13 May 2015

Maui, Baby!

I'm going to attempt to summarize our 10 days, 1167 photos, and countless memories into a single post with a few tips from our recent vacation to Maui. We were last in Maui in December 2013 and couldn't wait to go back to its warm, kid-friendly beaches. From Seattle, Hawaii is about as easy as you can get for a tropical destination that feels far away.

On our flight down, we lucked out with an extra seat, which was really handy for giving Elliott some of his own space and allowing the parents to trade off getting a break. We did this by booking window, aisle, aisle seats and having the lap infant assigned to the window seat. We never carry on car seats, but Madeleine rides with a Kids Fly Safe CARES harness, which Elliott will also have once he starts riding in his own seat full time (soon!). We were also lucky to have meals on our Alaska flight that were perfect for sharing with our BLW baby (rice with steamed carrots and teriyaki chicken). Yum!

Our first stop in Maui is always Costco. It's a good way to stock up on food for the week, and they carry a good selection of local specialities, like our favorite pineapple salsa. Conveniently, the Maui Costco is right outside the airport. This was a special trip for our two because it was their first time riding in a cart together!

The next morning, we started our vacation routine: beach in the morning, followed by lunch and nap, and then pool in the (late) afternoon. Both kids loved the sand, and the sand on our beach was powder fine, so that was lots of fun to clean up. Our condo came with a beach umbrella, which was incredibly handy. Like my mom, I always bring an old flat sheet as our beach blanket - easy to dry, remove sand, wash, pack - perfect.

Most mornings, Elliott took his morning nap on the beach. While he slept, I tried to soak in every last sandy detail of his little, chubby body.

When he was awake, Elliott liked to dig in the sand, chew on sand toys, and either shovel sand into his mouth or face plant so he could lap up the sand directly.

He tolerated the ocean but definitely preferred to splash in the waves when Daddy was holding him (higher) rather than Mummy.

Meanwhile, Madeleine was never still on the beach. She was less keen to play in the water than she has been in the past and spent a lot of time being "chased" by the approaching surf. She also loved to dig holes with Daddy and jump into their muddy, sandy goodness.

Although I've always taken our own sand toys, I think this was my last time for that. For $5 at the supermarket, I could have saved weight and space in our bags and not had to worry if a shovel was left behind on the beach.

On the water side, we were lucky that the beach where we were staying is home to one of Maui's turtle towns, and we got to see turtles just about every time we waded out into the Pacific. Despite having talked a lot about doing it, Madeleine wasn't fond of snorkeling (the nose part of the mask freaked her out) and preferred to wear her goggles, though I'm not sure she actually looked underwater at any turtles in the end.

Madeleine loves choosing her own outfits these days and loved when she and I dressed alike for the beach. Yes, I actually asked to be photographed in a bathingsuit, inspired by this and wanting to raise a confident, body-loving daughter.

Several mornings, I got up early and snuck in a run in the early morning hours. I never managed to make it back before the kids woke up or the sun was out in full force, but I loved watching Makena and Wailea wake up.

One morning, Madeleine and I went out for a paddle boarding tour with Brittany. It was a great way to start the day and so fun to mix both me time with mother-daughter time. Madeleine was surprisingly patient during our two hours on the board, and she thought it was so funny when I fell into the water learning how to stand up (for the record, I got it on the second try). I tried my hand at yoga on the board and want to do more of that next time!

Another morning, we met up at the aquarium with some friends who were vacationing on another part of the island.

We pretty much always stay in condos or other multi-bedroom dwellings these days. It hasn't been long since my first rental through VRBO.com, but I already wonder what we did for accommodation before we knew about it. Having a little more space means that we, the parents, got to chill out during the couple hours of nap time each afternoon without having to sit silently in a dark hotel room.

Our afternoons in the pool were fun, and that's where Madeleine really developed her swimming. As I mentioned, I love this float.

When we left the complex, I'd always try to find Madeleine a flower from the ground for her hair. It was a fun, tropical treat even if they never lasted very long. I loved snapping her photo in the lush surroundings, too.

One night, we snapped a few family photos with the timer function of our camera. Not the best angle, but it's hard to get a photo of the four of us.

We didn't eat at restaurants very much, but we ate every meal that we had at the condo on the lanai. Having a kitchen meant that we could prepare our own meals on our own timeline and enjoy treats like homemade smoothies!

By the end of each day, we were all exhausted.

As the sun would set, we'd finish dinner and then get the kids down for bed.

Mahalo for the memories, Maui. Until next time...

Where is your favorite place to vacation? Do you have a family-friendly hidden gem to share?

1 comment:

Janie said...

This was a mental trip for the reader. What telling photo's. Loved them all. More coming?