Thursday, August 14, 2014

Maui Matters (Repost)

Quite a bit tardy with this but we had such a great time, the memories haven’t faded a bit!
(All photos are click-able).
 In April, we went to Maui with our friends Colleen and Jim. For 17 fun-filled days, no less. The nights weren’t bad, either.
 We stayed at a lovely place in Kihei called Luana Kai. Fab location, on the ocean, with all the facilities you would expect from a top notch resort.
 Spend the day at the beach – or golfing – or both, throw in a bit of ‘shopping’ and then wander back with great succulent slabs of the fresh catch of the day, crack open a cold one and get grilling by the side of the pool. And that sizzle when you squeeze on the fresh lemon juice... Mercy!
 Throw a salad of fresh local organic produce together, slice up the warm crusty bread and only one thing left to do… open the vino!!
 We could either dine down by the pool, in the condo, or around the table on our spacious Lanai (Deck). We supped everywhere, of course. Variety is the spice ...and all that.
 After dinner, drinks and mellow conversation follow, while the warm breezes gradually fade as the sun goes down. Our view was incredible:
 Here’s our view at evening time:

Before I get into a couple of the favourite places (And there were many) that we went, I to have mention one of my favourite things. Getting back after a roasting day on the beach, with fond memories of that lovely long lingering lunch, body coated with bits of sand and dried sea salt, pouring a large cocktail of choice and hitting the shower!
With fresh, clean, cool clothes and smelling of shampoo, soap and after sun, it’s time to look forward to the exciting events of the evening, none the least of which is another cocktail because the first one tasted so good.
And of course, thoughts of supper!
Our friends are such good cooks that we ate in a lot of the time and even I got into the act a couple of evenings. With fresh mangoes, avocados, sweet onions and lush local tomatoes, the salad almost made itself.
And with something fresh to grill, like Mahi Mahi steaks and some local spices that really got the palate singing, the cooking was as much pleasure as the eating. Maybe more, come to think of it because there was always someone making sure your glass was topped up :-)
On one particularly memorable evening on the Lanai, copious amounts of vintage champers flowed, as everyone kindly helped me celebrate Charlton Athletic clinching promotion to the Championship that day, many thousands of miles away….
We still went out to eat, of course and choices were plentiful. Julia and I were lucky because Jim and Colleen were Maui veterans, well compared to us, anyway and knew the best places to go.
The 5 Palms, for example:

How about a Green Curried Seafood Stew? (Prawns, scallops and fresh island fish of the day, udon noodles and fingerling potatoes).
And their ‘Surf and Turf? (A perfect marriage of the Filet of Beef and Macadamia Nut encrusted fresh Catch of the day).
Ok – one more. How about  Rack of Lamb? (Maui Onion mash potato, ferns and Miso Blue Cheese sauce).
Sat outside, almost touching the beach, as the ocean glowed golden from the setting sun, we were treated to a first rate feast served by the attentive and very professional staff. Thanks, Colleen and Jim. That was a meal and a half!
Mostly, we ate lunch out. Either by our chosen beach of the day or at  the golf course we were playing.
I’m sure all will agree that Fred’s Mexican Café, just across from one of our favourite beaches, rates up there in our popularity.

Walking in from the roasting beach, to quaff down a pint of cold fine local brew while waiting on the ice-cold jugs of Margaritas and then munching on their natchos and fresh salsa before the fresh fish Taco’s arrived, was a mid-day treat that we found never dulled from repetition!  and breathe...
One day, though, I surprised all by taking some lunch to their supine selves on the beach. I’d nipped over to the 808 deli   and got some hot dogs.
Only these were no ordinary hot dogs. They were huge beef Smokies in great big long soft rolls, which had been filled with avocado slices, sweet onion and smothered with home made fresh Mango salsa. Oh Baby!!
The words of appreciation swiftly turned to grateful (and mouth full) grunts as said items were devoured with a passion. Boy, were they good!
We enjoyed all sorts of beaches. There were posh Resort ones, which were bizarrely deserted because the apparently affluent preferred to lie down cheek by jowl on the beds around the pool or in the gardens, jammed in literally inches from the people either side of them. Perhaps there is a charge if any sand is found in their suites?
There were remote beaches with no bar within strolling distance. Really. My complaint letter is in.  Beautifully natural, rugged and serious surf, though.
One of these was Baldwin Beach, across the island from Kihei. With the surf pounding in, it was great fun to get in there and get bashed about- but you had to time the entry and leg it pretty sharpish on the way out, to avoid getting sent flying!  (And all that sand up your...well, everywhere.)
Mind you, One of us had a different way to enjoy the surf:

Best seat in the house...
I also had a go at the snorkelling lark on another beach – much to the amusement of certain persons. As I was about to finally clamber into the water, a voice which sounded suspiciously like my missus, boomed down the beach, "Careful now, Ken – that’s a Whaler!” (Top right of picture). Bloody cheek, eh?

We got to do a bit of golf as well and that was good because I had hauled my clubs all the bloody way down there. It might not look like it from the next picture but we did enjoy it – honest!

“These $#@&ing Bermuda grass greens will be the death of me”

......But who cares about grass when you look as good as this, eh?
Anyway, to avoid 'banging on', I’ll just mention one more 'Joint'. Pretty swish as well. It’s the Grand Wailea Hotel. Stately construction, huge manicured grounds loaded with pools and places to eat and drink, (We didn’t bother with the pools). A visit here has to be a ‘must do’. And here we are: (All dressed up ;-)

There’s one more ‘Must Do’ for us....... and that’s going back to Maui.

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