Maui Wowie

When Dave and Jenny asked me to film their wed­ding in Maui, there was no way I could say refuse. Soon1 I found myself in the only place in the world where Koa grows, and every tree I passed made me won­der if it would even­tu­al­ly be made into a ukulele or gui­tar. I was only there for two days, but it was worth every moment in the delight­ful weath­er, spend­ing time with some of the nicest peo­ple I’ve ever met.

The entire wed­ding group gath­ered for din­ner at Mala restau­rant, over­look­ing the Pacific Ocean and the islands of Lanai and Kaho‘olawe. At this time of year, the Maui sun­set pass­es in the blink of an eye.

I learned that there are only twelve let­ters in the Hawaiian alpha­bet (which is why so many of the words look the same to me), and the lan­guage uses Spanish vow­els. Each vow­el is usu­al­ly pro­nounced by itself (Wailea is said “Why-lay-ah”). I was sur­prised to see most signs in both English and Japanese; it turns out there used to be a sig­nif­i­cant Japanese com­mu­ni­ty in Hawaii, although most of the Japanese tourists go to see Pearl Harbor instead.

All the locals are super nice, per­haps due to the fact that tourism is one of the only indus­tries left in Maui2; it seems like most peo­ple liv­ing there are in the ser­vice indus­try in some form or anoth­er3.

Hawaiian Islands

From the plane, you can see the low-hang­ing clouds cast­ing dis­tinct shad­ows on the islands.

Honolulu airport

The air­port in Honolulu has wait­ing gates out in the open air, and large trees like this grow­ing in the mid­dle of the ter­mi­nals.

beach path

Both the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and the Four Seasons Resort are along the beach, with a path that con­nects them togeth­er. Most of the coconut trees bear fruit, but the ones found in resorts are kept bare, out of fear that a coconut may fall and injure some­one. As you move to less busy parts of the island, there are coconuts aplen­ty dan­gling from the tops.

coconut shrimp

Table for one with a view of the sun­set. Gigantic crispy coconut shrimp, served with Chile de Arbol dip­ping sauce. The coconut makes this a very mild but deli­cious appe­tiz­er.

Gift bag

A gift bag from Jenny and Dave, await­ing my arrival at the resort, filled with good­ies and essen­tials like bot­tled water, hand san­i­tiz­er, gum, water­proof sun­block, a tow­el, a first aid kit, can­dy, lip balm, Gravol (for sea sick­ness), Aspirin, and an under­wa­ter cam­era.


Toasts with the par­ents from both fam­i­lies.

Asian stripping

China, the best man, shows us his under­wear.

beach party


fish tail skeletons

Found this col­lec­tion of fish tail skele­tons at a dock.

Hawaiian shirt

The typ­i­cal Aloha shirt and occa­sion­al kukui nut lei (neck­lace) are part of the uni­forms, for the bell boys to the dri­vers to the jan­i­tors. This shop had sev­er­al flavours of the Aloha shirt, each adorned with a pic­ture of Tom Selleck as Magnum PI wear­ing that exact shirt.

Four Seasons pool

There are sev­er­al pools at each resort, with water slides on some, and loung­ing chairs sur­round­ing them.


There were about 30 peo­ple in our group, a decent num­ber for a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding.


The per­fect place to lie in a ham­mock and read a book. This ocean-front lawn was also the venue for the wed­ding cer­e­mo­ny and recep­tion.

infinity pool

My first time find­ing an infin­i­ty pool, which was salt­wa­ter for some rea­son.

Koi pond

The koi pond at the entrance of the Marriott. Animals run around every­where, and I even saw a tiny gecko crawl­ing on the walls of the resort. When arriv­ing and depart­ing there are lots of warn­ings and con­trols to pre­serve the del­i­cate state of nature in Hawaii, due to the fact that there’s so much endemism here.

Maui morning

Waiting for the sun to clear the trees on a Maui morn­ing.

Four Seasons fountain

The main foun­tain that greets peo­ple as they enter the resort prop­er at the Four Seasons.

