Maui Christmas!

Sorry about the bad pun up front, but as many of you know that is how we role here at Travel Monkeys. We both really enjoyed Maui because it was a departure from the almost blatant tourism of Oahu. Granted, Maui is an island devoted explicitly to resort tourism, however things just seemed to move a little slower here. Also, this trip features the first travel by our new mascot, Reginald the Sock Monkey. Wherever we travel over the next few years, Reginald is coming with us.

Our first full day in Maui was Christmas Day. We figured a lot of places would be closed so we decided to take the Road to Hana. The road is over 50 miles long, features 600 turns and over 50 bridges, plus some of the most amazing scenery in the islands. Unfortunately, because we were on a bit of a time crunch, we decided to hit a couple of spots along the way and not stop at every overlook and point of interest. Later that night, we had dinner at the Ruth’s Chris in Lahaina. Nothing special, but we did not want to get burned on not be able to have a Christmas dinner when traveling like we did in the past.

When we woke up on Friday, it looked like it was going to be a fairly nasty weather day. With this in mind, we decided to head up to the Upcountry portion of Maui. For anyone looking to get away from the standard beaches an. Our first stop along the way was Tedeschi Winery at Ulupalakua Ranch. The winery has been around for several decades and is the only working winery on the island. They serve a variety of wines at their tasting, white, red and sparkling, but none are really that great. Most of the white and sparkling varieties have pineapple mixed in, which makes them truly acidic. The exception is the Ulupalakua Red, which I would be proud to serve any guests who might visit us in the islands. The next stop on our tour was the Aliikula Lavender Farm. The farm is truly amazing, plus it has some of the best views of western Maui. Everything here has lavender infused into it in some way. Tours of the farm are $12 per person and last about a half and hour. My recommendation is to try the lavender scones and lavender lemonade. The final stop on our trip was the Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula. A little bit rustic, it was nice to find something different on the island. Plus we were able to taste some yummy cheeses, as well as, being able to feed the goats.

Our last full day in Maui, we decided to drive up the summit of Mount Haleakala. Haleakala is really cool because as you travel the 10,000 feet to the summit of the mountain you go through several climatic zones. Unfortunately the weather on the summit can be uncooperative, so make sure you take a jacket or sweater and realize that you might be disappointed by what you are able to see. Also, be wary on the way down for bikers. Lunch was furnished by the good people at Who Cut the Cheese, which served a fantastic, albeit expensive panini.

Before we headed back home to Oahu, we made sure to hit up the studios of Hot Island Glass in Makawao. The studios offer glass blowing demonstrations, in addition to a cool selection of island inspired glass creations. Our last stop before boarding the plane was Krispy Kreme donuts, the only place you can find them in the state.