Monthly Archives: April 2012

Spring Break, March 30 – April 6

Spring Break began, finally. This may be my last Spring Break with retirement coming up if the district approves it! Gulp!!

Friday, April 6

Time to go home. We decided last night to go to Sea House instead of the Gazebo for breakfast. There was no waiting, and we got right in. Breakfast was a bit of a mixup, a delayed meal order, but it all came together.

We packed up, and were out of the condo by 9:00 and on the road. We stopped by Alex Air and my 2nd Canon battery was waiting for me. Got to the airport, turned the car in and had time for Burger King before boarding.

UA584 left right on time. Yesterday, we managed to upgrade to Economy Plus for  $59.00/person. Economy Plus promised more legroom and it turned out to be about 4″ according to

Made it home to LA and were in the car by 9:30 and home, home by 11:00 p.m.! End of a great trip!

Thursday, April 5

Whale watching with the Pacific Whale Foundation. We booked an early 6:30 departure hoping for flat water and good whales. The 4:45 wakeup was a bit much but we made it on time. The captain was a little tired, the naturalists were too and the boat was tired too. Lots of room for the 40 or so us us. Whales were all over the place and I even got a shot of one breeching, when I wasn’t paying attention. It was out of focus for sure. We were done by the advertised 8:30 time frame. It is the luck of the draw as far as photos goes. I think my best were on the helo ride over the channel. Using a zodiac would be fun, but ANY height you can get, is better for the pictures. The weather was overcast and the lighting was poor.

Breakfast at Longhi’s was excellent, mac nut pancakes and Grand Marnier french toast.

More shopping in the lower Lahaina village for last minute gifts.

Returned with MORE stuff to mail, so off to the post office we we with 2 more large pack-and-ship boxes. We have spent a fortune in postage. The kids got their boxes today, they were mailed on Saturday.

We went exploring north of our condo to the Kaanapali Shores and ended up with 2 more mai-tais before happy hour.

Dinner we decided would be at the Plantation House in Kapalua for Sandy’s birthday. Anna made the reservations for us at 6:00 p.m. We arrived about 5:30 and the overcast day weather continued. Sunset wasn’t, obscured by clouds. Dinner was great, the view would be even better, I bet. The end of the dinner was some Cuvée du Centenaire, Grand Marnier. I reminisced about the last time I had it, with Grandma at Lawry’s. That’s when I told her that I was changing careers.

Wednesday, April 4

A relaxing day … so for breakfast we wandered over Duke’s place in the Honua Kai Resort complex next door. The  breakfast burrito was huge and not too bad. A coupon from the Aston Mahana fixed the breakfast price at 9.95 each, a good deal.

Talked with Jerry Lees. Judy and Jerry were in Honolulu with the Rim Band. The band left yesterday and they are staying a few extra days. We tried to make a connection, but with Judy in her ankle cast, it made arrangements difficult. it looks like he too, will be retiring this year!

We headed down to Kihei and Wailea to shop at the Shops of Wailea. Upscale stuff and Sandy found what she was looking for.

Dinner was in the condo, just relaxing with some wine and cheese.

Tuesday, April 3

Gazebo restaurant in Napili for breakfast! We heard about this place from someone else and had to try it. We got there about 8:00 and waited in line for about about an hour in a light rain. The banana-macadamia nut pancakes were amazing, they have a butterscotch in the whipped cream, you don’t need butter! The coconut syrup just adds to them. Next time, we have to try the fried rice breakfast plate.

We had to shop today, so off we went to Lahaina, with a split Cheeseburger in Paradise at the namesake. After breakfast, we strolled over to the Napili Shores complex to check out the Sea House. The folks we met in the morning raved about it  … so we made a reservation for 5:30, sunset dining. The sunset did not disappoint and the food did not disappoint, we both did the 30.00 fixed price 3 course dinner. The mahi-mahi was amazing, best dinner meal so far. Sandy had the mixed plate, scampi, mahi and steak. Definitely a place to go back to.

Monday, April 2

Today was the helicopter ride with Alex Air out of the airport. We had a 10:00 flight and had to be there by 9:15. We left about 8:15 and arrived right on time. Since we were flying the doors-off Hughes 500, we had to wear a flight suit to keep stuff from flying outside the helicopter. We left right on time and spent a 58 minute flight, according to the GPSHD tracker app on the iPhone. Our pilot was a young guy, with not a lot of personality. It was an ok flight, we missed the 2nd group of whales in the channel because of his timeline. Oh well, no tip for him! Here is the GPS track on Google Maps.

After the flight, we headed to Paia for lunch at the Tortillas restaurant. We had fish tacos, which were quite good! We went looking for the Rainbow Eucalyptus forest, I got lost and ended up in Makawao with directions. But before that, we ended up at the Makawao Garden Cafe with a delicious “Nirvana” smoothie.

Finally, we took County Road 365 to State Highway 360. Right after mile marker 6, on the left side headed to Hilo, we found the forest. It was amazing!

Dinner took us to Kimo’s in Lahaina instead of David Paul’s, another mistake by me. Tomorrow, maybe we stay at home and BBQ! Don’t bother with Kimo’s again!

