I finally, yes finally, have all of my pictures edited from our trip to Maui and let me tell you… editing all of the photos you take on a 10 day vacation with your kids is no easy feat. Not only is there the “deleting the 837,293 blurry toddler photos” task but then you have to go through and figure out which of the 10 shots you want to keep of that palm tree. Can anybody else sympathize?
As I was loading all of these pictures to my blog I realized that there are just WAY too many photos (and too much content as well) to put into one blog post. It was just such a great trip and I have so much to tell you guys!! I’m going to start off by sharing some of my favorite snaps from our trip and in a separate post I’ll tackle an overview of the best places to stay, the best places to eat and all of the best things to do in Maui!
When we arrived at the Fairmont Kea Lani the girls each got leis which they didn’t take off until basically all of the flowers had fallen off. How cute do they look on our first morning with their Target coverups and Native shoes? Bows are Wee Ones, as always!
This was the view from our room. We stayed in the standard suite with a partial ocean view. The rooms are great for families because they are all suites (part of the reason we chose this hotel). Our room had doors that closed off to the living room where there was a pull-out sofa for the girls. They ended up bringing in a HUGE crib for Scottie so she slept on that and Hayden slept on the pull-out. There are high bolts on the doors to the porch and the doors to the hallway so I felt very safe leaving them in their room. I packed outlet protectors and door knob protectors just incase but didn’t end up needing them!
The great thing about traveling to Hawaii from the East Coast is that you are automatically a morning person. The bad thing is the first night or two you’ll wake up at 2am with your body thinking it’s 7am. After you take approximately 10 melatonin gummies and get over the shock of it all it’s pretty awesome to wake up at 6am bright eyed and bushy-tailed. We would head down to the beach, grab spots by the pool and be sitting down to breakfast all before 7:30.
Hawaii is officially at the top of my “favorite places I’ve been” list for many reasons. First of all the climate is fantastic. It was warm and sunny and even on the days it was a little rainy there wasn’t any humidity. Also, there were no bugs. I don’t know if it wasn’t bug season or if I just lucked up but I didn’t encounter the first mosquito or gnat. Is that normal? I also love the variety of beaches, mountains, lush terrain, cliffs and waterfall. I was absolutely in awe of the beauty and I’m so thankful Jesus let me see it with my own eyes. Another reason it was my favorite? The food. Oh my gosh, the food! Polynesian dishes and asian dishes and fresh everything all day every day. Case and point, this bento box that I absolutely crushed for lunch more days than not.
All of that variety lends to plenty of activities. You can drive the Road to Hana, Zipline, take a Helicopter tour, do any combination of water sports and yes, even bike down a volcano. If you follow me on instagram stories you know that I accidentally hit my front hydraulic break before my back one flipping me over the handlebars and face-first into the pavement. I’ll share more on that when I dish all about what to do in Maui but for now just know it sucked. My whole body still hurts and I’m not sure if I’ll get back on a bike anytime this decade. The up-side? We got to eat some great food and see some cute livestock in our tour down the volcano.
While all those activities are fun and all I’m the type of person that can eat, sleep, beach and repeat all day every day. Luckily for me my girls inherited my love of all things sun and sea. With them being so little we didn’t plan too many excursions or activities and enjoyed a steady rotation of playing at the beach, swimming in the pool and repeat.
I snagged this Mara Hoffman swimsuit for a deal and it’s the first one-piece I’ve ever worn. Yep, ever. I don’t typically love one pieces because I feel like I look like a penguin but this pattern is so pretty I think it distracts from my shoulder to hip ratio. The girl’s suits are from Target and while they didn’t hold up exceptionally well in the sand you really can’t beat the price!
I bought these ice cream swimsuits and a matching swing dress for the girls and they wore them almost every day. The little ice cream cones are so cute and I love the ruffle back! Typically I dress my girls in two-pieces because they are easier to potty / change diapers in but with me doing the shopping before this trip I wanted to grab one-pieces to be safe. My girls are tall but skinny so while Hayden wears a 5T in a one-piece she can still sport a 3T bikini.
