Friday, September 20, 2013

Maui-wowie

Could I be any more cliche with that title? This was the most unrelaxing vacation we've ever had but it was pretty stinking awesome.

We started off with our normal Sea Tac routine of playing in the kid area pre-flight to let him get some energy out.  Given how not-awesome the flight on the way home way - I think this makes a HUGE difference!  The flight out to Maui was great...the ipad was awesome, he colored, he napped, not super fussy...it was wonderful.

We got to Maui, headed to Costco to stock up for the week in an attempt to minimize eating out and mitigate  the exorbitant food costs at the restaurants.  We settled into the condo after a long day for the guy...I was getting the tent set up in the master bathroom and Joe asked if the door could shut with the tent in there, so I checked it.  And it locked.  With Logan in the bathroom.  Huh.  I called the office while Joe looked for something to fashion a "key" out of (this was the handle with the flat head slot to combat just this sort of situation - but we didn't have the "key").  The office was very "eh, we'll get to it braddah"  until I mentioned that it was my 19 MONTH OLD locked in the room.  That perked them up.  However, Joe managed to get Logan out before they even got there.  Whew.  Crisis averted and Logan was a good kiddo - screaming, a little crying, but no big thing.  Needless to say, we didn't have him sleep in the bathroom at all.

The days were fairly typical...Logan woke up early, Mom went for a run for 3 of the days, we hit the  beach in the AM until lunch, Logan took a long nap (2-3 hours) and then went back out in the afternoon for some more beach time.  We mixed it up here and there with a lunch or breakfast out every now or then.  We stayed completely on the west side of the island - never venturing further away than the Maui Ocean Center (30 minutes SE of where we were - at the "neck" of the island).  We first tried the Gazebo just across the road at Napili bay...yummy breakfast.  We had intended on going back to try the HIGHLY recommended Macadamia Nut pancakes, but never made it.

We also hit up Leoda's Pie Shop for breakfast.  Their lunch menu looked amazing as well, but who am I kidding...I was there for the pies.



Logan CLAIMED he wanted the banana pie....and then Joe selected the lime pie in large form for us (they had some of the pies in individual tins).  Logan ended up not really loving the pie...Joe and I definitely did.  So much so that we went back a second time on our way home from the Maui Ocean Center to get the chocolate macadamia nut pie.  Oh my...it was so amazing.  I need to make it!  This sounds like a reasonable copycat recipe - especially since it was inspired by the same pie!

We hit up Lahaina on the first afternoon...and, we called it good pretty quickly.  We were hot, tired and I was in desperate need of shave ice.  After Logan threw all kinds of berries around the Banyan Tree, we found us a shave ice stand to hit the spot....


We mostly stuck to the beaches around where we were located - Napili, Kapalua, Ka'anapali and Oneola Beach.  These were the easiest to get to / from, highly rated for being swimmable beaches (a HUGE deal with the kiddo - we did NOT want a lot of undertow to contend with)...not awesome snorkeling beaches.  Joe only took the gear out once at Ka'anapali and saw some cool fish / turtles.  Then again, Logan and I saw a turtle within wading distance!  He poked his head above the water every 5 minutes or so.  Awesome.

Logan took to the beach like...well, like you'd expect.  He loved playing in the sand and after the first day, loved sitting in the wet sand with the water coming up over his legs every now and then.

 He got splashed on his face a number of times...and dunked (inadvertently) a time or two.  No crying, just shock at the salt water.  He really loved being tossed in the air while splashing in the water, "swimming" on his tummy (he kicked when we showed him what it looked like - so fun), dipped his mouth in the water a few times, got a kick out of it when Joe would swim up underwater and then POP up just in front of Logan, spraying him (Logan) with water, loved Joe doing somersaults in the water....in fact, it seemed like he just loved the water.

We got pretty good at going to the beach by the end of the trip.  At first, we were doing the swim diaper all the time.  That got to be a pain, so we just let him go into the water just like the adults do!  There was some peeing on the beach...but, oh well.  The swim diaper really just helps contain the poo - and we didn't have that issue at all.  By the last two days, if we were heading to Napili Beach (across the street from us), we didn't even bother to take towels...just got all dressed, wandered over there and then came back to change.

Saturday night we went to the Old Lahaina Luau - this was the most highly rated luau on Maui...and the price reflected that ($100 per person).  BUT - we scored via a co-workers brother who co-owns this luau, along with several restaurants (Leoda's and Star Noodle being two of them).  He got us comp tickets, which was just amazing and we were treated so well from the moment we arrived.  The only dicey part was that it started at 5:45pm (normal dinner time) and ended about 8:30pm.  Yikes!

This luau is a little different than most of the other ones in Hawaii.  It is celebrating strictly Hawaiian culture.  The fire dancing?  Not Hawaiian...so there were some disappointed people at our table.  But, the hula (kahiko - the more traditional style with chanting and traditional instruments and auana - the style that emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries and features western instruments) and stories that told of Hawaiian culture, folklore and development were awesome.


Logan really loved the hula kahiko...he was bopping to the strong beats from the ipu and uli-uli and "singing" along with some of the sounds.  So much fun to see him enjoy that experience.


I think we're going to have a series of "nice" photos taken by people with Joe and I smiling and Logan looking stunned / surly / etc. 



We also went out to Star Noodle (one of the contestants on Top Chef - Sheldon - was the prior executive chef here and, I believe, helped establish it as a top dining establishment on Maui)...kiddo loved the chopsticks (and the drumming that went with them) as well as the marinade from kim chee...weird kid.  He also loved my saimin noodles.  Who can blame him?!



Logan and I catching the last of the sun on Napili Beach.

We did a morning at the Maui Ocean Center and it was a TON of fun.  Logan got to see all kinds of cool fish (and exclaimed "fish" when he saw them), watch turtles and do a "touch tank" with a sea cucumber, starfish and a couple other items.  Lots of fun.  They also had a really need tunnel to walk through with the sting rays, sharks, etc swimming above and below you.  Logan liked the above, but was fascinated with the fish below.  He knelt down on the glass panels to watch the fish swim and we got some "WOW!"s out of him.


Last night of the trip, we went to the Hula Grill on Ka'anapali Beach.  Nothing terribly special about the restaurant - typical Hawaiian beach food.  They had crab and mac nut wontons (a perennial favorite of ours) and decent ceviche.  Again Logan surprised us and kept dipping tortilla chips into the ceviche marinade...whatever kid!

He also discovered drink umbrellas!



Well, that's about it for Maui.  The flight home was a little rough...I'll attribute that to timing (mid-day) and lack of playing ahead of time.

We're so fortunate that we're able to take Logan on all these cool adventures.  I hope that one day we'll head back to Maui as a family and there might be an inkling of a memory (smell?  sound?)...but, that's probably a pipe dream (the memory - we're DEFINITELY heading back to Maui!).



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