Friday, August 25, 2017

Hawaii 2017

Hawaii holds SUCH a special place in my heart! I'm lucky enough to have been quite a few times, to each of the major islands, and to the smaller ones on day trips. If I *had* to chose a very favorite island though, it would be Maui. The last time we went on a big family vacation was five years ago - the girls were 2 and 5. They never acclimated to the time change (in the summer Hawaii is three hours behind California) and, while it was fun, it didn't really feel like a vacation. Fast forward five years - the girls are 7 and 10... THIS was a vacation!

We stayed at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, which is awesome when you're staying with kids. The rooms aren't fancy, but they are perfectly nice and there isn't room service, so if you're an ordering up junkie this might not be the place for you. BUT there is a great pool, a restaurant, a beach shack, an awesome beach bar, a (shockingly) well-priced gift shop, and tons of fun activities for the kids, most of which were free. You've also got the amazing Kaanapali beaches just a few steps away.

On the other side of the island, is another one of our favorite beaches - U'lua Beach. Coco had *just* gotten comfortable with swimming this summer, so we wanted to take her to a really chill beach to get her acclimated to the ocean, and comfortable with snorkel gear.

I am really prone to ear infections when I'm in the water too much, so when we needed an ocean break we headed upcountry to the Surfing Goats Dairy Farm which was a fun experience!

 Whenever we are anywhere tropical I *must* book a snorkeling tour where they take me out somewhere on a boat! I've been snorkeling at Molokini before, but Tony hasn't, so that's where we went!

We booked through the Pacific Whale Foundation, because part of your purchasing price goes towards their incredible conservation efforts. This was the biggest boat I've ever been on, and the tour and snorkeling were awesome!

We saw a white tipped reef shark, a nasty looking and eel and hundreds (if not thousands) of fish. At our second snorkel spot we swam with beautiful green sea turtles too!

After the snorkel tour we re-fueled at Alchemy Maui. This place was awesome, and I'll definitely return every time I'm on the island. Tons of house-made kombucha on tap, artisanal, incredible sourdough bread and THE most delicious ceviche I've ever had!

The Maui Exhibition Center hosts a huge swap meet every Saturday from 7:00 - 1:00. This is the perfect time to stock up on cheapie souveneirs! It's also a perfect time to eat pineapple. (Note: eat pineapple every chance you get when you're in Hawaii. It doesn't taste that incredible anywhere else!)

During this trip we hit up the Drums of the Pacific Luau, and while luaus are always fun, this one just wasn't worth the money. The entertainment was good, the bar was good, the food  was ok. Like I said, we had fun, but the price was ridiculous for what you actually got. We have done far better luaus for a lot less money.

 When you're in Hawaii you *have* to get some shaved ice!

Leila on the Leila canoe :)

 The sunsets in Kaanapali are magical. Every single night!

Tony and I are lucky enough to have eaten at Mama's Fish House three times now - this is the view.

 My drink of choice was the Pau Hana - lime, guava and bombay gin. Tony was loving the Hibiscus Breeze - hibiscus, lime, ginger beer and bourbon.

One of the fresh catches of the day. My mouth is watering just thinking about this meal!

My camera ended up with so many pictures like this. My girls turned into total beach bums!

 The old banyan tree in Lahaina - another special spot for us!

Maui was a wonderful vacation! The girls became total beach bums, and snorkeling pros! We made so many wonderful memories, and I can't wait to go back!

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