Maui mountains

Each island has it’s own weath­er pat­terns, due to the moun­tains caus­ing micro cli­mates; some are hot and dry while oth­ers are humid all year round, even though they’re all in close prox­im­i­ty. The topog­ra­phy here is very var­ied.

orange blossom mint tea

Complimentary orange blos­som mint tea, in the lob­by at the Four Seasons. So refresh­ing.

pineapple sugar cane water

The Marriott has water infused with pineap­ple and sug­ar cane.

man in khakis on bed

Mr. Cunningham and his fash­ion­able stub­ble.

pool view

The air is superbly clear and mild. One of the first things I noticed when I stepped off the plane was how neu­tral every­thing smelled.

sunset silhouette

I had to ask peo­ple where they go for vaca­tion when they live in a place where the weath­er is per­fect year round. Aside from one cab­bie who said that he goes to Idaho to vis­it his fam­i­ly (and he always looks for­ward to the end of his vaca­tion so he can come back), every­one else said Las Vegas. Apparently there’s a big Hawaiian com­mu­ni­ty there.


The day before the wed­ding, we went on the Kai Kanini Boat Tour. A cata­ma­ran at Makena beach takes a quick 15-minute trip to the Molokini Crater for snor­kel­ing and snu­ba (which I did­n’t get to try, but I so want­ed to as soon as I saw it). After, they had Mai Tais and beers on tap in the boat to go along with a deli-style lunch.

suntan lotion train

Sunblock train on the boat ride to the crater. The skies are clear and the dis­tance to the sun much short­er, so it’s a good idea to stay well pro­tect­ed.

snorkeling boat

Molokini Island is a par­tial­ly sunken vol­cano crater.

Chinese guys snorkeling

I was even pro­vid­ed with a mask that matched the pre­scrip­tion of my glass­es. When I first put the snorkel in my mouth, I thought, “Wow, the last per­son who used this must have been eat­ing some real­ly salty chips”. Then I real­ized we were sur­round­ed by salt water, which I’d nev­er been in before. Turns out it stings much worse than fresh water if you get any up your nose, and leaves your skin and hair cov­ered in a film of salt.

fish among coral

The pho­tos from my mod­est, 800 ISO dis­pos­able under­wa­ter cam­era don’t do jus­tice to the clar­i­ty of the water. The fish are so tame they swim up to you and nib­ble your fin­gers if you can keep still for long enough. I had­n’t shot on film since I was a lit­tle kid.

two fish

I only had 27 expo­sures and no viewfind­er to pre­view my pho­tos, so I did my best to make each shot count. Unfortunately, try­ing to get the prop­er shot under­wa­ter also tends to scare away the fish.


Even if you try swim­ming to the bot­tom, the nat­ur­al buoy­an­cy of the human body makes it hard to stay down long enough to take a decent pho­to, and the light falls off sig­nif­i­cant­ly as you go deep­er.

  1. Soon” being a rel­a­tive term when com­pared to the lim­it­less of time, as it took me rough­ly a full day and three planes to get there, from Ottawa to Chicago to Honolulu to Kahalui. []
  2. The oth­er being agri­cul­ture that’s most­ly been over­shad­owed by com­pe­ti­tion from Philippines. []
  3. As opposed to those from Honolulu, who have jobs relat­ed to the mil­i­tary in some way. []


  1. This pic­tures brought back some love­ly mem­o­ries for me — how­ev­er next time I’m stay­ing at the Four Seasons!!!

    • The Marriott was gor­geous, but yeah, the Four Seasons was some­thing else. Now I know where I’m get­ting mar­ried. :)

  2. 1) So THAT explains the pletho­ra of Hawaiian shirts with white guys.… I’d for­got­ten about Magnum PI.…
    2) POKE: It’s only means it is
    3) Kudos! endemism used! you sent me scur­ry­ing for the dic­tio­nary again
    4) Food pic is gor­geous, dammit now I’m hun­gry.
    5) Rooftop pic is mag­a­zine wor­thy!

  3. Looks like fun! Where are the pic­tures of cutie-you hav­ing fun?!

    • I’m the one in the snorkel mask! Didn’t you rec­og­nize me? Hahahah…I prob­a­bly look dif­fer­ent with the gog­gles stretch­ing out my face (and no glass­es).

  4. I did know that was you … but you know you can put more pic­tures of the blog star up here to entice the chicks! Oh wait — WOWZER! New post!

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