Here are two of the casual outfits that I packed. The great thing about Maui is that it’s warm without being humid. I don’t know if it’s like that year-round but in January it was amazing. This lightweight peasant tunic from Old Navy was the perfect layer for the evenings and you all know I love a good Madewell tee. I also found this affordable straw bag that was perfect to tote around some cash, sunscreen and my phone. Oh and can we talk about these sandals?!?! I love them!
These Steve Madden slides are my go-to sneaker these days. I also have this pair from Vince that I love but you can’t go wrong with the price on the Steve Maddens. I took the distressed shorts above and also these from J.Crew because they are old and I knew I could mess them up if needed.
This is Hayden practicing the hula that she learned at the resort. We loved the Fairmont because they had kids camp for the big girls were you could send them free of charge 9-12 and/or 1-4. So if it rained or you needed a break they would go play and do scavenger hunts, make volcanos etc. They also would have little activities for the kids like learning the hula, feeding the fish, etc. I told Zach we need to plan a trip back when the girls are old enough for the Kid’s camp because it’s basically like having an adult vacation with a nanny!
Even if you don’t stay at the Fairmont you have to eat at Nicks! And you need to do it at sunset. There is a guy that runs around and lights all the torches dressed head to toe in authentic garb. Well, shirtless if you must know. All of the kids start to follow him around the property and by the time he finishes up he’s accumulated 30 little shadows. Hayden absolutely loved running around and helping light the torches. The little tour de torches ends up at Nicks so it’s a great activity for the kids to do while you’re order appetizers and drinks. The food at Nicks is delicious. I was very naughty and enjoyed some pasta/seafood/buttery/sin creation. I would have eaten there many more times! Oh and if you saw the strawberry flambe on my instagram stories this was where it was!
The great thing about staying in Wailea is that the Fairmont, the Four Seasons Maui and the Grand Wailea are side by side. There is a nice path along the water that connects them and people walk up and down it at all times. For dinner one evening we utilized the resort’s nanny service and walked over to the Four Seasons to eat at DUO. It was fantastic!! Here are some photos from that path along the water that I snapped on a walk one day during Scottie’s nap.
Zach and I typically don’t travel with our kids because a) they are really young and probably won’t remember it, b) when we take a vacation we want an actual vacation and not just life as normal in a different spot and c) let’s be honest they are way happier hanging out with Mimi. I’m so glad that we took them on this trip though!! Hayden is an independent swimmer and while we keep an eye on her she’s advanced enough to go up and down the waterslide and come check in with us. It also helped that we had two of her older cousins there who were pseudo-babysitters! Scottie isn’t potty-trained yet and still naps once a day but even she was pretty easy to manage!
One fun excursion we planned was to go whale watching. We chose Pride of Maui because it is whale watching, snorkling and they feed you lunch. The day we went they actually took us to the Molokini Crater which is a spot we wanted to go snorkle and were thinking of booking a trip to. Hayden got in for a hot minute and then decided she would forego the cold ocean for snacks on the boat. I got in with Scottie and that wen’t over like a lead ballon. Scottie doesn’t do cold and she doesn’t do unfamiliar. We ended up seeing a couple of great whales and the trip before us saw them right up beside the boat (pretty jealous of that). I think that this was a fun trip but I would also do an evening whale watching trip where you don’t snorkle. We saw the Calypso and it looked really nice!
Naturally our excursions revolved around the nearest shaved ice stand. Ululani’s was my favorite and the girl’s too! The ice was so finely shaved and the juices so fresh that it didn’t taste anything like what I was used to from home. I could have eaten it breakfast lunch and dinner! I was complaining that the hotel didn’t have any shaved ice but in retrospect it was probably good for my hips that they didn’t. A couple of other great spots for sweets, treats, and dole whips are Wow Wow Lemonade & Baya Bowls.
