Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maui - Last Day - Sad Day

Usually, when I go on a trip, three nights is the max. By then, I am ready to take a bath in my own bathtub and I am ready to sleep in my bed. This trip to Hawaii was not like that. On Sunday, I started getting sad about returning to the real world. I would love to make Hawaii my "real world". I couldn't live without my family close by, but I bet we could find some jobs for everyone there.

Our flight didn't leave until 7, so we had plenty of time to look around (and mourn). We decided to go check out the Wailea area. We were close to Wailea for the wedding, but we hadn't checked it all out. On a side note, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman and Adam Sandler were in Maui filming a new movie, "Just Go With It". I was instructed to "find them" by Jordan, but no luck. They were staying and filming in Wailea at the Grand Wailea Hotel.

As we headed to Wailea, we decided to go back and visit the spot where Justin and Shannon had gotten married. We hung around for a little bit and took pictures, and soaked in the beauty of the cove. Such a perfect spot.

Afterwards, we went and checked out some shopping areas and hotels. Then, we ate burgers at Cheeseburger Island. The burgers were nothing to write home about and they were ridiculously expensive. Not quite as ridiculous as the bottomless Dr. Pepper, for a mere $7. I was excited about the Maui onion rings, and I must say, Texas onions rings are much better.

From there, we headed to the airport. Justin and Shannon had a sunset dinner cruise they needed to get back for. They stayed in Maui for 3 more days and said they had a blast. They found a neat beach that we didn't visit and snorkeled some more. They also braved a helicopter ride. This picture reminds me of all of the episodes on the Bachelor where they go for a helicopter ride. I am pretty biased, but they look so cute.

This is from one of their last nights in Maui.

I hate to sound like "one of those people", but we all would say this was one of our best trips ever. Everything went absolutely perfect with no glitches. I would highly recommend this venue for anyone who wants a stress free wedding. I know a man that would be glad to marry you for free. Just get him a ticket to Maui.

Congratulations Justin & Shannon. We love you and are so happy for you. Happy 1 month anniversary!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Maui - Day #5

I am usually the tour guide when we travel. I pretty much choose where we go and what we are going to do. Pops really wanted to go to Hana. We had heard mixed stories about Hana. Some people and books told us, that you HAVE to go to Hana. Others called it "The Road to Hell". Daryl and Cindy had gone a couple of days before and it took them all day. They said the traffic was horrible.

Being that I had already said no to the volcano, I decided to suck it up and go on the Road to Hana. We agreed to only go about halfway. It is a very windy road and if you have the slightest chance of getting car sick, don't go.

The scenery is beautiful. It is so lush and green with lots of water and waterfalls.

We stopped and saw a waterfall and then turned around. One was enough, even though it was all very beautiful.

On the way back, we passed a very famous restaurant, Mama's Fish House. Just about every book I picked up said you had to try it, so we did.

This is the view from our table. It was one of the most beautiful spots on the north shore that we saw. I was not as impressed with the food. It was just okay. I had eaten some banana bread from a stand on the side of the road (yes, highly suggested by all of the tourist books - and it was good). I was not real hungry, so I just ordered an appetizer of lobster guacamole with sweet potato chips. It had a little too much lemon juice for my taste, but what did I expect? A Texas girl eating guacamole in Hawaii?

Pops had a fish dish with some crab and lobster sauce. I had water and he had tea. Total bill? $80. That is a little steep for lunch. The view was worth it though.

We got back to the hotel and laid out by the pool/beach. Shannon's Mom and Dad had a flight out at 4, so we made reservations to eat sushi with Justin and Shannon. We went to Sansei. It is written up as one of the best sushi restaurants in the world. It was good, but not any better than Piranah Killer Sushi in Ft. Worth (that's another story).

We dropped Justin and Shannon back off at the hotel and went went shopping in Lahaina. It is a neat old sea village with lots of little shops.

There is always something sad about the last night. You know it is all getting ready to be over and then back to reality.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Maui - Day #4

We booked a snorkeling trip for the morning after the wedding. We had to meet in the lobby at 6:15 a.m. We had a 30 minute drive to the marina. This is the boat we went on. I had planned to just stay on the boat and watch everyone else. The thought of getting all sticky in the salt water and staying like that for hours was not too appealing to me.

Pops and Justin decided that they were going to Snuba. We had never heard of snuba until now. It is a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving, without the tanks. You are tethered to a raft that holds the oxygen tank. You can go down about 15 feet.

Since they were snubaing, that left Shannon to snorkel all by herself. Since it was my first day being her mother-in-law and I wanted to excel at my new position, I sucked it up and went snorkeling. I was really glad that I did. Shannon, thank you for making me go! The water was not too cold and we saw some really cool stuff along with an eel.

We also saw a couple of whales and lots of dolphins. They looked like they were putting a show on for us. They were jumping and spinning all around the boat. At our second dive, we swam with several sea turtles.

Here is Justin in his Snuba gear.

We were exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel so we headed to the pool for an afternoon of relaxing and people watching.

We booked a luau at the Old Lahaina Luau for a post wedding party. We had lots of fun, but the lei's were so itchy.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Maui - Day #3 - The BIG Day

After weeks of planning, the BIG day had finally arrived. We were all so excited. April 24, 2010 was here!

