Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hawaii 2013: Family Vacation

Every year we close for three to four weeks of January to take a little break and do the big projects around the winery that we can't when we're open (like painting, sealing floors and inventory). This year we closed for three weeks and did our deep cleaning, January wine clubs and the rest, but we also indulged in a family vacation to Maui.

We stayed in Kahana, just outside the craziness of Lahaina. We had a great little beach in front of the condo, which we spent a lot of time at, making this a little more restful than last year's action-packed week on the Big Island.

As a family that works together, it's also nice just to have some time to spend together NOT talking about work. :)

We did a helicopter tour, drove the road to Hana (which I had forgotten was SO beautiful), took a snorkeling boat to Molokini, and went into the "upcountry" area to do the Maui Winery and Mama's Fish House on the way. I hadn't been to Maui since a trip during high school, so it was very cool to see the island with adult eyes (and the ability to order myself a Mai Tai or margarita!).

We had some great meals (like Mama's Fish House and some local plate lunch places), but to be honest, the best food we had was cooked in the condo. I love that you can go down to the local fish market and pick up sushi grade ahi, swordfish, and about 25 other local species that I can't pronounce or don't remember -- all amazing. A side of rice, vegetables and some soy sauce and wasabi and we were set.

The disappointments of the trip: an expensive dinner at Roy's, where service was slow and everything priced above quality. For $40-something an entree, I expect excellence. We had a fishy sushi roll and okay food. My fish was overcooked, as were others at the table. Fairly good wine list, however.

Also, Maui's Winery was an amazement in many ways. I have to say that the bubbles (pineapple and grape) were decent. I just can't do the slightly sweet pineapple wine. Too much. They actually did three one-once pours per person, which is legal but not much to taste, and were so busy one person just rang up sales one after another, the entire time we were there. On the plus side, they do grow some grapes there on the island, but I considered this more of a been-there-done-that stop. A novelty. But then again we are wine snobs.

What I highly recommend: taking the Mahana Nai'a boat to Molokini, with an all-you-can-drink canned beer assortment and just generally cool people on the boat. It wasn't packed, and we all had plenty of room. Some Humpback whales swam right up to us on the way out, so we were able to see them up close. Amazing creatures.

I also recommend peppering in some local plate lunches or dinners -- we loved Local Foods and the Honokawai Okazuya deli in Lahaina. At Local Foods, six of us ate for $38. No booze helps, but it was delicious!

Here are a few photos from the trip, with more to come, including Joe's snorkeling pics taken with his iphone (in a waterproof lifeproof case).