Sunday, April 1

First day of April, oh my.

Morning snorkel and whale watching cruise on the Ali’i Nui from Maalea harbor. We booked this yesterday with Lyn and she said this is the one to do. She was right, breakfast, eggs, ham, custards, fruits, salads, coffee, tea … everything!

It is interesting how things work. We went out of the harbor and turned right headed back to Lahaina to turtle point. It is actually Olawalu point, a nice beachy area right past the tunnels on Highway 30.

Water was a little cool, but once you were in, it was ok. We did see lots of turtles but the GoPro camera turned out to be a bust underwater. Above, it’s fantastic, below, it just doesn’t focus. This is a nice trip, even the towels and wetsuits are provided. A super lunch spread as well on the return back. Just right out of the harbor, we stopped to see some humpbacks. Not great viewing from afar but better than none!

The GoPro does not focus well underwater I came to find out, there is a mod for that, a new flat lens instead of te fisheye, oh well.

Lunch was great too, cool towels at the end of the trip too.

On our way to Kmart, we ended up with a flat tire. I ended up changing the tire, while we were waiting for the service from Avis. Avis contracts with a tow service, who showed up as I was finishing up, nice guy, checked my work and off we went to Avis to swap cars. No more Ford Fusions so, we ended up with a Nissan Altima. Sad to say, Ford was a nicer vehicle.

We went exploring Whaler’s Village and ended up at Hula Grill for dinner. It was ok, nothing to write home about. I was supposed to get the ahi tuna dinner, but somehow ordered the fish sandwich.

Saturday, March 31

We went to the morning “sales pitch” in the lobby area. This complex is NOT a timeshare and they promised us just an informational session about the island activities. We went, and found out that most of the island is taken over by “Expedia” as travel agents/concierge.

NIce pitch, pleasant enough and we went off to Lahaina to explore and grab some breakfast. We found Mala, a place that Anna had mentioned when we were here last summer for Bart’s service. Great breakfast stop, Sandy had the Huevos Rancheros and I had the chilaquales, yummy! I’m not sure, but this is really a dinner place, just open for breakfast on the weekends.

While at Mala’s, a couple next to us mentioned another breakfast place up in Napili, Gazebo – a place for killer mac nut pancakes, we put it on our list of places to go.

We shopped in Lahaina, maiiled the kids Easter packages via USPS flat rate boxes and drove up to Kapalua, past the Sands of Kahana, remembering mom and the basket weaver man. Nice area up north, much windier and wetter.

On the way back, we stopped by the huli-huli chicken man on the side of the road – and now chicken!

We decided to go to Palm Sunday Mass and talked to the concierge lady, Lyn booking an AlexAir west Maui and Molokai 45 minute flight on Monday and a sailing snorkel cruise to Turtle Town on the Ali’i Nui out of Maalea. She mentioned the 2 Catholic Churches, Maria Lanakila in Lahaina and its sister “mission” in Kapalua.

Palm Sunday service was LONG, but worth it, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m..They do have an outstanding choir.

Dinner was nice and relaxing, there are lots of whales to be seen, hopefully tomorrow we’ll see some!

Friday, March 30

Took the day off and lat night drove into LA staying at the LAX Hilton with a park-and-fly package that they offer. Nice accomodations, a little hectic in the morning with everyone taking the free shuttle to the airport. We took a quicky cab and were there by 6:15 for our 8:25 UA 565 flight to OGG. Stephanie Ito and her husband Guy, are headed to their place on Oahu for the week. it was nice to see her!

Last night, we stopped by Jack’s Surf Shop in Hermosa Beach and picked up a GoPole “bobber” floating handle for the GoPro Hero2 camera that Auntie Anna got for us for Christmas. We are anxious to try it out, looks like a winner.

Arrived in OGG at about 10:45 local time, about 45 minutes ahead of scheduled because of pretty strong tail trade winds. Stopped at Costco to waste a little time, checkin is at 3:00 p.m. We picked up some coffee and nuts for us and the kids. We will ship them an “Easter” basket with mac nuts variety packs and some Kona coffee.

Nice little Ford Focus for a rental car and we arrived at the Aston Mahana Ka’anapali about 1:30. Again we checked in and went down the boardwalk to Duke’s Bar and Restaurant for a quick relaxing MaiTai and pupus.

Checked in at 3:00 and headed up to Room Lanai 817. This a one of the few hotel/condo complexes that are RIGHT on the beach, before building codes had setbacks. It was built in 1975.

Nice 1 bedroom place, gorgeous view of the ocean and whales to be seen from the windows! We headed to the Times Market for supplies and ended up with a pizza from Paradiso Pizzas in the center. Yummy.

Even though we are 3 hours behind LA, we were both tired and made it an early evening.

Thursday, March 29

Looking in my junk email on, I found a United checkin email telling me it was time to check-in. I did, and … Sandy DID upgrade us to 1st class, the seats were 5A and 5B. It took me a minute to realize the seat changes … but it was a very nice surprise and I promptly told her. She wanted to surprise me, United has offered us that option when the trip was in the planning stage, but I thought that it was a little too extravagant!