My first visit to Hawaii was in Feb 2015 to finish my 200 hr Yoga training on the Big Island. I spent the 7 days at a yoga retreat, which was incredible, but I didn’t get to explore much else.
This January, my hubby, Joe and I, left for a 10 day trip to Maui, the day after his 33rd birthday.
Let me start by sharing with you the price we booked the flights for: $438 CAD per person ROUND TRIP!
There was one stop over in LAX on the way there, and in YVR on the way back. If we went to Honolulu, the price would’ve been $400 CAD round trip, non stop! We got the deal insight from www.yyzdeals.com. If you’re not already on the email list, you’re missing out HUGE. Get on it now! (I am not affiliated with this site or anything else I am promoting in this post)
Anyhow, here are some highlights and summary from our adventure. I hope you can use some of these ideas when you plan your Hawaii travels! We felt that 10 days was a good amount of time to do pretty much everything we needed to do and see on the island. We would definitely go back, but maybe in 20 years. I’d explore the other islands next!
My summary and commentary will be very brief and informal. I want to let the photos do most of the talking but please feel free to comment and share!
Before you even begin, download this APP: GyPSy Tours.
Once you download it and load it on your phone, you will not need any wifi or data to use it. It follows you where ever you go, has great commentary and teaches you a lot of facts and history about Maui and the Hawaiian culture. It is worth every penny!
On that same note, it would be helpful to rent a car. I booked my flights and car rental with my TD Expedia account, as I do with all my travels.
Jan 28 – waiting patiently to board our flight. 5 hours to LAX, another 6 to Kahului, Maui. Long flight, so I had to limber up and promote some circulation by going upside down!
Finally landing. The view is amazing. We were looking at the very island that we would drive around entirely!
Once we landed, the first meal we had was POKE! This was from the supermarket, Safeway
We picked up our car, a tiny Chevy Spark, and this is where the adventure begins! It’s so great that Goodlife has a partnership with 24 Hour Fitness because that would be our second home for the next 10 days! We used it to work out, shower, and cook tea and oatmeal LOL! First night, living in the car parked outside of the supermarket. Surprisingly, or maybe not so much, living out of your car was a common thing to do in Maui! We were not the only ones. And contrary to what one might assume – that this was forced upon us etc etc, we purposely did not book a hotel for this first night because we planned on living up in the volcano for 3 days, then tenting and glamping. It was by choice 🙂
Jan 29 – Our plan was to drive up to the visitor centre of the Haleakala crater (volcano), park at 8,000 ft and hike up to 10,000ft summit and back down, over 3 days. It rained CATS and DOGS – of course it would! It rained during West Coast Trail and it hailed during our hike in Italy as well, WHAT LUCK! Anyhow, by serendipity, we caught our friend, an avid long distance hiker from Toronto, on his way down from the mountain, just as we were parked and contemplating the hike. We knew he would be here but we thought we would totally miss each other. His exact words: “…it’s pretty bad in there. I wouldn’t start the hike today.” We gladly listened lol
So we decided to hike the next day. We spent the rest of the day exploring half of the island. We went to a botanical garden, checked out some beaches, ate and shopped around Kihei, and slept in the car again haha
Jan 30 – Take 2! Off to Haleakala again! The weather was looking much more promising. In fact, it turned out to be an amazing day! we decided to turn it into just a one day hike instead of camping up in the mountain. We parked at 8,000 ft, hitchhiked to 10,000ft then hiked back down, which actually included some ups, 18+ kms and 5.5 hours later. We were dead. We got some great photos along the way and being up above the clouds was literally MAGICAL.
I’ve been to told to prepare the body for the altitude change, by taking some medication and/or approaching the climbs slowly, but Joe and I did ok. Our legs on the other hand, were crippled for days lol.
Once we reached the car, we drove back up to 10,000 ft to catch the sunset. It was beautiful – and crowded! We also stayed up a few more hours until the sky blackened so we could see the stars. We saw THOUSANDS it was amazing! I wanted to stay overnight to catch the sunRISE…but it was cold AF, like below freezing and despite our winter gear, we were way too cold, so we drove back down, showered at the gym, and slept in the car in the warm parking lot bwahahahhaha
Jan 31 – We did some laundry at the laundromat – total VAN life here! Well, more like mini car life, haha. Then we browsed around the city of Paia. Lots of little shops, great eats and Ho’okipa beach where sea turtles reside! At night, we went to a Luau which was super fun. It had an open bar and buffet dinner. Joe also healed a man lol.
Feb 1 – We went to Lahaina, which is along the north west side of the island, to see the Banyan Tree, shop around Front street, and checked out the Wo Hing Temple! Lahaina is almost like a Chinatown, and the Wo Hing Temple is a museum show casing a lot of Chinese history in Hawaii. We learned that the first president of China, Sun Yat-Sen had first visited the islands when he was 13 and was educated there!
Afterwards, we ate at a cafe called Cool Cats and lounged at Ka’anapali Beach – super gorgeous beach! Joe isn’t a fan of the sun, like a typical Chinese man…and put up a tent on the beach to hide in. All he was missing were his driving gloves and visor HAHA!
