Ellen Gonella is a guest at The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas in Lahaina, Maui, a gorgeous beachfront property with a little smoking problem.
Gretchen Kenney thought the $232 a night rate at Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club was pretty darned good, considering that Marriott’s own website showed the same two-bedroom unit at $589 a night.
But not too good to be true.
Ah, but it was.
Horses aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Hawaii. Palm trees. Pineapple plantations. Luau. Hula, maybe.
But horses? No. And definitely not cowboys. But in Maui’s upcountry, far from the beach resorts and the gentle surf and the postcard-perfect waterfalls, there I was, confronted with a funny question.
“Dad, which horse goes down the zipline?”
My six-year-old son, Iden, who’s a pro at coming up with riddles like that–unanswerable ones, usually–was totally serious. He’d seen the zipline course at Piiholo Ranch, on a hillside that leads up to one of Maui’s dormant volcanoes, and then horses, and he’d connected the dots.
“Horses don’t zipline,” I said.
About half an hour into the redeye flight from Maui to Los Angeles last Wednesday, the cabin lights abruptly flashed on. But that didn’t wake me up. It was the captain’s announcement that jarred me to alertness.
“We’ve had a fire in the forward galley,” he said with the professional detachment you’d expect from an airline pilot. “The fire has been put out. We’re diverting to Honolulu.”
It was stranger-than-fiction way to end a fascinating trip to Maui with my son (more on that on National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel blog next week). Our adventure began with a tsunami warning a week before and an evacuation from our ground-floor room at the Grand Wailea.
I didn’t think it could get any more interesting than that. I was wrong.
No one expects to get whacked by a tsunami on their vacation. I certainly didn’t when I checked into the Grand Wailea Resort in Maui on Wednesday night.
But on Thursday evening, the sirens started blaring, warning that a killer wave could be headed our way.
If you live on the East Coast of the United States — and most folks reading this site do — then you’re probably thinking about the weather this weekend. Complaining about it, to be exact.
Yeah, it’s cold and snowy. And winter’s just getting started.
Since this blog is all about solutions, and since I’m kind of in the same predicament (there’s a freeze warning for Central Florida tonight) I thought I’d mention a few places that you might rather be.
It would be tempting to stay on the touristy side of Oahu, catching a gentle wave on one of Waikiki’s beaches, or doing a luau at one of the many fine hotels in Honolulu. Nothing wrong with that. But it’s not us.
We wanted to go where no one else does, because that’s how we are. (After all, we’re in search of the real Hawaii.) So we headed to the North Shore area, to Waimea Falls and Kualoa Ranch.