Aloha from Maui!
Way back before Ryder was born, we decided that we'd plan a family trip to Hawaii at least every other year. We first made it happen in 2014, when Ryder was just three months old, and although that trip was a blast, we had no idea how much more fun we'd have this year, now that he's two.
Literally, the kid was in absolute heaven!
I should start off by saying that all things considered, Ryder traveled like a champ. We booked a nonstop flight from Seattle to Maui, and although we were detoured through Honolulu due to some malfunction with the landing gear (!), which ended up adding several extra hours of travel time to our day, Ryder was such a good boy and he frankly handled the whole situation much better than I did...
Once we arrived, everything was worth it.
We rewarded our perfect little traveler by taking him directly down to the beach.
We had so much fun on our last trip that we actually went back to the exact same location: Napili Point Resort. Our condo once again had incredible views of Honokeana Bay, where we could snorkel every day with tropical fish and giant sea turtles, and just a five-minute walk down the path was Napili Bay Beach, which literally looks like something out of a movie, it's so perfect...
Ryder could not get enough of the sand and the water.
|We found this cool little cove that was protected from the worst of the big waves, and Ryder would play there for hours every day.|
Our condo also had a couple of nice little pools on the property, so typically at least once each day we'd take a break from the beach and take a dip there.
Napili is conveniently located just a short drive from both Lahaina Town and Kaanapali Beach, where we spent several days hanging out for a slight change of scenery.
|Cute little cove in Lahaina Town. We had just had lunch at the restaurant you can see at the upper right.|
|I didn't take nearly enough photos of them, but a huge shout out is owed to my amazing parents, who were with us on this trip and truly made it so much more enjoyable and memorable.|
In addition to hanging out at the beach, we also tried to embark upon a few new adventures during our trip this year.
|One day we took Ryder to the Maui Ocean Center, the nation's largest tropical reef aquarium.|
On our last trip, Stew got his scuba diving certification, so this time he was able to go out on a really cool all-day scuba excursion to three different amazing locations. Unfortunately he had to go by himself -- Although I did try my hardest to attempt scuba diving on our honeymoon, my intense claustrophobia prevents me from embarking upon this particular adventure. Seriously, who thinks it's normal to put your head underwater and breathe in? Not okay... Stew had an amazing time, though.
|Looking back at Molokini Crater on the scuba diving trip.|
And it's worth mentioning that Stew and I finally celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary with a belated fancy evening out in Kaanapali.
|Stew and I splurge on fancy dining exactly ONE time each year, on our anniversary. This fancy night out was no exception, and we treated ourselves to blended fancy cocktails, steak, lobster, and crusted halibut with crab. Yum!|
|As usual, we all spent plenty of time at my Dad's favorite place on the island, Maui Brewing Co. He just loves the ice trough they have at the bar to keep your beers cold!|
|It's not really a vacation until you eat an ice cream cone naked on the patio.|
|Not the greatest photo quality, but I wanted to show the amazing view that was just steps outside our patio!|
|Beautiful sunset on our last night in paradise.|
A few things we learned on this trip:
- Hawaiian Airlines is far, far superior to Alaska Airlines (we will never fly with them again).
- Air travel with a little kiddo is much easier if you equip yourself with an electronic device filled with games and videos, as well as a backpack full of toys and snacks.
- It takes a toddler a little over a week to adjust to a three-hour time change... just in time to head home.
- Constantly applying and re-applying sunscreen on a sandy two-year-old is a huge pain in the ass.
- If you want to really enjoy a vacation with your kid(s), bring your parents! I can't thank mine enough for all the help and breaks they gave us on this trip.
- TAKE PHOTOS OF EVERYTHING. Somehow I didn't manage to get a single photo of all of us together on this trip, and I missed some activities entirely. I know it's important to live in the moment, but I also like having memories for later.
We had such a fantastic vacation together, and I'm so glad that we made the trip happen.
I think it's important to create family traditions and memories, and it sure is fun to do it in tropical paradise!