Maui on A Budget
There were several goals I wanted to reach before Computer Boy and Soccer Boy leave the nest to go to college. One of those goals was to make the "big" room the T.V. room (our family of 6 no longer fits in the tiny room we use for T.V.- not a problem since we are rarely in there at the same time, and on the off chance that we were to be, it would be a feat of God if we could actually agree on one thing to watch!) Another goal was to get our jacuzzi fixed. Might have to win the lottery for that one. And another goal was to get the family to go on a vacation to Hawaii. That one seemed to be the most improbable of all, but alas, that is the one that came through! And I have AYSO soccer and hubby for working all of those overtime hours to thank for it!
It started as a mere idea of Soccer Boys' tournament soccer assistant coach. The team decided that they would like to participate in the Hawaii Cup to take place on Maui. Some research was done, and a group rate of around $1,300 per person was determined. The boys did a lot of fund raising to try to get their costs under control, and we started having team meetings to go over the details.
It looked like that Hawaiian vacation might materialize, but I have to admit that I was a bit bummed that we wouldn't be "free" on our vacation, but instead tied to practice and game schedules. It looked like it was my only hope of getting the family on a vacation outside of the annual camping trip to Pismo. We decided to go for it. My sister-in-law and her two girlies joined in for the fun. We would make the best of it.
No sooner did we get her nonrefundable deposit money in to the group leader, did our airline, ATA, go belly up. Our travel agent scurried to get us on a flight with American that would get us there in time for the tournament, but the cost was going to go up about $100 per person. Well, that was the last straw for some of the teammates, and they decided to bail out of the Hawaii Cup and lose their deposit. We decided to go anyway! It was a blessing in disguise. We got all of the perks of arranged group travel, but weren't tied to a schedule!
I must say, I spent a good deal of time doing some Internet research in order to maximize our enjoyment. Lucky for us, the L.A. Times' devoted an entire Travel Section to cheap eats in Hawaii. I found it lying on the floor of our room 3 weeks after it had run. Hubby was planning to read it at some point. I read it and checked out the restaurant websites that were listed, and made some notes on where we might want to eat. That little note served us well even though we only sampled two - CJ's Deli Diner which was 100 paces from our condo. Very tasty reasonable food, clean with nice ambiance, and Aloha Mixed Plate on the main drag in Lahaina, which featured authentic Hawaiian food at bargain prices with a view of the ocean which was priceless!
Since there were 13 in our group, we also decided to discuss some of the activities we wanted to do including visiting the crater, Haleakala ( go in the early A.M. or just before sunset- we went in the afternoon and it was pretty cloudy), driving the road to Hana ( be sure to buy the CD that functions as a virtual tour guide- it was worth the $10), boat/ snorkel trip to Molokini (included breakfast and lunch and was awesome! Be sure to go in the morning- the afternoon trip can get choppy), attend a Luau (we went to a time share presentation in order to save some $$ on the Luau tickets. I would recommend going through the hotel or condo concierge or Expedia Rep, as their prices were comparable and you need not waste time at a presentation! All of the luaus are good.) We also had a lazy beach day, took the Sugar Cane Train (over priced- just take a photo of the train and train station!) Spent time at the cannery mall- Aloha Mixed Plate is just across the street, so I recommend eating there first like we did. If you have time, spend a day in the hippy town, Pa'ia, which is just West of the Kahului Airport. I highly recommend Pa'ia Fish Market . It is good to know beforehand that one fishplate is enough for two big eaters! The chowder is delicious as well. In fact, all of the chowder we ate in Maui was fabulous! Two more restaurants to visit if possible: Leilani's on the Beach in Whalers' Village, and Kobe Japanese Grille (Like Benihana's.) Both delicious, clean, good service and reasonable with good ambiance.