We got up early and went to breakfast. After we ate, we went to the pool/beach. We stayed there until early afternoon. We had lunch by the pool and just relaxed and soaked up the sun. My legs were really white before we went to Hawaii and I needed color, any color other than white, even if it was red.

Justin and Shannon broke the rules of not seeing each other on the wedding day. They had to meet their wedding coordinator in Lahaina to get their marriage license.

We agreed to meet in the lobby to head to the wedding spot, Makena Cove, which was an hour drive away. This picture is of Justin and Pops just before we got in our cars. Justin rode with us and Shannon rode with her Mom and Dad.

In Hawaii, you have to have a permit to get married on the beach and the only person you can get a permit from is a wedding coordinator. Justin researched the internet, and found the best wedding coordinator. He chose Enchanted Weddings of Maui. We highly recommend Lisa. She handled everything, along with the flowers, rose petals on the beach and photographs. Shannon was really happy with her bouquet.

They got married in a very secluded cove. You had to drive down a long winding road. We parked on a not so pretty road. You would never know there was a beautiful cove on the other side. Justin, Pops and Lisa went through the rock doorway to the cove while we waited for Lisa to get set up.

Shannon's dad walked her down the beach. Shannon look absolutely breathtaking! So did Justin! The weather was perfect and they got married facing the ocean while water was splashing high on the lava rock. This is the first picture after they got married.

Lisa took pictures for over an hour. We stayed until there was no more sun. It was a beautiful sunset. The pictures are not finished yet, but I can't wait to see them.

The wedding was perfect! After the wedding, we went to Leilani's for dinner. Justin and Shannon were so happy. They said if they left Hawaii that night, it would have been a perfect trip. Lucky for them, they still had a week of fun ahead of them. We could not have asked for a better day.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Maui - Day #2

Day #2 started out really early! With the 5 hour time difference, we were up and dressed and at breakfast around 7. We ran into Shannon's parents when we were at breakfast and had fun visiting with them.

Sidebar here: When booking the hotel, I stumbled across a AAA rate. I normally don't do this, but when checking it out, realized what a great deal it was. To join AAA, it cost about $75 per year. Our hotel rate was almost $100 less per night with the AAA rate and we also got free breakfast. Free breakfast was a great deal because the breakfast buffet was about $70 for 2 with the tip. Great savings!

After breakfast, we headed to the pool. About 10 feet separate the pool from the beach. We faced the beach and had access to the pool. Fun times. We had lunch out by the pool and then it was time to go pick up Justin and Shannon at the airport.

I spent the afternoon getting dressed while Pops picked them up. Bad idea. As great of a person as he is, he is directionally challenged! He got lost on the way to the airport.

He had the top down on the car, unknowingly with the air conditioner off and Shannon was baked.

I think they look pretty good after a 15 hour day, lugging the dress around. Pops and I decided to go on a sunset cruise on the Maui Magic. Justin and Shannon wanted a nap, so we made reservations to meet up with them and Daryl and Cindy for dinner at Dukes, again.

The cruise was a lot of fun. I got soaked getting on the boat. You load up through a back ladder. You have to wait until the tide is just right.

Unfortunately, I let someone else tell me to go right as I saw a wave coming. It was so very windy, that my pants were dried by the end of the cruise. It got a little cool and rained, but that made some beautiful rainbows. My picture does not do it justice.

While we were out, we saw a couple of whales. The sunset was gorgeous. With the cloud pattern, it made it look like the water was on fire.

Duke's was great again. Back to the hotel to get some sleep before the big day.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Maui - Day #1

As excited as I was about going to Maui, I was dreading the flight. I have a hard time sitting still for a long time. Thank you to my little "flying" pills, I made it just fine.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed when we were driving in from the airport. When you look to your left, there is the beautiful ocean. When looking to the right, it is dead brown mountain area. You can't believe you are even remotely close to a beach.

We arrived at 3 p.m and by the time we got our car and baggage and got to the hotel, it was about 5. We stayed at the Hyatt. The hotel was gorgeous, but I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in the room. It is funny to me how room decor changes from state to state. The nicest of hotels in Hawaii don't really compare to Vegas or even Austin.

As you are walking through the hotel, there are several animals. Penguins, different beautifully colored birds, flamingos and swans. Lots of beautiful plants and flowers, waterfalls and ponds.

This is the view from the walkway between the pool and the beach.

Another area through the hotel gardens.

This is the view from our room.

As is normal Lolly fashion, I already had dinner reservations booked. I always like to have at least the first night planned out so that when we get there and are tired, we don't have to search for where to go.

We chose Duke's. We had eaten at Duke's in Honolulu and loved it. We were not disappointed at all. I had the terriyaki kabob with beef and chicken and coconut shrimp. It was delicious.

As much as we were dying to check everything out, we were so exhausted and couldn't wait to get to bed. We got back to the hotel at around 9:30, and that is 2:30 Texas time.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Just Maui'd

Where did April go? It came and went so fast!

We just got home from what I would have to say is one of our best trips. We have been to Hawaii a couple of times during the past 5 years. They were really fun trips because they were business trips and someone else paid the bill, but this one was even better.

This time, we went for Justin and Shannon's wedding. The trip and wedding were absolutely perfect! I would highly recommend getting married this way. It was totally about Justin and Shannon. They loved every minute of it.

I want to get in every detail for my own journaling, so I will be doing several posts. Here is just a little preview of what's to come.

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