Memorial Day Weekend on Maui

It is summer and we kicked it off with a trip to Maui! One of my friends recently suggested we visit with some of our Maui pals for the Memorial Day weekend. What a great idea! As we were leaving, we saw a bunch of friends at Hilo International Airport who were all going to Maui too.  It turned out that one of the Hilo baseball teams was flying to Maui for a tournament. I hope they did well! We stayed at the same hotel that we stayed at in October the last time we went to Maui as a family, the Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport. (Click here to read the post about our last Maui trip.) Such a great location.  Conveniently located to Iao Valley State Park, a couple of shopping centers, Wailuku, and Waikapu.

We flew to Kahului Airport via Hawaiian Airlines on Saturday morning. After getting the car and cruising to Wailea to deliver something to a friend, we came back to Kahului and met up with my brother, his wife, and friends, who coincidentally were also spending the weekend on Maui, albeit in more luxury than our family as they were staying at the Andaz resort in Wailea.

Check out Instagram profiles @otomikc and @toddtanakadotcom for cool pics and videos of their luxurious, relaxing weekend vacation.

We met up with Charles and gang at Iao Valley State Park. The hardest part of the visit to Iao Valley was finding parking–and that wasn’t even that hard. There was a short line to get in the parking lot. When you go through the gate, make sure to show your Hawaii ID so that you get kamaaina rate for parking–FREE. The person working at the gate was such a nice person who told us that the parking spots open up quickly–kind of like finding parking at the mall at Christmastime. Sure enough, we found a space in about 5 minutes and made our way on the trail.  It was an easy, safe walk and the views were green and lush.3d8c1edb-d550-4027-a1d5-2f36cd4f8aeeYou should definitely stop there if you have some time on Maui.img_3512Right after the short hike, we stopped at Sam Sato’s (check out Shoyu Sugar’s great review) in Wailuku for lunch. They are famous for their dry noodles that I took a picture of and subsequently lost.  It isn’t even in my deleted photos album on my phone.  Shucks. It was delicious–the noodles were great–thick and chewy and perfect. Sam Sato’s is also famous for their manju and I ordered one azuki and one lima bean manju. Unfortunately, they were sold out of the azuki by the time we got there (which was before 12 noon) and I only could try the lima bean variety.  Delicious!  I’d order a dozen and share with friends.

After leaving Sam Sato’s we headed to Kaahumanu Shopping Center to pick up some things we needed and forgot to bring.  Yup–I guess it was just an excuse to go shopping. As we were leaving the mall, we crossed paths with some Hilo pals who were there to enjoy the Maui Memorial Day drag races. I wanted to get a case of water to make sure we stayed hydrated this weekend so we stopped at Longs which was coincidentally in the same place as Tasaka Guri Guri. (Here is a link to a review by The Tasty Island blog.)

We got two mixed guri guri and one strawberry guri guri. It was a hot day on Maui and this hit the spot.

Of course, we got our guri guri fix!  Strawberry and pineapple are the flavors and the line was long but fast. There were a couple of baseball teams there getting the cool treats for their athletes.  We went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. We met our friends at Capische? (yes, it is spelled with a question mark) at the Hotel Wailea.b65a9a7a-4f20-4897-aefe-67064ce87426What an amazing location to have an incredible dinner with friends. We had a table of 18 in their garden area. It felt like a private room and even our wine had its own table!  The service was impeccable and the food was delicious.

The starter was an amuse bouche that was a perfect bite to tickle our appetites. I ordered a Brassica & Pumpkin Salad that had Humboldt Fog (a goat milk cheese), candied mac nuts, pumpkin honey agrodolce, and proscuitto di parma. So tasty!  I guess cheese and prosciutto makes everything yummy. After the salad, I had the Truffle Risotto that was incredibly comforting. It was made with Big Island mushrooms, white and black truffle, and parmesan. I could eat the risotto everyday at every meal! We had some incredible wine to go with our dinner–my favorite was a Jack Quinn Cabernet Sauvignon. The Kenzo, the Caymus, the Mascot, the Kalon Vineyard Robert Mondavi, and the Shafer were all amazing too.img_3551The next morning, while my family took their time getting up, I visited the fitness center at the hotel.  I was so happy to find that it was not being used and I had the gym all to myself!img_3558I finished my quick workout and met up with my family for a visit to Krispy Kreme that is right across the street from our hotel.  I exercise to eat!img_3678After our donut stop, we visited the Maui Ocean Center in Wailuku. My children both enjoyed this stop. Even as adolescents, this is still a worthwhile stop. If you are local, be sure to show your ID and get your kamaaina rate.

Our afternoon/evening stop with friends was to a ranch in beautiful Waikapu. What an amazing experience we had there with our Maui friends. This ranch has a river running through it and the kids caught fish and crayfish, got wet, and had fun. We all got to ride 4-wheelers, make and eat smores at the campfire, and spend time enjoying awesome Maui hospitality.



  1. Is that ranch in Waikapu open to the public? If so, what’s the name of the ranch? We’re headed to Maui in July so was wondering what we could do since we’ve already done the Sam Satos, Guri Guri and Ocean Center stuff last year.


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