Amazingly, we could go on 2 trips to Hawaii within months of each other this year. What a dream and a tradition I wish was sustainable… Back in January, Mike was about to start a new job so we planned a few days in Maui. The trip we just got back from was planned late last year when our friends Lauren and Ian offered the 2nd bedroom in their timeshare-Esq Hawaiian vacation to us. (Yes they did have to sit through a timeshare presentation. No, they did not walk away with a timeshare.)
Post-pandemic, I’m a little surprised when vacation plans actually go through and I still don’t fully feel like we’re going to make it until we are at the airport. I’ve also acquired a nonproductive superstition of not starting to pack until the night before a trip – just in case something happens… Too sad to have to unpack!
We made it, though! Funnily enough, we stayed directly next door to the villas we were at in January. The 5 of us immediately went poolside for noshes and drinks. That night was Boys’ Night Out, which meant Lauren and I were left in the hotel with a sleeping Cam, a bottle of champs, and takeout to enjoy on the patio. Not bad. Also, the Boys brought us home dessert, some famous haupia pie.
Our first full day was jam-packed with activities. We kicked things off at Surfing Goat Dairy farm with a mini tour of the property and a lesson on how to feed goats! Not surprisingly, Cam loved this. Having worked up an appetite, a flight of goat cheese and pizza were in order before our next destination.
Up a winding mountain was Maui Wine, a gorgeous estate with lush grass, curvy old trees, and beautiful views. We ordered flights of wine and truffle chips, while Cam happily played trains. A highlight here was the pineapple champagne, made from – you guessed it – pineapples instead of grapes. Yum.
On our way down the mountain, we saw strawberry picking and had to stop for our #1 berry monster, Cam. I would highly recommend doing this earlier in the day as most of the ripe and ready strawberries seemed to have already been picked by the time we got there. Nonetheless, it was fun picking the berries we could find while looking over the ocean. Cam whispered to me every few bushes, “Oh, mama?!? Look, a good one!!”
We also scored some farm fresh eggs here that served us well for breakfast sandos the rest of the trip.
For Girl’s Night, Lauren and I took the very convenient free hotel shuttle to Whalers Village. We ate at Leilani’s On the Beach and watched the sunset over a shared Cesar salad and fresh pasta. Romantic. 😉 After we started walking along the beach to see what we could get into next and, a tiny bit tipsy, decided we needed a Jumping Picture… There we were, our phones crammed in the sand on self-timer, counting down and jumping every few seconds to try to score the perfect in-air silhouettes. We never nailed it. But, the 15 or so photo-scroll of our attempts is pretty funny (to us).
The next day Cam woke up with a fever and was just not himself. Uh-oh. He took a long morning nap (not normal) while we watched the F1 race and hoped he would wake up feeling better.
Sadly he still wasn’t himself after napping, so we opted for a mellow afternoon beachside. We packed up our beach blanket and a few sand toys and walked the short distance to the sea. At first, he was content just playing in the sand while Mike and I took turns dipping in the ocean, but after a while, he decided he too wanted to put his toes in the water. Overall it was probably the most pleasant thing we could have done – playing in the salty waves – with an unwell babe. He loved throwing rocks in the ocean. And, very excitedly, we got to see a huge sea turtle gliding her way through the surf, poking between stunned tourists wondering out loud, “A real sea turtle!”
Cam seemed to be on the mend later that afternoon and we knew a shuttle bus ride would be something he loved! We jumped on the free shuttle again (seriously, such a great perk) for dinner at Monkey Pod. Best happy hour. Best Mai Tais. Cannot be beaten.
We thought we were in the clear and Cam was all better the next day. He woke up with a ton of energy and we had a great morning at the pool. But after his nap, we noticed the undeniable first signs of pink eye: eye goop. He had also been complaining about his ear hurting and we were flying home in 2 days… High altitudes and ear issues didn’t sound like something we should mix. Off to Urgent Care it was, where conjunctivitis (pink eye) and a double ear infection were confirmed. Darn.
(Cute aside story from the doctor visit: as she was asking how his appetite was, we mentioned he hadn’t been eating normally and really only had ice cream that day. Cam promptly chimed in with his little tiny voice, “um, I think I also had some cucumber.” As if to say, don’t throw me under the bus, mom and dad! I had some greens today, too. Mike and I have been gushing over this since!)
Happily, Cam was feeling better after a dose of antibiotics and we were able to enjoy our last day there. We had our morning coffees by the pool, fully taking advantage of the shallow, ankle-high water to lounge in and walk around with Cam, since he couldn’t get his ears wet. Then, while Cam had his afternoon nap, Mike and I were able to go on a lunch date, sitting seaside and sipping on Mai Tais together, chatting about some exciting new things on the horizon. Huge shout to Lauren and Ian, who not only watched Cam during our date but who were also incredible with him the whole trip; zooming cars, picking him up when we wanted to be carried, and sitting in the back of the van when he only wanted to “sit with Lulu!”
For dinner, we epically put together a meal using our leftovers – buttered edamame, mountains of French fries and onion rings – and the remaining few ingredients in the fridge for a salad, paired with grilled sausage, onions, and peppers. I think “leftover dinners” should be a new thing on the last nights of vacation…
On our last morning, we made one more trip to Urgent Care to confirm Cam’s ears were better and that it was okay to fly. Luckily we got the go-ahead because we had the mountain part of our vacation planned next on the mainland. Stay tuned for part two!