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Adventures in Maui

Day 1

Aloha & Mahalo! These are words that one often hears when traveling to the beautiful island chain of Hawaii. The last time I was here was back in (date) when I was married to the X. We went there for our 25th Anniversary. That trip we traveled to Honolulu on Oahu. It was a great trip and felt it was an incredibly beautiful place. I also knew that I wanted to go back one day, although I obviously didn’t think it would be with someone else.

This time around with the new husband, he really wanted to take me to Maui. Who am I to say no to that? We again booked our trip through Inspirato and opted to stay at the Andaz-Maui, a Hyatt resort. This is on the opposite part of the island that my husband has stayed on in the past, so that part of Maui has been a new experience for him as well as for me. The resort has several pools with one of them specifically for families as it’s only about 2 feet deep. Our room faces the ocean as well as overlooking the pools. I was worried that we might hear a lot of noise from the pools but with the sliding glass door closed, the sound from the pool area is very minimal.

We arrived to the resort around 2 in the afternoon and were greeted by the valet. The valet had a pretty lei for me comprised of small white flowers and a kukui (a black beaded necklace) for my husband. Since we arrived before check-in, we opted to head over to the bar by the pools. I enjoyed an Aperol Spritz while my husband enjoyed the lemonade (non-alcoholic) they offer upon arrival. We also ordered their edamame which was mixed with honey and ginger. The edamame was tasty with the honey and ginger not overpowering it.

View from our room at the Andaz in Maui.

Once our room was ready, we rested for a bit until our dinner reservations at 6 pm located at the resort, Ka’ana Kitchen. The restaurant faces the pools and the ocean with the doors all completely opened. The views really are amazing. We enjoyed dinner and then headed back to our rooms. We fell asleep early after a long day of travel.

Day 2

On our second day, I had booked a tour of the Maui Gold pineapple farm. After getting up and getting ready, we headed down to the Mokapu Market located on the resort. Here we grabbed a cheese and fruit box, a couple of hard-boiled eggs and an apple to eat as we drove to the pineapple farm. It was about a half hour drive from the resort. (Sidenote: my husband and I both forgot our hearing aides and I had also forgotten to take my morning meds, so he had to go back up to our room to grab them. We had a laugh about that with the valets.)

Upon arriving to the pineapple farm, we checked in and waited for our tour guide. We were greeted by Kennedy, the young woman who would guide us through the history of the pineapple farm. We learned a lot of fun facts on our 90 minute tour of the farm. For instance, pineapples take about 18 months to produce their first fruit. Also the pineapple is part of the berry family!

Maybe you knew that already, but I did not. Pineapples can reproduce on the same plant many times, but on this farm, they only allow it to produce the fruit three times as each time it reproduces, the fruit gets smaller. Pineapples are also self-pollinators so they prevent pollinators from pollinating them as it negatively impacts the plant. In fact, humming birds have been banned in Hawaii, meaning they cannot be brought in from other places (although they do migrate here).

This farm is about 750 acres and the pineapples are planted by seed by only four employees who are all over the age of 60! Obvious concern about these men were raised and the future of the farm due to the fact that their kids and grandkids really don’t want to do this work. These men were raised on this farm and their parents and grandparents did the work before them.

Once the seeds are planted and start producing their fruit, the harvesters come in to cut the fruit. Another surprising fact is how big the fully grown plant is which creates the issue of walking between them to get to the fruit without sustaining injuries to extremities. The solution is that harvesters wear leather chaps and shirts with rubber boots as they make their way between the plants to harvest the fruit.

This clothing is hand-sewn on the property by the same four men who plant the seeds and then shipped throughout the world for harvesters working on pineapple farms.

Once our tour was completed, we were given two pineapples to take home. If you plan to do this tour, I recommend doing it one or two days prior to leaving. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the pineapples will last for another few days so that we can bring them home. We highly recommend this tour for the wealth of information provided along with the friendliness of the tour guide. Of course, it helped that at end of the tour we were also offered nice samples of the pineapple to enjoy.

Pineapple upside down cake

After the tour, we headed across the street to enjoy lunch at the Hali’imaile General Store. Our tour guide, Kennedy, had mentioned that here they made world-renowned pineapple upside down cake. We knew that we had to try it just to make sure it was as tasty as she described it. My husband ordered their potato soup with focaccia bread and I had their poke’ salad. Both were very tasty and enjoyable. Upon completion of our meal, we had to finish it off with pineapple upside down cake. My husband said it was some of the best he had ever had.

After lunch, my husband and I walked through Makai Glass store and their exhibit of the hand-make glass blown art made on the property. You can view them engaging in their craft at the back of their building. The artistry was incredible.

When we were done with lunch, we walked over to the Haliimaile Distilling Company to learn about the processing of their spirits. This distillery makes four types of spirits: vodka, whiskey, gin and rum. The vodka, whiskey, and gin are started with pineapple mash. Since rum has to have a start of sugarcane sugar, molasses, and other sugarcane products to be considered rum, it’s the only spirit at the distillery that does not have its start from pineapple. The pineapple, of course, comes from the Maui Gold pineapple farm. The distillery is conveniently located right next to where you check-in for the tour of the farm.

We were expertly guided through the distillery process by Isabela who was personable and delightful. After we were done with tour, I was able to sample three of the four spirits. I selected vodka, whiskey and the rum. While I found the vodka and whiskey pleasant to the palate, the rum I did not like at all. That being said, I’m generally not a rum drinker, so it probably had more to do with that than its drinkability for those who do like rum.

Hula pie from Duke’s in Maui

When finished with the tastings, we headed back to the resort where we rested until we had to head out again for our dinner reservations at the iconic Duke’s Beach House located in Lahaina. It was about an hour drive from the resort. This provided us the opportunity to see the other end of the island for a nice drive on our way there. (Unfortunately, the GPS in our rental car tried to take us through historic Lahaina which is closed to only residents due to the horrible fire that occurred last year.) After we were seated, we were greeted by our waiter, Mark Lee who was very patient as my husband tried to determine what he wanted to order for dinner. (Sidenote: I’m usually the one who has a hard time deciding what to eat.)

I ordered the furikake ahi steak and he ordered the heritage pork shank, both of which were delicious. The pork was extremely tender and literally fell off the bone. The portion was so huge that my husband (smartly) chose not to finish it. Upon gently twisting my husband’s arm, I convinced him to order the rather decadent Hula pie. This is something everyone needs to try at least once in their lifetime as it is blissfully tasty.

After we were done with the hula pie, we paid for dinner and headed to the valet to get our car. We headed back to the resort without any unexpected detours. We got to our room, got ready for bed and went to sleep exhausted after another full day of adventure.

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