Maui Revealed – Snorkeling

Chris goes Snorkeling

Chris goes Snorkeling

By far the most popular activity for those who travel to Maui is snorkeling. Yet, it was only on our third trip there that Marnie and I ventured into the water to see what was actually underneath.

When we ventured into the water, we chose to keep things simple and head in at Kamaole Beach III (just across the street from Kamaole Sands). Sure we’d been in the water at the beach, but never before had we thought to look under the waves. Suffice to say, we were blown away at how many fish were likely swimming all around us the whole time that we’d been oblivious to.

So now you’re interested, right?

While nearly every beach has solid snorkeling opportunities, we’ve been told that taking a snorkel tour out to the Molokini Crater is all that and a bag of chips. There are options a plenty if such a trip suits your fancy, though we’d recommend taking a sail on the Ali’i Nui – we haven’t made a snorkel trip on this charter, but just loved the trade winds sail we took a few years back.

And if you’re in need of gear, pretty much every block has a snorkel or dive shop on the corner. We’ve heard good things about the Maui Dive Shop, while Marnie and I used Snorkel Bob’s when we last went. The great thing about both is that you can get full kits for an affordable price that you don’t need to truck back home when you leave. And if you’re in need of optical lenses (like Marnie), both outfits can hook you up so you can actually see what you’ll be looking at.

But instead of taking my advice, what tips do you have for us and our guests? Please share below in the comments.

This post is part of our Maui Revealed series to help our wedding guests and others explore the island. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Maui Revealed – Haleakala

In the three trips that Marnie and I have made to Maui together, we’ve never gone up to the top of Haleakala. We plan on remedying this in March.

Sunrise on Haleakala

Sunrise on Haleakala – courtesy of Miss604

Standing at just over 10000 feet above sea level, Haleakala towers over the Valley Isle. And having such a height advantage, those who make the trip up to the top are treated to some fantastic sunrises (and sunsets on a good day)! In fact, if the skies are clear you’ll have a great vantage point to see five other Hawaiian islands.

While not entirely tough, getting up to the summit is not the easiest of tasks. With no public transportation, most people tend to get up early and drive up to the summit by car. This route isn’t too challenging as the highway to the top is paved, though you will find a number of switchbacks. Oh… and cattle apparently. Watch out for the cows.

Another option is to book one of the many tours that head up for sunrise. Sure you’ll spend a few bucks to do so, but most tour outfits will pick you up at your condo/hotel and also usually provide a continental breakfast. And for those looking for an exciting way to get back down, some tours provide bikes – you just pedal once or twice and then coast all the way down. That’s right… all the way down.

If you’re interested in going up to the top, let us know as we plan on going up ourselves and it would be cool to share the experience with you! And don’t sweat the volcano part – the last time Haleakala “belched” was approximately 1790. We should be good.

This post is part of our Maui Revealed series to help our wedding guests and others explore the island. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

The Wedding Playlist

While I’m still surprised that Marnie has given me full editorial control over our wedding playlist, I’m obviously not going to pass up the chance to get the place rocking with some wicked tunes on my good ol’ iPod. And while we will have the talented Jamie Lawrence perform for a portion, I still get a say.

Wedding DJ Setup

Courtesy of Ferenc Szutor

So what’s the issue? Well my problem, or quite possibly your problem, is my diverse musical tastes can be an issue. Simply put, I have some serious musical A.D.D. combined with a horrible penchant for the silly.

Click here to continue on…

The Homestretch

It’s hard to imagine that we’re less than two and a half months away from our wedding. I swear it was only a few weeks ago that we had sent our save the dates and here we are in January getting in our last few RSVPs from the invitations we sent out a couple of months back. Crazy.

Suffice to say, Marnie and I are getting more and more excited as the big day approaches. Sure it does feel that we’re getting behind the eight ball and not as organized as we’d like to be, but maybe we’re actually doing well and are just suffering from the usual stresses that come along with planning a destination wedding – neither of us have experience in this matter. ūüôā

Anywho, as I’m keen on sharing our wedding through the power of social media (and possibly even streaming the ceremony – fingers crossed), we’ve created a Google+ event to help bring those who are making the trip together with those who are not. If you’re interested in an invite, just shoot us a line via the contact page – we’d be happy to have you involved!

Making the Trip to Maui ‚Äď Roam Mobility

For those of us who live in Canada, we‚Äôre all quite aware of the crazy costs of taking our phones across the border into the US of A. Some of us turn the phone off and try to forget it exists for the duration of our trip, while others (like my family) pick up a ‚Äúpay-as-you-go‚ÄĚ phone with an American provider to remain somewhat connected.

Seeing as saving you money increases the odds of you making the trip over to Maui for our wedding, I wanted to introduce you to another option available to us now ‚Äď Roam Mobility!