Back to that whole babysitting thing. If Zach and I take the girls on vacation we always try to find some way to get an adult night out. In Charleston I text girls that I know who babysit, in Rosemary Beach we use a great babysitting service and now on resorts we can say we’ve used the nanny service. The Fairmont doesn’t employ the nannies but recommends a great nanny service for you to use. They are all background checked (of course) and you can facetime with them before you get there. Another great element is that the nanny can chose to accept or deny the family so you aren’t in a situation where someone doesn’t want to keep your kids. We were there with Hayden & Scottie’s older cousins so they would all stay in one room together and the older girls had their ipads to text if they needed us. We booked the nights in advance of our stay so the girls had the same nanny for the week. She came prepared with crafts and activities and we always had her come over after everyone was fed and bathed and essentially ready for bed. I highly recommend it if you go because then it lets you have great adult dinners while your kids are laid in the bed watching movies. One of our BEST of such adult dinners was Monkeypod.
Everytime we talked to people about the food in Maui it was “you HAVE to go to Monkeypod” and I must say it lives up to the hype. All of the food is made fresh daily. As in the fish that they cook is picked up in the wee hours of the morning, there are people in the kitchen making pasta and pies and sauces every am and nothing in the entire joint is frozen. I’m not a food snob by any means and I love a frozen bagel bite as much as the next gal but you really could taste a difference in this food. It was incredible! Also, they are “known” for their made-from-scratch pies so the 8 of us adults sampled one of every flavor. We each started with our favorite, took a bite, passed to the next person and so on and so on and then voted at the end. The winners were the Snickers pie and the Banana Cream Pie (my personal favorite). Also, if you’re a germaphobe don’t travel with us, we will try your food.
On the day we headed to LaHaina to sightsee we stopped in at the Hyatt Regency Maui. Zach’s family had stayed there when he was younger and they knew all about the cute penguins! It’s a great bathroom break stop if you’re driving from Wailea to LaHaina and if you get there around 9am you can see the penguins being fed. There is also a coffee shop and a mall in the hotel if you need to do some caffeinating and/or shopping. My girls FREAKED over the penguins and were so excited to see them!
The goal of our road trip was the Nakalele Blowhole and the heart-shaped rock (seen below). We hiked down (carefully) with the girls and snapped a couple of photos. The hike was strenuous with toddlers on your back but not too dangerous. There were plenty of kids everywhere. Just make sure you take good tennis shoes! The drive through Kapalua to get to the blowhole is breathtaking with plenty of overlooks and if we wouldn’t have had the kids we would have stopped at The Ritz for a drink!
We would have loved to do the Road to Hana but if you think I’m going to spend 6 hours in a car on one of the most dangerous roads in the US with two toddlers you must have lost your dang mind. We’ll get to that and a helicopter tour on our next trip! We were going to stop by Black Rock Beach on our way home from LaHaina but Scottie had an epic meltdown and we assumed shaved ice was the only thing that could fix it.
We did do some research on food trucks and Ono Tacos was apparently the best out there. It’s in a random parking lot on the side of the road but let me tell you it did not disappoint! I really wanted to also stop by Olowalu Juice Stand but as I said…. epic meltdown.
I’ll summarize all of my Maui recommendations at the bottom but another must-stop is Mama’s Fish House! The could probably rename it to Mama’s Gonna Leave You Poor Fish House because it is unreal expensive but none-the-less amazing. When you have beautiful beach-front property in Paia with sea turtles that come right up to your shores, an incredible ambiance and delicious food I guess it can be a little pricey. We all balked a little at the prices and definitely only ordered one fancy drink but once our dinner was served we admitted that it was worth the price. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a hundred dollar meal or anything insane but the prices are comparable to an expensive steak house which isn’t what I was expecting. If you go you need to eat early and leave earlier. The traffic in Paia is a nightmare to put it lightly and if you are late for your reservations they won’t save them. It would be best to head over early afternoon and stop to shop in the cute spots in Paia, watch surfers, check in early and grab photos on the beach!
Another fun thing we did with the girls was take them to the Luau at the Grand Wailea! We bought premium seating and checked in early so we ended up getting a table front and center. The girls loved racking up more leis, shopping the little market, eating and dancing and eating some more. It was a great evening and I would have done it again! The only thing I would have changed was to wear a longer dress because that ocean breeze is no joke.
I’ll leave you with a few more snaps from our trip.
Until next time Wailea!! If you’re planning a trip to Maui or dreaming of one pop on over to this post for the Ultimate Maui Travel Guide!