We stayed at the Outrigger Maui Eldorado Resort Condominiums and I am pleased to give it two thumbs up! It was clean, quiet, convenient and quite spacious for our family of 6. If you go to their site, you can book a package deal including Air, Condo, and Rental Car for about $1,300 per person. Or let a travel agent book it for you and you'll spend about the same, but might get a flower Lei greeting at the airport and a few other perks. And, if something happens with your flight, that travel agent will deal with it for you. We got a two-bedroom condo, with a living room and fully furnished kitchen, two bathrooms, 3 televisions, and an endless supply of Kona coffee, paper towels, toilet paper, Tide laundry soap and all the towels we needed. They also gave us complimentary shampoo, conditioner, body lotion etc. It was located on a beautiful golf course, and our beach, Kaanapali, was one of the most beautiful. I was glad we were off the main hotel strip, as our section of the beach was not crowded. I would go there again.
Here are a few final travel tips from Jewel:
1) Use a travel agent- it's way better than booking on your own. They might charge a fee, but for what they can end up saving you through their connections, you might even end up spending less than if you book on your own.
2) Buy Travel Insurance within 10 days of making your deposit. Even if you choose not to insure the entire cost of your trip, you will have baggage, trip delay, major medical and medical evac coverage. If you plan to rent a car, get the travel insurance rental car coverage. It is a great deal.
3) If you are going to Maui, and you have some extra room in your suitcase, bring some cheap eats from home- cereal, beef jerky, Granola bars, trail mix etc. There is a Safeway in Lahaina, and you can use your Von's club card there. The prices were just about the same as they are here in Northridge, CA. No sticker shock for us. Paper and plastic goods might cost a bit more, so bring some foil and ziplock bags if you plan to cook.
4) For everything else, go to the local ABC stores, which are everywhere. They are like a Rite Aid only better. Everything is a good deal- sandals, swimsuits and cover ups, beach towels, snorkel gear (but you can rent that for cheap!) souvenirs (they actually had the best stuff besides the gift shop at the Aquarium!)
5) Bring sunscreen and use it liberally! We got a pretty bad sunburn.
6) Have a wonderful time like we did!
Click on the flower below to view more Maui photos!
Hawaii, like every place on earth, has its own unwritten rules that the local people adhere to, even if they sometimes don't know why. In addition to this, there are certain things that you, as a tourist or newly transplanted mainlander, should either avoid or throw yourself into wholeheartedly. Here are some examples:
Do say aloha. It is not corny. Just don't say it like the tour directorEh, howzit, bruddah?s (ah-looo-HAH).
Don't try to speak pidgin to locals. You will look really haole.
Do let people in and out in traffic. This is a Big Island custom we really love.
Don't honk your horn unless you're in a marriage procession. You're not on West 57th. This is considered VERY rude.
Do take your shoes off when entering someone's home. A little custom started by our Japanese Hawaiians.
Don't walk up to a big local guy and ask him if he's a REAL Hawaiian. Enough said.
Do learn to like poi. Okay, try it anyway.
Don't point at a mongoose and say, "Oh, look, Marvin! A funny squirrel!"
Do wear aloha shirts.
Don't get a matching dress to wear with his shirt. You may as well tattoo "tourist" across your forehead.Ono doze tourist kine okole!
Do enjoy our beautiful ocean. Just remember to NEVER turn your back on it.
Don't swim at sunset. This is euphemistically referred to as "feeding time".
Do show respect for Hawaiian culture and especially sacred sites.
Don't scream when you see a gecko.
Do hang some beads or a lei on the rear view mirror of your rent-a-car. This will help you find it when there are seven others just like it in the parking lot.
Don't sleep on desserted beaches. While our crime rate is really low, common sense should still be considered a carry-on.
Do slow down to Hawaiian speed. Life moves on Big Island, just very slowly. People also live longer here than in any other state. There may be a connection.
Don't stare at a Samoan. This will also add years to one's life.Eek! A human!
Do try to remember that WE are not on vacation. We live here.
