Maui, Hawaii

When I Went: February 23-March 7, 2012

Was That the Best Time of Year to Go? This is a lovely time of year, although I understand the weather is wonderful for most of the year. The temperature varies so little, around 75-80 degrees. We had a couple of rainy days, but not enough to dampen the trip by any means.

Why I Went There: We attended my godchild’s wedding at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Wailuki.

Who Went With Me? My boyfriend and I traveled together, but sisters, spouses, many nieces and nephews, and their children, also attended the wedding.

We Stayed Here: Lahaina Shores Beach Resort

You Won’t Want to Miss: Ulalena at the Maui Theatre presents a story of the Hawaiian people that is just a feast for the eyes and ears. The live music produced by the native instruments and the combination of puppetry, big screen background, dancing, aerial acrobatics, and extraordinary singing wowed me. As a theater critic, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a production that did a better job of combining all the theatrical elements to create an original eye-popping production. It’s New York quality!

Eat Here: A sunset dinner cruise gave us a chance to whale watch and enjoy the company of relatives at the same time. We relaxed with cocktails, appetizers, and live entertainment by a female vocalist singing from the upper deck while the sun sank behind the islands.

Play Here: We loved snorkeling on Molokai. At first I was hesitant, but the gear is provided, and wet suits to keep you warm are available. The underwater life swimming by me, that I’d only seen in aquariums, was breath-taking.  The best tours are through the Pacific Whale Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that I’m happy to help fund by taking their tours. Besides, their guides are knowledgeable and enthusiastic to answer questions even before I thought of one to ask.

If I Went Again: The road to Hana Rainforest is wonderful, but I’d rather rent a jeep than ride in the back of a van and get motion sickness. Still, the black sand beaches were a welcome stop. I loved hiking down to the shore and admiring the shining black pebbles and sand.

How Did You Get There From Dallas? We flew with Southwest Airlines and had the happy experience of crossing paths with the bride and groom when we layed over in Arizona.

Other Tips For Fellow Travelers: We did a ziplining premier tour with five different lines–thrilling and a must-do for adults. On another note: when traveling with many relatives, it’s okay to strike out on your own in addition to the family get-togethers. Don’t wait for 17 people to agree for all your activities. We all did many of the same activities, but at different times. Then we found each other for dinner and shared our adventures of the day. We planned a luau together, however, and that was a good idea because it gave us a chance to all see each other before we dispersed to do our own things.

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