Good eats on the island of Maui


Dan "The RCI Guy" - Vacation Travels with RCI TV's Dan "The RCI Guy"Last year, my best friend asked me to join him in Hawaii to celebrate his birthday. He was going to be staying at a beach house in Paia on the north shore of Hawaii. Since it was still a bit chilly where I live in Salt Lake City, the answer was easy... "yes"!

I've been coming to Hawaii since I was 10 years old...at first it was always the island of Oahu, but over the years I've been able to visit almost all the islands – Kauai (where I own a timeshare), Oahu, Maui and even Lanai.

Our flight landed in Kahului and the beach town of Paia is only about 10-15 minutes east along the north shore. We arrived at night, so I really couldn't see anything, but I could sure hear the surf from the beach house we were staying at. There's something magical, almost mesmerizing about the listening to the ocean surf, especially at night. For me, it easily lulls me to sleep. My first morning was beautiful, the ocean was only 50 feet off the back porch and there were shallow tidal pools where the locals loved to go fishing.

When I go on vacation I love to go off the beaten path and Paia is exactly my kind of place – a local surfing town with VERY friendly people and lots of little, funky shops and restaurants. Some of my favorites were the Paia Fish Market - try the mahi mahi burger with onion rings. Cafe Des Amis serves up great crepes with a fun, outdoor patio. No matter what, take the time to check out Mana Foods. It's the local health food/grocery store and it has the coolest items that you won’t find anywhere else. It seems almost everything in the store is organic – really fun. And if you go during the day you should check out their hot and cold deli. We bought a bunch of the buffalo wings...seriously some of the best wings I've ever had! Finally, perhaps the most famous restaurant on the island is just a couple of miles east of Paia. Mamma's Fish House has been right on the beach for about 40 years and the food is amazingly good. The atmosphere is hard to beat and the service was impeccable. I ordered the wild boar and mahi mahi – fantastic! My friends ordered the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi stuffed with crab - mmmmm good! Your meal starts with fresh baked bread and a complimentary "shot" of the soup of the day. Mamma’s Fish House may be pricey, but it is well worth it!

Another great spot on the island is Wailea. There are three or four great beaches but my favorite was Big Beach – just ask any of the locals how to get there. Look for local food trucks selling everything from shaved ice to shrimp scampi along the way. Big Beach is just that... BIG! It stretches along the west coast for almost half a mile - the sand is soft and the waves are perfect for boogie boarding or body surfing.

Also on the west coast, but further north, is Ka'anapali. There are a lot of beautiful beaches here and my favorite place is Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop. It's about five miles before you get to town, look for it on the right, and it is HEAVEN! Yes, their pies are incredibly good, but so are their sandwiches and pot pies...everything is amazing!

I LOVE Maui - hope you do too!! Come back to the RCI Blog this week to read stories and see photos from RCI subscribing members who have also visited Maui. Trust me, these photos will not disappoint!

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First timeshare experience


When I received a brochure about 25 years ago inviting me to a free weekend in a villa at Big Canoe, Georgia, I thought there must be some catch to it. I called and asked numerous questions. Everything seemed on the up and up, so I made my reservation and packed up everything I thought I'd need, and took 4 kids with me for the 3 hour trip. When we arrived we were so impressed with absolutely everything. The unit even had games & cable TV. The kids played squash. Free. To the pool or the lake for canoeing: free again. The kids wanted to play tennis. It was free. I did rent a bucket of balls for $1. That was all I spent the entire weekend. And I bought my first time share to begin a lifetime of vacations!

- Phyllis G. from Auburn, AL
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New Hampshire


My wife and I went to the local lake by our timeshare to go fishing. She calmly [not so] put a fat worm on the hook and made a short cast, only a few feet from shore. Her response was, "Honey I'm snagged again," but as I looked over both of us shared a beautiful moment. A huge salmon grabbed the worm, jumped out of the water, and spit out the hook with a great splash. I guess it doesn't' matter that she did not catch the fish, but that forever will be one of our great moments together on the shores of Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire.

- Frank O. from South Hadley, MA
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Mexico Trip 2008


During October 2008, we went on an RCI exchange vacation to the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. It turned out to be the best vacation exchange we ever took. It was the most beautiful timeshare resort we had ever seen and their lazy river around the resort was the longest we ever had been on. We did end up buying a timeshare at the Grand Mayan.

