Friday, January 29, 2010

Maui Day 6

We bought our vacation package through Costco travel and it was an amazing deal! It included our airfare, car rental, hotel AND breakfast every day.  Breakfast is a really nice buffet with yummy things like Hawaiian french toast, eggs benedict, grilled fish, beautiful fresh fruit, an omelette bar and a lot more to choose from! If we were paying for it, it costs $35 per person!  We've enjoyed eating there every morning, but yesterday Rich said he couldn't bear to eat the same buffet food 6 days in a row.  (What a snob! haha!) I, being the frugal (cheap) person in the relationship, was a little miffed at the idea of skipping our free meal and going somewhere else where we would have to pay for one!  But we packed up the car and headed out to get something different....and we landed at Longhi's, our favorite breakfast spot from the last time we were here.  It was well worth paying for, I have to admit.

Rich ordered crab-cake-eggs-benedict.

I got the macadamia nut banana pancakes, served with coconut syrup!

Yummy!!! I am going to have some major exercising to do when we get back from this trip!

Even Alex enjoyed her breakfast here!

After breakfast, we headed over to Baby Beach, which one of my friends recommended to us.  It isn't on any of the maps, and hardly anyone was there.  It is nice for kids because it seems to be protected from the waves, and the water is about 3-4 feet deep for at least 100 yards.  We waded out with Alex on her baby float and enjoyed the water with her.  It was so nice to be able to relax in the ocean without being beat up by the waves! 

She enjoyed sitting on the shoreline and feeling the water come up over her legs.

We would have been happy to stay on Baby Beach all day long, except we didn't bring an umbrella with us, and there weren't any shady spots. Even though we have Alex slathered in sunblock, I'm still nervous to have her in the sun for too long.  So we went back to our hotel beach where we rented an umbrella and pretty much parked under it for the rest of the afternoon.  What a relaxing day!

After we got cleaned up from the beach, we headed over to our very favorite restaurant in Maui, "Sansei!" It has the BEST sushi that we have ever had, anywhere, bar none.  And we are quite the sushi consumers! It was just as good as we remembered. (Last time we were here on our honeymoon, we went there 3 times in a week! haha! We do like our sushi!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Maui Day 5

When we told people that we were taking our baby to Hawaii with us, we definitely got a few raised eyebrows and a few comments along with them.  And I'm not saying that it has been the easiest thing to travel with her.  But we went into it knowing that we would have to be prepared for a lot of flexibility and perhaps a little fussiness.  But at the end of the day, even if we weren't able to do everything that we could do alone, we would still be in MAUI! I mean, even the most mundane things are better in Maui! Making a bottle? Changing a diaper? Definitely better in Maui! 

It is a lot more work though.  Packing our diaper bag is kind of comical.  The list of things that we need to bring when we leave the hotel room: diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, bib, baby food, baby spoon, swim diapers, swimsuit, hat, sunscreen, toys, burp cloth, blanket, extra onesie...and that doesn't even include the things that we need for ourselves.  I almost forgot to bring my own swimsuit during our chaos of getting all of Alex's things ready.  

But once we have it all together, the payoff is so wonderful! She has been a great traveler, and this vacation has given us an opportunity to get in some awesome family bonding! 

Yesterday, we headed to Lahaina town, which is a quaint street of shops next to the ocean.  We did some shopping, had some lunch....Alex took a snooze under the famous Banyan Tree (a HUGE tree that grows in the center of town). 

Then we took a Whale Watching boat tour. This sign made me laugh, except that I was a little scared actually!

The tour was amazing.  We saw a ton of whales, and a few actually came right up to our boat and surfaced, or as they call it here, we were "mugged" by whales! Alex got a little fussy, mainly because of the weather.  We chose a boat that had a lower deck because we didn't want her to be in direct sunlight.  But the bottom deck was enclosed without any breeze or air conditioning.  We were so hot! And so was Alex, and she made sure to let us know with her favorite method of communicating her displeasure.  We took turns trying to entertain her (but I will credit Rich for really helping the most!) and let the other one go on the top deck to see the action.  Poor thing, she did really great considering the conditions, and all in all, she still didn't fuss much. 