Don't tell us how it's done on the mainland.
You Know Someone Is From Hawaii If...
They have a separate circuit breaker for their rice cooker.
Only NOW they know that cilantro is the same as Chinese parsley.
They measure the water for the rice by the knuckle of their index finger.
They know which market sells poi on which days.
They know that Char Sung Hut is closed on Tuesday.
They can handle shoyu with green mango, li hing mui gummy bears, raw egg on hot rice, and pearl tea (carnation milk in hot water with sugar) with creme crackers.
Their refrigerator has half-empty jar of mango chutney from the '95 Punahou Carnival.
The condiments at the table are shoyu, ketchup, chili peppah watah, and kimchee. Also, takuwan, Hawaiian salt, slice onion, and pickle onion.
They go to Maui and their luggage home includes potato chips, manju, cream puffs, and guri guri for omiyage.
They think the four food groups are starch (rice), Spam, fried food, and fruit punch.
A balanced meal has three starches: rice, macaroni, and bread.
They know 101 ways to fix their rubber slippers -- 50 using tape, 50 using glue, and one using a stick to poke the strap back in.
They sometimes use their open car door for a dressing room.
They wear two different color slippers together and they don't mind.
Nice clothes means a T-shirt without puka.
They are barefoot in most of their elementary school pictures.
They have a slipper tan.
Their only suit is a bathing suit.
They drive barefoot.
They have at least five Hawaiian bracelets.
They never ever, under any circumstances, wear socks with slippers, or an aloha shirt that matches their wife's muumuu.
They still call the Blaisedell Center the HIC and it's Sandy's, not Sandy Beach.
They say "I going go for lawnmower da grass" when they mean "I'm going to mow the lawn."
They can understand every word Bu Lai'a says and they know what his name means.
They have a sister, cousin, auntie, or mom named "Honey Girl" or.....
Someone in the family named Boy, Tita, Bruddah, Sonny, Bachan, Taitai, Popo, or Vovo.
They still chant "Hanaokolele" when a friend or co-worker goofs up.
They say "Shtraight," "Shtreet," and "Shtress."
They say "Da Kine" and the other person says "Da Kine" and they both know what is "Da Kine."
The "Shaka" and the "Stink Eye" are worth a thousand words.
They're shopping at Epcot Center at Disneyworld and they may say something to their sister and a complete stranger says, "You're from Hawai'i, aren't you?"
They feel guilty leaving a get-together without helping clean up.
The idea of taking something from a heiau is unthinkable.
They call everyone older than themselves "Aunty" or "Uncle" and they kiss everyone in greeting and farewell.
They let other cars ahead of them on the freeway and they give shaka to everyone who lets them in. (And get mad if someone they let in doesn't say thanks.)
Their philosophy is "Bumbai."
They would rather drag out the compressor and fill that leaking tire every single morning than have it fixed.
The only time they honk their horn is once a year during the safety check.
If a child needs a home, they give him one. She/He becomes "Hanai."
They can live and let live with a smile in their heart.
Their male best friend's name is either Wade, Max, Nathan, or Melvin.
Owns two types of slippers: da "good slippas" and da "buss-up/stay home slippas."
Does not understand the concept of North, South, East, and West, but instead gives directions as Mauka, Makai, Diamond Head, Ewa, and uses landmarks instead of street names.
The first thing they look for in the Sunday paper is the Long's ad.
They take off their slippahs before going into the house.
You ask what year they grad and where they grad from, and then you say "eh you know so and so..."
When it's done, they say "pau!"