- Margy L. from Lady Lake, FL
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Trip to Snowater, WA


Having moved to Hawaii from S Africa we decided that instead of visiting the other Hawaiian Islands again we'd do a trip to somewhere we had never been to. Took a look on the internet at Washington state and thought it sounded interesting we booked a timeshare unit at Snowater in a National Forest. Spent a few days in Seattle to see the "big city lights" then motored up to Bellingham and Snowater. Arrived late afternoon with light fading and booked into our bungalow, it was so dark and disappointing, had to put on lights to see anything. We decided we'd stay the night and then move on. However come morning, we opened our Lanai door to see the Nooksack River flowing cheerfully by, amidst the tallest trees I've ever seen. We decided to take a walk alongside the river and did so every day listening to and watching the water rushing over the rocks. After our first day we decided this was what we needed, complete peace - no phone or TV. Had a most rejuvenating week having long conversations, reading, playing cards, walking and the highlight was going to "Artist Point" about 20 miles from Snowater where the most magnificent views of snow capped mountains and glassy lakes surrounded you at every turn.

This was one our most memorable timeshare vacations and highly recommended to "get away from it all"

- Sylvia B. from Haleiwa, HI
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Italy 2005


We spent two weeks in Italy. One of those weeks was in an RCI affiliated timeshare in Northern Italy on the coast. What a beautiful place. One day we took a ferry boat ride along the coast to four little villages that were built on the steep hillside with only a very small harbor. We stopped at all four of the harbors for about 30 minutes and walked up a couple of steep streets to see some very beautiful homes built on the steep hill side. At the fourth stop we walked up the hill about 1/4 of a mile to the railroad station, found a quaint little cafe and had a wonderful meal then road the train back.

- Mike W. from Salt Lake City, UT
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Irish Adventure


We had done one RCI exchange to south central Ireland years ago and were anxious to return. A friend of mine, whom I had sold on the idea of time-sharing, called me with the news that she had just gotten a call from RCI offering her a choice of 2 exchanges in Ireland. After discussing the points of interest in both areas, she decided to accept the one nearer Dublin. As soon as she called RCI back to confirm, I picked up the phone and requested the one she had turned down. We were thrilled to be able to visit in the western part of Ireland for this exchange.

Our timeshare, just over the Quiet Man Bridge, was a thatched cottage with our own private sauna. The cottage came with a complimentary load of peat so we were able to get a fire going every evening after returning home from our adventures. The living room window overlooked lush green mountains of the West and sheep wandered in and out of our backyard daily. We took day trips to Connamarra, Galway and the Cliffs of Mohr. We booked a bed and breakfast in Doolin so we could sail to the Aran Islands the next day. The mountains, the sea, the pubs and the charm of the Irish people we met made this a magical trip we will never forget.

- Beverly B. from Budd Lake, NJ
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Stone Ridge Resort in N. Idaho


In 2005 we purchased a Last CallSM week for Stone Ridge in N. Idaho. Our first trip to N. Idaho. We were worried about what we would do for a week in such a remote (we thought) area. Well a week is not enough! The resort offered day trips to explore the area plus activities everyday and a wonderful indoor recreation center plus a 19 hole golf course which was only $25 that first year which included a cart and a bag of range balls. Lake Coeur d'Alene is a quick drive to the south and to the north Lake Pend Oreille and Priest Lake and so much more all around.

We continued to return each fall, bringing family and friends, either through exchanges, Last Call vacations or Extra VacationsSM getaways. Being just a seven hour drive from Portland, we planned a family reunion with 19 of us in six units. That year two of us picked up weeks through RCI and then rented two through the rental pool. We will continue to visit this beautiful area. Last Call weeks provide the opportunity to explore out-of-the-way places without the financial investment. We are again using Last Call vacations this month to pick up a week to add to our own timeshare in Puerto Vallarta. Thank you RCI.

- Kari S. from Beaverton, OR
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Lake Tahoe, 2009


We had really been looking forward to getting back to the Tahoe area and seeing some snow. After being there two days, Tahoe Vista area, it started snowing. In the next 24 hours, 2 1/2 feet of snow fell. It was wonderful!!! We went out sightseeing in our 4WD, coulnd't get around much without it. The scenery was outstanding, and the lake looked extra good. Having a nice timeshare made it extra nice too. Going back this winter, hope it happens again!!

