Saturday, February 17, 2018

Travel Log: Maui (Old Lahaina Luau

What can I say? The Old Lahaina Luau was even better than I envisioned.  Colorful, rich with the history of the Hawaii island, gorgeous men and women dancers, delicious food.

I planned our luau for the last day of the trip - mostly because I wasn't sure what my friends schedule would look like the rest of the week. Typically, conferences wrap up early the last day. So, it was a pretty safe bet to schedule it then.

I reserved  the Old Lahaina Luau months in advance because it sells out fast. I am so glad I did. There wasn't an empty seat in the place. Wanting a authentic feel, we opted for the traditional seating. Traditional seating is on the ground with a cushion. I would not suggest this if you have a bad back.  I am glad we did it though. We were front and center!

You should plan to arrive 45 minutes to an hour before your reservation.  There is some parking on the same side as the luau. You can also park in the parking lot of the Old Cannery Mall which is just across the street.

The luau is located on the water with grassy and sandy areas perfect for picture taking. Just before  you walk in you will be greeted with a friendly smile and a tuberose flower for the ladies. Place on your left ear if you are taken and your right ear of you are available. The smell of tuberose is intoxicating. I plan to have lots of turberose in my floral rotation this spring and summer.

As you enter the luau grounds, you will be given a gorgeous dendrobium orchid lei. I am an orchid freak and couldn't wait to get one around my neck! Next up - your choice of mai tai or a juice. We opted for the mai tai because of course you should - you are in Hawaii after all.

Shortly before we were to go to our tables, two of the guys unveiled our main meat for the night. The roasted pig.  I was a little leary about eating pork that was cooked with the head attached. The good thing is when it was unveiled, you couldn't see anything but tender meat that had fallen off the bone.
Yep, think I'll have some now! I am so glad I did - it was superb!

Our server was amazing. He took care of our every need. The couple seated across from us were from Indy as well. What are the chances? They had been to this luau FIVE times! They said it was the best they have seen.

After  getting our food from the buffet, we ordered some pinepapple drink which was delicious!
The buffet was full of fresh fruits, poke, chicken fish, veggies and of course our friend, Piggy.

Once we finished eating as much as we could, the show began. What an amazing show! The narrator was animated and the dancers were out of this world. I loved the story they told of the island of Maui.

What an amazing end to a wonderful trip. Thanks again to my friend G for sharing this trip with me..........

This is not the end of my Maui travel log. I have much more to share. Be sure to come back for more!


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Travel Log: Maui (Front Street and Lahaina Fish Co)

Front  Street is located in Lahaina. It's this fun street with just about anything you can imagine to eat , drink, buy and see. 

One side of the street is located on the ocean with these amazing views. We were actually at the Outlet Mall when we ran across Front Street. We decided to stroll around a bit and found this fun filled street. 

We decided to have a quick lunch and opted for the first restaurant we saw (well, the first one after Bubba Gump). I cant remember the name of the place, but the fish tacos were very good and the view was great.

We finished dining and came upon Lahaina Fish Co. We remembered the couple from The Gazebo telling us about it. We decided to make dinner reservations for the next day. Of course, we asked for a table with a view of the sunset.

Flash forward to the next day at 5:30PM.  When we arrived, we were greeting by the hostess who quickly took us upstairs to our table. The upstairs is a balcony and part of it sits right above the ocean. Great table, but we were both a little uneasy at first (until the Hawaiian-tini's kicked in ❤). 

The water below was crystal clear. So clear, that you could see the fish from our table. They even encouraged us to feed the fish our left over bread! 

We order our meals - I had the Seared Pepper Scallops with a side of grilled asparagus. G had the Mac Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi with a side of Brussel Sprouts. When I tell you we had more than enough food, we had more than enough food. 

The scallops were served with a soy sake butter sauce. They were super tender. The appetizer portion was more than enough. The MahiMahi was perfection! The crust was a light panko coating seasoned just right.  It was served with Molokai Sweet Potatoes. These potatoes are purple and have a very different flavor from typical orange sweet potatoes. Our server was kind enough to google Molokai sweet potatoes for us. 

Just as we started eating, the sun was setting. I honestly have never seen sunsets more beautiful than in Maui. 

We enjoyed Lahaina Fish Co. that we planned to come back later the same week. We opted to share the prime rib since the portions are so big there. Trust me when I say it was just as delicious. 

Once we finished eating, we walked down Front to see the sights and do some souvenir shopping. 

On Front Street you'll find clothing stores, restaurants, Bad Ass Coffee Co. (killer banana nut coffee), shave ice, and the infamous Banyan Tree:

The Banyan Tree is massive! It was actually imported from India in 1873. This joker is over 60 feet tall with several different trunks. It was so massive that we couldn't get a full picture of it. The area is actually called Lahaina Banyan Tree Park. 

