Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Girls Getaway to Maui - Day 1

I am one lucky girl to have a friend who moved to Maui and invited me to come visit her. Tatianna and I met a few years ago during a Girls Getaway to Montana. At the time, she lived in Phoenix. We stayed in touch over the years, and when she moved to Maui she called me to say, “you have to come visit and we have to write the Girls Getaway Guide to Maui.”

As soon as I could, I said “Aloha” to her in person at the Kahului Airport. We traveled 45 minutes from the airport to her town of Lahaina, which is a quaint little town on Maui’s leeward coast that is full of sites, shops, restaurants and art galleries (which is where Tatianna works).

We woke up the first morning ready for our day of hiking with Wade Holmes of No Ka Oi Adventures. Wade specializes in private tours of Maui’s most beautiful places, some well known and others hidden treasures. We were very impressed with Wade’s vast knowledge of the biodiversity and history here and how the two are very intertwined. As Tatianna said, “Wade is a walking encyclopedia.” He truly made our hikes that much more interesting and entertaining. First, we hiked Iao Valley State Park, which features the Iao Needle and beautiful natural landscapes and waterfalls. After this hike, we traveled to Wade’s secret spot (reserved only for his favorite clients). After hiking down the mountain and down the roots of an enormous Banyan Tree, we arrived at the perfect picnic spot nestled perfectly next to a beautiful waterfall. Wade really knows how treat his guests as he came fully prepared with guava juice and Cacao Goji Maca Nut Balls from Living Foods Maui. This was the perfect!

After about 30 minutes of R&R, we regretfully packed up and hiked back up the mountain and headed to the town of Paia. I immediately fell in love with Paia as it features several quaint shops, such as Alice in Hulaland, and restaurants that were all within walking distance of the public parking area. We dined at Cafe Des Amis, which features both French and Indian cuisine. My Italian crepe was delicious, and Tatianna loved her Shrimp Curry.

After taking a much-needed shower and watching the sunset from Tatianna’s oceanfront balcony, I met up with her in Downtown Lahaina at the art gallery she manages, Kush Fine Art. We strolled down Front Street, which is very reminiscent of Duval Street in Key West, and stopped for some Ahi Poke Tuna for dinner.

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