It was a Halloween weekend getaway to remember. As I pulled into Park City the air was crisp and the sun was shining. I walked into the lobby of Park City Peaks Hotel, and was immediately greeted with warm smiles, and the ever embracing feeling of the good ol’ mountain atmosphere. It had been a while since breakfast so I quickly checked into the room, and headed to sports bar on the third floor to bask in some much needed cuisine. As I walked in the bar tender gave an energized “Happy Halloween! Here’s our menu, any fun plans for this evening?” We chatted lightly about the evening to come, and I placed my order. I was famished, and she was on the ball, the food came out quickly, and was better than I had anticipated. Not that I had high expectations for a Quesadilla, but maybe I should have. My mouth was swarming in sea of blended cheeses, Crisp grilled peppers, and a toasty shell. With my belly full, and spirits high I jetted back to the room to get ready for evening. Quick shower and cocktail later I was off to take the shuttle to main. When I walked out of my room the gentleman from across the hall was heading out as well. I gave him a smile, and wished him a happy Halloween. That’s when I had to double take. It was none other than Key Lewis, the very comedian whom I had come out to park city to see perform! Ecstatic couldn’t even touch the way I felt. I was in humored bliss. We exchanged stories on the shuttle about the weather, and his family, and ended up catching up for drinks after the show. The man was just as funny in person as he was on stage. Over all it was a great evening that wouldn’t have been as wonderful if it wasn’t for the peaks.
Paia, is a small surf town located on the Eastside of Maui. It is one of my favorite places on the island mostly because it is a small town filled with local shops, amazing eateries and beaches. While most people will stay and spend most of their time on the Westside of the island, Paia, will make a fantastic day trip.
Start your day off by packing a lunch and taking the beautiful drive to the eastside. Head straight to Ho’okipa Beach Park and enjoy the views of turtles and seals while you relax on the sandy beach soaking up the warm sun and cooling off in the water. Paia is known for its windsurfing but don’t let that deter you. The warm wind keeps you at a perfect temperature while you watch windsurfers catch massive air off Paia’s famous waves.
Head into town and find parking for all the local shops littered along Hana Highway and Baldwin Avenue. Immerse yourself in the culture and local vibe of the town as you find local handmade trinkets at Paia Mercantile and gelato at Ono Gelato Company.
Finish your day off with a fabulous dinner at Mama’s Fish House. The views, the vibe and the food will not only knock your socks off but will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
The Paia coastline sometimes isn’t given the credit it’s due. When you’re comparing it to the Ka’anapali/Lahaina or Kihei/Makena coastline it can be somewhat diminished. Paia is a refreshing small town and that still has the old Hawaiian spirit afloat. It’s an absolute joy to walk down the main street of Paia (Hana Hwy) and see all the handicrafts of the locals. Just a few minutes down the road you’ll find year-round excellent surf and wind surfing at Ho’okipa Beach Park. I wouldn’t recommend it for new swimmers however . . .it’s a bit intimidating. Another key stop in Paia is Mama’s Fish House. A bit on the expensive side it’s completely worth it. From the location, the view, the service, and the food you’re getting your money’s worth.
Don’t miss Paia when visiting beautiful Maui.
During my recent travels to the island of Oahu I experienced the most miraculous thing. Yes Waikiki is busy and bustling and Kailua/Lanikai has the gorgeous beaches, but there’s one place you MUST visit.
Waimea Bay at Sunset
After a long day on the road we stopped at the local Foodland for some freshly make Poke (YUM) and headed to Waimea Bay. Typically known for it’s excellent surf in the Winter, we experienced gentle waves and a lovely cool breeze. We set our chairs, dug our feet in the sand, and watched the sun sink down. Words cannot describe it’s beauty, so hopefully this picture can do the trick.
A “must-see” stop when visiting the island of Oahu.
From the moment you get your tickets and get in line to board the boat you know this trip is going to be something special. It’s not your typical get on the boat, grab some snorkeling gear and looking at fish trip. This trip was about education. The staff was knowledgeable, not only about the fish in the sea, but the history of the Hawaiian Islands. They did a great presentation before we got to the snorkel spot going over the types of sea life and coral we would see, safety precautions and the environmental impacts we cause and how to avoid them.
About half way to the snorkel bay we came upon our first pod of spinner dolphins…there must have been over a hundred in the group. Jackie talked about how they live, hunt, play and why they were so attracted to the boat when we were stopped. Apparently the large boat gives off a pressure wave that their sonar senses. It was amazing scene to say the least.
When we arrived at the snorkel bay off the island of Lanai a brief safety talk was given and off we went…we opted to go off the waterslide into the water! The water was crystal clear, d eep and the colors of the fish and coral were breathtaking. They allowed us over an hour to explore then served a delicious lunch on board the boat.
The seas were a bit rough getting out the bay so I wouldn’t recommend this trip to anyone with an aversion to sea sickness. Along the trek back to Lahaina we came upon another pod of dolphins that the crew seemed to know from other outings. Apparently this was the pod they encountered almost daily. They all looked the same to me! As we made our way back to port in Lahaina the crew pointed out the surrounding islands and gave some informative history about each.
All in all it was a spectacular day spent at sea learning about ocean life, Hawaiian history and meeting some great people. Plus, proceeds from the trip go directly to the Pacific Whale Foundation.
We arrived early, so we thought, at the Hanauma Bay Wildlife preserve to go snorkeling and explore the area. The line for the tickets was long, but moved quicker than we anticipated. Once inside the preserve we had to wait about 15 minutes to be let into a small theater to watch a video going over the do’s and don’ts of the park such as not standing on the coral and not touching or feeding the animals. Once we were released we made our way down to the beach area and rented our snorkeling gear.
The bay was beautiful and the snorkeling was stellar. There were beautifully colored fish of all kinds, lots of corral and white sand beaches. I do have to say there was a LOT of people, which made snorkeling a bit hard at times. You were always bumping into people and being kicked by others, but it was well worth the trip.
I would recommend getting there by 8am to get a prime beach spot and avoid the lines. Keep in mind it costs $7.50 to enter the park, which is good for 365 days. It is also an additional $15 to rent snorkel gear. If you have your own bring it. Don’t pass up this gem just because of the crowds, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Take a step back in time and enjoy the finest Bourbon in Utah. When you walk in the door you are greeted with the friendly mountain service and a décor so authentic You’ll swear you hear spurs a jingling and horses clomping up and down the street. A great spot for dinner or just drinks but be sure to stop in while you are on vacation. My personal favorite is the American Prairie Reserve try it on the rocks or mixed in one of the High West signature cocktails. Be sure to relax and don’t forget the souvenirs a bottle or a tee shirt make great gifts. Cheers and have a great time!!!