Displaying items by tag: hawaii

maui 2021You must visit Maui if you travel to the Hawaiian Islands. There is much to see and do but you should take time to enjoy all the beauty that surrounds you. A trip to Haleakala Crater (especially at sunrise) or to Hana is only about 30 miles from Wailea but be prepared to spend almost 3 hours each way on winding roads and traveling about 20-25 miles an hour. Don’t miss Oleakapaa Falls and Paia, learn to surf, learn to hula and if you haven’t done it before, be sure to attend a luau.

Right now, vaccinated travelers do not need to quarantine upon arrival, but you must go to the Safe Travels Hawaii website and fill in the forms which require your flight and vaccination info. Also, 24 hours prior to your departure you must complete the health form on the website. Most airlines are checking your QR code at the gateway and are issuing clearance bracelets so you can bypass inspection upon arrival. Kahului is a fairly big airport and if you are renting a car, be prepared to walk a bit. There is a tram to the car rental center but there didn’t appear to be any motorized vehicles or wheelchairs to assist passengers with walking challenges.

The airport is about 40 minutes from the Wailea area where we stayed. On the way to our hotel, we passed Costco and Target. We rented a car but Uber and Lyft are available. Parking at the hotel is by valet only and right now costs $65 a day. The Grand Wailea is a big, beautiful property with a number of pools and a lazy river of water winding through. The beach is in a large almost cove setting and the water most days consists of gentle, lapping waves. The rooms are all spacious and have single serve Keurigs and refrigerators. Housekeeping was completed every day and usually by noon. The hotel has many dining choices, Café Kula, Bistro Molokini and their fine dining restaurant Humuhumukunukuapua’a.

Golf is across the street. A short walk takes you to the Shops at Wailea, a very upscale shopping center with flagship stores like Gucci and Tiffany. It also includes ABC stores to buy snacks etc. plus the Island Gourmet Market for a great selection of takeout foods, wine, snacks etc.

Other hotels within walking distance are Andaz, Four Seasons, Marriott and The Fairmont. All of the hotels have restaurants for dining that are on Open Table. Best to book dinners as soon as possible especially if you want to try Mama’s Fish House considered the best on the island. But other choices are Mateo’s, Wailea Kitchen, Humble Kitchin and Longhi’s. Many of the restaurants also provide a takeout option if you’re unable to dine there.

The flora and fauna are absolutely gorgeous and graffiti is nonexistent. One of the fun moments is seeing all of the roosters roaming around freely. Maui is unique and definitely a great addition to your bucket list!

 

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Tuesday, 28 September 2021 12:37

Kauai is calling your name!

kauai 2021Aloha(hello/goodbye) and Mahalo (thank you) are the most used words in Hawaii. Everyone is so very happy to have visitors from the mainland. There are some requirements in place for travel to Hawaii. All travelers must go to Safe Travels Hawaii and complete the forms which involve your flight info, as well as vaccination status. Vaccinated travelers, as of right now, do not need to quarantine. Do not forget to complete the health form 24 hours prior to travel. Once all information is inputted, you will receive a QR code. American Airlines precleared us at our gateway, Los Angeles, so when we landed in Lihue, we just showed our preclear bracelet and went to baggage claim.

Airlines today are enforcing transportation rules very stringently due to the disruptive behavior of the traveling public. Announcements are given many times aboard the aircraft about correct mask wearing, smoking and adherence to flight attendants’ instructions. Passengers are advised that failure to follow the regulations will result in fines, prison and permanent banning of future travel. In all our years of travel, our first experience of police escorting a passenger off the plane happened on our flight L.A. to Lihue due to smoking in the lavatory.

We rented a car, but Uber and Lyft are also available. If you rent through National, right now all shuttles are through Alamo.

There’s much to see and do in Kauai. You can sightsee on your own or book tours (right now due to COVID most tours are limited to about 10 participants).

Don’t miss Waimea Canyon (Kauai’s Grand Canyon), Wailua Falls, Lappert’s Ice Cream (and they have delicious cookies!) and shave ice. If you like to hike, enjoy watersports, and take helicopter rides, this is definitely the island for you! But be aware, some parts of the island are only accessible by boat, plane or helicopter.

There are many choices for accommodations…hotels, condos, b and bs. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. It’s a great family resort with many pools, plenty of water options as well as a lagoon and beach. The hotel also has complimentary self-parking which is a huge plus. If you’re a golfer, Poipu Bay Golf Course is a short walk from the hotel. There is a small store onsite for various snacks and sandwiches and they also have a guest laundry. The hotel provides laundry detergent pods and dryer sheets. It is difficult to obtain dinner reservations at the hotel if you wait until you arrive. Some evenings we ate offsite. Poipu Shopping Village and the shops at Kukui’ula offer alternative choices such as Keoki’s Paradise, Merriman’s and Bubba’s Burger.

Everything is more expensive on Kauai as most goods are flown in from the mainland so be prepared for higher food, beverage and gas prices. If you plan to eat in restaurants, most are listed on Open Table and you should book as far out as the site allows. Restaurant reservations are difficult to come by if you wait until you arrive. Effective September 15 for at least a month (and maybe more), the restaurants and venues will be requiring proof of vaccination in order to enter.

The weather is beautiful. The foliage is fabulous. Hence the name The Garden Isle. And the pace is slower. Although you are in paradise, don’t despair cause Costco, Macy’s and soon a Target to fulfill your other shopping needs.

Enjoy the beautiful sunsets and the starry skies. Kauai is calling your name!

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