Date of Trip: November 2013
We booked this excursion on the information we found on Trip Advisers, and we loved it. Marilyn is hospitable, knowledgeable, and talented. We were picked up at Lahaina, where our cruise ship had docked and we were tendered into port. Since this is not where passengers are usually picked up, we paid an extra ‘portage’ fee of $50/per, but it was worth it. We almost circumnavigated the entire island with Marilyn providing all sorts of commentary – from the historical to the whimsical – about the different places we were passing (e.g. Oprah’s house).
We stopped at a beautiful ocean vista area where we could see surfers, families walking on the beach, and the gorgeous views that only Maui provides. It was what one thinks of when hearing the name ‘Hawaii’. Next, we stopped at a field of pineapples. Having only seen these plants in their singular glory, it was a surprise to see them in all different sizes and stages of ripeness, growing like weeds. The major stop was at a Lavender Farm – which is one of the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen. Here, we were provided with lavender scones with lavender honey, and a choice of tea or coffee. It was restful, lovely, and delicious. Again, Marilyn is incredibly knowledgeable about plants and the flowers in this garden are some of the most unique we’ve ever seen.
On our way to our final stop (a winery), we went to a western shop in small town (the name of which in Hawaii translates to “The breadfruit ripens on the back”). It was rather incongruous to find cowboy boots and hats and spurs (etc.) along side hula dolls, but it was fun. At the winery, we tasted all of their wines (they don’t have a huge selection, and bought a bottle of their semi-dry pineapple wine (the sweet version, was like drinking sweetened soda pop, only with a kick). Their champagne was also good (we’re wine fans). Here, we also had a picnic lunch of sandwiches, salad, drinks, and fresh fruit (esp. Maui Gold pineapple), while Marilyn serenaded us on her ukelele. The food was delicious and the entertainment a whole lot of fun. On the way back to the port, we stopped at the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store (just down the street from the tender) where we bought a pound of Maui Mokka Peaberry coffee – we are still enjoying it, but will need to order some more soon (they do ship to the mainland). The entire trip took over 5 hours, and we could have stayed longer. It was a wonderful excursion, and we highly recommend it to all.