FIVE MOON IN MAUI - DAY ONE

 
From the time we got married, we knew we wanted to celebrate our Five Year Anniversary or "Five Moon" in Hawaii.  There were a list of reasons why, but at the very top was the simple fact that we would have loved to go there on our honeymoon, but we were kids... and Hawaii is expensive.  All that to say, our honeymoon was still perfect to us and more than we could have ever dreamed of.

Plus after all that wedding planning we were especially thankful we decided on an all-inclusive resort for the honeymoon, something that Hawaii simply does not offer.  Our Five Moon in Hawaii was made possible by five years of dreaming, saving and a solid year or so of diligent planning.  And looking back, there's only one thing we would have done differently... stay longer! 


When you're planning a trip to Hawaii, the first step is to decided what island (or islands) you want to visit.  After lots of research and discussion, we landed on ONE island for ONE week... and we picked Maui.  It was PERFECT!  Maui was the perfect mixture for us of outdoor adventure, charming towns and stunning views.  We decided on sticking to one island since we were only going for a week to soak in the relaxation and alleviate the stress of excessive travel in a short period of time. 


If you've been following along for anytime at all, you've probably caught on to the fact that when we travel we like to pack it all in.  We don't want to miss a second.  We want to see everything.  And the thought of "wasting" time somewhere... well, it makes us crazy.  But, we also both love that kind of travel!  To us, packing it all in is worth it for us to feel like we've made the most of a trip.  

Although we've grown to learn that sometimes, we just need a break and this was the best way to do it in Hawaii - one island.  You should also note that when (not if) we go back to Hawaii, our island of choice will be Kauai.  This and Maui were our top two choices.  Now that you know which island we picked to visit and how long we stayed, let's dive in to the details!

We flew out of Nashville bright and early, so keeping with tradition we headed there the night before to settle in and stay at a hotel close to the airport to avoid the 2 AM wake up call and middle of the night driving.  This little trick has been one of the best things we've discovered with the Nashville airport and it makes leaving for trips so much easier.


We got to the hotel, checked in, got settled and headed to East Nashville Beer Works for a quick little dinner.  We always enjoy checking out new local places when we can and East Nashville Beer Works did not disappoint.  We loved the laid back vibe and seeing all of the locals stop in after work.  We shared a pizza, grabbed a couple of drinks and then were ready to head back to the hotel.

   
One of the neat parts of staying at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Airport is their complementary happy hour for guests each night.  We both enjoyed one more cocktail before calling it a night... before seven o'clock.  We got in bed super early and watched TV before finally falling asleep.  We knew we had a long day ahead and tried to get as much rest as we could.


The next morning we were up bright and early to head to the airport with just a couple of layovers standing in the way before we make it to Hawaii.  We had a full day of travel ahead, but were so excited to finally be on our way... after all, we had waited and planned for this trip for FIVE years.  Hawaii, here we come!
 
   
This was our very first picture of Hawaii before landing and the landscape was already picture perfect.  We couldn't wait to get our feet on the ground there.  We landed, grabbed our bags and headed straight for our rental car.  

We choose to rent a Jeep for this trip and would highly recommend that option to anyone visiting Hawaii who plans to rent a car.  We rented a two door, but ended up with a complementary upgrade to a four door which was awesome!  It wasn't initially worth the difference in cost to us when we reserved it, but it was super convenient to have the four door instead.  Thank you, Enterprise!

We headed to the sweet town of Paia which wasn't a far drive from the airport and also happens to be where Mama's Fish House is located.  If you know anyone who has visited Maui, chances are they have recommended told you that you must go to Mama's Fish House... so we did.  


Mama's Fish House was going to be about an hour drive from our hotel so we actually made reservations for that very first night we got in town two and a half hours after we landed.  We even changed in the Jeep from our travel clothes to dinner clothes.  Yes, we are well aware we like to make the most of our time traveling and have to hit the recommended restaurants... so we make it work.


We called to see if we could get in any earlier after having no real travel delays on the way there (all the praise hands!) but they weren't able to which we totally understood after arriving later and watching the constant turnover of people.  The extra time gave us an opportunity to check out the town before dinner which worked out great.  We parked, walked around and made our way to a cute place to grab some caffeine.  It was a LONG day of travel, y'all! 


Paia Bay Coffee & Bar was the cutest!  The live music, quaint outdoor seating and the laid back vibe already had us adoring Maui.  We sat back, relaxed and tried to contain our excitement for the upcoming week.  After a bit more strolling through town, it was time to hop back in the car and make the short five minute drive to dinner.


  As soon as we arrived, we wished we would have come a little sooner to soak in the outdoor views.  Take note that if you're planning a later dinner here, we would totally recommend going early before it gets dark to truly soak in the atmosphere.  You can't walk around with drinks (because they want to keep things pretty), but it would have been fine with us to sit and take in the view.  Oh my goodness, this place was gorgeous! 

   
We were greeted with sweet anniversary wishes at our table.  Little touches like these made the trip that much more special.  It really is the little things... and free dessert!


The drinks were the perfect mixture of tropical and tasty while the food options could not have been more fresh... as in caught earlier that very day.  It was all yummy and the scenery was great, but we were getting pretty tired and still had an hour drive to our hotel ahead.   


We researched like crazy on places and areas to stay in Maui and ultimately decided to stay at a resort some friends of ours had stayed at for their honeymoon.  They like nice things and had nothing but great things to say about it so after confirming their suggestion with matching reviews, we ultimately choose the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort And Spa which is right in between Lahaina and Kapalua.  
200 Nohea Kai Drive
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 661-1234


And here are our thoughts... we liked the resort a lot.  There were plenty of restaurant options on property, an oceanfront spa, a huge pool, onsite shops, beautiful landscaping, plenty ocean view rooms and so much more.  The one negative thing we would say about the resort was that we found the service to be inconsistent.  

In saying that, some of the service was the best we've received.  However, for the price we paid there were others times that we didn't feel the service was up to par with the other outstanding things about the resort.  We don't tend to have unrealistic expectations, either.  So, in conclusion... we were very happy with our stay, but would probably choose to stay somewhere new if we visited again.  


As soon as we checked in and had our luggage dropped off in the room we we more than ready for bed, but we had just gotten there, had fresh leis around our necks and wanted to explore just a bit.  We walked around the resort and familiarized ourselves with the layout, took a few photos with those fresh leis and then headed back to the room for bed.


We were exhausted and couldn't wait to see the view when we woke up.  Cheers to following our dreams and spending our five year anniversary in Maui.  We were thrilled for our Five Moon to finally be a reality and hope you enjoy following along!  We packed in a lot over this trip, so we're going to break it all down by day to make it easier to share.  Hope you enjoy!

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