I’ve been to Maui only one other time, and that was on our honeymoon. So we never really got to get out and experience the weather, the ocean, and the island itself. I’ve been waiting for this week in April to arrive for…months. I didn’t want Zach to miss out on Hawaii because I couldn’t get a full week off of work, so he set off Sunday night with the rest of the family. I only missed two and a half days, but felt so lucky to get the three days off of work when I did to enjoy the island.
My parents let me stay the night before at their house so I wouldn’t have to leave my car at the airport. My #1 Dad took me at 4:00 am the next morning to catch my flight. He is such a champ. My mom and I had stayed up until after midnight watching Smash and visiting…and then I had to get up at 3:30 am to get ready. I was dead to the world, but not good ‘ole Gary! He was as energetic as ever. Thanks for the ride Dad!
I flew to LA, had a quick layover, and then flew from LA to Maui. It was a 5 hour flight and I was banking on the fact that I would get to sleep on the plane. With a glorious stroke of luck, I got three seats all to myself. I grabbed a blanket from the flight attendant, stretched out across all three seats and was gone. A special thanks to Kelly, for booking that specific seat. I love you.
I arrived in Maui at 11:00 am, and was picked up at the airport by my sweet husband in a GIANT white van. The fam had rented one to get the whole crew around for dinner dates and other activities. He greeted me with a lei from the hotel and a giant hug. I missed this guy.
The drive back to the hotel was around 20 minutes, and we spotted a Walmart off the side of the road. We had a brilliant idea: I am not a fan of pool food [nachos, cheeseburgers, fries] and am kind of a cheap skate in the fact that I didn’t want to pay $18 for said cheeseburger, so we decided to stop at Wally World and get some lunch supplies.
Honestly, the majority of the “supplies” were soda. Yes, I know…but who wants to pay for a $6 Diet Coke, am I right??
Once we got back to the hotel and settled in (and stocked our mini fridge)…
…we ventured on down to the resort’s pool to join up with the rest of the family.
We relaxed, played a heated game of water volleyball, and had “Navy Seal Training”. My father-in-law is a blast – he got everyone scuba gear and made a route through the resort’s pool. Going down several water slides, swimming under a waterfall, swinging on the rope swing, going the opposite way up the Lazy River – by far the most difficult of the challenges. If you could swim the entire route, you passed Navy Seal Training. Zach and I passed with flying colors!
We listened to music poolside, read our books, and caught some rays. I don’t even want to know how many Lava Flows Zach drank from his trusty plastic pineapple.
That night for dinner we walked up the beach to a restaurant called DUO at the Four Seasons Hotel. It was my first meal of the trip, and by far my most favorite. Hawaii really does have the best fish I have ever had. In fact, I ate fish for dinner almost every single night – Mahi, Red Snapper, Opah…you get the idea.
The balcony on the hotel, where we would meet up for every dinner date.
The entire crew on our way to dinner.
My first morning I was up WAY too early. 5:00 am rolled around and I was up and ready to go. I was obviously still on Utah time and Zach was dead to the world – he adjusts to sleeping anywhere, really. So I got out of bed, put on my shoes, and went for a run on the beach. I made a habit of it, and ran every morning before the sun was up along the shore.
It was heaven on earth, and just in time to see the beach at sunrise. I couldn’t help but notice all my other fellow runners out there – all smiling away. I only want to run in Hawaii now, where people smile when they run. One morning I really wanted to join the ladies doing Yoga on the sand – but I’m not cool enough to do Yoga. Nor am I in tune to the earth enough – there was a lady full on putting her head in a tropical tree because she was so into it. Not smelling it, for a moment, but staying there with her head shoved in the branches. It got weird.
Then we were off to the amazing hotel breakfast buffet. You have never seen Zach as happy as when he has a plate full of bacon. It is the only reason he was up before 10 am (that was the last call for breakfast).
After we grubbed, we were off to the pool for another day of exactly what we did the day before.
We lounged and slept.
We explored the hotel property.
We took dips in the pool [at this point Zach’s skin required 24 hr. covereage and he was forced to purchase this rash guard].
Then we returned to our room to get ready for dinner at Joe’s. I loved how every night the staff would remake your bed and leave you a little flower and a note.
