Well.... what can I say about our Hawaiian vacation, other than that it was a dream come true in every way! From the moment we stepped off the plane, until the second we stepped back on, we enjoyed ourselves more than words can say! And notice I said the dreaminess occurred AFTER and/or BEFORE the plane ride-- ha! That was the longest flight the kids have taken! It was long but not too terrible. Especially on the way back once we could access the in-flight entertainment. There were so many amazing adventures in Hawaii that it would be impossible to say my favorite. The resort Hanuai Kai, was fabulous! A three bedroom, three condo with a view and full kitchen! Full balcony with views to the ocean and swimming pools below! It was heavenly! Just writing this is bringing me back and giving me an ache in my heart. We stayed next door to Nancy, Herb and Stacy.... where little Anna could run back and forth throughout the day and play with her Grandma whenever she wanted! LOVED the resort so much and the beautiful island of Maui. The first night we had a beautiful dinner at Duke's at the resort right next to the ocean. So proud of the kids for trying fish for dinner- pink snapper! Shrimp! Maui maui! Fish and chips! They were great sports and had fun trying the delicious Hawaiian cuisine.
In the evenings after dinner, the kids and adults had fun playing games at Grandma and Grandpa's condo. We played Scum, but mostly a game called "things" that the kids got a big kick out of! We played almost every night! I think as crazy as it sounds-- being in Hawaii and all, spending time together inside, eating delicious food Grandpa or Blake grilled and laughing and playing games- was one of the best parts! Visiting all of the amazing beaches was a close second. DT Fleming in Kapalua, Slaughterhouse in Kaanapali, and Paia Turtle beach to name a few. There's nothing quite like playing in the warm waves, snorkeling near the coral reef and just basking in the sun, feet in the fine, soft sand. Of course there were plenty of schools of fish, eels, sea turtles and blow fish to see! Dane was in actual heaven and never wanted to leave. It was the highlight of his life to snorkle. Probably the coolest thing for him in his little life so far! There were plenty of delicious little shake shacks to get fries and burgers and shakes for lunch right there near the beach and it felt magical to look out on the ocean while snarfing down a yummy meal.
Another highlight of the trip was an adventurous water fall hike our family took near Kaanapali on the road to Hana. We had an awesome guide who knew everything about Maui and helped us to understand the plants, animals and land in general. He knew the best places to cliff jump and wade in the water. It was seriously so much fun for our family to enter a bamboo forest and jump off these gorgeous waterfall cliffs. Nancy and Herb surprised us by taking us to a Luau one evening as well. It was such a beautiful setting off the coast. The kids enjoyed watching the roasted pig preparation and trying pork and rice, and Hawaiian fruits and veggies. They loved wearing leis and watching hula dancers and even dancing themselves (Grant and Anna)! It was a very special night that we enjoyed so much.
Midway through the week, we cleaned ourselves up nicely for early morning family pictures! A highlight for Grandma, Stacy and I- not so much for the kids or Grandpa- ha! But they were good sports and we got some great family shots and had a good time while doing it. We snorkeled and then parasailed off Whalers Village in Lahaina. It was so fun for the kids! Dane in particular had the best time parasailing with Grandma! Grant was a little nervous to begin with but felt safe with Blake as his partner and Evelyn and I made a good team. Unfortunately, we couldn't talk Anna into the adventure! Or Stacy or Herb for that matter- ha!
We loved celebrating the fourth of July in Hawaii! Where else would you be able to zipline through gorgeous greenery and bamboo trees in Maui county?? It was breathtaking to say the least! And such an adventure! For dinner we enjoyed a local exeperience- the food trucks near our hotel! We watched an awesome fire works show before bed and felt so blessed to live in the USA.
Before heading home, we fit in two more awesome adventures-- snorkeling WAY out in the middle of the ocean off of Kaanapli! The only trick was actually getting there! The boat made a few in our company a little sick.... I'm not going to mention any names, but it wasn't pretty. But the actual snorkeling was amazing and worth the ride! And then horseback riding at sunset was a beautiful adventure we won't soon forget. Even Aunt Stacy with unruly Pony boy, had a fun albeit less than relaxing time-ha!~
We truly enjoyed every moment of this vacation that Grandma and Grandpa planned and funded. We felt beyond grateful. Beyond blessed and overwhelmed, actually! It was that good. It was everything you could ever hope for and we will forever be grateful to their generosity and kindness. THANK YOU Grandma and Grandpa! We love you!!!!