My Renovation Blog

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Maui Day No. One 10/19/15

This trip was the kids very first time flying!  They were beyond excited- Everett could not stop looking out at everything that was going on on the runway...

 Time to board the flight!  They even let us pre-board even though it's supposed to be for families with infants only. :)

First time on a plane selfies!

The flight was great- so easy!  I was so scared to fly with the kids...especially Everett...and it was so easy.  An older couple actually stopped me when we got off the plane and said, "your kids were so well behaved, and they are so cute".  Amazing!!!  I told her that we got lucky. ;)  I had packed tons of candy and forbidden snacks, and I didn't even need to use them.  Oh, and Hawaiian Airlines is the only airline in the US that still serves free meals so we all received an unexpected lunch...and it was good!!!  It even came with a mini pack of chocolate covered macadamia, yum.  I took those immediately off all the trays to hide in my bag...for myself!  The only downside was that the baby behind us screamed all throughout Everett's naptime so he got almost zero sleep. Almost...

We're in Maui!!!!!!  Grandma and grandpa were already there and greeted us at the airport...
We arrived at the Fairmont Kea Lani, and it's even more beautiful than I remember from 10 years ago.  They greeted us with fresh leis and gave the kids shell necklaces and shovels and pails for the beach. :)

The room was amazing- very big, completely separate bedroom and a huge bathroom with soaking tub- my top priority!  Our view was amazing- overlooking the pool and ocean.

 We spent some time at the beach before dinner...

We had dinner at Ko.  Kids 5 and under eat free at the hotel!  We were starving early since it's 3 hours earlier in HI, so we were able to catch the happy hour at Ko.  The appetizers were so delicious- the ahi sushi was SO good!  And the kids were perfectly behaved...even Everett, who had no nap (and he NEEDS a nap every single day) and was eating at 8pm our time.  Seriously, the kids were such troopers- so proud of them!  View from the restaurant...
 Gary and his girly man drink at happy hour. :)
We came back to the room to watch the sunset (absolutely gorgeous), and we got to see the kid running around blowing a conch shell while holding a torch, lighting all the tiki torches...the kids loved it!  Everett said to me, "mama, I LOVE this house!"  He thinks our room is a house! ;)

We also had a little treat in our room when we returned from dinner...

Maui Day No. Two 10/20/15

We woke up at 4 a.m.! So I went to the gym at 4:30 a.m., then when I got back, Gary went running...and we were still at breakfast before 7 a.m.  The view from our room was absolutely gorgeous- I could sit on our balcony all day long...

We went to the breakfast buffet place, but we just ordered off the menu- it was expensive like all the other hotel restaurants, but the tropical granola with vanilla yogurt and berries was so good!  Gary got the steel cut oats with berries and liked it as well.

We were the very first people at the pool so we got our choice of lounge chairs.  Ella LOVED the water slide.  As usual, Everett wanted nothing to do with swimming.  Then we went down to the beach and sat under an umbrella (free for guests).  The sand is SO soft and it's a gorgeous beach (it's Polo Beach), but it's pretty choppy.  I remember the Four Seasons beach being very calm, so we may walk over there at some point and use their beach.  Everett doesn't care about the water because he could play in the sand all day!

We only stayed at the beach/pool for a few hours, and we decided to meet my parents in Paia because the Paia Fish Market was on my list of restaurants- it was featured on the show "Best Thing I Ever Ate". ;)  I thought it was good- nothing fabulous, but Gary and my dad really liked it.  Personally, I think my fish tacos are better- HA!  The cajun rice was pretty delicious though. We went in a few shops in Paia, a cute town, but nothing you can't miss.

We were going to try and forgo naps this trip, but we were too scared so we came back to the hotel so Everett could nap.

After nap, we headed to Kihei so we hit up the ABC Store (my favorite!) and got a shaved ice at Ululani's. They kids were dying for shaved ice so they got to have dessert before dinner tonight, which they were extremely excited about.  
The kids picked out outfits...Everett cracks me Hawaiian fashion victim!
We wanted Aloha Mixed Plate for dinner, but it's in Lahaina so we went to another Hawaiian BBQ Place that I had read about called Da Kitchen in Kihei.  The teriyaki beef was super good- very thin cut, the chicken was ok and the macaroni salad (my and Ella's favorite part) was gross!!!  So disappointing!!!  Our local Hawaiian BBQ is better.  Oh well.  The best part of dinner was the view because we got the food to go and ate it on our balcony and watched the sunset. :)

Gary took the kids for a night swim while I read in bed barely able to keep my eyes open because I was so tired!  Why can't I adjust to a mere 3 hour time change?!

Maui Day No. Three 10/21/15

We slept in a little later today...5:30 a.m. I think!  We went to Kihei Caffe for breakfast because I read it's the best local breakfast place.  It's a hole in the wall with chickens roaming around while you eat outside.  The pancakes were delicious, and they have this coconut syrup that is probably the best thing I've ever tasted for breakfast!!  I would go just for that. We also got the traditional Hawaiian breakfast- rice, a meat patty, an egg and gravy.  It was gross- but it's very traditional, and if you like that type of thing, I'm sure it's really good.  

We went back to the hotel to swim and grabbed lunch from Caffe Ciao Deli (note that kids do NOT eat free here, which I didn't realize!).  They have a bunch of pre-made sandwiches and salads.  It was fine.

