Monday, May 27, 2019

Maui - Day 5 - Helicopter Ride & Magic Show!

A about a month before our trip Michael mentioned that we should look into a Helicopter ride. At first I was super against it. For one thing we had saved for this trip for 5 years....just saving $100 a month....we did bump it up to $200 a month for the last few months. We booked the main portion through Costco....Flight, Condo and Rental Car and it came to little more than $2800. The rest of the money went to all our fun adventures which we had already paid for by that point. The money that was still left after that was going to paying for our food and other misc items. If we tapped into that saved money to go on a helicopter ride than we'd signification diminish our food fund. 

Let me point out I'm the budget person....Michael is more of a free-spirited person. His saying is..."It's only can always make more!" His reasoning was we haven't been to Hawaii in 20 years so we might as well enjoy ourselves to the fullest. I went online just to research it. I ended up finding this site that had a really good deal on tickets. Most of the other helicopter companies sold their tickets around $349 per person. This site showed tickets with Air Maui on sale for $189 per person. Once I found that I decided to booked it. We also chose to upgrade so we could be in the front seat so that added an extra $50 to our tickets. It was absolutely worth it though! 

I was a little worried about the tickets being so much lower than other know like picking the lowest bidder for the job sort of thing. Of course I looked into the company and it has been operating for 20 years and has an impeccable safety record. I definitely felt better after that. Once we walked into the office at the heliport hanger it was clear that they were top notch. Very professional! 

We got there a little early so we sat down and visited with another couple that ended up being on our same helicopter. We also got our life vest on and sat through a safety video presentation. 

Once the video was done one of the employees had us line up in the order we were going out. We had to stay in that order so we would be put in the correct seat in the helicopter. We lined up outside and then she called us forward one couple at a time for a photo op. 

Ready to go!!! 

Michael and I were the first ones to get in the helicopter. Our Captain's name was Cameron. He was so awesome! He even wore Ray Ban's just like you'd think a pilot would. The first thing we did was put out seatbelt on and then our headset. Captain Cameron could talk to us, but we didn't have microphones to talk back. There was a pad of paper in front of me so I could write down questions and he could answer. The whole trip I only asked one many waterfalls are there on Maui? His answer was "Who one has ever counted them all." :) 

The takeover was the coolest. Michael warned me that he would be dipping the nose so I was prepared for that. Right before we took off Captain Cameron told us not to worry that it was going to feel just like a Magic Carpet Ride. Then we took off and he started his playlist for the tour. The first song was the Magic Carpet Ride song by Steppenwolf. It was a perfect song choice! 

First we flew over the main area on Maui that's between the West Maui Mountains and Haleakala. Then we flew south past Kihei and all the way down to the south side of the Haleakala. 

There is almost always a cloud bank keeping the top of the volcano hidden from the ground, but not if you're in the air. 

We came up over the clouds and could clearly see the top of the Volcano. The funny thing is Haleakala isn't like what you'd think it would be. It doesn't have a huge crater like Mt. St. Helens did. Maui was actually formed by two shield volcanoes. 

We flew all the way around the volcano and were even able to see the area we had been just two days before for the sunrise. The trip this time up there was significantly shorter though! 

We also were able to see parts of the Road to Hana that we drove the day before. We are pretty sure that this was the waterfall Michael jumped from the day before. No matter what we saw tons and tons of waterfalls. You could actually look at one of them towards the bottom of the mountain and then follow it all the way up the mountain and see waterfall after waterfall. 

He also flew us into one of the valleys and up over the top. That was my favorite part since we were so close to the mountain. 

The views were so amazing! 

The different blue shades of the water are so beautiful....especially in the more shallow areas. 

After flying around Haleakala he flew us north toward Lahaina and Ka'anapala and then up into the West Maui Mountains. The valleys in those mountains felt like they were endless. You would think you were going to come up and over and be on the other side, but then you'd just see more valleys. That's why Maui is called the Valley Isle. 

The helicopter tour was around an hour long and it was definitely worth the money. I'm so glad Michael talked me into doing it. 