After another delicious fish dinner, we walked on over to the shops.
The next morning, Zach woke up with a really horrible ear ache. But that didn’t stop him from doing his most favorite activity: surfing. He had been waiting for me to come so we could surf together. So we woke up, ate another hefty breakfast (with two diet cokes)…
and we took the mondo van to a local surf spot up the coast from our hotel. We rented some boards and let the guys test out the waters first. Tony, Trav, Zach, and Kelly set out in the ocean. They all caught some great rides!
That black and white spec standing on the board is Zach – killin the surf!
Next, it was my turn. I had only been surfing once, and didn’t have much luck the last time – it was a red tide, in my defense. Zach stayed out in the water with me and told me when to paddle, and when to wait. After a few failed attempts, I rode a wave ALL THE WAY IN! I’ve never seen my husband so proud.
Unfortunately, the only photo I got was Zach helping me put on the strap around my ankle.
By the time Zach and his brothers had done a few rounds of surfing, his ear ache got worse. That’s when we dropped the fam off back at the hotel and went to Maui Urgent Care.
One word: Sketchy.
This whole facility was super unorganized and…cluttered. As you walked in the waiting room there were numerous antiques such as wagon wheels, millions of magazines, bronze statues, and a fish tank that stretched the length of one entire wall that hadn’t been cleaned…for a while.
Not to mention Wolfman was the doctor on duty. It was a horrible ear infection. Luckily, Zach got the prescription he needed to make the swelling in both of his ears go down – and was given one rule: NO MORE WATER. The pain was ever present though, and laying down by the pool helped him relax. By the time dinner rolled around he was feeling a little better. He was a trooper though, and made the best of an ear infection in paradise. That night we ate at Tommy Bahama’s, Zach’s favorite meal of the trip.
Steak cures just about everything for Zach.
Saturday was our last full day – and we took full advantage. More reading, more dips in the pool, lounging in the cabana…
And we just repeated ourselves basically all day. Zach didn’t even wander from his regular lunch routine of a huge helping of Volcano Nachos…
I am pretty sure he ate them for every lunch on the trip (but I wasn’t there the first two days, so you never know…)
After lunch is the first time we spotted “Pat”…even though her “real” name is Mike. But more on that later…
That night we went to Nick’s, our last dinner in Hawaii. It was the perfect weather, and we ate while the sun set. It was like a picture perfect Maui postcard.
The “Trip Awards” were also given out – Best Tan, Best Wave Surfer, Worst Injury, Most Lava Flows, and so on.
After dinner we made our way over the the outdoor mall – more importantly where the ice cream parlor was. We ate our ice cream, shopped, and returned to the hotel for our last slumber at the Grand Wailea. I must admit – some did not prefer the beds at the hotel, but I was IN love. It felt like sleeping on a cloud, and Zach agreed.
Our flight didn’t leave until Sunday afternoon, so we spent as much time as we could soaking up the last bit of sun before we had to check out of our hotel.
Zach was still banned from the pool, so I kept him company the best way I could…while being in the water. My favorite part about the pool? How the staff would occasionally come around with trays of popsicles or frozen grape cups.
My least favorite thing about our pool? Well…this particular afternoon, is where Pat came out in all her glory. This is Pat…
That…is a woman. A woman, who had a very beautiful female partner. No, I have NOTHING against homosexual couples – some of my closest friends fall into this category. But THIS is ridiculous. A woman, with her shirt off, posing as a man…with bigger boobs than myself. The visor, tacky manish sandals, and gold chain could not cover up those FEMALE tatas. I couldn’t help it. It was like driving past an accident on the freeway. So, naturally…I took photos. With the help of my sister-in-law, we took some seriously awesome shots incognito.
Yes, this is for real.
Later, we discovered her name was “Mike” and she has never played volley ball before. Obviously. No, this was not a nude pool – this was our hotel pool facility. VERY family-friendly pool facility. It was totally inappropriate, but it did entertain us our last afternoon poolside.
The trip, in a word, was phenomenal. Good food, great weather, and the best people to share it with. I feel very lucky to be a part of the Henderson family, they ALWAYS know how to have a good time. Thank you Mark and Jeanene (and all others who scheduled and organized) for such an amazing trip.