*** The "other side" of "Big Beach" is a "Nude Beach"!***
Source for sidebar info: http://www.eyeofhawaii.com/index.htm
Pidgin is a beautiful, expressive language. It was originally created so that the immigrants, the Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Filipinos as well as the Hawaiians and the Americans could do business. What evolved is a true language. Almost all people who live here weave some pidgin into their daily conversation, education and upbringing notwithstanding.
akamai (ah-kah-MY). Smart, intelligent. Actual Hawaiian word as well. Dat Jimmy Boy plenny akamai. He wen mek one computah.
anyJust coasteeng, bruddah! kine (enee kyne) . Anything. No listen to dat tita, she say any kine, brah.
an den (en den). What's up or expression of boredom. An den? Coasteeng, brah, how you?
ass why. That is the reason. Grind too much, ass why you come so momona.
boddah you? Are you disturbed by this? Darlene wen go foa da beach wid me. Wot? Boddah you?
brah. Brother. Eh, brah, get one nuddah beer?
brok da mout. Broke the mouth. Absolutely delicious. Ho, Tutu's malasadas so ono, brok da mout.
bruddah, braddah. See brah.
buggah. A chap, fellow. Ho, lolo dat buggah, Junior.
bumbye. By and by, eventually. Eh! You get dirty lickins bumbye you no stop dat!
choke. A vast amount. Ho, get choke mangoes dis yeah, brah!
cockaroach. To steal. Eh, who wen cockaroach all da manapua?
da kine. The kind. The ultimate pidgin phrase. Can mean virtually anything. 1)Eh, you get any da kine? 2)Ho, brah, dat's da kine. 3) She wen da kine foa get da kine foa da kine.
da cute. Oh how precious! Did you see Pua's new keiki? Da cute!
foa. For, used in place of "to". Easy foa say, hahd foa do.
geev 'um. Give them. Go for it. Ho, look at Waltuh Boy on dat beeg wave. Eh, geWot? You one lobstah?ev 'um, brah!
grind. To eat. So what you like grind? We no moa da kine. No worries, brah, I grind any kine.
hana hou. Once more, again. Chee, LaVerne, do dat hana hou!
haole (HOW-lay). Person of Anglo persuasion. Another actual Hawaiian word.Can be explanatory or insulting. 1)My mom guys all haole, but my dad guys Hawaiian. 2) @#$*@ haole!
hapai (ha-PIE). With child. Charlene wen come hapai, ass why she no moa surfing.
howzit? How are you? Eh, howzit, brah. You get any da kine?
kay den. All right. Kay den, I no show you mine.
like beef? Would you like to fight with me? Not a choice of entrees. Eh, haole boy, you like beef? Kay den.
lolo. The antithesis of akamai. Not smart. Dat Junior, he so lolo he wen call Dwayne one mahu an he wen crack him. Now Junior stay all bus up.
mahu. A homosexual. See above.
moke (rhymes with coke). A very big, very local Hawaiian. See Dwayne in definition of lolo.
momona (mo-MO-nah). Actual Hawaiian word, meaning obese or ripe. In pidgin it always mNo moa momona now I hula!eans fat. I thought Charlene stay momona, but she come hapai
no can. Unable to. I like foa go, but no can.
no moa. Completely out of, no more, none. Chee, we get no moa da kine. Bummahs.
one. Used in place of "a". Eh, can get one ride foa da beach, brah?
ono (OH-no). Actual Hawaiian word, meaning delicious. In pidgin can also mean several other things. Ho, Junior, look at dat Charlene. She so ono, yeah?
pau (pow). Actual Hawaiian word, used constantly, meaning finished or done. Chee, I thought you pau already!
pau hana (pow HAH-nah). Another actual Hawaiian phrase. Means after work. Also after work drink. Junior wen bus up his truck. Get too many pau hana.Local style
slippah (SLEE-pah). Thong, slipper. Chee, I wen bus my new slippah in dat puka.
stink eye. Dirty look. Ho, brah, Pua wen spok me in da cah wid Charlene an geev me stink eye.
tita (TIT-ah). Usually large, always tough, very local female version of moke. Eh, brah, nevah mess wid dat tita, she go'n bus you up.
try. Please. Try wait, eh? I come back bumbye. Get plenny customahs.
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