Plans with Roam start at $2.95/day and provide you not only an American number, but unlimited talk and text within the US and back to Canada AND voicemail and caller ID. And if you’re the type to use a data connection (like me!), just $1 more gets you 100MB of data.

So how does it work?

Have An Unlocked Phone?

SIM Card

SIM Card – Roam Mobility

You‚Äôre in luck ‚Äď you just need to pick-up a SIM card($19.95)! If you‚Äôre unsure if the phone you have is unlocked, you‚Äôll need to make a quick phone call to your provider. You should also give Roam a call too to make sure your device is fully compatible with their network.

Need A Phone?

Breeze FB101

Breeze FB101 – Roam Mobility

You‚Äôre still in luck ‚Äď Roam will sell you a Breeze Phone(SIM card included) for $49.95. Doing the quick math, that‚Äôs only $30 for an unlocked Dual-SIM, GSM Quad-Band phone with a 1.3 MP Camera.

Looking To Surf?

While WiFi is available in most hotels/condos (and at every Starbucks in town), maybe you want to live-stream our ceremony and reception or something. This is where the Liberty Hotspotwill help you out. The device is $129.95 and data only rates start at 6 cents per megabyte.

Picking up any of the above options is pretty simple – you can get free shipping direct from Roam by ordering from their website, or by going in to one of their many dealers.

So.. have any of you used Roam? Any thoughts you could share on the quality of service? Or are any of you going to give them a look? We’d love to hear from you so we can in turn share your comments with our guests!

Disclosure: Roam has kindly offered an early wedding gift to Marnie and I by covering each of our plans while we’re in Maui. This was regardless of whether or not this post went live. Just wanting to keep everything on the up and up.

Making the Trip to Maui

One of the reasons Marnie and I sent out Save the Dates for our wedding was to allow our guests to sort out accommodation, flights, and everything else between in time for the trip. Now sure, you’d think a year is a lot of time but as our wedding is happening during Spring Break AND happens to be at a popular destination, time is of the essence.

How to Get to Maui

You’ve got two choices – boat or plane. Making that assumption that most of you will be flying in to Maui, there are a couple of things to consider.

First of all – Maui doesn’t have a US Customs facility to process inbound international passengers. What this means is you either need to come direct from a US port of call or through Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC) or Edmonton (YEG) airports as they have US pre-clearance available.

Secondly, as most of our guests will be coming from Canada, Marnie and I will be securing a 10% discount code through WestJet shortly for our wedding guests. Having checked out the options through Air Canada, as well as Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, we think WestJet provides us the best means to get to where we want to go for good value. So wherever you may be joining us from, we recommend checking out the different fare options available to you as nearly every major airport on the along the west coast can get you to Maui direct or through Honolulu.

Kahului Airport in Maui

Kahului Airport – courtesy of Kris Nelson

Where to Stay

For each of our trips, Marnie and I have booked a condo at the Kamaole Sands Condominium Resort (as seen below) in Kihei – and a location close to our wedding venue – through Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO). This particular resort has beautiful lawns and gardens, a great pool and hot tub area, tennis courts and several BBQ areas, so for someone thinking of making it a vacation you’d probably find this place perfect.

Regardless of your choice for location, we do encourage you to use VRBO to search for a place to stay. While the island has many great hotels, our wedding is during the high season and the best rate we could get at a reasonable location was $266/night – and that was the wedding rate!

Kamaole Sands Condominium Resort

Kamaole Sands Condominium Resort – courtesy of Mark Beeson

How to Get Around

Rental cars shouldn’t be an issue for most, though we do recommend looking into booking yours sooner rather than later.

We’ve gone with a mainstream company in the past, this time around we’ve decided to go with Kihei Rent A Car. While their cars are not the latest and greatest, the company is a local, family run business that has excellent reviews – they also provide free airport transfers as well. Making the choice even easier is that we all get a 10% discount off their regular prices (which are already significantly lower than the mainstream companies) should 5 or more of us commit. To get yourself included with that discount, you just have to mention that you are with Marnie Greenfield and they will do the rest once we get enough bookings.

The other option for you is to rely on taxi and/or transit. While Maui Bus is affordable and will get you between most destinations you’ll need to visit, you’re obviously tied to set schedules. And sure taxi can get you wherever you want to go (for the most part), the island of Maui is not the tiniest of places so you’ll find that taxi fares will add up over time – and probably be more expensive than the same cost to rent a car.

Red Rental Car

Red Rental Car – courtesy of torbakhopper

So there you have it. The nitty gritty on what you need to start thinking about if you’re looking to join us. If you still need any help, please reach out to us via the normal channels or the “Contact Us” page above.

Lei’d on a Plane

Like my misleading title? Shame on you for thinking it was dirty. Still, funny isn’t it? Haha! I wonder if Marnie will let me remain in charge of arranging travel?

