We were on day 3 of our NA Travel Scholarship Trip with Grand #3 and the port of call was Maui. In his scholarship application, Grand #3 had asked to visit 4 Hawaiian islands in 7-days. This included spending time on the beach of the Grand Wailea and to eat at the much touted Mama’s Fish House before reboarding the Pride of America.
This may seem like an unusual and very specific request for a 12-year old young man but it made perfect sense. Eight years prior to his scholarship trip our grandson lost his father in a private plane crash and he wanted to visit the spot on the beach at the Grand Wailea where his parents had married. In addition, Grand #3 loves great food and several family members had raved about Mama’s.
As the Pride of America pulled into dock in Maui we prepared to join a ½ day island tour visiting the Maui Tropical Plantation to learn how coconut, pineapple, coffee, and macadamia nuts were grown and harvested, the Iao Valley Needle (one of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks), and the Maui Ocean Center where we learned about the underwater world around Maui. Satisfied that we had hit the highlights of Maui, the time had come to pay homage to a beloved father.
As the sun began its descent into the afternoon, we caught an Uber from the Ocean Center to the Grand Wailea. Upon arrival we walked through the beautiful lobby of the Wailea and proceeded out to the beach area. After a quick Facetime call with his mother we thought we had found the exact spot where Grand #3’s parents were married and as the golden sunlight sat atop the waves we took photographs on the spot where his life became possible.
After some time of quiet reflection we proceeded back to the lobby of the hotel – it was time to celebrate his life and the life of his father over a delicious meal at Mama’s. We arrived at Mama’s prior to the dinner rush and were seated quickly at a table looking out onto the beach. The sun had sunk lower in the sky and light was sparkling on the waves as they crashed into the shore. The window openings were allowing the soft breeze of Maui to move through the authentically styled polynesian restaurant with the deep blue table clothes (the color of the ocean water). It was a return visit for us but for Grand #3 it would be an exquisite Polynesian cuisine experience.
After appetizers of Mahi-mahi rolls and Macadamia nut crab cakes, we each ordered the famous stuffed fish with lobster and crab baked in macadamia crust. Grand #3 chose Mahi-mahi for his fish, stating how much he loved it. The platters of artfully arranged stuffed fish arrived and we each exclaimed our delight but the real joy were the flavors of perfectly prepared fish. Every bite was the fresh taste of the ocean and of Hawaii. After sharing a key lime pie and hot crumble with ice cream we slowly ambled out of Mama’s and into our waiting Uber. Sadly, our day of exploration and remembrance had come to an end.
Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.