Marvelous Maui: Speeding Down Haleakala Mountain and Wailea Happy Hours

For our Complete Hawaii 2017 Itinerary- visiting O’ahu & Maui-Click Here.

Sunrise Over Haleakala Mountain

Funtivity. Maui Sunriders Bike Tours.

We woke up around 2:30 a to get to the Maui Sunriders location extra early. From there, we got sized for bikes, rain pants, and helmets. Check out Maui Sunriders’ instagram here. It was absolutely stunning to watch the sunrise over the mountain, into the crater below, and then to bike down the mountain. I absolutely love going fast, it was an incredible adrenaline rush!! It was about 40*F for the first hour+ that we were up there watching the sun come up, very chilly for our tropical vacation– but by the bottom of the mountain, we had stripped to shorts (leggings) and tanks.

What to Wear: Haleakala Mountain

  • Clothing: leggings (or shorts with leggings), tank top, sweatshirt/ athletic jacket, windbreaker, scarf, gloves, sunglasses, sneakers
  • GoPro, helmet mount
  • Backpack – you’ll want it to put the extra layers of clothes as you strip

Brunch on the way down…

While biking down from the top of Haleakala Mountain, we stopped at Kula Lodge & Restaurant– a little mountain side restaurant. We went from feeling like we were on a tropical vacation to a ski holiday. It amazes me how mountains are mountains and the types of restaurants that crop up on them are so similar no matter where in the world you are. We got a hearty brunch and enjoyed the views.

Wandered Paia

We just spent a little more time wandering the adorable town of Paia- I definitely recommend spending some time there.

Lunch. HuliHuli Chicken + Ribs

  • An AMAZING stand on the side of the road, you can walk your tray over to the beach and sit in the sand to eat.
  • Another one to keep an eye on the days that it’s open!! Check before you plan 🙂

Resort Pool

We used to have the GoPro4 and the photo quality was decent, but the new one is even better. Thankfully we’ve also improved our photography skills! As much as I want to share with you the pictures from the pool, they don’t do it justice. We’ll include a full Grand Wailea Review in our posts from our 2019 vacay.

Happy Hour at Tommy Bahama – Wailea

Tommy Bahama is one of our favorites stores- in case it wasn’t obvious from our outfits- and we love visiting the restaurant in The Woodlands, so we were super excited to go in Wailea! The Happy Hour runs in the bar daily from 2-5 pm $10 small plates $10 martinis & $8 cocktails.

Sunset Cocktails

We all know how expensive hotel drinks can be- since we were fresh out of school and new to the work place, our budget was very set. Instead of buying $15 mojitos every day from the pool bar, (we only split a mojito twice!) we opted to swing by a few ABC convenience stores and get local liquors to mix with the fantastic fruits that we were buying from fruit stands every day! Our favorite was to make up a cocktail and enjoy the stunning sunset views from our balcony.

*Note: we were able to go pretty crazy for being on a budget, but only because we really thought through each each and every purchase, and were fortunate enough to have friends who lived in Honolulu and we could spend half of our vacation with them.

Happy Hour/ Dinner. Gannon’s Restaurant at the Wailea Golf Club.

Kyle went to Gannon’s with his family as a kid and his dad even played golf there. Someday, maybe we will too. Instead, we went f

Gannon’s has a happy hour running from 3-8pm daily (*note, happy hour is not offered from December 21 – January 1) $14 “small” plates, $8 side dishes, $10 desserts + $9 signature cocktails, $8 classic cocktails, $7 wine, $5 beer.

We had such a fantastic time sitting at the bar, the bartender got a kick out of how much I loved discovering lilikoi that he gave me a fresh passionfruit from below the counter that one of his coworkers grew in her back yard! Everyone on the entire island of Maui was just so incredibly nice, I couldn’t get over it.

Volcano Fries from Gannon’s were AMAZING!!! They were the perfect food to end our happy hour tour on. The furikake added a lot of flavor 🤗

Insanely early bed time….

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Honolulu Happy Hours

adobe-spark-post-11Several people have asked for Hawaii vacay tips, so I’m going to share our itinerary with you! In 2017, I graduated from law school, took (& passed!) the Georgia Bar Exam, and we decided to move in together. To celebrate, all of this, and or four-year anniversary, we planned our first big vacation together, to Hawaii!! I’ll be using the hashtag HawaiianVacay to mark these posts, so hopefully you’ll check back in with them. Follow the hashtag to see the entire itinerary.

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So here it goes: #HawaiianVacay Day 1.1- Arriving in Hawaii!

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We booked out tickets in May and found that the best time of year to go, for the cheapest miles was in September. This is probably because most kids are just going back to school, so people aren’t taking family vacations. We used that view on the Delta website where you can see a grid showing days you leave against days you return and picked the cheapest date range that allowed us to have 10 days. We also knew ahead of time that we would each need a checked bag. I get 1 free each leg, Kyle would need to pay for his. For this round trip flight, we each spent: 45,000 miles x 2 + $11.20 x 2 + $25.00 x 2 = $72.40.

