Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Brief Maui Encounter

Recently there was a state tournament for Hawai'i high school baseball held on the island of Maui 5/5/10 - 5/9/10.  I was lucky enough to be able to leave my O'ahu island home to watch the tournament with my mom, dad, and two brothers (the youngest one competing in the tourney).  Before leaving I was ecstatic.  Not only was I going to be able to watch the baseball game and root for my hometown (Kailua), but I was also going to be able to see Maui.  Maui, otherwise known as the Valley Isle, is the second largest island in the Hawaiian Archipelago, and definitely one of the most beautiful.

Oh but let's not forget Maui's favorite manju and Guri Guri ice cream!  In addition there are some really 'ono* places to eat.  Da Kitchen Express in Kihei was absolutely delicious, where I've tried the Loco Moco, Fish Tempura, and Banana Cream Pie.  The servings were so big!  Luckily I had my mom, dad, and brother to share the food with.

Famous Guri Guri Ice Cream Store

Guri Guri Icecream with the two flavors Pineapple on top and Strawberry on the bottom

Da Kitchen Express Kihei

Fish Tempura (Left) Banana Cream Pie (Middle) Loco Moco (Right) from Da Kitchen

Places Visited

Most of the trip was spent in either Wailuku, where the baseball tournament was held, or in Kihei where our hotel, the Maui Banyan was located.  In addition to that though I made two trips, one from Kihei to Honolua Bay, and another from Wailuku to Haiku, that were the most memorable.  

The baseball tournament was held in Maehara Stadium located in Wailuku next to the War Memorial Stadium.  Maehara Stadium was built in 1973 and showed some signs of its age.  Winds were always strong there, blowing in directly from the coast, which always made it cold to sit in the shade.

Maehara Stadium

My brother Kory makes a run for third base

Most of the time spent after the games was at the hotel having a barbecue outside and having a good time.  One of the nights we decided to buy local, so we went to Takamiya Market in Kihei to get our meat.  The meat was so 'ono* and it felt really good to support the local economy.  People from Maui always seem open to strike up a conversation with, and the Mauians in Takamiya Market were definitely of the hospitable kind. 

Kihei to Honolua

The road from Kihei to Honolua offers some spectacular views.  Since there was a game that day at 1:30 p.m. the goal was to make it all the way to Honolua Bay and back by 1:00 p.m.  We started at 8:30 a.m. and we were able to do it in time.  On the way we passed Kalama Park, with the beach full of stand-up paddle boarders.  Near the park entrance there is a huge model of a humpback whale.  Humpback whales come to the area every year.  Next we passed Kealia Pond then ʻalaea* which offered some spectacular views.  From Māʻalaea to Oluwalu you have to drive through windy roads with dry scenery.  What is nice around here is that you get to see Molokai island up close.  Next we drove through Lahaina* and finally down to Honolua Bay.  Lahaina used to be the capital of the Hawaii from 1820 till 1845 and was a whaling town.  As a result there are many historical sites in Lahaina making it a really interesting town.  Honolua* Bay apparently consists of two parts.  One for snorkeling and the other for surfers.  We only stayed at the snorkeling part, as we didn't have much time to explore.

Kalama Park

Between Māʻalaea and Oluwalu

The Old Fort in Lahaina

Banyan Tree Park in Lahaina (one of the largest in the world)

Old Lahaina Prison

Honolua Bay

Wailuku to Haiku

This trip was taken with my mother and her friend, Maui resident Laurie.  From Wailuku we made our way to ʻia* passed Ho'okipa Beach Park and finally paid a visit to Haiku.  This trip was also very scenic as we got to see better views of Haleakalā.  ʻia is a very hippie town with many small shops selling things ranging from antiques to all-hemp products.  It is a sight to see, and a must if you are seeking for a cultural tour of Maui.  Next we stopped by at Ho'okipa* Beach Park.  Ho'okipa is the windsurfing capital of the world, and yes, there were a lot of windsurfers when we got there.  Finally Laurie took us to her town of Haiku, a little ways up the road headed to the higher parts of Haleakalā*.

The sign at Ho'okipa Park has experienced its share of poetic license

Apparently you can drink alcohol in county parks in Maui

Windsurfing capital of the world Ho'okipa

ʻĪao Valley

The final day me, my brother, and dad took a quick trip up to ʻĪao* Valley where the famous ʻĪao Needle is located.  ʻĪao Valley was the site of the battle of Kepaniwai* between Kamehameha the Great and Kalanikūpule.  The valley is actually rainforest and one can still see the locals going for a swim in ʻĪao Stream below.  The needle itself served as a lookout point for invaders in ancient Hawaiian times, but hiking the needle looks near impossible.  Kalo (Taro) is still grown here and it offers a glimpse into the lifestyles of the Hawaiians of old.

ʻĪao Needle

Too Short of a Trip

On this trip to Maui I didn't even get to see the sunrise on Haleakalā or experience the road to Hana and all of its beauty within my 5 days there.  Those things will definitely get priority on my list of things to do next time I get to Maui.  Everytime I leave Maui I am a little sad.  The people and the beauty of the island makes you want to stay...  and oh yes, the food!  I hope I have the opportunity to go again soon.  As my mom told me several times on the trip, "Here today, gone to Maui!"   

Map of Places Visited

View Brief Maui Encounter in a larger map

Hawaiian Language Glossary

'ono:  Delicious
ʻalaea:  Ocherous earth beginnings
Lahaina:  Cruel sun (Lahaina can get very hot)
Honolua:  Two bays
ʻia:  Noisy
Ho'okipa:  Hospitality
Haleakalā:  House of the Sun 
ʻĪao:  Cloud supreme
Kepaniwai:  Damming of the waters (the Battle of Kepaniwai was so bloody that the rivers were dammed with dead bodies)


  1. the loco moco from Da Kitchen looks amazin!

  2. oh yes it absolutely was! haha. I'm craving some Taco Rice actually... maybe I'll make some tonight...

  3. Loco moco was massive...i wish i coulda went!

  4. It was massive tan... wish you coulda came with us too. It was super fun. You would have really liked the Fish Tempura. So ono.

  5. I've been thinking of visiting Maui since I want to see the island again and swim at Molokini. I'll definitely have to try the GuriGuri shop you went to and all the other good foods! It's cool that you went to Iao Valley. I always wanted to go. Lucky you got to snorkel too!! It's so much fun. One day, you have to do a road trip around Maui. It's so incredible. It was one of the best drives of my life. I know the feeling of missing a place! The neighbor islands are still so natural, which is nice.

  6. I think you are spot on Mary... the neighbor islands still seem like they have lots of the 'mana' left in them. And yes, I really want to go on a road trip around the island... the road to Hana seems awesome.


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