Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Aloha - I'm Back!
Summertime is for relaxing and since I can't seem to unwind when I'm near a computer I jumped at the chance to take a real vacation (for the first time in over 2 years) to Hawaii with the old roomies.
Hawaii was everything we'd hoped for and more - beautiful weather, great food and adventures abound. On Oahu we swam with the dolphins at Sea Life Park (where 50 First Dates was filmed), paid homage to fallen heroes at Pearl Harbor, and hiked Diamond Head.
We were supposed to go zip lining in Maui, but the winds were too strong so the more adventurous of us went ATV-ing instead. We did the Road to Hana: a 68 mile drive along highway that included stops at a the black sand beaches, waterfall we could swim in, and winery, attended a Luau at the Hyatt and at the end of our trip we watched the sun rise over Haleakala, aka the East Maui Volcano, and then biked down 23 miles.
On both islands we stayed in Aston properties. While I would definitely recommend the Aston Kaanapali Shores on Maui, which were basically cute and very well maintained condos, I have mixed emotions about the Aston Waikiki Beach hotel.
Allow me to start with the positive: the decor was cute and kitschy and the restaurant/tiki bar was delicious (food and beverage-wise). However, the whole place was like a hotel version of trading spaces. It was like they slapped on new bedding and threw some surfboards up as decor, but didn't bother fixing the bathrooms because the websites don't show those anyway. Our bathroom was almost scary; the shower head was violent (in both pressure and the fact that for some odd reason it sprayed out the side as well as straight down) and the shower curtain rod was so rusted one might get Tetanus just from looking at it (okay so apparently the whole tetanus = rust thing is a myth, but you get my point.
The bathroom didn't ruin our visit by any means, we just kept it quick and made sure not to touch the rod (a safe rule for any group if single girls on vacation *couldn't resist*). Besides, after the Aston Waikiki Beach we were all too excited to see our fancy Florida-meets-Hawaii condo in Maui. Well played Liberty Travel agent.