Thursday, September 19, 2013

Top 20 Reasons Maui is My Favorite Place on the Planet — [Guest Blog Post by Cheryl Ford]

Miggy and I arrived in Hawaii on Tuesday afternoon and all this week we are busy bees running around the island looking for cars, houses, delicious local food & opportunities to practice taking pictures in the crazy bright Hawaiian sunlight. While we're off on this first week of our tropical adventure, my beautiful friend Cheryl Ford has stepped in to write today's blog post. Take it away Cheryl.....

Woohoo! I get to do a Guest Blog Post on Chamonix's blog. And in honor of she and her husband, Miggy, moving to Maui this week, I am writing my blog post about Maui and giving you the top 20 reasons Maui is my favorite place on the planet.

20. Palm trees. I know you can get these lots of places, but I love a palm tree and they are bountiful on Maui.

19. Penguins. The Hyatt Kaanapali has tons of penguins right in the hotel. I learned from going to Maui that actually on a small number of penguin species live in cold climates and the rest live in warm climates. The penguins at the Hyatt hang out in the hotel lobby or in their little penguin houses. They're so cute and I have to go see them every time I'm there.

18. Glow Putt. Lahaina has a indoor miniature golf place called Glow Putt. They have neon paintings of animals and trees like a jungle on the wall and have black lights throughout so everything glows - including the golf balls. They play tunes and it's just a fun place to take your family.

17. Lahaina. It's just fun to go down into Lahaina and wander around. I don't even go into the stores or buy things. I just like to mosey through the streets and soak up the atmosphere. Walk down to the Banyan Tree and then back.

16. Mountains. The mountains of Maui are incredible. Beautiful greens and browns, lush and lovely. Even if you want to save a little money and stay someplace with a "mountain view" versus an "ocean view", the mountains are still gorgeous!

15. Rainbows. You get to see a rainbow almost every day. They make me so happy.

14. Hard Rock Cafe. I know it sounds cheesy, but I really enjoy the Hard Rock and the one on Maui has the most beautiful location right in downtown Lahaina on the water. You can watch the sunset while you enjoy my favorite drink called the Pickled Tink and then get their Twisted Macaroni and a brownie sundae. Mmmmmmmm. We have a Hard Rock here in Seattle but it's not special to go to one in your own town.

13. Sunsets. Every night there is a beautiful sunset on Maui and they are often just spectacular. I have a theory that you cannot fully capture the beauty of a sunset with a camera. Sometimes I still try but you just have to be there.

12. Music. I'll admit it . . . I thoroughly enjoy a cover band or just a guy sitting at a hotel bar playing Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley covers. They're everywhere on Maui and I love them every time. It's such a pleasant way to spend an evening.

11. Breezes. I'm actually a person who can't stand it when it's windy. Especially in the Northwest where it's cold and windy a good part of the year. The wind hurts my ears and makes me cranky. But the breezes on Maui are soft and warm and cool you off just enough when it's hot out. 

10. Chamonix is there! Now when I go to Hawaii, I'll get to see a wonderful friend. Extra bonus.

9. Spas. Maui has some amazing spas. My favorite is the Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea in Wailea. It is beautiful and all of the treatments are amazing.

8. ABC Stores. I love a convenience store, mini mart, snack shack as a general rule. But the ABC stores in Hawaii are so much more than just a snack shack. They have everything you could possibly want. Towels, sunscreen, snacks, drinks, back scratchers, souvenirs, jewelry, t-shirts. And they're everywhere. They're like the Starbucks in Seattle.

7. The Weather. Did you know that the average temperatures on Maui only fluctuate about 15 degrees from when it's the "coldest" to when it's the "warmest"? No matter when you go, you're bound to have great weather.

6. Kaanapali. The most beautiful beach and hotel area. I love the path that runs the length of the beach from the Sheraton all the way down to the Hyatt. It's a beautiful walk and you have everything you need right there. PLUS, there is a STARBUCKS now at the Marriott! BONUS!

5. Umalu. This is a pool bar/restaurant at the Hyatt in Kaanapali. It's my favorite place to eat in all of Maui - and they have THE best chicken nachos in the world.

4. Lahaina Lemonades. Sure I can make this drink anytime I want at home, but it's a special Maui drink. Basically it's lemonade with vodka and Chambord (raspberry liquor) in it. Hot day, hanging by the pool, reading magazines, sipping a Lahaina Lemonade . . . nothing is better. Nothing!

3. Pool time. I'm not a huge beach girl. I like looking at beaches. They're beautiful. But you get sand everywhere and it can get a little annoying. I love pools though and anytime we book a vacation anywhere, the hotel has to have a nice pool. We can sit out there all day long, the kids jumping in the water, swimming around, and we're lounging, reading, or not reading, chatting, or not chatting, but mostly just enjoying some down time. Also - see #3 above for additional pool time benefits.

2. The air. If you've never been there, you don't know that the air actually feels and smells different on Maui. It's clean, fresh, warm (but not too warm), floral. It has a gentleness to it that you don't get anywhere else.

1. Island time. That no rush, relax, easy living feeling of being on the island. Just chill out, don't worry or stress. A lot of people go on vacation and go and do and see and explore. One of the best parts of Maui for me is that I don't have to do any of that. It's a relaxing place, a place where you can really have a vacation away from all the going, going going.

As I'm writing this post, I leave for Maui in 5 days and this is making me so excited to do and see all of these things!!!! Chicken Nachos and Lahaina Lemonades, here I come.

Cheryl Ford