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48 Hours in Maui

Inspired by Anthony Bourdain and his new Travel Show “The Layover” I have decided to whisk my weary travelers body over to Maui for a quick dose of Hawaii to get me through the winter.

I’m the guy who dreams of permanently losing my shoes and subscribing to the flip-flop lifestyle for an extended period of time. Regrettably, my travel writing lifestyle has me on other specks of the planet but I’m always ready to recalibrate with just a little West Maui air, fresh Ahi Poke’ and the warm sand in my toes as I gaze at a Maui sunset.

My plan is pretty simple even though I most likely have very little time in Maui. I will attempt to tackle Maui for next to nothing and still have an incredible time eating, exploring and experiencing as much as possible.

My flight arrives on Monday at 12:30pm. That gives me about 45 minutes to make it to the bus stop where I hop on the Maui Transit #40 route at 1:15. That bus gets me to Queen Ka’ahumanu Center at 1:30 and after a quick transfer to the Lahaina Islander #20, I’m in Lahaina by 2:30. That quick and I’m having a Mana Wheat with a lau lau and some Kalua pig at Aloha Mixed Plate.

I should be considering accommodations. I think I’ll be looking at a room at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel (one of my favorites), possibly the Royal Lahaina or something inexpensive in Honokowai or Kahana. The idea with accommodations is simply value. I’ll figure that out eventually, I hope.

After another quick bus ride I’ll be on Kaanapali Beach by 5pm. The truth is there is no way I can get to Maui without heading to the Hula Grill and having a drink. One Woo Woo please and a good seat to waste my evening away meeting new friends and watching the sun drop behind Molokai. I’m sure I’ll have the grilled fish at the Hula Grill and since my wife will not be with me I won’t have to share.

Let’s assume I find a place to stay and I finally check into my room. I’ll sleep well after a day of travel.

Day Two
I’ll be walking to Java Jazz for breakfast regardless of where I stay. Walking or running along the beach in Maui is one of those things that I treasure and long for almost daily. I never get enough of the sound and the sights of the waves meeting the sand. It’s an expensive form of therapy but it is well worth it.

After a very long morning of sitting, talking and too much coffee I’ll walk up Lower Honoapilani and head into the Fish Market Maui in Honokowai and get way too much Spicy Ahi Poke and rice. I’ll sit at Honokowai Beach Park and watch the turtles as they bob up and down in the water for possibly just long enough to develop that deep tan that will turn my friends on the mainland green with envy. This is the spot where I have had some of my most memorable meals and they have always come in Styrofoam containers or out of takeout bags.

Dinner options are so abundant I’ll start worrying that I’ll miss my flight tomorrow just because it is a shame to miss so much with a quick trip. On my list for possible dinner choices are Star Noodle, Ohana Taco or Maui Brewing Company. Maybe, I’ll hit all of them and sample too much food and drink. I might just race into a Foodland and pick up some more Ahi Poke’ and huddle on the beach.

Traveling alone can be tough unless you utilize that time to unwind. Sitting on the beach with good food and a view I’ll possibly come up with some clever idea to aid in my next proposal to move my entire family to Hawaii. I also might just keep an eye on the stars and watch them duck behind a rogue cloud here and there.

Day Three
Not sure why I need to stop by a farmers market but I will stroll through the fresh produce in Honokowai while grasping a large cup of coffee that I’m sure will be needed after a couple of days of roaming around Maui. I might need to take the bus up to Napili just for some fried rice at the Gazebo Restaurant at the Napili Shores.

Time quickly passes when you are having a good time but time in Maui seems to evaporate leaving you with only snapshots of your time spent. I’ll take the bus back toward Kahalui before my flight. I’ll squeeze in lunch at Mama’s Fish House (yes, I’ll splurge) or I’ll go cheap at Paia Fish Market. Just like that it’s time to go back.

Maui for a couple of days is not nearly enough as I crave Da Kitchen, Big Beach BBQ, Sam Saitos, Takamiya Market as well as the sights that I’m missing like Honolua Bay and Lorraine’s Shave Ice in Kahakuloa Village. Oh boy, I just thought of the Malasadas in Makawao and the Loco Moco at North Shore Café in Haiku.

Maybe I’ll buy a Ukulele and never leave Maui.

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1 Comment

  1. Dawn R. says:

    We must be kindred spirits, this is almost exactly the way we do Maui every time, too. Your article has served to confirm that we are doing it just right! You can definitely experience great food, locations, and culture without breaking the bank. I can’t wait to try all your suggestions in your last paragraph when we go next week. We stay longer than your ‘layover’ so we rent a beat up car from one of the small ‘mom & pop’ companies which guarantees you will look more like a local and less like a tourist (nothing says “I have a trunk full of luggage and valuables” like a pristine rental car). We will splurge too, on the last day of each trip you can find us at Spike’s Westside Ink in Lahaina getting tattoos, a permanent kiss of Aloha. Hope to buy you a mai-tai at Aloha Mixed Plate one day, Mahalo!

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