Off To Maui!
We’re up at 6:00, finishing our packing, checking out and heading to the Honolulu Airport. We got somewhat lost trying to find the Alamo rental return place, it’s set off by itself and not grouped with the other rental company places. I should have remembered how to get here after renting cars on Oahu twice in the past, but sometimes I’m a dunce with directions. No worries; we eventually found the place, dropped off the car and were shuttled to the airport. We can get an earlier flight to Maui…for an extra $108 each! Yeah, what a deal.
After walking around the terminal for awhile, we stop to get some ice cream and then proceed to Gate 49, getting there at 10:30.
The Hawaiian Airlines flight leaves fifteen minutes late, and I manage to get some good video of the takeoff and approach to Maui and Kahului Airport. This plane, a Boeing 717, has a 2-3 seating configuration which creates a serious overhead bin demand. After landing we get our checked bag very quickly. I will always love stepping off that plane in Maui and feeling that air hit us even though it’s basically the same air we felt in Honolulu. We get our car from Alamo and realize almost immediately after leaving for Lahaina there is a slow leak in the front right tire. I would have to put air in the tire every few days.
We’re off to Lahaina! It’s bright and sunny nearly the entire way. We relax, knowing we’re back on our favorite island. Even in heavy traffic, that coastal highway is a dream to drive.
We arrive at the Lahaina Shores and are checked in by Marilyn. She says the hotel is now entirely smokefree–yippee!! In fact, we’re now required to sign off on a form acknowledging this–a $200 cost will be added if they find evidence of a violation. Ten years ago, I would have lost my cool. Now I just breathe a sigh of relief. It’s the same smoking policy as they had at the Park Shore; but there was no real evidence the policy was enforced at that hotel given how often we could smell (and see) smoking happening on lower floors. But here in Lahaina, the required signature was evidence of a strong enforcement of the policy and it resolved one of our two quibbles we always had about the hotel, the other one being lack of in-room safes.
After getting some items unpacked, it’s off to Safeway where we dump $88 on some groceries (love that full-sized fridge!) and relax in the room.
Tonight’s dinner is at Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse BBQ in Kihei, one of Patty’s favorite places to munch on Maui. I like it, too! If you’re looking for that romantic place to share a meal, Fat Daddy’s ain’t it. If you’re looking for atmosphere, you’re similarly out of luck. You won’t see the ocean while you dine. This isn’t what Fat Daddy’s is about. Fat Daddy’s is about the food, and they don’t pretend to be anything else. The tables are all out in the open in this somewhat smallish place. But the food here is absolutely top-notch, as are the prices, and the service is good. There is aloha here. You just have to be receptive to it.
Patty has the ribs with mac & cheese and cornbread (you get two sides with your choice of primary dish) I get the smoked Brats with beans and watercress salad. The salad has an interesting taste which grows on you. Beans are also good and have a slight chili-type flavor to them. The Brats (with Dijon mustard) are awesome. In short, this is an excellent place to get filled up on good meat and side dishes.
Back to the hotel, we walk down to the Pioneer Inn, window shopping along the way. This walk down Front Street, past the Holy Innocents Church, Kamehameha III school and banyan tree, has always been a personal favorite. It just never gets old no matter what time of day I walk it. Early morning, however, is the best with the shops mostly closed and very little traffic, either pedestrian or vehicular. Slowly strolling along with crocs or flip-flops on…perfect!