- Tim E. from Encinitas, CA
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New Hampshire Trip 2009


Our recent trip to New Hampshire was absolutely amazing. The fall colors were stunning and the entire White Mountain area is beautiful. We loved the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, Crawford Notch State Park and Moose Path Trail. We saw 2 moose on an evening tour from Gorham and enjoyed a 5 1/2 hour scenic train tour from North Conway. We also did the Mount Washington Auto Road tour and really loved the ride up and down the mountain and even the high winds and cold weather at the top. Definitely worth the price of the tour! We stayed at the Eastern Slope Inn and loved the timeshare and the area. Many cute restaurants and shops in North Conway and Conway area. We drove to Lake Winnipesaukee and took the Mount Washington Boat tour, which was excellent also. All in all, one of our favorite trips and would return in the fall in a heartbeat - I imagine all seasons are beautiful there, but true leaf peepers would prefer the fall.

- Patricia C. from Ottawa, IL
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New England 2008


New England has always been one of the top places we've wanted to visit in the fall. Last year with the help of RCI, we were able to make our dream come true! We traded our timeshare for one at the VILLAGE OF LOON MOUNTAIN LODGES in Lincoln, New Hampshire at the end of September through the beginning of October. It was the perfect location that allowed us to drive near the resort and also farther away to see so much of the area and the autumn beauty. One of my favorite highlights was visiting the home of the great American poet Robert Frost. His work has been so inspiring to me and being able to walk through his home, stroll the grounds and see the view of the New Hampshire mountains that he saw made me feel like I knew him just a little bit better. With a view like his, it's not hard to understand why he was such an amazing writer with so much inspiration, right in front of him. We also traveled to the Lake Winnepesaukee region where one of my favorite movies, "On Golden Pond" was filmed. On other days, we took drives to see the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory and the VonTrapp Lodge in Vermont, as well as driving many of the scenic highways in the area to take in the gorgeous natural surroundings.

- Nancy H. from Phoenix, AZ
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California Vacation: More than Just a Summer Timeshare Destination


Susie M. - RCI Subscribing Member Vacation ExperiencesIn my position here at RCI, I get to hear directly from subscribing members about their timeshare vacation experiences. A lot of our RCI® subscribing members choose a California vacation for one reason or another, especially in the winter. They talk about the beaches, the wineries, and the good weather — a great combination to warm up any winter. Some of them are planning a stay at a timeshare for a wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary. Some of them are just planning for some time away. Here’s what other RCI members had to say* about their California vacation:

Robert, Palmdale, CA: Our trip to Arnold, California in March was awesome. The Big Trees State Park was just down the road and the kids went snowboarding 20 minutes away. Lots of hiking and fishing. The nearest lake was gorgeous and we saw lots of wildlife. People in the town were really friendly and helpful. The resort was comfy and had a warm feel to it. We want to return there.

Joyce, Salem, NH: My husband and I were excited to plan our exchange trip to Capistrano California.  We exchanged our Cape Cod timeshare for a beautiful two bedroom, two bath timeshare in the Capistrano Surfside Inn. The timeshare was huge and immaculate and the ocean was just across the street.  Also within walking distance was Dante Point which not only had an active harbor and walking areas with fantastic restaurants and shops, but bikepaths as well for those who wanted to bike around the area.  We visited The Mission at Capistrano and walked the small streets with many unique shops.  We chose this place to have a restful holiday and it was, yet there was plenty to do if we chose to do so.  I would highly recommend this paradise area to anyone who wants to vacation in California.  We would definitely visit again, but there are so many beautiful resorts with RCI, we want to try them all.  We love RCI and the wonderful opportunities it offers us in trying new places and seeking new adventures.

Christine, San Bernardino, CA: In the summer of 2007, my husband and I experienced the most wonderful, relaxing vacation week that we have ever had. We decided to stay at WorldMark Angels Camp, California. During the day, we spent time visiting a couple of local wineries and sightseeing. In the evening, we barbecued dinner, relaxed, and escaped the reality of everyday stresses. It was a wonderfully simple and non-hurried vacation and we are looking forward to getting away again in the future!!

* Although we've corrected some spelling and technical errors, these vacation stories from RCI members are otherwise unchanged. They are not meant to inform you about resorts, destinations or about RCI products and services. RCI always recommends that you do your own research when making travel plans.

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