaewa Rainforest Zoo. We really enjoyed our tour.

  3. Hi, I'm Oscar, a tour guide of Maui Fantastic Tours (https://www.mauifantastictours.com/). Thank you for share your awesome tour experience with us. Did'n you visit to Hawaii again?


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