{maui} day 8

We slept in the morning of Day 8, had a late breakfast, and trekked out to Black Rock for more snorkeling.  The fish were abundant and similar to what we'd seen the day before at Honolua Bay.  We'd been snorkeling for nearly an hour when we had our second sea turtle sighting.  They're so much bigger than everything else in the water that it's always such a surprise when come out of nowhere and are suddenly mere feet away.  We saw another turtle after that, and then a HUGE ray!  Turns out it was a spotted eagle ray, like this:

It set my nerves off a bit (I'll admit, I had brief flashes of getting Steve Irwined), but it was so beautiful and graceful I couldn't help wanting it to swim back toward us so we could get another look.

After snorkeling we set up by the pool for a few hours of sunbathing and swimming - a combination that never seems to get old.  Another late afternoon nap, followed by the sunset cliff dive on Black Rock, and we headed out to Lahaina to do a bit of shopping and to get some dinner.

We grabbed some beers and burgers at Cool Cats (voted the "best" burgers in Maui.)  The service was a tad slow, but nothing like what people griped about on Yelp.  The burgers were delish, as were the fries and onion rings.  They had a guy playing classic rock tunes, who was a delightful change of pace from the island music we'd been hearing for the past week.  He played The Weight for us, which was excellent.

After dinner we stopped for our 3rd and final shave ice of the trip.  This one was BY FAR the best.  The girls at Ululani's were chatty, but it didn't detract from their ability to make some damn good shave ice.  First they shave the block of ice like snow then they pack it down and aerate it with a straw before pouring on the syrup.  We got 1/2 pineapple 1/2 strawberry (hey, we know what we like when it comes to sweet treats and we stick to it) and the taste and texture were far superior to any of the other shave ices we'd had so far... each spoonful melted instantly in our mouths.  Mmmmm, it was so good.

Next up for Day 9... our last day in Maui.  :-(

{maui} day 7

After a luxurious night's sleep in our king size bed, we grabbed a bit of breakfast at the hotel buffet, and drove up to Honolua Bay for some snorkeling.  The coral was sparse at first, but once we found the reef a bit further out we quickly discovered why this was considered such a great snorkeling spot.  There were a ton of very colorful fish, some bigger than we saw in the Great Barrier Reef.  Then - out of nowhere - a sea turtle was swimming right in front of us!  Sea turtles are my 3rd favorite animal on the planet (behind sea otters and orangutans), so I may have freaked out a bit.  We followed it for a while until it disappeared into the deep.  Those few minutes were easily the highlight of the whole day. We spent the afternoon by the pool, cooling off with fruity drinks and dips in the pool.  When we'd had enough sun, we went back up to the room for what was supposed to be a short nap, but I guess we were liking that bed a bit too much because we slept right through the alarm.  What was supposed to be a 7pm dinner turned into 8:30pm.  Oh well.  Totally worth it.

We had dinner on the beach front patio at the Hula Grill (also in Whaler's Village.)  The food wasn't anything special, sort of bar food with a tropical twist, but it really hit the spot.  The live music was surprisingly good, and our fellow tourists were unsurprisingly annoying.  (Apparently the patio at the Hula Grill is a hot spot for frat-type vacationers.)

After dinner we went back to the room for a lazy movie night.  We watched Cyrus, which was pretty funny.  John C Reilly can do no wrong and Marisa Tomei was great as the quirky oddball mom.   But even days later I found I couldn't get the shots of Jonah Hill's creepy staring out of my head.

See?  Creepy.

Day 8... even more snorkeling, sea turtles, and sun.

{maui} day 6

After a lazy morning at the Sugar Inn, we packed up Betty White for the last time.  Saying goodbye was bittersweet - she was our home for 5 days and enabled us to do so many amazing things we just wouldn't have been able to do in a rental car... but we were ready for some good old fashioned resort time.  Dreams of fruity drinks poolside, an air conditioned room, a bed, fresh towels, and sleeping in carried us all the way to Ka'anapali. We were a bit early for check-in so we drove in Lahaina for lunch at Aloha Mixed Plate.  The service was a bit slow, but the food was delicious.  Back at the hotel, not only was our room ready - but they'd upgraded us to a Deluxe Ocean Front Suite!  Thanks Starwood!  We knew from the website that this was one of the nicest rooms at the whole resort, but imagine our excitement when we discovered that it was pretty much the polar opposite of Betty White.  (No offense, B-dubs.)  The shower alone was bigger than the Westie.  Here's a little 3 minute tour of our room, in case you're interested:

After unpacking, we went for a quick dip in the ocean, had some girly drinks at the Cliff Dive bar, and headed back to our room to watch the sunset cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock from our lenai.  The twice weekly luau was taking place on the lawn below our room so we got to take in some traditional Hawaiian dancing before leaving for dinner in Whalers Village.  We ate at Cane & Taro, which was pretty good but still not the mind-blowing island seafood experience we'd been hoping to find in West Maui.

On our way back to the hotel, we noticed that the full moon had a multi-colored halo around it, but sadly didn't have our camera with us to document the strange sight.  It turns out it was a lunar corona, and looked very similar to this (but ours was more colorful):

We ended the night with some wine, beer, cards and tunes out on the lenai.  I know what you're thinking... how did they endure such hardship, such stress?  Well it wasn't easy, but we managed.  ;)

Up next for Day 7... snorkeling, sea turtles, and sun.