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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Making it Happen in Maui… The Aloha Way – Hawaii & Alaska Community Service

If Maui were a drink, it would be a crisp and refreshing passion-mango-orange fruit juice. The flights between the islands in Hawaii may be short, but they sure are tasty, especially with one of these drinks in hand (yes, we all sipped on these before touching down in Maui). Not only was our flight tasty, but a fun one as we had twin day which was judged towards the beard extravaganza tournament. Team ReinMoose took the twin idea literally and had three sets of twins- Abby and Carly R. both wore pink shorts, black tops, and rein-moose socks, Samantha and Karly W. wore purple ‘Aloha’ tanks with their Roots Whistler sweats, and Jake and James donned Hawaiian patterned shirts and khaki bucket hats. Looking like local guides with their Hawaiian maps in their shirt pockets, we were sure they were going to get stopped at the airport every minute by travelers asking them where to go. Team Crustaches members Karly K., Nikki, Isabel, Lindsey, and Amanda looked amazing in their hula girl inspired outfits with grass skirts, coconut bras, shell necklaces, and pretty flowers in their hair. Harrison was one lucky guy to be in the presence of so many beautiful ladies. Team No Name went with a twin and quadruplet combination, with Samuel and Vivian dressed in matching athletic wear, and Lauren, Gillian, Allie, and Kennedy in ‘hello sunshine’ shirts and moustache hats complete with removable faux clip-on ‘staches. Team ReinMoose ended up taking the cake on this competition for their true interpretation of twin day.

Just like clockwork, we made our way to a local beach once we landed. With that said, Kanaha Beach Park was different than any of the other beaches we’ve visited thus far. Although the palm trees were sparse, the kite- and wind-surfers certainly were not. The windy shores were a mecca for these board sports and added lots of entertaining beach side spectating. The kite surfers would manipulate their kites in a specific way to catch the wind, which would then send them flying into the air where they would grab their boards and do sweet tricks. After swooping around for a while, they would land back on the water with grace (for the most part). There were beautiful flashes of color against the sparkling afternoon sunshine as the windsurfers whizzed back and forth in the distance. Allie was feeling inspired after his time at the beach, stating that he “really wanted to go kite surfing after watching all the pros. Karly K. looked super cute in her new Hawaii Island hat, and Harrison, James, and Samuel had fun playing with their new beach baseball bat, even though the wind would sometimes take their pitch to a whole other level of curveball. Samantha got her summer reading on as she lay out on her towel, while Vivian and Karly W. had some nice heart-to-heart conversations.

Paia Fish Market is a place to see the freshness of your fish before you eat it up. We ate at this neat concept fish market/restaurant in Paia where you ordered at the counter and then waited for your meals to be up. Catch of the day included Mahi-Mahi, Ono, Salmon, Yellow-Tail Snapper and several other local favourites. Lots of fish tacos were ordered amongst our group, as well as the Cajun style Mahi-Mahi with coleslaw and rice. The freshness of the meals was definitely evident at the minimal scraps left on plates at the end of our eats. Any hungry belly passing through Paia, fish lovers or not, should make a pit stop at the Market. YUM!

We love waves! As the sun heated things up at our surf lessons with Wailea Water Sports at Kalama Beach, the waves were there to help us hang loose. As soon as everyone got suited up with their Billabong rash guards and surfing booties, we were ready to hit the beach park for our lesson. We learned how to lie on the board and then pop up into the surfing stance- dominate foot forward, strapped foot back, and hands out to the side for balance. Once we got out on the water, everyone was putting the lessons into action and we discovered some really great surfers within the group. Lauren and Amanda got a feel for the first few waves riding them out on their knees. Karly K., Isabel, Abby, Karly W., Kennedy, Nikki, Gillian, and Carly R. were all doing amazing and would ride the waves from start to break with minimal bails. In no time Samantha was going for waves on her own sans instructors. Harrison, Samuel, Lindsey, Allie, Jake, and James immediately broke off from the group to catch their own waves- no push offs required. The time out on the water just seemed to fly by and when it was time to paddle in, everyone was riding off the excitement of the surf for hours to come. Karly K. even stated that “she would love to move to Hawaii and surf for an entire year!”

We had a great coastal drive to get to our nights entertainment at the Hyatt Regency Maui- a traditional Polynesian drum and fire luau. We had some time prior to being seated for the luau to enjoy the hotel grounds and take some pictures in the gardens by the oceans edge. Upon enterance into the luau “arena” we were given shell necklaces to signify that we were luau goers; they are also a perfect little souvenier to take home to remember Maui and the luau. The night started off with a traditional welcoming to the festivities in the Hawaiian tounge. Typically when people think of a luau they think of a pig roasting on a spit over an open fire; not the case here. Instead, a pig was prepared and then placed underground on hot banana rocks to cook for 8 plus hours. We got to watch as a few men dig out the pig at the beginning of the ceremony- although most of our trip members thought that it was ‘nasty’, it was a cool and difference experience to take in. At dinner, a few people tried mashed up tarro known traditionally as Poi, but the fresh Poi buns with passionfruit infused butter were a much bigger hit. Dessert consisted of lots of different coconut and macadamenia nut treats and the famous island Kona coffee blend. At the fashion show, we learned several different ways to wrap, tie, and wear a sarong. I don’t think any of the guys in our group will be buying a sarong to wear in the swim trunk style but you never know. Lindsey and Allie were then pulled up on stage to participate in the interactive hula lesson. It’s a great thing they already had some basic moves down pat from our lessons in Kauai. They did AH-Dos proud up on stag and gave us something to cheer extra loud for. Before the main dances, music and drums, fire tossing, and hip shaking began, Lindsey was pulled up on stage again, this time with Carly R. and trip leader Susan to dance alongside three male luau dancers who were in the show. The ladies did a fantastic job mirroring the moves of the men and shaking it on stage! You go girls!!!!!!

Maui has gotten off to a really great start and we can’t wait to see what the final few days will bring.

With Aloha,

-The Westcoast Blogger

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