The Art of the Staycation – Part Two

Aloha!

As I told you in my last post, we took a Staycation to the Wailea Marriott on Maui this past weekend. Here are a few things we spotted on our morning walk:

It is so evident here that Maui is just one big hunk of lava. This is facing the West Maui mountains. Then there were these guys out enjoying a stand-up paddle:

That is Molokini crater behind them, the one that is shaped like a horseshoe, though you can’t tell it from here. It’s good they were out there early, because shortly after this the wind came up and it felt like a hurricane was coming. We exited poolside and headed back to our room. On the way we passed the other two pools at the Marriott, the ones for kids and families:

As far as Staycating, there is a poolside bar and grill here that charges $18.00 for a hamburger. That is simply not in the budget. Knowing this, I shopped then packed a cooler and food for the room. I took everything we would need for breakfast and lunch, plus drinks, snacks, etc. It was a pain to get it all together, but I kept my eyes on the prize: no credit card bill for anything other than dinners out.

I also challenged myself. What would my favorite Food Network chefs do to keep it interesting? I packed a breakfast basket, lined with a good linen napkin, and added Biscotti, and small jars of regular and decaf Kona coffee. I got fresh bluberries and papayas, and blueberry muffins. I put organic yogurt in the cooler, and packed nice small china bowls to eat it from. The point was to not feel cheated by eating in the room, making things pretty and interesting.

I also discovered the beauty of small party trays at Safeway. Instead of having to haul along all the fixings for sandwiches, I got the tray, which had individual packages of crackers, cheese already cut into bite-size pieces, and the honey ham was shaped into small ovals (I don’t want to think about how they do that). All I added was a teeny jar of mustard and a knife. Also a five-layer bean dip, already in a nice sized tub, and blue corn chips. Hummus. Spiced almonds. Things we could eat in the room or take down to the pool.

All in all, it was a lovely time. And we didn’t have to pay the prices at the bar because I’d gotten a nice bottle of Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin at Costco and carefully wrapped champagne flutes in the linen napkins and put them in the basket. I really like the looks of that bar, though. They did a nice job:

FYI: We’ve heard some disappointing things about the “Mala” Restaurant on site, such as bad service, long waits and the food not great for the price. If anyone has had a good experience there, let me know.  It’s a shame because Marc Ellman and his wife Judy own Maui Tacos (nine locations), Penne Pasta in Lahaina and Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina. http://malaoceantavern.com/markellman.html Though I find Mala in Lahaina overpriced, the food is good and it sits right on the water. Not so the “Mala” at the Marriott, and it’s curious to me since ownership includes Clint Eastwood and Alice Cooper. Does anyone know if Clint still owns the Hog’s Breath Inn Restaurant in Carmel, California? I loved my dinner there, so cozy with the cool temperatures, yet the fire was blazing outside on the patio…

Okay, I admit it’s been really hot here on Maui and I’m daydreaming of being nice and cool somewhere…

Thought for the day: Apprearances can be deceiving. Riches can be temporary. Look for someone who makes you laugh because sometimes that’s all you’ll have to brighten a dark day. That laughter will make your heart sing.

I have someone who makes me laugh every day, and I am grateful.

A hui hou (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home Page.

Aloha, Jamaica

The Art of the Staycation – Part 1

Aloha!

This is where I spent the weekend. Nice? It’s the Wailea Marriott on Maui. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/hnmmc-wailea-beach-marriott-resort-and-spa/. Check out their website for great photos. Anyway, it took me years to convince Mike that there was any value in staying at a hotel on Maui when we already lived on Maui. In fact, he flatly refused to spend the money. So that left me bereft for the days when I used to come to Maui to vacation and just reeellaaaaxx.

In his defense, his parents had a home on the North Shore of Oahu near the beach and we used to go over there about three times a year, so I did have a getaway. Then a few things happened to knock the stuffing out of vacationing over there: Aloha Airlines went belly up and took all of our hard-earned points with them. No more free flights. Grrrr. And what used to be a $25.00 flight interisland became a $50.00 flight, then a $70.00 flight. Mesa  Airlines http://iflygo.com/ started the airline wars in Hawaii and they are the only ones who won. The people who live here can’t afford to “go interisland” anymore because a round-trip is now $160-$190 depending on the time of day. Times that by two people, and suddenly a Staycation was more in the budget than a flight. Mike said yes! Especially after his bout with blood poisoning…he knows I’ve been up to my a%* in alligators around here for a long time. We both were in need of a break.

I chose the Marriott for a number of reasons. Most of all, their Infinity pool

is to die for, and the best part is, it’s kid-free. They don’t call it the “Serenity Pool” for nothing. Also the Marriott is very small in comparison to say the Grand Wailea http://www.grandwailea.com/ or The Fairmont Kea Lani http://www.fairmont.com/kealani/. We took the walking path in Wailea, which is another reason I love to stay down there (Mike can walk again, yay!) and went by the Grand Wailea. It was just wall-to-wall chairs by the pool all the way out to the pathway. Way too crowded for me. I love vistas and open space, but that’s not to say those hotels might not be perfect for you. Here’s the path:

and also the tree in front of the Marriott on the path. What a great spot.

 I used to attend the Maui Writer’s Conference every year here, but they did a major, very expensive overhaul since then. I remember taking my lunch and sitting under this tree when it felt like my brain was going to explode from classes (particularly the Screenwriting Retreat,where they basically locked us inside and wouldn’t let us out!) From that retreat though I met a wonderful writer and true friend, who is now a bestselling author: Graham Brown. http://grahambrownthrillers.com/ Start with “Black Rain” and work your way through. You won’t be disappointed. He’s just a stand-up guy and so humble, and the best part is, no matter how big he gets (co-writing with Clive Cussler now, ahem!) he still reads my scripts! Highly unusual in my business. Thanks, Graham!

Another reason I love the Marriott is it’s within walking distance of the Shops at Wailea http://theshopsatwailea.com/ and that means restaurants, and that meant we didn’t have to get in the car for three days. We discovered too late that there is cart that makes a loop to the hotel and back, which would have been nice to know. I can’t get enough of the Crab Bisque at Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant http://www.tommybahama.com/TBG/Stores_Restaurants/Wailea.jsp Actually, I take that back. I order the cup of soup because it’s so rich. A bowl is too much!

I will be sharing more with you more about this trip in the next couple of posts. People have written asking for restaurant reviews and hotel suggestions, so here you go. All from a local-yokel.

A hui hou! (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the Home Page.

Aloha, Jamaica