Hawaii!The island of Maui to be precise. An all expenses paid trip courtesy of hubby's employers. Please don't hate me. It's a big old shindig that they organise every year and the top performers (mostly sales people, and some others [hubby is part of the 'others']) are invited, along with a guest. Talk about lucky. This was the trip of a lifetime, and the company are super-generous so not only were flights and accommodation paid for, we were also given nearly $500 to pay for food and drinks at the hotel, $300 in travellers cheques to spend as we liked, $750 to pay for 'experiences' organised by the company - we chose helicopter flights and deep-sea fishing, two dinner and drinks receptions, a concert by Train on the final evening, and various gifts throughout our stay. Yep, it's fair to say our jaws dropped and dropped again; and again.
As you probably know, Hawaii is a fair old distance from the UK (over 7,000 miles) and it took us pretty much a whole day to get there for a five-night trip (this was one of the reasons we decided not to take DC - he stayed with Grandma and Grandad.) Suffice to say we were a little shell-shocked when we first arrived (6pm on the Sunday Hawaii-time, which was 4am Monday in the UK - 24.5 hours after we'd left the house), but a good night's sleep helped get us back on track and Monday morning we were raring to go off on a road trip in our hire car. We headed along the coast to Lahaina, an old whaling town which contains many buildings of historic interest. Unfortunately, the buildings have all been filled with shops and 'galleries' selling all manner of tourist tat and a quick drive along the main street was enough for us to decide we didn't really have any desire to get out of the car and explore (aka trudge round various places selling key rings, t-shirts and fake hula skirts). Instead we headed for the outlet mall. Yes, we're classy like that - reject the historic whaling town in favour of a discount GAP. I'm going to do a separate post on the things I bought while we were on Maui, so if you're not interested in that sort of thing you can always skip that post.
After we had shopped we then dropped, and had lunch. This is pretty much the only photo I took in Lahaina (unless you count the one of hubby eating lunch and I'm sure you don't want to see that). This is the view from our table in the restaurant - not a bad one, eh? As you can probably tell, the weather wasn't great - warm but overcast and a little drizzly - not exactly what we had travelled all that way for!
After lunch we hopped back in the car and drove out of Lahaina and towards Kahului; but on the way we saw a rather interesting place at the side of the road called Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop; it sounded too good to resist so we pulled in to investigate. And I'm so glad we did.
After a brief visit to Kahului (there's not masses to see, although I did find a secondhand bookshop where I scored five cosy crime books for $8; gawd, it sounds like all we did was shop, but honestly we did do some exploring too!), we headed back to the hotel for an evening dinner reception and traditional Hawaiian luau (hula dancing, conch shell blowing [mmm-hmmm], etc.) Hubby and I had to cry off early though as jetlag caught up with us around 9pm and our bed was calling. Upon returning to our room we found some lovely gifts awaiting us courtesy of hubby's company - a huge Lands End tote bag, two Under Armour sun visors (here I am modelling the bag plus one of the visors, and a shell necklace that we were given at dinner)