Maui 2011

((Finally just posting this as is. It's been sitting as a draft in its current state for months! Something is better than nothing, right?))
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We had an awesome trip to Maui and I don't want to forget...so I'm trying my best to get this documented even a little bit (things sure are busy with 2 little girls in the house!).

We started off our trip by getting a whole middle row (3 seats) and a window row (2 seats) on the plane to ourselves. I now know how to book seats when you have 2 lap kids...they couldn't accommodate all of us the way I had booked (in the middle row there aren't enough air masks) and so they blocked off a bunch of seats for us. We were lucky both on the way there and back (same exact situation on the return flight!). The girls were great on the flight. It was so nice for Hailey to have her own seat - I can't even imagine what it would have been like if she'd been in our laps the whole time.

We arrived on Maui and found my brother Jason in the airport - he'd arrived 45 minutes prior to our arrival. It was nice to have extra hands to help gather up our bags and carseats (that's a lot to haul around when you have 2 kids to lug around too). We got our rental car and as we were heading out we got an offer for $100 off our car rental if we sat through a timeshare presentation. I like discounts and the rental was already a chunk of money I wasn't excited about spending, so we set up our appointment and off we went...to Costco.
I should have written a list and stuck to it, but since we didn't have a list and were eager to get to our hotel, we just grabbed a bunch of food and went on our merry way. We ended up with too much of a few items at the end of our trip - I'm hoping the cleaning lady was able to take it home and make use of it. ;)
We arrived and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the place we were staying was actually quite nice. The grounds were pretty and our room was huge. It wasn't luxury living, but it had everything we needed and we arrived just in time to watch the sunset from our lanai.
We decided to eat dinner at the hotel restaurant. The chef made a wonderful specialized gluten free meal for me and we all enjoyed our food. That was the only meal we ate at that restaurant, and now that it's said and done, we wish we'd taken advantage of the great happy hour prices or even the breakfast deals (why do that when we can make our own though?). The girls were starting to get a little fussy, so I headed back to the room with them and Pete and Jason paid the bill and followed suit. We put the girls in bed and settled in to watch some TV. Jason and I eventually went down to the hot tub and soaked (I don't know how it worked out that I went with Jason, but for some reason, Pete didn't seem to want to go - or maybe he was just being nice as usual).
In the morning we were equally happy with our view (wait, it was still dark when I got up). The girls were up way too early...and as I'd finished feeding Charlotte, I decided to get my workout clothes on and head to the hotel gym. I figured Jason was awake so I mentioned to him that I was going to work out and he was welcome to join. I think it was about 6am when i made this statement. He thought I was kidding, but as soon as the door closed he figured, what the heck...he'd work out too (I mean, he was already awake because of our girls so why not). So I was on the step machine when he walked in (I was only 10 minutes in). Those steppers provide a good workout! Youch. I thought this working out thing might last the whole trip, but I think I was fooling myself. I did go for a run on a different day...and my swimming has to count for something right?
So anyway, I made us bacon, eggs and waffles and then the girls went down for a nap. I figured Pete needed to work (he was planning on working a few hours here and there from Maui) and I saw it as a perfect opportunity for Jason and I got go down to the beach for some swimming and snorkeling. We made sure to stay in view of our lanai so I could get back to the room if Pete was out there waving his arms frantically indicating that little miss Charlotte was in need of her mommy.
As soon as Jason got in the water he tried to put his flippers on...and they were too big. So he kicked to stay afloat and off the thing went and into the great unknown it went. The water was pretty murky and the sun was still low, so we figured the flipper was a loss. There wasn't much to see right there anyway. We had fun floating in the water and eventually went back inside where we discussed our afternoon plans (did I mention that we were out swimming at 9am? we still had the whole day to play!).
We decided it would be fun to go snorkeling at Black Rock. We headed over there (10 minute drive) and set up on the beach. As we were getting situated a girl and her husband walked by and after doing a double take, they turned around and came back. It was a girl who's son is Hailey's age and we've done several classes together at the community center. It was so random, and I was glad she recognized me. It's a small world! Hailey loved playing in the sand. And yes, I was *that* person who had their kid as hidden from the sun as possible. Well, okay...I didn't have pants on her - but I did keep her long sleeve top, shorts and a hat on her almost the whole time we were ever at a beach. She didn't even care - she just rolled with it. Oh, and that big red tent in the picture above? I had found that last summer at a garage sale for a buck and I finally had a legit use for it (other than a play tent in our house)! I packed it in our bag. Yup. I'm a creative packer and managed to get that thing in our bag so I would have a nice spot for Charlotte to hang out at on the beach. It worked very well.

