Escape to Paradise; Our Winter trip to Maui (Part 2) - Arkansas Free Press
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Escape to Paradise; Our Winter trip to Maui (Part 2) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sid Greenhaw   

(Part 2) Day 1, Orientation and Whale Watching

Due to the flight layover Tuesday became our first day. The hotel resort accommodations at Maui Coast Hotel were wonderful. We looked for one highly rated with the amenities we love (close to the beach, swimming pools, tennis courts laundry facilities) without the ones we don't that run up the cost such as Valet parking.

The lobby and rooms were very nice. We were surprised that the hotel and many restaurants and public buildings frequently left windows and doors open due to moderate temperatures and few bugs giving a nice breeze.


The minute we first walked outside we and experienced Maui in the daylight for the first time, all of our senses were immediately filled, the sunshine the beautiful blooms on the plants, the gentle breeze the sound of birds, we knew we were in paradise and in a wonderful world we had never experienced a world we would fall in love with. All around us was beauty, a photographer's dream! 

Most of our 2,700 pictures taken needed little processing, the water really is that blue, that clear, the plants really are that beautiful and colorful.In fact an amateur photographer could just take some random shots and have some beautiful pictures to show others! With this wonderful weather and all the beautiful palm trees and flowering plants we were beginning to enjoy the vacation experience and our spirits were lifted!

We slept like babies the night before and with the four hour time gift were in full vacation mode by morning. We had a little time before our first planned excursion a whale watching and snorkeling event at 1:30 pm; therefore, we spent some morning time checking out the beautiful nearby beaches.

As twins like many successful family teams and friendships we balanced each other in our strengths and temperaments. Ed is skilled at booking flights and planning vacations and knows all the angles of getting discounts. I rely on him because in that area he is superior. 

Ed is more impulsive and aggressive and likes to cover a lot of ground. I am more thorough and deliberate and like to check things before action. I know that I tend to be scattered brained and am limited on how fast I can move, how many activities I can multitask without making mistakes. Sometimes we get on each other's nerves but not for long. Though we were temporarily escaping some of life's problems, one thing is certain that the same positive traits; being patient, being unselfish, being forgiving of yourself and others, planning and organizing well, that help you be a better worker, parent, spouse and friend also are important to having a successful vacation!

There is no escaping that! As twins, we have so many experiences and things in common and have enjoyed a wonderful relationship over the years. We felt privileged to have this opportunity to enjoy this experience together. To make the most of our temperaments and skills, it usually worked best in the rental car if Ed served as the navigator (he is better with Google maps), and I served as the driver (I am more patent).Ed's aggressiveness in early planning helps both of us, however, Ed appreciated my thoroughness, in my remembering sunscreen, bug repellant and Dramamine. We balance of strengths.

We needed the Dramamine and sunscreen on the Pride of Maui Whale Watch & Snorkel Adventure. It also helps to have a good camera with a nice zoom lens and use a steady hand while using a "burst mode" on the camera. This is one occasion where most smart phone cameras (could fall overboard too) and cheap point and shoot cameras are just not up to the task. You have to be patent and quick to get the best shots. It is hard to photograph whales because they come up for air for just a few seconds before going back under water. Many Whales were far away but we captured some nice Humpback whale shots. These 45' magnificent creatures are sight to see! Over 12,000 Humpback Whales travel 3,500 miles from Alaska to Hawaii every year to mate and give birth!1 The islands are considered the third best Whale watching destinations in the world! Ed captured a nice shot of a Whale's tail. This is their mating routine. The guide said many older males gained wisdom over the years and would let the younger males wear themselves out and they would move in at end. Ed and I paid heed to this lesson from nature since we are older and single LOL.

We did do some snorkeling with care. The water was very clear but most of the fish were close to the shore where you have to be careful not to get cut by very sharp lava rocks that we were warned can even cut through shoes!. We did see some very pretty fish and coral formations. We also saw beautiful sights of the open waters along with the sunshine and felt refreshing breezes. It was a great way to start the trip. We instantly connected with another customer on board, Byron Smith, from California, who helped us with snorkeling and became a great friend on Facebook.

The food on the boat was simple but tasty, hamburgers and grilled chicken, but we wanted to have the experience of a nice, sit down, meal to enjoy some sea food and a quiet relaxing atmosphere.A friend recommended "Five Palms" so we ate there that night.

It had very good atmosphere and the food was presented very well, but it was very expensive too. We easily spent over $60 each without desserts and anything extra. We justified it some since due to our flight layover the first night in when we were eating free airline wraps and peanuts instead of at a nice restaurant. Others at airport layovers also recommended food trucks, close to the resort, more specifically the Coconut shrimp item. We tried several them times and enjoyed the Coconut Shrimp selection. They had great meals for around $15 each. We recommend eating at those some to save both time and money and because the food is excellent, a great experience too.

That night we used the Get Well cards, stamps, address labels small address books to send friends greetings and those we knew who had upcoming operations. We also had small packets of laundry detergent packed as well. I mailed my church a check for two weeks offering before I left and paid any outstanding bills. Though we made a few blunders, we had prepared well in other areas for the week long trip.
1. Kaanapali, Alii, September, 15 2015, "Top 15 Interesting Facts About Maui and Hawaii"

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