Alaska Airlines Hawaiian Livery

Alaska Airlines Hawaiian Livery

In all seriousness though, when it comes to coordinating the different aspects of our wedding, travel is probably going to be one of the tougher tasks. While the most exotic place that my family will be coming from is Australia (Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton – not so exotic), Marnie will see much of her family travel from the Midwest US and United Kingdom.

And we’ve known all along that flying as a group was likely not possible due to all this different embarkation points, let alone the different combination of travel dates, but we did want to see if there was a way to help make things easier for our guests regardless.

This is where it’s difficult – there are too many options and all require some level of commitment. Some airlines have a loose understanding of what constitutes a group, while others provide a discount based on a certain number of people flying regardless of when and what flights people choose. It’s like a coordination nightmare.

So what do we do? I’m more apt to simply let people do their own thing – anyone have experience with travel to a destination wedding? Or maybe you’re a airline insider? Help.

Marnie’s First Post – Wedding Visions

I guess I should probably try to figure this out, since I am the one who already has the entire wedding day planned out in my head! ¬†Maybe this will help me get all my ideas down into words so that Chris can start to visualize what I see happening on that day. ¬†And if our visions of the day are miles apart then we can start to work on blending our visions so that we are both happy! ¬†Yes of course I am a woman who has been visualizing my wedding day since a young age, I was after all a bride for Halloween one year (maybe about 7 years of age?) , and I’m doubtful that Chris has thought about it nearly as much as I have. ¬†I have now had almost 4 years of actually thinking about it as an actual event since Chris proposed on March 14, 2009.

At first we were planning a wedding in the Richmond/Vancouver area, with the ceremony at the Minoru Chapel in Richmond, and an undecided location for the reception. ¬†Then over the last 3 years we’ve made an annual trip to Maui and have fallen in love with the place, and so our vision changed and we have now decided on Maui on March 14, 2014 – 5 years to the day of our engagement as the time and place for our big day!


I’ve had to make some changes from my original vision and transplant it into a tropical setting. ¬†Things I never thought I’d go for at my wedding are now OK – such as allowing Chris to wear a Hawaiian shirt and possibly shorts (still thinking about this!) to our ceremony. ¬†After all¬†he is pretty¬†susceptible¬†to heat stroke and I don’t want my groom to be grumpy, or to pass out during the ceremony, or to be sweating profusely in all our photos! ¬†Me on the other hand was worried about wearing the kind of gown I wanted in Vancouver, as I am always freezing cold (yes sometimes even in the summer), so now in the heat I don’t have to worry about freezing if I decide on a strapless gown!

My colour scheme has just undergone a change too. ¬†I always envisioned my wedding as being red and white, but I was having trouble finding the tropical flowers I want in my bouquet in red, and red just didn’t really seem to fit with the tropical destination – so now am thinking of going for a bright pink and white. ¬†I know I want a bright colour in my bouquet for that striking contrast from a white dress. ¬†I know Chris doesn’t mind wearing bright colours, including pink, so I don’t think he’ll care.

pink and white tropical flowers

For the ceremony I like the idea of a beach wedding, but I have never enjoyed being dirty, so the thought of being covered in sand all day doesn’t really appeal to me. ¬†So I’m trying to find a location that is on the water and has a beach in the background, but has a nice green grassy area where we can actually have the ceremony. ¬†My first thought was Maluaka Beach Park, it looks like a beautiful spot, but it is a public park, so while it would be cheap (likely under $50 to the State of Hawaii for an event licence), we would risk other weddings being there at the same time and fighting over locations, and random people walking around and getting in the way of pictures. ¬† ¬†There are some fabulous private estates on Maui that rent out for weddings and of course so many¬†gorgeous resorts, so those options are¬†definitely¬†in the mix.¬†¬†I still haven’t ruled out the public beach though, as to have it in a private estate or at a resort starts getting pretty¬†pricey,¬†so we’ll ¬†have to see how things work out with the budget! ¬†And if we do the public beach, we still have to find somewhere to have the reception, whereas an estate or resort we can have the reception right there.

The first order of business will be to hire a wedding planner – being so far away, a wedding planner is basically a¬†necessity, and it will make life so much easier, plus they will know the best places, vendors, etc. to make my dreams a reality. ¬†I’ve done some¬†research¬†and have a list of ones that seem like they have good reviews. ¬†Next step will be to actually call these people up and have a chat with them to make sure our personalities mesh¬†reasonably¬†well and make sure they seem to understand my vision. ¬†I don’t want to end up with a wedding planner that can’t make my vision come to life, or that I dislike.

Well I guess this has become a pretty long post, so I will sign off for now. ¬†I hope you’ll keep checking back and follow our progress as we navigate the adventures of planning a destination wedding. ¬†If you have any ideas or words of wisdom please let us know. ¬†I may not ¬†use them, but ideas and advice are always welcome!