One of the other restaurants people said we shouldn't miss was Mama's Fish House. I had tried to make a reservation, but they were all booked up....nothing for lunch or dinner for weeks. I figured that they would have to have openings for people that just drop in. Mama's wasn't too far from the heliport so we headed over there. 

They have valet parking which was nice! We walked up to the hostess desk and she said they could get us in. The whole set up was interesting. They have the valet and the hostess desk up by the parking lot and then you walk down into this open beach area. 

I figured the restaurant would be right on the beach, but it was set back a bit. We went and glanced at the beach really quickly and then we went to the second hostess desk and checked in. 

Random fact about me....I absolutely love palm trees!!! 

In fact this picture is my favorite!!! We are having a bunch of different pictures printed from Shutterfly so we can make a gallery wall in our bedroom. This picture is going to be the biggest picture. I can't wait to get them on the wall! 

Welcome to Mama's Fish House! 

It took about 20 minutes for our table to be ready. One thing we figured out was the people that don't make reservations are sat in the section where you have no view of the water. Zero!! It's the area that's just to the right when you first walk in. They are also quite clever because they don't even give you the food menu first. They only give you the drink menu. Bravo on their part for basically guaranteeing that someone's going to buy a drink. 

After we ordered our lunch they brought out bread and the most amazing broth/bisque I've ever had! 

For starters I got Caesar salad and Michael got a Lobster bisque.

My main course was this Seafood Bourguignonne. It had crab, mussels, clams, mahi-mahi, snapper and some other kind of fish as well. It was kind of like a stew. It was in a saffron broth. It was really good, but just so much food.

Michael went all out and got Lobster Tails....yes tails...plural! In hindsight we should have just shared the lobster tails and we would have been fine. As it was we were both stuffed! Plus as you can imagine if you've heard anything about Mama's it was $$$$!!!!! 

Looking back at all the food we had during our whole trip...Mama's isn't anywhere near the top. In all honestly I feel like it's just too hyped up and too expensive. You can get just as good of food or better and in an even better location for way less. It was fun to go once though and now we can say we've eaten there. 

After lunch we went back down to the beach and took off our shoes so we could walk in the sand for a bit. 


After lunch we drove back to the condo to rest for a bit before our evening plans. 

In the book Maui Revealed I read about Warren & Annabella's Magic Show. At first I was not interested, but the author was going on and on about how this magic show was like no other and the types of magic they did there kept him up at night. I decided it would fun and not something you'd typically do while on a tropical vacation. 

When you get there they start checking you in in small groups. There is a bit of fun that happens after that, but I don't want to spoil it if you do ever go so I won't say. I did get to be the person in charge of the fun we had so that was awesome! 

It's kind of hard to see, but this area reminded us of an old speakeasy. You can see the piano in the middle of the picture. That's where Annabelle comes into play. There was a whole backstory for her...basically she died, is heartbroken and comes back to this lounge to play music on the piano. You could even shout out songs and she'd play them for you. I shouted out Somewhere Over The Rainbow and she played it. 

When I made our reservations I chose the Royal Flush Package which got us 2 drinks, an appetizer sampler platter and dessert. 

We each got our own sampler platter and it was great except those tortilla wraps...they were not worth eating. The crab cake though was the best I've ever had. 

We sat in the lounge eating, drinking and listening to Annabelle play for about 2 hours. While we were eating a gentleman came up and asked us if we would be okay with the magician asking us to pick a card or be a part of the show...I immediately said yes!!! I love that sort of thing!  

After eating we migrated into the theater. It only seats 72 people so it's very intimate. They warn you to wear pants and bring a jacket because the theater is very cool. They were right! I don't know if they do it because of the stage lights or what but it was quite chilly! 

Since we were going to be part of the show we had fantastic seats!!! 

Right in front of the action!

 There were actually two magicians performing that night and they were fine with us taking pictures, but I was so wrapped up in the entertainment I completely forgot! It was wonderful!! I haven't laughed like that in a long time. Plus...the show was clean! The magicians didn't swear or tell dirty jokes. They made fun of you for sure and that was part of what made it so funny. We actually got to know the other people in the theater too. The couple that sat beside us was from Tacoma WA! There was also a lady and her husband there and they live in Lahaina....that was their 3rd time seeing the show they love it that much. 

Such a fun evening!