We got a complimentary photography session at the hotel:

I love this one of Rich and Alex:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Maui Day 4

This vacation is unique for us because I had absolutely nothing planned ahead of time.  When we came here for our honeymoon, I was teased because I had an activity booked, planned, reserved and scheduled for every single day of the trip!  I tend to be the planner in our family.... anyone who knows me is probably laughing at this because it is stating the obvious.  But for this trip, my better judgement told me that we would need to be ultra-flexible since we have a 7-month old with us.  And it's been great! But it also gets me into trouble since nothing is actually "booked," and then I have a hard time deciding what to do.

This morning, we decided to go down to Lahaina and do some window-shopping.  But then it started raining. So we decided to turn around.  But then I saw the Pacific Whale Foundation shop (where you book whale-watching tours) so I had Rich stop the car so I could run in and grab their brochure for tour times.  Once I had the brochure, it stopped raining.  So I thought we should take the whale-watching tour that starts in an hour!  But we needed sunscreen and I had forgotten my sunglasses in the hotel, so we needed to turn around and go back to the hotel.  Once we got close to the hotel, Alex had fallen asleep in her car seat, and she really needed a good nap, so I thought maybe we should wait till tomorrow to do the tour! And I remembered this place that one of my friends recommended we see, so I suggested we do that instead so that Alex could stay asleep while we drove to it.  But then that tour might be really fun, and it did start in an hour???...... Finally Rich had to reign me in (thankfully) and take charge with the decision making!  Whew!

So we drove up to Kapalua Bay and found the most beautiful beach cove.  We spotted a nice patch of sand under a huge shade tree, spread our blanket under it, and took in the view, the breeze, the warmth.  Joy. Pure joy is all I can use to describe it.  I rented some snorkel gear and Rich stayed with Alex while I snorkeled over the coral reefs.  They were gorgeous, with beautiful colored fish, coral and even an eel!

What an incredible day!

Maui Day 3

We woke up early and went straight to the beach because I wanted to take some photos before the sun got really hot.  We sat Alex down in the sand.....and she gave me a couple glances and started crying about 5 seconds later!

But after a few comforting hugs and reassurances, she got used to it and started to play with the sand.  Of course the first thing she did was scoop up a big handful and try to eat it.  We caught her hand just in time before she gulped down a nice bite!  Here are some of my faves taken with my "big" camera:

After breakfast, we walked over to the little shopping mall close to our hotel and bought a few things.  Alex got her very first bikini! It's called.....wait for it....The Teeny Weeny Wahini Bikini! Hysterical. It was entirely over-priced and my typically frugal (read: cheap) nature was overcast by the fact that it was SO CUTE!!!

She was a great little shopper, but it definitely tuckered her out.  She snoozed through most of it.

We had lunch at one of our favorite little spots, The Hula Grill & Barefoot Bar, where there is sand on the ground and you eat at tables that overlook the ocean.  There is truly nothing better than watching the ocean, eating yummy food, feeling the breeze on our faces......AHHHH.....

When we got back to the hotel, we got our swimsuits on and headed down to the pool.

We are officially ready to live here. No, seriously.  How do we make this happen? Anyone?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Maui Day 2

When we arrived in Maui, it was dark, so we were eager to wake up on Day 2 and take a look outside our hotel room at the beautiful view. 

Here is what we saw:

Where was the "ocean-view" that we paid for? Well, if you squint your eyes and look toward the right of the photo, past the ugly rooftop, you can see a 10 foot stretch of water. Presto! Ocean view!  I was so disappointed! So we called the front desk and *nicely* complained and asked if they had a different room available.  They said it would be no problem to move us (it was almost like this must happen a lot, because they said, "Oh, you're in 503? We'll see what we can do for you.")

