The fact that I saved up enough money to take my whole family to Hawaii is still a little surreal to me. We had a set budget with very specific preferences for staying on the beach, someplace kid friendly, daily maid service, big enough to sleep all five of us, a full kitchen, and not too far from local attractions. Our travel agent nailed it!
Day 1: After traveling all day, we arrived at our hotel around 5:00 and were famished because it was 8pm in Phoenix. We ate at the hotel restaurant while it lightly rained next to our table. The kids were surprisingly not tired. At all. Short of Jason dozing on the plane for 90 minutes, they'd been awake for a gazillion hours and had no shortage of energy. They were shocked and offended when we put them to bed at 8:00. (Which, of course, was 11:00 in Phoenix after waking up at 4:30am!!!)
Day 2: At 4am, everyone was awake. The kids were too excited to sleep, so we went out for pancakes. Little did we know that we chose a cook-your-own pancake place with gluten free batter and tons of fun toppings. We all loved Slappy Cakes - it was a like an affordable, breakfast version of The Melting Pot!
The rest of our first day consisted of a $300 grocery shopping experience, playing at the beach, snorkeling in the pool, inhaling $30 worth of groceries for lunch, boogie boarding back at the beach, more pool time, then Happy Hour for dinner. We ended with a movie before an early bedtime.
Day 3: Breakfast in the room (the $60 meals out were starting to add up!) followed by a full day at the beach. We ate lunch at the hotel restaurant and it didn't agree with me. I ended my day puking my guts out while Mike found a grill on the property and prepared, cooked and cleaned up dinner for himself and the kids. (Kaylin served my dinner of a banana and rice to me in bed with a fresh-picked flower from a nearby garden)
Day 4: My high school friend, Carey, just moved to Oahu on January 1st, so she flew over to spend the day with us. I hadn't seen her in eight years, so it was great to catch up and hang out! We spent the day at the beach (again) and had a Happy Hour dinner (again) at a neighboring resort.
|Yes, we're actually snuggled under towels as blankets - it was so windy and we were freezing after getting out of the water!|
Day 5: The day started with a complimentary photo shoot at our hotel. The pictures turned out great, but not for a $320 CD. We gratefully took our free 8x10 and ran. I took a few pictures while we were all dressed up in fairly coordinated outfits, but
Mike the kids didn't last much longer…everyone was sick of smiling.
Instead of changing into our beachwear, we decided to venture away from our hotel for a few hours. We ended up at the Lahaina mall and watched a free magic show. The magician pulled all of my kids up on stage to assist, which was fun for them.
Then we went on a hunt for the 2nd largest tree in the world and found some great shops along the way. There was a guy with a bunch of parrots that the kids loved, another guy gave the kids leaves folded into a fish and a bird, then before leaving, we stopped for some fries at the "Cheeseburger in Paradise" restaurant.
Day 6: After (yes, another) heavy beach/pool morning, we went back to our room to eat lunch and ended up hanging out for a bit of R&R. Jason took his 2nd nap of the trip, Kaylin relaxed because her head hurt, Ryan read more of his book, I baked some gluten free brownies and Mike snuck back down to the beach for some quiet time of his own. It was a little dose of normalcy in our corner of Maui. It was just the break we needed before our $271 luau at the Hyatt that evening.
|The kids couldn't believe that we let them drink as many fruit punches as they wanted (which was only four each)|
|Jason was the first to volunteer to go onstage to learn to hula…and Kaylin wanted to go but begged me to join her because she had stage fright|
Day 7: We woke up to a stormy morning, which prompted the kids to ask for breakfast in bed while watching a movie. I added hot chocolate…because it just seemed necessary to the coziness of the event. Once the rain stopped, we headed to Black Rock to snorkel and, as we were leaving because another storm was blowing in, we ended up seeing some whales playing in the distance. After lunch, we went back out to the beach, then ate a late dinner (after GPS sent us on a wild goose chase for more than an hour) at Maui Brewing Company (which ended up being less than 5 minutes from our hotel).
Day 8: Sadly, the last day of our vacation. We left for the airport with plenty of time to spare, then found ourselves in stand-still construction traffic. We moved a 1/2 mile in 35 minutes. I promised the kids we'd stop at Krispy Kreme as one final special vacation treat, which might not have been the best idea. (sugar, confined spaces, late for our flight…there were so many reasons)
Dropping off the rental car seemed to take an eternity (we almost left Jason's carseat behind), the United Airline employees couldn't find our reservation and took another eternity giving us our boarding passes, there was a line at security, but after RUNNING through the airport, we arrived at our deserted gate with a single ticket agent waiting for us before closing up the plane. Not to mention that he held the credit card that I accidentally left at the counter while checking our bags.
The flight home was an absolute dream: the big kids read and played cards, Jason played on the iPad then napped, they didn't run out of food by the time they brought the cart to the back of the plane (as they did on the way TO Hawaii), I even read 100 pages in a new book. Then Jason awoke from his nap and I realized that I'd forgotten to put him in a Pull Up. And he peed all. over. the seat. After the experience on our last flight, I thought enough to pack extra pants, but couldn't find them ANYwhere. (I realized later that I accidentally packed them back into our suitcase)
I changed him out of his pants and soaked underwear and put a Pull Up on him. He was humiliated that he was expected to walk around with a t-shirt and that "everyone would see" his Pull Up.
I found a long sleeved shirt that Mike had packed to help him "brave the cold" while waiting for the shuttle to get our van at 1am. Jason seemed fine wearing his dress-like attire, parading proudly through the airport.
We arrived home after 2:00am and everyone collapsed into bed. I found a trail of clothes and shoes up the stairs and across the floor. We were wiped out! And everyone slept until 11am this morning.
The trip was so relaxing and it will take a while to get back into the routine of our busy life. Mike had today off to get some sleep, we went to the gym after breakfast (we didn't touch our gym clothes in Hawaii - what a waste of suitcase space!), stocked up at the grocery store, ate lunch/dinner and are heading to bed early.
I'm actually glad to be home with normal grocery prices and ready to get back into our routine. And if I never see another french fry again, it will be too soon. I have never eaten out so much in my life!