We were able to get two roundtrip tickets for only 45,000 Delta miles each!! Direct flights ATL to HNL.

Also- you can see the whole itinerary including links to the companies that we used, and costs of the “funtivities” (we like to be very open about how much activities cost in case other people want to se the same companies or want to know how to budget most effectively.

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Tips for keeping flight costs down:

  1. if you don’t mind layovers, don’t be afraid of them
  2. if you’re booking with Delta (or any airline that offers it) be sure to check out the “grid view” to maximize your savings!
  3. check out deals on HawaiianAirlines from LA or Phoenix or Seattle and consider buying a separate ticket on a different airline to one of those cities if you can get a good deal. United has also been advertising affordable nonstop flights to different islands from “the main land”! Southwest also launched flights to Hawaii!
  4. know your airline rewards! I have a Delta credit card that gets me a free checked bag, and builds up miles quickly, so for us, this is how we cut down our costs majorly.
  5. check out Expedia vacation deals; Costco Travel; Amex Travel; Delta Vacations plans – all of these are good options if you want some help planning your whole vacation
  6. follow the flights on hopper; kayak; kiwi; google flights; and sky scanner to keep up do date on the best prices available!
  7. comment below to share how you find the best deals!

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We were very lucky because Kyle’s good friend was stationed in Honolulu (airforce) with his fiancé ((we’re actually going to their wedding in 2 weeks!!)) They were celebrating a friend’s birthday, so we tagged along to some happy hours! Have you been to any good happy hours or cocktail bars in Honolulu or on O’ahu? Comment below!

After all of that fun, we crashed pretty early. Our GOAL was to stay on Atlanta time. We wanted to be able to wake up early and do fun-tivities and then go nap on a beach or by a pool, and wake back up for dinner. *This time difference is exactly the reason why I think you actually could do a Hawaii trip in 6 days (budgeting for 1 travel day on either end & 4 fun-filled days!). As long as you stay on mainland time, you can do sooo much stuff!

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Some highlights from our first day:

  • Our friends’ apartment had an incredible view. We saw a rainbow almost every day! It was amazing! I’ve never seen one start to finish before, & it looked so close. #HawaiianVacay Day 1.2Screen Shot 2019-05-09 at 8.12.50 AM
    • If it wasn’t a rainbow, it was a stunning sunset.adobe-spark-post-1
  • We went back to their apartment, then went out with them to one of their friends’ birthdays.
    • Maui Brewing Co., in Waikiki #HawaiianVacay Day 1.3
      • Sadly, this was not the actual brewing company, just a restaurant. It’s basically like going to Taco Mac. But it’s also a must-do if you’re in Hawaii. We went back on our last night on O’ahu and got a fun glass-set! Another plus: they have a “mocktail” menu, which I really respect since (1) there’s a lot of driving in Hawaii and (2) it makes this restaurant both pregnancy- and kid-friendly.

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  • Azure, in Waikiki #HawaiianVacay Day 1.4
    • I think this is the next place that we went to. It was basically overpriced cocktails. But we sat on the roof. But it was a low (like 2nd/ 3rd story) roof and it was also windy…. So the views weren’t really worth the chill. Just trying to be 100% honest 🙂
  • Cuckoo’s Coconuts, in Waikiki #HawaiianVacay Day 1.5
    • Okay this place was PERFECT! It was the absolute best kitschy tiki bar that we could ask for! They had live music that was actually GOOD, silly drinks that came in fun glassware, and cheap bar food. Kyle got his first Mai Thai of the trip!
    • I would absolutely go back here!!

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Tell me your favorite places to eat in Waikiki!

Chinatown {Thailand- Day 2: Nighttime}

Our first night in Bangkok was a light exhausting. We got all checked in to our first hotel, The Conrad Bangkok (using points, thanks dad!), and I instantly fell asleep, hard.

But we rallied and went out, heading toward Chinatown (Yaowarat) & Sampheng Market.

Pad Thai from the street vendors!
Pork gyoza from Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand How incredibly delicious do those look?!

After only a few bites, we were beat. To be fair, Chinatown was more than a little overwhelming. Before we left though, Kyle spotted bags of passion fruits for only 40 Thai Baht (that’s about $1.30–to put it in perspective, a single passion fruit from HEB costs $5.00). Anybody who knows me knows how obsessed I am with passion fruits- so we bought the entire bag and ate one as soon as we got back to the hotel.

{{Chinatown taught us an important lesson about planning a trip to Thailand… you cannot just wander aimlessly!}}

We also took our first Tuk Tuk ride! It wasn’t nearly as scary as everyone made it sound. I really enjoyed it because I love going fast and feeling the wind. Kyle “pulled a Katy” and fell asleep for a second inside the Tuk Tuk 🤪.

We were back at the hotel around 22/23:00 and ready to pass out.

On Day 3, we started out with a floating market, check back in.

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