Heading to Maui for Spring Break? Lucky you! We just returned from our fourth family vacation to Maui (our all-time favorite island) a few days ago, and rather than get my house in order, I want to share a few quick thoughts with you. (For more on Maui including luaus, see my previous Maui post.)

Keep sunset time in mind! The sun will be setting around 6:42 this week and it’s a pity to miss it because you’re inside showering for dinner. Plan accordingly, giving yourself at least a half hour to watch the sun sink into the sea. That 30 minutes before the sun goes down is often more magical than the actual “set,” and it’s an ideal time to take photos bathed in a golden glow.

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Vacationing in posh Wailea with energetic kids? When you need a break from water play, take a beachfront stroll to get smoothies from Whale Tail stand by the Marriott, walk over to Wailea mall for Lappert’s chocolate-dipped ice cream cones and a Billabong hat, or drive to nearby La Perouse Bay for a change of scenery and an eye-opening walk on the jagged black lava fields.  

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Staying at The Andaz Maui in Wailea perhaps? Great choice! Although we didn’t see them advertised, complimentary Go Pros are available from the concierge, so grab one and get a quick tutorial before you head out for the day. Ask about their complimentary photo shoots, enjoy the free mai tai mixology class, and and order this yummy tuna tataki (below) for lunch. It’s as good as their shrimp summer roll with peanut sauce, maybe even better, and its big enough to share.

 

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Good news, fellow whale lover! Last week we saw more whales than ever on the Alli Nui catamaran. The season is definitely winding down, but I bet you’ll see some humpback stragglers this week! 

 

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“SUN, trust me.” I’ve spent more than my fair share swimming in oceans and basking on beaches, but I’ve never seen so many sunburns and painful blisters as I did in Maui last week.  Do your skin a favor and crank up your SPF, make the kids wear their sun shirts and hats (even though they hate them) and spend the height of the afternoon under a shady palm. 

Plan to paddle board first thing in the morning when the water is calmer, boards are still available for rent, and the sun isn’t as strong. The guys renting out boards will tell you the best places to spot green sea turtles, usually near the coral reefs. But don’t get too close or you’ll risk cutting yourself and endangering the sea life. 

 

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Are you a foodie? I thought so! As I mention in my other post, one of my favorite spots in Maui is organic O’O Farm. They’ve recently added an enlightening coffee tour to their itinerary, so if you dream of being a “cupper” (a professional coffee taster), give them a call and then head upcountry for a fascinating, educational breakfast complete with “slurping” and tasting. Take note: it’s cooler and rainier up near Kula, so bring dark sneakers and a rain jacket if you’ve got them. And while you’re in upcountry, check out the cool goat cheese farm and lavender field nearby.

 

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Last week the farm chef served up a fabulous breakfast of warm, kid-friendly “honeybuns” along with platters like this one featuring simple, empty crepes over avocado and arugula puree and topped with grilled loquats and beets, plucked  fresh from the soil. The people at O’O Farm are passionate about food, the environment, and their individual crafts (composting, coffee roasting, cooking, etc.) and are eager to share their knowledge. 

 

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We plucked these sweet, delicate loquats right off the tree and they were delicious. You won’t see them in most stores because their thin-skin means they don’t transport well.  So, eat them when you get the chance! Mahalo! 

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