We are back from our much anticipated and much needed family vacation to Maui and although we are still recovering from our vacation, we have many memories from the trip, suntans to prove we went, and many stories to share. All in all it was a good trip. It’s a lot to travel with a 4 month old and toddler, especially when it involves a nearly 6 hour flight to get there, and we learned a few things along the way, but it was a good first vacation as a family of four.
We had an early flight on Friday with an 8 am departure. We had to wake the girls to get them ready and in the car, but with little effort we were packed and out the door and at the airport with plenty of time. Our flight’s departure was delayed to 8:30 am and unfortunately we sat on the ground until nearly 9:30 am so we were a full 1.5 hours late. The girls did exceptional on the flight, both taking good naps and both being relatively easy to entertain. We were also in premium seats so we had extra leg room and free drinks to boot so that definitely helped. We landed in Maui and then had more issues getting to our gate so the delay was scaling up. Finally off of the plane, Reese and I had gone a bit delirious, we got our bags and then waited for our shuttle to the hotel, that was also late. After waiting nearly an hour after our flight landed our shuttle finally arrived and we had the 45 minute drive to our hotel. The shuttle ride was smooth with Reese being great for us and Brooke sleeping and we finally arrived to the Hyatt Regency at 3:30 PM local time and our room wasn’t yet ready. Ugh!
We were given leis and walked the grounds to scope things out while we waited for our room. Reese asked to go to the pool no less than 20 times during this wait for the room. We finally got access to our room around 4 PM and immediately changed into swimsuits to head to the pool. Reese set out right away for the kids slide and got as many slides in as she could before they closed the slide at 5 PM for the day. We were so exhausted from the flight that we got our first dinner at the Residence Club that we had access to and that ended up being a great use for us (and $$ savings) throughout our stay at the hotel. Each night they had heavy “appetizers” that was a pretty good spread, always with some delicious poke, fresh chips and dip, some sort of salad and then two hot entrees and a few desserts. Plus they offered beer and wine by the glass for only $4-$5 which is about a quarter of the price of drinks elsewhere on the resort grounds, or honestly in Maui in general. So after dinner we were all so tired on our first night that we went to bed pretty much right away.
…and were up around 5 AM. I’m not surprised, I thought it might be worse. We were almost always up before sunrise but then could see the sun coming up through our corner room with views of both the ocean and mountains. For our first full day in Maui we were all about the beach and pool. Every morning we got breakfast in the Residence Club, which was again a good spread of a variety of pastries, fresh fruit, and a few hot breakfast items plus the required coffee or espresso. Reese loves croissants so she pretty much had one every morning. Since we were up so early and the pool slide isn’t open until 10 AM for some unknown reason, we spent this morning chasing waves and shooting water through our water guns at the beach. We spent a few hours here before moving to the pool in time for the slide to open. Reese then proceeded to slide from 10 until about 1 every single day we were there. And I mean laps, nonstop. She made a lot of friends and got a lot of attention from the fellow parents for her determination and zest. She’d take occasional breaks for chips and cookies (that also came from the Residence Club during their snack hours) or to swim with one of us through the waterfall going through the grotto that was pretty cool.
We’d finally get Reese to admit fatigue and would head up to the room between 1 and 2 to take a nap. And she was taking some solid naps after that much water play. On Saturday night, after our only afternoon session at the pool slide, we took the stroller down the awesome windy beach path to Whalers Village, the one shopping complex in the resort area that has several restaurants. Unfortunately, Maui is so busy right now that you have to get reservations well in advance or be okay waiting for a table. We didn’t have a reservation on this night but knew of a great food truck in the Village called Da Nani Pirates that served a variety of fish tacos, sandwiches, salads and plates. Bryan and I shared their fried fish tacos and the fish of the day, ono on a salad with feta, macadamia nuts and the most amazing creamy green dressing. The food was so delicious and the fish was so good. Reese got a grilled cheese and curly fries and almost managed to eat the whole thing! Their curly fries were also amazing. It was already 7 PM so I headed back to put Brooke down while Bryan and Reese explored the village a little more and got some gelato before heading back to the room.
