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Tami's Trip to Maui and Kauai with The Travel Exchange

hawaii 1Very excited, I flew from San Jose on November 16, 2014 to the Kapalu Airport on Maui, on Hawaiian Airlines. From the time you sit in your seat on the plane, you feel that you have already arrived in Hawaii, everyone in their Hawaiian dress and so warm and friendly.

When I arrived, the Hawaii Travel Exchange representatives were there and waiting with beautiful leis to welcome us! Our transfer driver was a comedian and kept us laughing all the way to the outstanding Wailea Beach Marriott. There, we were greeted with warmth and openness. I was taken to my room by a wonderful bellman, a bit of a walk, but so worth the view!

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I then joined more of the agents; there were 82 of us, for a welcome reception in one of the suites at the resort. Oh My… is all I can say!! Unbelievable, 2 full bedrooms and baths, kitchen and 2 balconies! Champagne and fresh fruit… am I in Hawaii or Heaven… Hawaii is Heaven!!!

Very early the next morning we were treated to a sunrise breakfast at the beautiful Makena Beach Resort. The food was amazing and the views, breathtaking!! Now off to class room settings to learn all that Hawaii has to offer!

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When in Maui, be sure to take a sunset sail aboard the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Odyssey. It was a little windy this particular evening, but with the beautiful sunset, we forgave.

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Very busy 3 days, but we were always treated to excellent meals and service. Tuesday night we were very excited to attend a sunset reception at the Orchid Wedding Beach House. From the front, this looks like a quaint little Hawaiian home, but don’t be misled. Once you enter the backyard, you are amazed by the rolling lawns and the ocean crashing at the cliffs. Outstanding food and Hawaiian dancers to entertain us!!! What fun!!!

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On the morning of my last day in Maui, as I sit on my balcony overlooking my view, saying… very soon I will return here… Aloha!

Day 3, off to Kauai, very short and enjoyable flight! I cannot say enough about our transfer drivers, they were the best! Very knowledgeable of the islands and oh so funny; joke telling, singing, no matter how far we had to go, it was a blast!!

Our first day in Kauai we were welcomed at the beautiful Sheraton Kauai Resort, Poipu’s newest playground. Met with handmade, intricate leis, oh the time that must be spent….. The resort offers spacious room with gorgeous views, and the beach with white sands and blue waters….oh to have a beach chair and a cool drink, with nothing to do!!hawaii 11

Off to the Spouting Horn Blow Hole….fascinating! These waves erode lava rocks on the coastline which can create narrow openings, as is the case with Spouting Horn. With every wave, water shoots upward when it is forced through an opening and creates a sound suggestive of hissing. The spray can shoot as high as 50 feet in the air.

Next today, we travel to The Na’ina Kai Botantical Gardens. 240 acres including forest and farmland was established by Joyce and Ed Doty in 1982. In 1999, it became a nonprofit organization and opened to the public. Today it contains 13 gardens, a hardwood plantation farmland, meadow, canyon and beach. More than 90 bronze sculptures are sited throughout the estate.

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A visit to the Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa was next on our day and was unbelievable. The Resort was honored as the top hotel on Kauai and one of the top 10 in Hawaii with the Travel & Leisure’s 2014 World’s Best Awards. The Anara Spa within the Resort, was named a top resort spa by Conde Nast Traveler. And let me say, I wanted to quietly sneak off and accidently…..well, on purpose, be left there.

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We also stayed at the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort. Loved the Resort, my favorite were the fire pits with cushioned chairs all around them. Such a nice place to sit with your family and friends and take in the beauty of Hawaii! The staff was warm and attending, food was outstanding.

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For all of Travel Shoppe’s golfing enthusiasts, I visited the Makai Golf Course. Luscious course, sitting right on the cliffs, as the wind blows slightly, you can hear the ocean crashing….Wonderful staff, club house and golf shops. We were treated to lunch and then took off in golf carts to view the course. What fun we had!!

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The Waimea Plantation Cottages are next. Island plantations were the core of Hawaiian life in the 1800’s; the place where Polynesian, Asian and European influences blended to form the unique culture of contemporary Hawaii. Waimea Plantation Cottages, hidden away on the quiet, western coast of the Garden Isle of Kauai, is a nostalgic glimpse into the simple life found at a sugar plantation. Guests enjoy the unique cottages with an ocean front views and luscious green ground views. The experience is unlike no other in all of the Hawaiian Islands.

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There is so much to do in Kauai, but if you haven’t seen Hawaii’s Grand Canyon, Waimea Canyon, make sure it’s one of your stops!! The canyon is approximately 10 miles long, up to 3,000 feet deep, of beautifully formed, by a deep incision of the Waimea River arising from the extreme rainfall on the island’s central peak, Mount Wai’ale’ale, which is one of wettest places on earth.

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My last day on Kauai was a day fill with beautiful ocean views of the island on Captain Andy’s Snorkel Cruise. The wind in my face, sunshine, turtles, dolphins and whales to be seen, not to mention a wonderful meal enjoyed by all!! The Kauai Coast is such a lovely and majestic coast, featuring emerald green pinnacles towering along the shore line.

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Well, it’s time for me to say goodbye to beautiful Hawaii, till my return….A hui hou Goodbye, until we meet again!