So here is the view from our new room:

Much better! This hotel is amazing.  The property is just gorgeous, with plunging waterfalls, meandering paths through jungle-like gardens, four pools, grottos, a water slide, flamingoes, parrots.....we could stay on the hotel grounds the entire trip and be perfectly content! (Especially now that our hotel room got upgraded!)

After having breakfast, we sat down in the lobby to watch the waterfalls and wild birds.  A couple of Samoan men came and demonstrated how to open a coconut (in case we ever get stranded on a deserted island, we should be prepared.)

Alex found it pretty interesting:

Then we headed over to the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium.

This was a big hit with Alex.  She loved watching the fish! She would kick her legs and laugh and squeal excitedly when we put her in front of the glass windows.

Our favorite part of the Aquarium was this huge glass tunnel that you walked through and could see sharks, stingrays, and beautiful fish all around you.  It was like being at the bottom of the ocean.
This picture is kind of blurry, but you get the idea:

When we got back to the hotel, we had some lunch and Alex got to taste her first pineapple! She LOVED it! She sucked all the juice out of the little piece that I handed her, and when I took it away she started screaming bloody murder! It was kind of hysterical, aside from the fact that she was so angry with us.

At sunset, we packed her up in the Baby Bjorn and headed to the beach.  We dunked her feet into the water and watched her scrunch up her face when the sand stuck to them.  

What a great day! As for the night.....well, Alex still didn't sleep well in the hotel crib.  She fell asleep in it, but woke up crying about an hour later and wouldn't go back to sleep.  So into the king-sized bed she went.  It is so funny, because she has NEVER slept in bed with us, even when we were sleep deprived and we wanted her to, she was so independent and could not fall asleep with us so close.  But for some reason, the hotel room or the strange crib makes her scared.  Once we brought her into our bed, she slept all night long! Oh well, but I hope we don't have a hard time breaking this habit when we get home.  In the meantime though, I love her sleeping next to us.....she reached out every now and then and stroked my face in the dark.  So sweet.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Maui Day 1

Right now I am sitting in my hotel room listening to the sound of waterfalls and ocean waves hitting the sand.  Pretty rough, isn't it?

We arrived in Maui yesterday evening, and I have to say that Alex was an awesome traveling baby!  She was an angel for the entire flight (7 hours, yes 7 hours!!).  She slept, she ate, she played......What else could we dream of asking for?  Perhaps a little reading time for me? Check, got that! Maybe a little in-flight movie watching? Check, got that too!

Looking out the window of the airplane....

A little afternoon siesta:

Playing with Daddy:

When we got to the hotel it was well past Alex's bedtime, but she was still awake and happy.  We thought we had really gotten lucky with her pleasant personality throughout the long travel day, and were hoping it would last us into the night.  Alas, it was not to meant to be.  She cried and screamed and cried some more.  When she was so exhausted and finally fell asleep, she woke up an hour later crying again! Here is the crib where she was supposed to have slept:

And here is where she actually ended up sleeping!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Without further ado......Alex's 7 month photo session!

This session was exhausting for me! (And I wasn't even in any of the pictures! ha!) She was in a particularly serious mood, not a smile in sight. So I proceeded to jump around like a fool making funny noises and trying to get her to crack a smile.  It worked some of the time, but mostly she was stone-faced.

She looked me straight in the eyes a couple times, and I swear I could read her thoughts: "Mom, you're not funny.  You're embarrassing yourself."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Countdown to Maui

In four wonderful days, we will be arriving on the beautiful island of Maui! We are so excited and ready for this vacation!

It will be our first trip with Alex, and this traveling-with-a-baby thing is all new to us.  We bought her a seat on the plane, so we are hoping that she sleeps and isn't too miserable on the flight.

In the meantime, just because we don't like to let things get too dull around here, we are shopping for a new home, Rich is working 12 hour days in his new work position, and we are generally over-booked and over-promised every day of the week!  Alex had a little infection on her chest that the pediatrician was frightened could be MRSA, but thankfully it has responded to antibiotics very quickly, and she looks to be all healed up and ready for her bikini.

Psssttt........ You haven't seen a cuter beach bum than this baby!