Today we ventured off to the Maui Swap Meet and finally experienced shopping with prices more reasonable to what we see at home. But it was at a swap meet, people! From there we headed over to Mama’s Fish House at the recommendation of some folks we met at our hotel. Holy shit!
Lesson #1: Always look up the menu online and check the prices. I’m not sure I’ve seen a menu that expensive, especially at lunch, in a very long time. Don’t get me wrong, the restaurant was probably the most beautiful we’d visited yet and the setting right on the ocean was amazing. But come on! We escaped with a $100 bill after ordering two cocktails, one beer, a beef medallion appetizer and ceviche. For real….$100 at lunch.
Lesson #2: The meaning of Aloha isn’t just “hello” and “goodbye”. After 5 days we’ve learned it also means “grab your ankles” and “this might hurt a little” and “just give us all your money and stop fighting it”. It’s one thing to stay at a resort where the rooms are fairly inexpensive per night and then get nickel and dimed for everything along the way. It’s another thing entirely to stay at a 4 star resort with a nightly price tag over $500 and then still be nickel and dimed!
Want to order some lighter fare for dinner? How about two fish tacos with six tortilla chips for $20? A burger…no problem, that’s $17….which doesn’t sound that extravagant except for the fact that fries are an extra $7 and there are about 10 in an order.
But hey, that’s what you should expect when you order a $10 Miller Lite, right? Or want to grab two lounge chairs on the beach in front of your resort…no probably, dude, that’s an extra $40!! Seriously, everything costs extra everywhere we turn.
Lesson #3: Complimentary means “up charge”. Some hotels are all-inclusive which means that meals and drinks are included in the price of your room. Others offer complimentary services, which means that you are going to pay for every little extra thing we can possibly think to charge you for…and then actually charge for outright for everything else.
I’m starting to think every piece of toilet paper we use to wipe our asses will end up on the bill at the end of the week. That $30 resort fee we pay each day? Covers complimentary water, coffee and wifi…oh, I thought complimentary meant that it was compliments of the hotel (aka, free). It is free, after you pay the $30 fee. It’s complimentary.
Lesson #4: Mahalo means the allure of the island is for those with patience and a fat wallet. Something we don’t really have. I retired at 41 because I was smart with my money…and this isn’t smart.
We learned this lesson because we thought the best thing for us to do might be to get off the resort and experience Maui. To see the beauty that everyone raved about. But the traffic is horrendous and everything is expensive everywhere…so it ended up just making us wish we were back at the resort. It’s become a bit of a no win.
Don’t get me wrong, we are super excited to be in warm weather and we had a lovely wedding. But we now know that we prefer places we can get to without flying United…islands that are closer than a 9 hour flight…locations that are just as beautiful…and way more affordable. Key West or Mexico, anyone??