When life gives you lemons ask for salt and tequila!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Snorkel Adventure in Maui

image source here
One of the most frequent and probably our favorite activity in maui was snorkeling. We bought 2 disposable underwater cameras to bring with us. I was kinda disappointed with the quality of the pictures. I didn't expect high quality pictures from those disposable underwater cameras but I didn't think the color would be this washed out. Or maybe it was the printing service? image borrowed from here. I guess for about $8-$10 each, I can't complain.

We followed our diligent Maui Revealed Guide Book for some great snorkeling spots.
best investment ever.

We didn't join the boat tours for snorkeling in the middle of the ocean, which we probably should have. For a person who has suffered from sea sickness from boat rides, I find that snorkeling right off the beach is just quite as amazing! The pictures that I took of John mostly turned out pretty good. Unlike me, John had no underwater photography skills at all... most the pictures of me turned out horrible. You could either only see my hand or one of my boobs in those pictures. This is probably the only decent one i can find ... at least i am in one piece. I am holding on tight to my bogey board for support the whole time. While John dove in a few times to catch better view of the fishes....
Another great picture from me....
At one point, I was swimming and found myself surrounded by a pool of fish. I pulled my head out of water, gasped for air, panicking. I told john "fish! fish! they are going to bite me!!!" I put my head in the water again and found those fish quickly swam by. I guess they were just passing by. They came out of nowhere!!! That was a pretty neat experience. Not just that, we got this close to a sea turtle. It was amazing. I find it rather odd that John managed to capture these beautiful pictures of the sea turtles but none of the pictures of me is in focus. hmm... The pictures didn't turn out very good. It was a shame. It was much much more beautiful than the pictures. The feeling was surreal to be able to swim that closely with these gorgeous sea creatures. We snorkeled a few times during our stay in Maui. One of my favorite favorite favorite snorkeling spots is the Honolua Bay. The water is calm and clear. For beginners like me, i find it rather easy getting in the water there. Black Rock is another great snorkeling site.

Monday, July 13, 2009


We did some research on this one. There are so many different luaus out there. We decided we would do the luau at Maui since our stay at Waikiki is a short one. The hotel package (in Waikiki) that I booked from costco travel include a 2 for 1 luau. It was for Germaine Luau. Germaine Luau seems pretty good especially since we only needed to get 1 ticket for the 2 of us. Unfortunately we did not have time to go to a luau in Waikiki. We wanted to do as much sightseeing as possible in Waikiki. Since we stayed 7 nights at Maui, it made more sense to go to a luau over at Maui. People said the luaus are better at Maui anyway. After some research, John decided to go with the old lahaina luau, which is supposed to be the most authentic one. Highly recommended if you are visiting Maui. I called way ahead of time to make reservations since they tend to sell out fast. When she asked me if we prefer the mat seating or the conventional table and chairs seating, I thought it would be fun to opt for the traditional mat seating.
Then of course we changed our minds but it was too late to change the seats. The seat arrangements are based on first come first served basis. If you are one of the earliest people to call to make reservations, you will be arranged for a front row seat kinda. So since i called way ahead of time, we got pretty good mat seating. The stage was practically right in front of us. If we changed our seat preference to table & chairs, we would definitely be bumped all the way back. So we stuck to our original seat option.
The luau was $92 per person and ran from 5- 8:30 pm I think. Buffet, open bar and performance which include, hula dance, legendary music and the Hawaii history. Price is reasonable considering that it's open bar. ;)

We were rained on for the 1st hour. The local people didn't seem to mind the rain at all. We were served plenty of food! ... and a free flow of drinks the entire night. The show was awesome!

Imu ceremony - Underground oven. the kalua pig is cooked underneath.

John managed to get a pretty good view, holding up his glass of mai tai. it was drizzling, nobody seemed to mind. upon arrival, each person was greeted with fresh flower lei...

After the imu ceremony, we walked around and enjoyed the spectacular sunset.
that's my plate. i was so embarrassed because i had plenty leftover on my plate when i was done. As usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach. The servers are friendly and serve you drinks throughout the show.
did i mention their desserts are yummy???