Feb 2 – We checked into our camp grounds of Olowalu later the previous night. So instead of living in our cars, we finally had a bed to sleep in! Olowalu offered “Glamping,” which were tentalows, or yurts, that had electricity, showers, beds etc. I’ts very similar to what I lived in during some of my yoga retreats so this was totally fine and worth the money: $80USD per night for the both of us! Can you tell we are very low maintenance? LOL we’d rather spend our money on good food! And you will see that we did, in just a few days…
We woke up bright and early on the 2nd and went whale watching with Makai Adventures! It was a small boat with about 20 people, and we went out into the ocean at 7:30am. We didn’t see much in the first hour, but suddenly, the whales came right up to us and basically surrounded our boat! We got some amazing footage, especially with my GoPro!
HERE’S THE LINK TO THE COOL VIDEO WE TOOK!
Afterwards, we had breakfast at Leoda’s, a cafe across our camp, which was delicious! Our other camp neighbours found out that I was a yoga teacher and that Joe was a massage therapist and trained in Tai Chi, so they didnt shy away from DEMANDING a lesson haha! We were more than happy! In exchange, Joe got to use their surf board and snorkel with them…but he was disappointed that he didn’t see any turtles.
Here are some super speed footage of our lessons 🙂
Even on #vacation I gotta "work" haha 🤸🏻♂️🙃 By popular demand, these German friends put this yoga teacher to work today! Traded a yoga class for paddle boarding adventures (well, joe went, not me, cus i suck at swimming lol) Enjoying every moment ☀️ 🌺 🙏🏻 #yogawithjessie #jessielamfitness #hawaii #maui #campolowalu #yogaNutritionStrength #holistic #fitness #gym #beastmode #rhn #workout #asian #health #yoga #teamchinaman #toronto #nutritionist #bikini #healthy #personaltrainer #markham #yogamedicine @campolowalu @joerehab #teamchinaman
#mcm #mancrusheveryday @joerehab teaching a morning #taichi #warmup to our friends here at @campolowalu Working hard while on vacay lol #fitness #asian #maui #hawaii #aloha #martialarts #yoga #movement #health #healthy #exercise #nature #island #camp #tentalow #wellness #exercise #holistic #teamchinaman
For Dinner, we went back to Lahaina and ate at Paia Fish Market. There are about 3-4 locations on the island I believe. We ate at all of them haha
Feb 3-4 – I met up with one of my Yoga Medicine Teacher training friends that I met when I was in Spain. I totally forgot she had recently moved to Maui so I was so happy to reunite with her and have some good food at Cafe Des Amis! It’s a cute little Mediterranean/India place with delicious food! I love travelling and for learning and for pleasure because of the people I get to meet along the way. It’s so refreshing.
Afterwards, Joe and I set off to start the Road to Hana! We had a number of scenic stops along the way, walked throught the Keanae Arboretum to saw the beautiful Rainbow Eucalyptus trees – photos that I am totally blowing up and framing.
We camped at Wai’anapanapa that night, which was kinda gross. The car was a much better place to sleep in haha, but it was where the caves, blow holes, and black sand beaches were. So those were nice! We were supposed to camp 2 nights there, but we decided to book it early the next morning to go past Hana, and hike through the 2 mile Bamboo rainforest and finish up at Waimoku Falls. We were not able to swim that day because there had been falling rocks that injured visitors 🙁 But grateful to have these beautiful photos!
We kept bumping into these 2 people like 4 times, RANDOMLY on the island, along Hana, in Paia, on both days! So we had to catch a photo with them.
Once we finished Hana, we went back to Paia and at the Fish Market again lol. Then we went back to Ho’opika beach and hung out with the turtles!
Feb 5 – We finally made it out to Big Beach and Little Beach. Big Beach was beautiful and Little Beach was clothing optional (no photos of that!). At night, we went back to Paia and ate at the Flat Bread Company. Everything was organic and fresh, we order the vegan pizza and it totally exceeded our expectations. We highly recommend!
Feb 6-7 – by this point we did almost everything we wanted to do on the island. It was raining on the 6th so we bummed around the mall, The Queen Kaahumanu Center, which was pretty nice, and just hung around in our Tentalow.
Back at it 💪 my second home, @24hourfitness, my first home being the car 🚗 hahaha That rock climbing grip tho 😪 this video didn't capture the initial jump and slip lol. So I had to try again with the neutral grip, then swing around like a crazy monkey 🐒 to get it. Second last day on this beautiful island 🌴 🌺 #gym #goodlife #strongwithjessie2017 #jessielamfitness #yogamedicine #yogawithjessie #yogaNutritionStrength #asian #toronto #vacation #workout #gym #24hourfitness #pullups #strong #girlswholift #markham #maui #beastmode #fit #fitness #teamchinaman
On the 7th, we had a full day before our 11:35pm flight. We had made reservations to Mama’s Fish House, the most expensive, and #1 restaurant on the island, and had a $190 USD lunch! It was delicious, the fish was prepared phenomenally, but it’s definitely not something to eat o a regular basis even if I did have all the money in the world lol. You know how fine dining is…the portions were not grand. However, their in-house poppyseed bread was yummy!
I struck a few last poses at Olowalu and we left to enjoy or last few hours on the island. We paid one final visit to the gym, worked out and showered haha, and dropped off our beloved car/home at the airport.
And there you have it. Our 10-day Maui adventure in a nutshell – and tonnes of photos 🙂
Hope you enjoyed!