Saturday, April 21, 2012

Adventures in Maui: Day Eight

As today is the day we checked out of our beloved Marriott Maui Ocean Club resort, I figured it would be fitting to take some pictures of the property directly in front of the tower where our room was located. It is kind of significant as later on there will be a comparison of the hotel we stayed at in Wailea.

We always forget to take a picture of what our room looks like while it is still clean, so I pulled some from a's not exactly the same layout - but same decor.  The top is our room - viewed from part of the bathroom... (that's a two person jetted tub....Brayden and I sat in it with our swimsuits...oh, to have one of those at home!)  The second is a pic similar to the bedroom Travis and Steph had as part of our two bedroom unit.  And, the final is the living space separating the two bedrooms.

When we first started looking at flights and dates for this trip, we realized that by returning on a Saturday instead of the exact week later on a Friday, we'd save money. Hey, with a family of four flying, any little bit helps. So, we discussed it with the Whites and determined we all had enough Marriott Hotel points to book an additional night in the Wailea Beach Marriott (not a condos/time share location...this one is a hotel and spa). Of course, we loved the idea of an additional night, but I did not foresee just how helpful this would be in transitioning me emotionally to going home. The pack up process was so much less painful knowing we still had one more full day of adventuring to go - and for our own family, we were able to pack all we needed for that next day in one of our five checked-in bags. Therefore, once we were in Wailea, any further packing would be kept at a minimum.

Alright...Blogger is being difficult, so I'll do the rest in the morning.  That is, if I get any sleep.  Since we've gotten home from dinner here in Wailea, we've been honored to be able to hear and see all of the entertainment from the Luau on the lawn directly beyond our patio doors.  The bass is reverberating through the walls - it's so loud, especially if we open one of those doors.  It, along with several other issues has made us ever-so-thankful this isn't where we opted to stay all week long and that we aren't out a lot of money for this night!

UGH!  Next morning.  Worst night of sleep in Hawaii thus far.  Just as I had tuned out the loud bass karaoke-style luau singing, I was awakened by what sounded like a shotgun going off outside of our room.  It was about 10pm, and I'm thinking, "What?!!!"  Then the sounds came in repetition, like someone beating the biggest marching drum you've ever heard.  Finally, it dawns on both John and I....fireworks....lit right outside our room for the luau.  UNBELIEVABLE.  Maybe on another night, I'd find this enchanting, but Brayden, who got up to look outside reported we weren't even able to see the dazzling light display.  Instead, we are just able to hear the LOUD, OBNOXIOUS, "there's-no-way-you-can-sleep-through-this" thunder.   It was laughable at this point - but very destructive to my sleep habits, as it launched John and Brayden into a giggle fit and brought to realization that our air conditioner was less than effective which had me waking up sweating repeatedly through the night.  We are NOT impressed with this Marriott....

Which brings me to answer Colie's comment.  I think it was in 2006 that we were invited to Palm Desert for a Marriott presentation to consider being owners there.  We had known about the location (Marriott Ocean Club) in Maui since being on the island together in 1998 (but staying at a friends' home) - and this was our ultimate destination of choice for a dream vacation.  We listened attentively during that presentation and decided to go ahead and purchase a week with a lock-off unit in Palm Desert.  We've never been back.  We use our week to exchange with others (made easier by enrolling in the points program), which has allowed us to go to Maui twice, Lake Tahoe, and Orlando (for the whole family...we were able to get three units for that week).  I'm not necessarily convinced it is the most economic way to fund a vacation (especially when the maintenance dues bill comes in January), but I think we've taken advantage of it to its fullest.  So, there's our "timeshare" story.

Okay, on to Wailea.

Here's the "upgraded ocean view room" we were given.  We actually scored in that our room was ready way before the normal check in time of 4pm.  We got in at 11 (the Whites, who were the ones who'd actually requested an early check in, had to wait the full time...if it weren't for the queen beds instead of their king bed request, they might have booted us!)  This allowed us to get all of our luggage brought in (by taking a golf cart with the bellboy) and change so that we were able to change and grab swimsuits for adventures at the various pools on this property. 
The view from our property.  This IS impressive.  And, for the record, that's actually the other side of Maui we are looking at. 

The coastline in front of our room is NOT sandy, though further down the beach it is.  We opted to therefore bypass that water and go right to the chlorinated stuff.

This is a pic of the "main pool".  Rather stark, clean, and might I say, "stuffy", huh?  We stayed there about an hour.  The tranquility was actually killing me after having been part of the liveliness at Kaanapali.

This is the "adults only" Serenity pool.  We had to walk through to get to the other part of the property.  (We told the kids to be very, very quiet and appropriate!).  It has one of those invisible edges where it gives the illusion that the water just drops into the ocean.

En route to the "lively pool".

Alright, this area is more my style.  Only a couple of other families were there, it was colorful and fun.  The kids played for a couple of hours on the slides - and even got John and I to give it at least one try.  Too many fun pics to choose from, so I went with more than usual...

Shortly after the Whites were finally given their room key, we walked back to the main lobby and met out front.

Finally, the group picture that has been nagging me all week to make happen.  Not a bad backdrop either.

Props to the HUGE koi fish the hotel has swimming in this waterfall.

We searched through all sorts of sources to find the kind of restaurant that would fit our families' preferences....things are a lot more upscale here.  So, despite the less than stellar reviews, we opted for the "Cheeseburger in Paradise" here in Wailea.  Same menu as the one in Lahaina, so we knew it would be good.  We actually liked it better!

This bird was as close to us as he looks.  He had a bad leg, or at least he looked like it limping around.  We weren't sure if he just used that to get more handouts.

After dinner, we cruised through the many shops of the Wailea Mall (located across the parking lot of our hotel and as well as where the restaurant was).  I love that my kids still want to hang on me...

After another round of ice cream, we headed back (I should be fasting for a week after this vacation!).  John used some special shutter speed settings on his camera to catch these images on his way back to our room. 

And, finally, that luau outside of our door....grrrrr!

At 12:45, our flight leaves Maui, lays over in Honolulu, and then, due to the time change, we don't get into Portland until nearly midnight tonight. It will be another long day! But, oh so worth it - what a grand adventure this has been!!!!


Colie said...

Sometime I want to know about your time share! It wont be for a few more years but I can start dreaming :-).

Loved all the pics! My in laws are there now. I'm a little jealous of your time but in a good way.

sara said...

sounds like the perfect end to a GREAT vacation!!!

StephieAnne said...

It was a great way to end our vacation - and coming back to a Sunday that we had to "re-enter" where the weather reached 78 degrees....Oh Lord, thank YOU for that blessing!!!!! Best weather day of the year happens the day we return from Maui - what a praise and remedy for keeping the post vacation blues at bay!!!!!