"Basically, you haven’t been to paradise if you haven’t been to Hawaii."
- Bruno Mars
Maui. You guyssssss. (And I feel sorta silly quoting Bruno Mars of all people... but, he is just so right!)
It is -- by far -- one of the most fabulous places we have ever been.
One definition of "fabulous" is: "amazingly wonderful." And, goodness... Maui was exactly that.
It's been almost a year since our trip (time flies) -- we went last November. But, better late than never to post the pictures, right? I wasn't blogging much last year, just focusing on my new baby which was bliss! But, this summer, I have been organizing all our photos since we got married, including the trips we have been blessed to take together, and I just thought I'd share here on my little online journal with all your sweet friends some of our adventures. Partly to remember (because, even though I am printing out albums soon of all these photos, it is sometimes nice to have them on my blog to easily access and reminisce, and also because I, personally, have been so inspired by blog posts about travel -- travel with babies and kids, and locations in general. Reading real-life experiences, recommendations, personal pictures, etc, at certain destinations is one of my main inspirations for traveling, and seeing real-life parents travel with their littles inspires me all the more! So, hopefully, some of you will be somehow inspired by our photos and trips I share here.
We only spent a few days there, but in our short stay, we quickly discovered that everything about Maui drips with beauty, sweetness, warmth, relaxation, and perfection. It really is paradise... through and through.
Daniel planned this trip, at the last minute, to celebrate my thirtieth birthday! And, it was the perfect way to enjoy saying goodbye to my twenties and "hello!" to a brand new decade.
Chill, happy, sunny, beachy, delicious, and just plain gorgeousness -- all wrapped up into one island package. We got a steal of a deal (through Costco Travel, actually!) and stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, -- it was one of the loveliest, most luxurious places we've ever been. My sweet man treated me like a queen on the trip and spoiled me far more than I deserve, and my heart just ached with gratefulness for thirty full years of life and the precious gift of my boys.
Everything about the hotel felt grand yet relaxed, all at once.
The breakfast every morning was superb. When we booked the trip, we didn't expect "Breakfast Included Daily" to mean a complete spread of fresh fruits, made to order omelets with every topping you can imagine, made to order breakfast items (like eggs, bacon, sausage), fresh squeezed juice, an array of breads, a waffle bar, and even fresh-made kombucha! The breakfast dining room view overlooked the lush grounds and sparkling ocean. We were floored and ooh-ed and ahh-ed every morning (you can tell we'd never stayed at a Ritz before haha!)
Found this handsome dad ;)
The way the trees met the sea made us say, "It's like Carmel, California!" over and over. Something about parts of Maui reminded me of California's northern coast.
Friends who love Maui, you ladies on Instagram (you always know best!), and even the hotel concierge highly recommended we visit Baby Beach. And we were so happy we did! It is a protected lagoon and very safe for swimming, so it was perfect for Weston to dip his toes and swim in the ocean for the first time ever! It is on the North Shore of Maui, right before Paia.
Baby beach is beautiful and the sand area is easy to walk to, flat, and very shaded.
Daniel snapped some photos of me on our balcony before we headed down to dinner (again) at The Banyan Tree. For the first time postpartum, I felt like "myself" again. Like a glam, confident new mama. So I wanted to document it.
The Banyan Tree proved to serve some of the best food we've ever tasted -- hands down! This shrimp was absolutely divine. Our wonderful waiter -- a Frenchman who'd lived in Maui for years and worked for the Ritz for over 20 years -- was the most skilled, devoted man who literally adores food, flavors, atmosphere, and serving. He made such an impression on us because of his pure passion for his career and for the art of dining. He served us this (off the menu) shrimp -- sautéed in butter and garlic. Ahh, my mouth is watering remembering the depth of flavor. We ended up going back every night for a glass of white wine and these fantastic shrimp!
I think this is the only photograph we took as a family on the trip! I took just a handful of photos and (sort of) wish I'd snapped more. But, we were so focused on enjoying, resting, soaking in our boy and family time, that we didn't even think to (which is rather strange for me!)
This trip -- four months postpartum -- was the first time my heart began to truly feel healing after all the trauma we went through. I will never forget swimming in the warm water while my boys played on the golden sand, basking in the sun and feeling healing wash all over me. It started that day.
Sweet little guy chilling in his sunglasses!
One morning, after breakfast we took a drive through Kahakuloa Village. We thought about taking The Road to Hana but since we only had a few days and our little man along with us (who was just four months old at the time!) we decided to wait until next time to take that adventure. We got to stop by charming frui stands on the drive, stopped by the Nakalele Blowhole, and found the yummiest shave ice ever in a pink road side cafe (my dream)! A perfect little road trip day.
Later that day and the next day, we stopped by the ever-recommeded Ululani's Shave Ice -- just melt in your mouth delicious!! The flavors were just so "true to life" and not "bottled" tasting at all!
In Maui, we were blown away by one of the top two best dining experiences of our lives. This is the only picture I can find of the memory, because, well -- I was too busy enjoying my man, my baby, the view, and the food to take photos, I suppose! But, ugh. It was absolute heaven on a plate at Mama's Fish House. Basically everyone we knew who'd been to Maui very highly recommended Mama's. And it absolutely lived up to the hype. More than lived up to it! Every bite of the meal we enjoyed was delicious -- from the bread basket to the wine to the dessert. Go to Maui, y'all. And if you only go to one restaraunt, go to Mama's Fish House!
Sweetest memories with my sweetest people.
I'm a happy girl.
Other Maui recommendations from friends of ours that are on our bucket list for "next time":
- Paia Fish Market
- Molokini Sunrise Snorkeling Cruise
- Upcountry Maui