Tuesday, June 25, 2013

10 hours with a 10 month - MAUI, HAWAII

I think every parent I have told about our trip to Maui with our 10 month old has given be a look like I am the craziest person in the world. Well I am 9to5travelgirl, or temporarily maternityleavetravelgirl lol. Being on maternity leave and having all this time off (and married to a successful accountant), I wanted to take as many trips as possible, as it seemed crazy to waste all this time (when while I am working I have to request days off). So we thought we would take one BIG trip and we ended up picking Maui as that big trip!

We decided to take this adventure with our good friends who also have a baby just 3 months younger than our Ronak. Yes two babies not 1 on a 10 hour flight. Anyway, we decided on Maui given the fact that we all had 40,000 Aeroplan Miles to cover our Maui flight (with a stop over in San Francisco). As we were bringing our little ones it was important for us to find a rental home, versus staying in a hotel and not having laundry facilities, a kitchen, and high chairs on hand. We used Exotic Estates International to rent our home which was in Kaanapali Beach (great location if you have a family, because theres a baby beach just minutes away). We paid approx. 4,000 per couple for the home, which was a deal compared to the price of hotel suites, and we'd also plan to save a lot by making at least two of our meals at home each day. Maui is a pretty expensive island.

We first stopped in San Francisco and stayed at the Hyatt in Union Square, which was steps away from great shopping and dining. We did all of the tourist attractions like Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, and the vibrant Chinatown. At one point we ended up in a Hippie street festival which was quite entertaining. We also were able to get out of the city and did a bus tour to Napa/Sonoma Valley, which was breathtakingly beautiful. It reminded me of the rolling hills in Tuscany. One of the nights we had dinner at Seven Hills which based on the reviews was suppose to be fabulous, I would say it was not baby friendly at all (which is expected with small dining establishments), but the food itself was really small portions and not as flavourful as I would have hoped. Anyway after enduring bi-polar weather (hot to cold throughout the day) we were super excited to soak in the sun in Maui.

When we arrived in Maui we hopped in our minivan like typical family tourists and headed to our rental home. Our home had everything we needed from a full gourmet kitchen to 4 bathrooms for the 6 of us. It had an outdoor pool and living space to enjoy some lunch bbqs and swim fun with the kiddies. We were walking distance to the beach but actually hoped in our minivan to take all of our beach belongings and babies with us. Below I have listed what are must do's in Maui:

1) Kaanapali Beach
2) Baby Beach - just next to Kaanapali Beach
3) Old Lahaina Luau - I believe it is suppose to be the most authentic, it does a great job of sharing the history of the island. The food was mediocre at best, but its the entertainment, service, cocktails and the beautiful sunset views that I think people keep coming back.
4) Mama's Fish House - AH-Mazing food, but amazingly expensive (my mahi-mahi was $52), great views of the Pacific Ocean and beautiful ambiance throughout. Although we had a bit of a bug issue while we were eating.
5) Sorrento's on the beach - Fine dining italian cuisine midway between Kaanapali and Waliea
6) Grand Waliea Spa - I think its the most luxurious spa on the island so definitely a great treat
7) Drive to Hana - I can't even explain how beautiful the drive is, it is so natural and surreal you can't believe what you are seeing. The seven sacred pools, twin falls, and amazing views of the pacific ocean. You will get car sick, and its pretty stressful at times driving up these narrow roads, but it is of course a once in a lifetime experience. When you get to Hana there is this amazing Thai food restaurant that literally looks like its in a shack, don't walk away its a MUST eat experience.
8) Snorkelling at the Molokini crater, the coral reef is beautiful. We did the tour through Four Winds, and it included breakfast and lunch. Definitely worth the experience, I would try SNUBA which is like scuba diving but with no lessons or experience required.
9) Volcano - We didn't end up getting to do this, but apparently also an amazing adventure.
10) If you are there during Whale Watching season, apparently it is quite the experience. We did this in BC this year and didn't care to do it again in Maui.

Although, people may think I was crazy to do a 10 hour flight with my 10 month old munchkin, I refuse to STOP doing what I love because I have a baby. I am going to make my baby mould to what I want him to be, which is a social butterfly that loves to travel. Instead of an introvert that likes to stay at home, because his mom was afraid to travel with him. So if your a parent that loves to travel, don't think its over once you have kids, take on the challenge and pack your kids with you. I am not going to lie and say it wasn't hard to do, and that there were some rough nights on vacation, BUT I am still not going to give up my passions because its HARDER than it was when we were a single couple family.

Below are some pics from our adventure....