Our one excursion day was on Sunday. After breakfast we headed south along the waterfront to the main town in Maui called Lahaina. Ironically, the Maui Marathon was going on at the same time so we were walking in the opposite direction of all of the runners. And believe me, if we were hot walking I can only imagine how rough it was on the runners. It was just over 3 miles into town but we needed the walk and enjoyed the opportunity for the adults to catch up with one another. We walked through Banyan Tree Park and hit a tiny beach which was mostly an entrance for surfers but we needed to soak our feet and cool off a bit before Reese and Bryan boarded their 10 am submarine ride. Brooke and I said goodbye to those two when they went on the excursion we could not go on and we bummed around town a bit which basically meant Brooke taking a short nap for me, changing her extremely poopy diaper in some shaded grass and then dipping in a few stores to keep cool and shaded. We met back up with the crew when they departed their boat just shortly before noon. Reese did great and they thought it was a great experience, riding a ferry boat out about 15 minutes to board a true submarine and then going underwater to see a bunch of sea life, including a few sleeping sharks.
In town we bought Reese a Hawaiian dress (in purple) and a matching one for Brooke and then hit up Ulalani’s for the best shaved ice in Maui. We shared two of their most popular flavor combinations and it was delicious, although by this point Brooke was hot and tired and wanted in on the shaved ice action and was disappointed she couldn’t have any. We picked up the shuttle back to the resort area and were back at the hotel with plenty of time for Reese to get some slide time in. She did not nap on this day other than a quick catnap in the stroller while we were in town. After a few hours by the pool, and a few drinks for us, we picked up a pizza at the pizza oven at the resort to enjoy in one of the many abandoned cabanas to enjoy before getting a bit more dinner at the Club. Both girls passed out super quick on this night.
Monday and Tuesday were purely resort, pool, beach days and that was okay with us. They looked the same with breakfast at the club, then a walk along the beach path to catch some of the cooler air and wait for the slide to open up, slide/pool from 10 until 1 or so, nap time in the room with showers to clean ourselves up. After dinner on Monday we actually got professional photos taken of us at sunset on the beach. We didn’t buy the whole zip drive (although we still could) but we did purchase a few of the photos. It was actually a lot of fun getting the photos taken and Reese did great for the short amount of time that we were taking them. We chased waves and watched the sunset after. And Tuesday we were supposed to have reservations out at one of the restaurants in the Village but they called and left a message that they didn’t have running water (?!?) so we settled for another dinner and drinks in the Club and then chased waves and watched the sunset one last time.
I think Reese was so worn out from the previous days at the pool that on Wednesday morning, without the slide running, she didn’t even want to get one last swim in before we left the hotel. Really she didn’t want to do anything and didn’t eat anything at breakfast. I also actually got sick to my stomach our last night there, in the middle of the night, and felt horrible on travel day so I didn’t mind just trying to get some settling food for breakfast and taking our time packing up before catching our shuttle to the airport and our long flight back home. The girls did so well again. Reese seemed to have whatever I had because she was sleepy and lethargic the whole flight and napped for about 4 hours of the flight. Brooke slept quite a bit too and it wasn’t until we got home that Bryan started having a bit of an upset stomach too. I’m shocked I made it through the flight honestly, with how I felt, travel day sick with two girls is my worst form of torture, but we did it. We didn’t get back home until about 11 PM, which is remarkable since we landed at 10 PM.
It’s good to be back and we are still adjusting back to the Pacific Time Zone and school and work but fortunately the weekend is already here. Brooke starts her time with the nanny on Tuesday (Reese’s school is closed on Monday so I’m taking PTO to watch them both on Monday). We don’t have much planned for the weekend except for dinner at one of Reese’s classmates house tonight. This weekend will be some R&R I do believe. Super grateful for my amazing kids and husband and the opportunity to go to Hawaii!