Sigh. Our last full day on Maui. I’d tell you that we woke up sad, and that would be true. But the full story is that we started getting sad about leaving three days ago! Today, the end of an amazing vacation was just staring us in the face.
The highlight of today’s schedule was to be a sunset dinner cruise along the Maui coast; figured that would be the most relaxing way to wrap up our anniversary celebration. But first, we had some more snorkeling on the agenda. And breakfast. And both came highly recommended by one of Cari’s friends.
Breakfast at the Gazebo Restaurant
We were told that we absolutely had to eat breakfast at the Gazebo restaurant about 15 minutes north of our hotel. It’s a tiny little place inside a condo area but the public is welcome to walk in and get in line — and that’s apparently what always happens. They only have about 20 tables, and we stood in line for the typical 30-40 minutes.
Was it worth it? Yes and no. Cari and I both ordered an eggs/meat breakfast, but also got a short stack of the famous pancakes on the side to share. If we had ordered the pancakes as the main meal, it would’ve been worth the wait. They were fluffy and delicious; the eggs breakfast was good, but not worth 30-40 minutes in line. The view from the restaurant is amazing, but we ended up with the table farthest away from the ocean.
Snorkeling at Honokeana Bay
Right next door was the secret snorkeling spot that Cari’s same friend told us we had to try. It’s a small bay where the Honokeana Cove condos are located — a short walk from the restaurant. So we left our car at the Gazebo and off we went.
At first, we had the whole bay to ourselves. The water wasn’t as clear as what we experienced at Molokini and Ka’anapali Beach. It was filled with fish and, after about 10-15 minutes of swimming slowly out toward the ocean, we hit paydirt.
This was Cari’s first chance to get up close with sea turtles and I think she’d tell you that she loved it almost as much as I did! Every time you turned around, there was another turtle. Big and small — especially small, there was a cute little younger/baby turtle — the one on the rocks there. We spent maybe 15-20 minutes with them and headed back to the beach. What a great start to the day!
Snorkeling at Black Rock
When we got back to the Sheraton, Cari decided to set up camp at the pool and get some sun. I decided to go out for one more snorkeling run around the Black Rock area. There was already a group out there and they seemed to know where some turtles were. But they were swimming around the side where the currents were a bit rough, so I didn’t bother following them.
Not 30 seconds later, I got lucky: A turtle showed up in the exact place they had just left! I shot some pics and decided to head back to the pool, but on the way back … another turtle! Here are pics of each one:
I was in heaven. Wow! What a blast this morning had been with the sea turtle encounters.
I don’t recall what, if anything, Cari ate for lunch. I mostly skipped lunch and instead decided to eat my way through a lot of the snacks we had in our room (since we couldn’t bring them all home, I didn’t want them to go to waste). That was a mistake.
We left at about 4:00 pm for the drive down to Lahaina and our sunset dinner cruise. But by that time, I was feeling really sick. I think I ate too much junk food. We parked the car, but I could tell that if I stepped foot on a boat, I was gonna throw-up all over everyone near me.
So, very sadly Cari agreed to turn around and head back to the hotel with me. I went straight to bed, watched TV and never did eat any dinner. Cari walked down to Whaler’s Village and had a small meal at a place called Cane & Taro.
Needless to say, this wasn’t how we planned to spend the last night on Maui. Stupid me…. Sorry, love.
Day 7: Headed Home
We woke up early and packed our bags. I was feeling better, thankfully. The packing didn’t take too long, so we had an hour or two to kill before we had to leave for the airport.
Two final treats: While we sat on the balcony chatting, another pod of dolphins swam past. And then later, we saw a group of 3-4 seat turtles swimming together, coming up for air every 10-15 minutes. It was a nice way to spend our final bit of time at the hotel.
The flights home were fine and uneventful. And, even though we had an amazing week on Maui, it was fantastic to get home and hug our kids — and to see Cari’s mom, who was watching them while we were gone. (Thanks Jackie!)
So that wraps up our first trip to Hawaii. It won’t be the last!