Jay and I were so fortunate to be able to spend a week in Maui celebrating two of our nearest and dearest. Ryan stood beside us five and a half years ago on our wedding day. So naturally I was a ball of mush, tears and sniffles watching Jay stand beside him as he married a girl we have both grown to know and love deeply. The first time I met Michelle was at 2 a.m. in a McDonald’s parking lot (classy I know), and since then we have to enjoyed doing life with her and Ryan. They have such an exceptional future ahead of them, and the world better get ready for their seriously fit offspring (or at least mine and Jay’s future pale, scrawny babies better) Beyond the amazing couple, we also loved being able to get some uninterrupted, low-key quality time with some of our oldest friends. We celebrated new marriages, and pending upcoming adventures. We grew acquaintanceship into full fledged, they are going to get so sick of us friendships (because we totally developed a couple crush on two amazing people who can eat as much as we do. That’s our demarcation of true friend-love right there). Friends, sunshine and beaches. I seriously cannot think of a better wedding week or winter vacation. Here are some of our ultimate highlights:
1. Stay at the Fairmont Kea Lani
You are shocked I know, that we Jordan’s stayed at another Fairmont (This being our 20+ Fairmont stay, you can read all about our brand loyalty which spans Victoria, Boston, Washington, Pittsburgh and Chicago). Truth be told, The Fairmont Kea Lani may top our charts as one of the best experiences we have had thus far at a Fairmont (sorry to all the other contenders). They had free snorkel gear on sight which we utilized every day, as well as yoga and fitness classes. It was wonderful to wake up and start the day with a little oceanside stretching followed by fresh, mango iced tea (also complimentary). The pools were amazing, but the beach was even better with its fine grain sand and crystal blue waters. Our room was a one bedroom suite overlooking the ocean, and everything from the room to the food to the grounds was just perfect. I don’t think I could come up with a negative critique of any aspect of the hotel if I tried.
Every morning we woke up and snorkeled off the beach of the Fairmont Kea Lani. We were lucky enough to see turtles, sea snakes, urchins and a variety of fish from their personal oceanfront space, Polo Beach. However, Jay became so thoroughly addicted to snorkeling that on our last Friday on the island we went on a Four Winds snorkel trip with a group of friends. At 7 am we set sail for the Molokini Crater, and it was perfect. We highly recommend spending a morning exploring the crater.
This activity was actually another perk of staying at the Fairmont Kea Lani, and it was by far one of the coolest things we did while in Maui. Along with guides, we paddled out on an outrigger canoe. We then hopped out of the boat and spent the rest of the hour snorkeling and diving down to the ocean floor. Turtles were seen, so needless to say Jay was ecstatic.
Just eat everything. Savor all the seafood. We ate to our breaking point multiple times. Our top three picks if we had to swindle down the list would be Coconuts for Fish Tacos. Followed by The Fairmont Kea Lani restaurant for their breakfast buffet. Then coming in third place, the Kihei Aloha Ice Cream Parlor for ice cream. But really, I think you would be hard pressed to find sub-par seafood. I am not going to apologize to a single east coaster for this, but it was just so, so good to be back on the west coast with all the exceptional fish.
The patio off our room overlooked the water, and so a number of times I was able to flex my hostess muscle on a small scale and have people over for a few drinks to watch the sunset. We also caught a glimpse of the setting sun on the wedding day from the Hotel Wailea which was equally breathtaking. On excellent advice, we also made the trek up Mount Haleakala to soak in the view. Sadly, the one evening we had to watch the sunset it happened to be foggy, leaving not much to be seen. However, to be honest since I wasn’t the one driving I thought traversing the side of a volcanoe through the mist and intermittent tropical showers was pretty neat. Perhaps it was merely our excellent company, coupled with the Serial Podcast that made the trek worthwhile.
There are so many amazing beaches. On the advice of our favourite barista in NYC who was born in Hawaii we didn’t try to tackle all the beaches in one week or multiple beaches in one day. Instead he advised we pick one, plant ourselves and truly unwind. He was right, it is the way to do beach life on Maui. The three beaches we spent the majority of our downtime at was, Polo Beach at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Makena Beach State Park and Kamole Beach II.
7. Enjoy your company
We are seriously so fortunate to have the most amazing friends across the globe. From western Canada, to Toronto, to California, to Dallas, to New York, to Australia and back again we just love all the people we get to share our life with. So thank Y’all so much for putting up with all my quirkiness all these years. I am so very thankful for you.