We sat with a family of four and another married couple.There was a funny incident. We were making friends with our seating neighbors, talking, exchanging information and such. We talked about where we were from, and the reason for the trip. The married couple was there for their 25th year wedding anniversary. So we said we were there for our wedding anniversary as well. When they asked how many years of wedding anniversary, to which, we both replied at the same time, different answers! I answered 1 year, and John answered 2 years. They were confused at our answers. They were like, is it 1 or 2 years anniversary? We never really did explained it, just kind of laugh it off. They must think that we are some con artist or something. haha. I guess, technically we are married for 2 years. Our civil ceremony at the courthouse was on May25th, 2007. But the trip to hawaii falls exactly a year ago of our wedding dinner celebration (June 18th, 2008). It was tough to determine, was it one year or 2 years anniversary? I guess now we have discussed and agreed that this year should be our 2 years anniversary in case this question come up again. :P

The show starts right after dinner. History of hawaii and the local people.

we were mesmerized by their booty shaking talent
I am not going to lie. i tried hard to catch a glimpse of their ehemm... rear end. haha... i was curious if they wear anything at all! They did wear something like the sumo wrestler kinda underwear. so you can actually see their butt cheeks. :P

We were so tired from sitting on the floor by the end of the night. Definitely not a wise decision. We sat uncomfortably and constantly admired people who sat on the chairs. In summary, this luau is highly recommended and make sure, you select the conventional table and chairs seatings if you want to watch the show and eat comfortably. :-P

he is our server for the night.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My first helicopter experience

One of the highlights of my Hawaii trip was the helicopter ride aside from snorkeling. It was way more cool from what we expected. It was an amazing experience. It allows you to see the island from a different perspective. Pretty neat! Definitely worth it! Totally recommend it.

Well, since I have discovered that I get sea sick from boats, I figured to be safe, I should take some motion sickness pill before I go on the ride. Well, just in case. I didn't want to ruin the experience just like my whale watching experience. We found out the best time to do it is in the morning before 10:30am. We went with Alex Air Helicopter company just cause it was offered to us by the little snorkel rental store we went to. Sometimes, you get better rate going with an agency rather than the company itself. Also be careful, they usually try to lure you into timeshare presentation by giving you lots of discounts and coupons on the island activities. Which is great if you don't mind spending 2 hours listening to very motivated sales ppl hard selling timeshares. You must have a strong will if you decide to go to one to get the great discounts. If not, you will be looking at spending more $$ than saving. I wanted to go to one just so we can save $$ on the helicopter ride but John stubbornly refused. I mean, why not? Most ppl do that. I have no choice but to oblige like an obedient wife ^.^

They have different selections frm 20 min rides to 2 hour rides and the location depends on the tour time you pick. We picked to depart at 10 am for the 45 min tour around Molokai Island and West Maui. There were 6 passengers including us and the pilot. We suspected the other 2 couples were on their honeymoon. :) Our pilot was very nice, very knowledgeable and very personable. She gave us a lot of information and history about the island. Since I sat by the window, I was given the responsibility to take lots of pictures! Boy, was that the hardest task?! With the gorgeous view of Hawaii, how can I not easily snap up over 100 pictures on our 45 min ride? ;P

Here are some pictures from the helicopter. Seriously people, the pictures don't do it justice! The view was just so breathtakingly beautiful... bear in mind, these pictures are raw pics frm the camera. I would have used the color enhanced feature & red-eye removal feature from photoshop, if only i am not too lazy. :P

the headphones come with microphone so you can ask the pilot questions that you may have. I found out later that not many helicopter companies provide you with a microphone. They give you a pen and paper instead if you have any questions for the pilot. hmm... you start to wonder how safe you gonna be if the pilot has to look at your notes while driving? I also heard that some pilots are just annoyed when you ask them questions. I guess we were pretty lucky to go with this company without doing any research. Our pilot turned out to be da best!

many waterfalls at the neighbor island, Molokai

life vest strapped to my waist

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

aloha ppl!

I am finally back from my 9 day trip in Hawaii! OK, so i finally understand why ppl love Hawaii. Being raised for most of my life by the beach, I didn't think Hawaii was going to be anything special from the beaches in m'sia. We had a fantabulous time in Hawaii! Lots of sightseeing and relaxation as well. Every picture taken was postcard perfect!

We got back in LA this morning. Arrived in LAX at 4:30 AM! Yep... one of those red-eye flights. We were so afraid that we would be caught in the mob of ppl coming in to LA to attend MJ's memorial service. Maybe we arrived too early in the morning or maybe most ppl flew in the day before. The traffic was surprisingly clear. Thank god!

No matter where you go, there is still nothing compare to home sweet home. We got home, put our luggage down, headed straight to a local diner for b/fast. Slept for most of the day, then watched Transfomers, which John has been dying to see!

I hereby leave u with one of the most beautiful sights in Maui.

our last sunset in Maui