Further reducing the checked baggage load…Sightseeing in Maui…A wonderful afternoon…

Tom got a kick out of this old Ford “woody” that was on display at the Maui Tropical Plantation.

On Saturday, while at Costco, we purchased a 23″ semi hard-sided, lightweight expandable piece of luggage.  With the hope of further reducing the number of checked bags to three instead of four.

Tom at the entrance to the General Store on the premises.

Doing so reduces the extra $35 cost on three more flights in the Hawaiian Island; one, to the Big Island; another to Kauai; the third back to Honolulu for the cruise to Australia in May. 

Complimentary Hawaiian coffee was served in a shop.

With a combined savings of $105 and the price, we paid for the bag at $72, more than pays for itself while in Hawaii, and more on future flights throughout the world.

Our new 23″ lightweight bag that allowed us to dispose of two smaller bags.

Besides, the two smaller orange wheeling bags had begun to show serious signs of wear and tear, especially when the zippers had become corroded due to the humidity in Kenya over a year ago

The main building and entrance to the Maui Tropical Plantation.

We choose the blue color for easy spotting and the semi-hard sided for hopefully a little less wear and tear.  Yet at $72, who’s going to complain if it only lasts a year or two, as have all of our bags, now handling and weather-beaten? Not us.

This handmade log house was located by the entrance to the main building at the Maui Tropical Plantation.

We’ve come to the conclusion that the quality of luggage has a lot less of an effect on its ability to last for long periods, than the number of times it goes through typical baggage handling at airports and on cruises. Replacing bags from time to time doesn’t concern us a bit, especially when we can always find something durable enough to last for a while.

A display of antique hand-cranked coffee grinders.

Once we returned home from Costco on Saturday, I was anxious to empty the two smaller bags to see if the new 23″ bag would in fact hold their entire contents. With the careful arrangement, it was a breeze. 

A handmade cruise ship was on display.  The cruise ship industry has a substantial effect on the economy of Hawaii when thousands of tourists flock to its various attractions.

The next step was to determine its weight using our portable scale. At 45 pounds,  we were pleased knowing we won’t be charged for overweight baggage when most airlines accept 50 pounds, some 60.

An old fashioned coffee mill.

This leaves us with three bags, each weighing under 50 pounds, plus one duffel bag, one laptop bag, my handbag, and the pill bag as carry-on luggage. We can easily manage these without an airport cart, especially since we still have the luggage cart that will easily handle the new 23″ bag and all the carryon luggage, while one of us wheels the two large bags. 

A smaller version of a modern coffee mill.

When we start packing again in 12 days, I imagine at this point, we can be done in less than 30 minutes. Yeah!

The shelves were lined with locally made food products.

Yesterday at noon, with daily tasks and time outdoors under our belts we hopped in the car and took off for the Maui Tropical Plantation.  

After leaving the shop, we wandered into the grounds, excited to see the various farm animals and vegetation.

With our extra tight budget in place for the upcoming family visit, we’ve hesitated to pay for sightseeing and are excited to have a few events planned that don’t require expensive entrance fees and tour charges. 

Although the fall season is less noticeable in Hawaii by changing colors of vegetation, there were plants that had changed to typical fall colors.

We didn’t see entrance fees posted on their website and were expecting a $20 per person entrance fee which would have been in the budget.

A shaded building for viewing the expanse of the plantation.

Much to our surprise, there was no fee for entrance to the exquisite plantation. Instead, there were several lovely shops with locally made merchandise as an inducement for visitors to shop, shop, shop.

We stopped to watch the glassblower at work.

Had we been candidates for shopping, I could easily have gone nuts since there were many beautiful items on display in each of the venues. Although not disappointed that we’re unable to shop (Tom especially), we enjoyed wandering through the shops savoring their tempting displays ranging from local nuts, candies, and coffee to housewares, jewelry, homemade soaps, and locally made garments.

There were numerous pools throughout the plantation.

On a few occasions, I found myself checking prices and touching a few items noticing the fine quality and ingenuity. I still wasn’t tempted to make any purchases instead, content with our lighter load of bags.

Another symmetrical Bird of Paradise.

Then, we wandered throughout the unique and varied grounds of the plantation, spotting numerous photo-worthy scenarios many of which we’ll share over the next few days. With Tom’s good sense of direction, we never missed a single area of the grounds available to exploration.

Here is a map of the plantation:

Easy-to-print map HERE.
We borrowed this map from the Maui Tropical Plantation’s website.

With mixed reviews online at cruisecritic.com after some cruise passengers claimed that visiting the plantation was “underwhelming,” we could understand their comments as less than five stars when they paid upwards of $89 per person for the bus ride, the tour, and a light lunch arranged through the ship’s excursions.

Gears for the sugar cane plantation.

For us, driving on our own, wandering at our own pace, and with no interest in dining on the premises, it was easy to give it a good rating if not an excellent rating, especially for the tourists with several children or a group desiring a low-cost outing. The Maui Tropical Plantation appeals to all ages.

Hand-carved whale tail.

In addition, for adventure seekers, the largest zip line facility is located on the property. We saw several 20 something’s (all male) gearing up for the zip line. With our bad right shoulders, we realized long ago that ziplining is not for us or, for that matter, for seniors  (or others) with any mobility or medical concerns.

The artist was on the premises explaining various pieces to the shoppers.

Of course, a huge attraction for this amateur photographer was the ducks, geese, and especially the chicken which, for some odd reason, I’m always attracted to. Go figure. 

We loved this sea turtle.

Enough “words” for today. Sit back and enjoy our photos knowing that we thoroughly enjoyed every step along the way at the Maui Tropical Plantation, a simple but delightful experience

Please stop back tomorrow for more plantation photos with some close-ups of farm animal shots.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, November 18, 2013:

We’ve made an effort to watch a movie made purposely for the country or continent we’re visiting at any time as was the case, one year ago on this date, that we posted photos and a story of watching the movie, “Out of Africa.” With many more months in Hawaii, we’ve yet to watch a movie but we surely will when we get to Kauai. For details from that date one year ago, please click here.