Stay tuned for more Maui reviews later. Be sure to ask any questions you may have. I'd also like to hear about your travels to Hawaii!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Travel Log: Maui (The Gazebo)

The morning after we arrived in Maui, we had breakfast at The Gazebo at the Napili Shores resort.
Neither of us had heard anything about this place before our Yelp search. They had us at  macadamia nut/pineapple/banana pancakes and coconut syrup. Though I'm not a huge pancake fan, I ❤ anything coconut.

A quick drive from the resort, when we arrived, it was pouring rain. I've decided that I need  to carry a lightweight rain jacket with a hood on vacations. SO much more practical than carrying an umbrella.

Anyhoo, there isn't much parking, but we lucked up on a spot without waiting too long. You have to walk a little way to get o the Gazebo. When we arrived, despite the rain, there was a line. The line was about 15 people deep - all under umbrellas supplied by the restaurant. The family in front of us said that the food was definitely worth the wait. They gave us great information on dining on Maui.

 We waited about 40 minutes. Yep, 40 minutes. The great thing is the view was spectacular. The rain finally stopped and I decided to see what was just on the other side of the pool area. Mind you, the pool area wasn't anything to write home about, but the view - OMG!

The black rock against the crystal blue water was stunning. This - this is what I envisioned.

We were finally seating in a spot with a great view. The Gazebo is just what it name says - a gazebo. It's an open air restaurant. The staff  makes you feel like a regular. The smiles at this place abound.

On to the food! SPAM is a huge hit in Hawaii. I'm probably dating myself, but I remember my mama frying up SPAM and scrambling eggs when I was a little girl. I just thought it was the worst thing ever - sans liver. We ordered the fried rice (seems to be a staple for breakfast on Maui) which had just about everything a good stir fry had in it. Yes, there were cubes of SPAM mixed in. What the heck, Imma give it a try. It was simply delicious. I'm not saying I'll be frying up a slab of SPAM anytime soon, but the next time I'm in Hawaii......

This small plate of fried rice with two scrambled eggs on time was more than enough to serve two.
Still we HAD to order the macadamia nut/pineapple/banana pancakes with COCONUT syrup. OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious. Like I said I am not a huge pancake fan, but these were out of this world delicious (did I already say that? 😍).  Has big as the pancakes were, they were fluffy and full of banana goodness. Add the coconut syrup on top and you have a bit of heaven.

I am not sure if Guy Fieri  from Triple D has been to The Gazebo or not, but he should definitely feature them on his show.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Travel Log: Maui, Hawaii

Pool view of the Ritz Carlton - Kapalua

It has long been a goal of mine to visit Hawaii. My hubby and I have kind of put it on the back burner because the length of the flight from our home.

However, when I was asked to go on a trip with one of my girls - I hopped on the chance. Sorry, babe! She was going on a business trip and I was to be her +1. Yep, don't mind if I do! Thanks again, G!

Being the planner that I am, I researched my butt off looking for the best restaurants and must-do things on the island of Maui. It pays to play ahead and make reservations if there is something of particular interest to you.

For instance, I knew I wanted to do a luau (duh) while there. I did a bit of research and found the one that was rated number one across the board - The Old Lahaina Luau. More on the luau  in a later post.....  I found out that this luau books MONTHS in advance. So, I booked quickly for the last full day of our trip.

The flight is a long one from the Midwest. So, I was sure to download a few good books and packed my travel blanket and pillow. Actually, the flight was several flights with the longest being 6+ hours. It was one heck of a travel day.

We arrived in the evening. Pitch black and the roads do not have much lighting. Our ride from the airport to Kapalua Resort was about an hour. An hour of dark, winding road.

We finally arrived at the Ritz Carlton on the Kapalua Resort. OMGoodness, such a beautiful place a nice stroll from the beach.

I have to tell you, the travel time was well worth it. Maui is BEAUTIFUL!!!!! It rained every day except one on Kapalua. But we figured out very quickly that a quick ten minute drive into Lahaina and the sun was in full effect! Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in Lahaina!

I'll share details and pics of the following in upcoming blog posts:
  • Old Lahaina Luau 
  • Front Street 
  • SHAVE Ice (yep, Shave not Shaved)
  • Mama's Fish House
  • The Gazebo
  • Luxury Shopping in Hawaii (big savings on LV and Gucci to name a few)
Feel free to leave any questions you may have and I'll be sure to answer them if I can.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Book of Ruth

Photo Credit: Erika Gregory

I've recently started studying The Book of Ruth with the women's group - Love God Greatly

I was introduced to this group while browsing Instagram a year or so ago. They have an amazing ministry and every 4 - 6 weeks they begin a new Bible study. 

I haven't joined one of their study groups. Ive chosen to follow the plan on my Bible app, read the blog posts and follow along on FB. 

The best part is that it is teaching me how to study the Bible effectively. They use the SOAP method.  S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. I have to tell you this method has really helped me. 

I've always enjoyed the story of Ruth, but this study has opened up new revelations for me. 

Are you in a Bible Study group? Is it online or in person? What are you studying? Have you used the S.O.A.P. method?  I'd love to hear!