This is Day 2 of our Maui adventure, to read Day 1, go here.
The funny thing about traveling, is how much everything stays the same. No matter how far we go the dirt is still brown, the skies are still blue, there are trees and there are weeds.
I guess it has a lot to do with what nature decides to do with the canvas for the day.
Waking up at 5 a.m. isn't the average person's idea of a vacation, but the purpose of these trips is to bring excitement to the norm. A bit of spice. A bit of color. Nature has learned to avoid humans, and what didn't learn, we beat back with industry and homes. In order to find nature, it is best looking before the average person wakes up, in places the average person won't go.
La Perouse Bay is such a place. A bit off the beaten path, nestled behind rows of cottages. There's no privacy on the road, a one lane street with signs warning there's no visibility due to sharp corners. Landowners craft their gates to hide themselves from tourist, display their identities on their gates. Each one is structured differently and some of the work that goes into them is quite gorgeous. The majority of tourist will stop near these gates and enter onto the beach that the locals use as their backyard. But when you set out in search of that perfect spot at 5 am... we must go deeper.
It doesn't seem like the road will end. Turning back is discussed, maps pulled out to clarify locations, but eventually it does. The water is cold at 5 am. There are dolphins circling fish in the bay. Herding schools of fish, the bay is a fantastic spectacle of dolphins tails and fish shooting out of the water to try to escape. It's such a sight, you can't help but watch in awe instead of blocking the view with a camera.
The waters calm in the distance but rages roughly near the rocky beach. There are holes in the cliff that would be fascinating to explore, foxholes dug out of the mountain side by the ocean, years and years of waves slowly chipping away at it bit by bit. It's quiet and calm. Serene. It's that place we didn't think we would find out here. The part of Maui untouched by modern civilization.
On the way back, the lava rocks are more interesting now that the place we searched for had been found. The rocks get passed over when discussions of turning around and questions of, "are we lost" are brought up. They are small and large, and big and tall and they cover the landscape, sharp. Unprotected feet get cut on them, so water shoes are highly recommended before venturing into the waters.
Mornings go quick when you try to enjoy them. For lunch head to Coconut's Fish Cafe in Kihei.
Fish Tacos, coconut shrimp, and a delicious seafood chowder bowl. Skip Monkeypod. Better food at Coconut's and no weird tasting foam. Shortly after our visit, on March 8th Coconut's Fish Cafe was featured as one of CNN's top ten places to eat like a local.
A lot of Maui reminds me of home in Southern California.
But there were spots nestled away that won't be seen anywhere else. If you don't look for them beyond the hotels and the golf courses you might miss them. Drive up to Napili and to see waves rage against the coast, pushing rocks back like clay formed with hands on a potters wheel.
It's a thrilling combination, the calm and the anger, that the ocean produces.
Drive back, exhausted, exhilarated The drive from the airport to the hotel isn't anything like the drive along the coastline of Maui. The island is shaped and molded by the ocean at every corner. The rocks are carved, the trees are bowed, the homes that have been up long enough are rusted and wilting.
The restaurant, Capische, is inside the Hotel Wailea. Inside isn't the proper word though as the hotel itself is not enclosed. Dinner can be enjoyed on the balcony overlooking the ocean.
Order the Prix Fixe and you'll receive a 5 Course meal.
Garden Chilies, Meyer Lemon, Pink Salt
Sicilian Spice, Piperade, Herb Salad
Heirloom Haiku Tomato Caprese
Island Grown Tomato, Buffalo Mozzarella, Kula Onion, Basil, Coriander Vinaigrette
Apple-Smoked Bacon Wrapped Quail, Sage, Pine Nut Brown Butter
Abocha Pumpkin Gnocchi
Parmesan Alfredo, Lavender
Mushroom Truffle Risotto
White Truffles, Summer Truffles, Oyster Mushrooms, Parmesan
Porcini Crusted Ahi
Big Island Mushrooms, Roasted Garden Vegetables, Panisse, Pumpkin Seed Vanilla Vinaigrette
Lobster, Shrimp, Manila Clams, Fish, Saffron Orecchiette
Snake River Farm “Kobe Style” Black Label New York Strip of Beef
Tuscan Potatoes, Salsa Verde, Arugula, Aged Balsamic
Australian Waygu Filet of Beef
Prime Dry Aged Beef, Potato Gnocchi, Onion Jus, Gorgonzola Gremolata
Creme Brulee - Original, Vanilla and Lavender
The dishes are immaculate and well prepared. The price is high but well worth the expense and the experience. There may be doubt in ordering the expensive Australian Wagyu, but the texture and taste is like no other beef. Incredibly rich and tender. We shared the Wagyu and the "Kobe Style" New York Strip, but there is no comparison between the two. No matter how well the New York Strip is cooked or the labels it sports, the texture is like that of a shoe in comparison with the Wagyu. That of course doesn't lend the New York Strip dish much justice. It is a very well prepared dish in itself.
We crammed a lot into our second day in Maui, but never felt rushed or overextended. There was still a lot to see and do and it was only the second day of our trip.
Continue on to Day 3 of our Maui adventure!