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Hau’oli La Ho’omakika’i (Happy Thanksgiving!)

2013 November 28
by Becky

EthanSnorkle

Greetings from Maui!

We escaped the 12 degree temps in St. Louis to enjoy the beautiful warm beach here in Napili with Stu’s sister Amy, her husband Paul and daughter Annette, as well as Papa and Gaga (stu’s dad and step-mom) who are visiting from central California. We’ve only been here a few days but have decided this is THE way to spend the winter holidays.

Ethan is a happy guy, he has been looking forward to seeing his twin cousin again since their week together last summer.  It took them about two seconds to get reacquainted and start having F.U.N.

EthanAnnetteSand

StuEthanSwimming2

BeckySwimming

Six months ago we decided this was our “Sweet Spot.” We only have one kid and he’s old enough to withstand a whole day of flying. This was it, we HAD to go see Stu’s sister in Hawaii!

After six months of planning our trip, we finally made the looooooong trip over the ocean on Sunday—a day early. Saturday we checked on the flights and realized something was wrong…our connection in Dallas was cancelled! When we called to get things straightened out, they gave us the option to leave a day early. Why not?! We were all packed and waiting with bated breath so we dropped off Dewey at my uncle’s and I cancelled my spray tan. The people of Hawaii are used to pasty white Midwesterners, right?

I mean, common, extra day in paradise…yes please!

Flying

After fearing this flight for months, we found it was nothing to worry about. Ethan was a perfect traveler and my back didn’t bother me a bit! We did lots of walking (and running) during our short layover in LA, watched plenty of movies on the planes, and before we knew it…

HelloHawaii

Auntie Amy was there to welcome us with beautiful leis and big hugs…she is over the moon that finally, twelve years after she moved to this phenomenal island, her brother is visiting.

AmyEthan

We got in late—around midnight St. Louis time—it was pitch black and we couldn’t see a thing. We didn’t even realize we were bordered by gorgeous blue ocean on our drive to Amy’s house. So the next morning, when we awoke bright and early at 5:30am, we couldn’t wait to see that sun and sea.

OceanFirstLook

Ethan’s first request? “Cousin Nette!!!”

After being told for months and months he would be seeing his twin cousin in Hawaii, he couldn’t wait any longer. Nothing had changed, they are still siblings from two different mamas.

Since then, we’ve been on the beach.

EthanStuSwimming

StuAmyBeach

There we were, down the street from Amy’s house, on a long stretch of sunny beach. All by ourselves. Just basking in the fabulous, breezy, warm weather. Watching the kids play and swim. Staring at beautiful islands all around us. Paradise.

So where are we exactly? Napili is a little town just 15 minutes North of Lahaina. That island behind Stu is Moku’ula and we can also see Lanai off to the left.

It took Ethan about 20 minutes to be comfortable with the little waves lapping at the sand…he takes a little warm-up time to take it all in. Then suddenly he stated, “I need my floaties!” OK! He was ready for swimming. They played for hours until suddenly laying down in the sand—it was nap time. After a stop at the nearby Fish Market for Mahi sandwiches, the kids slept like rocks.

Day Two we had new arrivals—Gaga and Papa! The adults headed up to the Haleakala crater while I stayed with the kids, 10,000 feet isn’t all that kid friendly. Before meeting everyone halfway up for lunch, I took the kids to Lahaina to see the huge Banyan tree. EVERYONE we passed asked me if the kids were twins.

EthanAnnetteBanyan

 

Then we drove up up up up up! The kids were pretty pumped about being ON a volcano, but kept saying, “No lava, there’s no lava.” We had lunch at the Kula Lodge, overlooking the whole island of Maui. CraterWalk

GagaAtCrater

Then—more beach. Just another few minutes down the Lower Honoapiilani Road we found another deserted beach haven. This time with a rock break that formed a large tide pool, perfect for toddler exploration and play. We inspected rocks and coral, finding snails and slimy sea slugs, Annette keeping our discoveries collected in the rocks nearby.

This time we brought a snorkel and mask to check out the sea life. Ethan was a bit confused as to how the snorkel worked…he spent at least an hour attempting to use it as a sea water straw. Stu somehow wrestled it away and headed out past the break to see what the ocean had to offer.

EthanAnnetteTidePool

EthanSnorkle2

EthanFloats

StuEthanRocks

StuSnorkeling

He came back shouting, “I saw all the fish from Nemo! The one with the scar on his face? There’s like 20 over there!” Don’t be jealous of our tropical fish knowledge. It takes a lot of Disney movie watching to get this good.

Night Two? Date night. We were practically shoved out the door and told to have a great time. So we headed to Lahaina for dinner at Aloha Mixed Plate…the place which, after browsing the web, we decided was a non-touristy option for a casual meal on the beach.

I rocked my beach hair…I may just stop washing it all together.

BeachHair
DateNight
We’re here for many more days so the surface is just being scratched. But we’re already ready to book some tickets for next year…this place is amazing. On Monday we move to a condo down the road to get out of Auntie Amy’s hair. Road to Hana, snorkeling, Maui Ocean Center, lots of good food, and LOTS of beach time are still in our future.

Can’t believe it took us twelve years to get here, but man are we glad it finally worked out.

We’ll see if I ever feel like blogging again…it may be a while till you hear from me. But chances are I’ll be itching to share pics of my cute kid in his speedo before too long.

 

5 Responses
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    December 1, 2013

    Aloha Becky, Stu and Ethan…I love all the pictures!! I’m so glad Stu finally made it to see his sister in Hawaii. It appears like Ethan is fitting right in with Annette at being a beach kiddo.

    Enjoy the weather and beautiful ocean. Forecast for end of the week in the midwest looks very cold.

    Keep those photo’s coming!!

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