Pete and Jason headed off to black rock with their snorkel gear on (Jason minus flippers) and I hung out with the girls and soaked up some sun. They came back and Jason and I headed back out to the rock while Pete stayed with the little ones. Having Jason along was really proving to be a smart move on our part! Not only was it great to just hang out with him so much, but the benefit of being able to still go out swimming and snorkeling while traveling with two girls under 2 proved to be awesome. The snorkeling at black rock wasn't amazing like we'd heard. It was fun of course, but the fish weren't much to write home about.

The next day Pete, Charlotte and I went to a 2 hour timeshare presentation (in order to get the $100 discount on our car rental). Jason and Hailey wandered around Lahaina and had ice cream while they waited for us. The timeshare presentation was at least interesting and the guy we were talking to was quite entertaining. He had a manager that he called 'mom' because she kept coming over and butting in and adding her $.02 that were totally unrelated to whatever we'd been talking about. We were glad it was so entertaining...since we were spending two whole hours inside during prime beach time. ;) We declined the timeshare and headed out with our activity discount cards and $100 rental discount. We were satisfied.
I can't remember what all we did during the day, but it probably involved a beach and swimsuits. We then headed to a luau - our first one ever! We enjoyed the entertainment and were glad we went. Hailey was getting a bit tired and loony - so by the time it was over, I was a bit relieved to be able to get her back to the condo and in bed.

I should mention that Hailey slept in the closet. It was a huge closet, so we made her a little bed... She thought it was pretty cool.
Saturday was a lay by the pool kind of day. Pete and Hailey were the only brave ones to enter the water. The pool used to be solar heated...as in, there was a working system to ensure the pool was warm. Now it's still solar heated, but just by the sun beating down on it. It was cold. It seemed only kids played in the pool. Pete and Hailey didn't last long. There was a great kid pool though - Hailey and I enjoyed it together and Hailey even made friends with two girls who played catch with her!
When we were done at the pool we headed into Ka'anapali to drop Jason off at a golf event. Our little family of 4 relaxed at the condo while Jason was away (I think we spent more time in the kid pool and took naps). We headed out a little early to pick up Jason so we could drive around and explore a bit. We spied on the golf event and tried to spot Jason in the crowd (pretty sure we saw him - my parents saw him in the crowd on TV!).
We met up with Jason at whalers village after the event. Hailey was running around in a store and fell onto a sharp edge...
We headed back to the condo and barbecued some dinner.

Our days kind of continued on in this pattern of visiting the beach and eating... and then on day 6 - my other brother Kyle, his wife Kari and their two kids Saben and Annika arrived. We had rented a condo in Kihei, so we headed that direction. On the way, we stopped off at a spot Pete and I had previously snorkeled at on a prior trip. The girls were napping, so Jason and I left Pete and the girls in the mini van and headed out for a 'quick' snorkel. Whoops. An hour later we made our way back to the van and I think by this point Pete had been getting tired of playing angry birds on his phone. The snorkeling was the best of the trip, so Jason and I were glad we'd stopped. Time flies when you're having fun!

On one of the days we were out snorkeling I got hung up on some coral as I tried to find my way out of shallow water and got knocked by a wave and OUCH....that stuff is sharp. Shark bait was a fitting nickname and it wasn't until several days later that I started researching sharks in Hawaii on the internet and became extremely thankful a shark hadn't found me when I was leaving a trail of blood in the water as I snorkeled quite a ways out from shore with Kari. I guess I'm just as clumsy in the water as I am out!
The kids had fun in the water and of course liked building sand castles. We found some nice kid friendly beaches to play at every day. I have many more stories and pictures, but I think this will have to do for now. Here's a few more pics of memorable moments.
I have many more stories, but I think this will have to do for now. Here are some more pics of memorable moments.