Day 1: Visiting Lahaina & the Grand Wailea Luau
Since we took a late flight from Seattle and arrived late on Sunday night, and went straight to the hotel. Walking into the Grand Wailea Resort, even at night, is majestic! We instantly felt like royalty and received our flower and kukui nut leis. (It’s just like I imagined!) We were able to get checked in quickly and luckily, the front desk was able to get us the in-room dining menu quickly and we were able to get a little dinner before crashing for the evening.
(Above: The view from our room!)
(Above: The first morning selfie!)
The first day of our trip we woke up in paradise (literally… I mean look at those views!) and we were ready to explore the area in the daylight!
After enjoying our free breakfast (thank you Hilton Honors Gold Status) at the resort, we jumped in our rental car and drove over to the little town of Lahaina.
Lahaina used to be the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom back in the day of 19th century, and it was also a historic whaling village during the boom of the mid-1800s. At this point, it’s a historic town that has evolved into an area for shopping, restaurants, and galleries. We strolled down Historic Front Street. I bought a floppy sun hat (it was very hot & sunny and I needed some shade), Brighton ate a Dole Whip, and we ate some fresh spicy shrimp at Down the Hatch.
We enjoyed getting a lay of the land and driving around the island soaking up the views.
Grand Wailea Luau
We stayed at the Grand Wailea Resort by Hilton for our visit. I’ve never been to a fancy resort like this (always #ballinonabudget), and definitely felt like it added a “special” feel to our vacation. Since I have never been to Hawaii before, I felt like it was appropriate to attend a luau. Conveniently, our resort had one that we chose to attend (making it nice and easy to stroll from our room to the party). I am happy we went on the first full day we were there since it provided a lot of history and set the tone of the Hawaiian way!
We sipped mai tais and they unearthed the roasted pig. We ate traditional dishes such as:
• Poi: Pounded taro plant root; a starch meant to be eaten with everything.
• Kalua Pig: Pork prepared in an imu (underground oven) and shredded.
• Poke: A term that literally means to cut into pieces, this newly global delicacy is traditionally prepared with raw fish, shoyu (soy sauce), green onions, kukui nut (candlenut), and limu (seaweed).
My favorite part of the food was all the fresh fish and poke! Sushi/fish is one of my favorite foods and that’s one of the most popular dishes around. I was in heaven! 🙂
The show was also entertaining, starting at sunset; they told the story of Maui with dancing, singing, and fire! The food was plentiful, the drinks flowed, and the show was exciting!
After the show, we walked back to our room and tried to get to bed early since the next day, we were waking up at 3am (!!) to go see the Haleakalā Sunrise.