After lunch, my parents took the kids to the other side of the island so Gary and I actually got to have a few drinks at the swim up pool bar!  I highly recommend- it was so relaxing with no kids around, drinking in the pool, talking to other adults.  We got dressed for dinner and had some drinks at the hotel bar with an amazing view and then headed to Nick's Fish Market for dinner.  SO DELICIOUS.  We split the Maui Wowie salad, Gary had the filet (he loved it), I had the potato crusted mahi mahi (amazing) and then we shared the "Chocolate Decadence" for dessert- some kind of chocolate mousse bomb with ice must try this dessert.

Then it was time for another early bedtime!

Maui Day No. Four 10/22/15

We were all up at 5 a.m. today (why can't we get on Hawaii time?!). We decided to eat at the Kea Lani Restaurant again, but this time, the hostess pointed out that the kids can get the breakfast buffet for free!!  I thought they could only order off the menu for free- why did we not know this?!  Best deal in town because there is everything they could possibly imagine, and I think after my kids hit the buffet, they might change the policy- I swear I had never seen them eat so much for breakfast!!  Eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles, melon, pineapple, yogurt with granola, blueberries and strawberries AND a bowl of cereal each.

After breakfast we left for the Iao Valley State Park.  It's a beautiful rain forest with little paved hiking trails- we did them all!  It only takes maybe 20-30 minutes to do all the little trails.  I think it's definitely worth the drive (about 40 minutes from Wailea). 
The Iao Needle (clearly, I didn't get a good shot!)...
I realize I look like an oompa loompa- I did have tanner soaking in, but I swear it didn't look so orange in person!

On the way back, we met my parents at a craft fair in Kihei that had great souvenirs at great prices.  Lots of jewelry, shells, dresses, sarongs, hair clips.

We came back to the hotel and had lunch at the pool restaurant, Ama, which is just basic pool food, burgers, salads, etc at very high prices (as usual).  Our burger was $21.  And came with chips.  Because we didn't pay the EXTRA $3 for fries.  At least the kids got giant turkey sandwiches with fruit and veggies for free, and the view was amazing!
After Everett's nap, my parents took the kids to a goat farm (???), and then we all met at Mama's Fish House in Paia.  Gary and I went there on our honeymoon 10 years ago!
They have the softest most delicious bread- I seriously could have just eaten 5 loaves of that and called it a night.  Then they bring you a complimentary amuse bouche, which was an asparagus lobster bisque I guess?  Whatever it was, it was amazing.  Luckily Ella didn't like it so I got hers too. :)

My mom ordered a bouillabaisse broth with mahi mahi and shrimp...omg...quite possibly the best soup I've ever had in my entire life.  I ordered the opah- it was good, not great.  But the location of Mama's is so beautiful- I'll probably go back every time we're in Maui!  Just know that's it's pretty pricey ($68 for a filet!), but they do have a kids menu...and the best bread on the island. ;)

Maui Day No. Five 10/23/15

We wanted to try and eat later so we could do the breakfast buffet and have it count as breakfast and lunch. ;)  So we decided to take a walk to the Shops at Wailea, but oh my gosh, it’s faaaaaaar!  The poor kids were not happy, and they were starving when we got back to the hotel.  We still stopped for a little horsey ride on the way to brunch...

 Gary and I finally got the breakfast buffet, which is really good but a ton of food.  They have everything- eggs, egg whites, omelet station, eggs benedict, quiche, French toast, pancakes, waffles, pastries, bagels, toast, two types of sausage, bacon, hash browns, rice, yogurt, cereal, granola, fresh fruit, juice, smoked salmon, cheese, meat slices, rolls…seriously, everything you could want!  We were stuffed, and it worked because we skipped lunch.
After breakfast we went to the pool with grandma and grandpa, and then after nap, we stopped in Lahaina before heading to the Luau at the Hyatt in Kaanapali. 
Supposedly, the best luau on the island is the Old Lahaina Luau, which I was going to book, but they charge for $75 per child for kids over 2!!!  I’m sorry, but I could not stomach paying $150 for the 3 bites of food my kids would eat.  My mom found good reviews for the Hyatt Luau, and kids are free so we figured why not.  It was AMAZING!!!  I highly recommend it if you have little kids.  As you walk in, they put a shell necklace on you and hand you a mai tai or fruit punch. There is an open bar…all the alcohol you could drink!!!!!  Plus anything non-alcoholic the kids wanted.  The food, especially the pork, was good.  The show was great, and the kids absolutely LOVED it.  We had great seats (we thought they were the best in the house, and we didn’t even pay extra for VIP seating!).  I’ve never been to a luau and never had any interest in going to one, but I think we will do this every time we come to Hawaii with the kids- they had so much fun, and it was so much fun to watch them.  And then there’s the whole open bar aspect… ;)

We were shocked when the kids went up on stage *by themselves* in front of tons of people to learn the hula dance!!
The drive between Wailea and Lahaina is looooooong so the kids fell asleep on the way back from the luau.

Maui Day No. Six 10/24/15

Our last day. :(

We packed everything up and met my parents at a swap meet at the University of Hawaii for some last minute shopping (it's worth checking out!), and then we headed to the airport.  The car return was super easy and fast, but I swear getting to your gate is worse than LAX!  Partially because Gary got held up at security for having a water bottle in his carry on (and the line is sloooow anyway).  But also because you have to get your check-in luggage prescreened (you know, to make sure you aren't smuggling any fruit or animals!), and then after security, get your carry-ons screened again!

Then our plane was slightly delayed...and the kids were hyper and just wanted to get on the plane.  No one told me my kids were well behaved at this airport! ;)

Then they did not do pre-boarding for families with kids on this  Luckily, we had priority boarding, but geesh people were anxious to get on this plane- it was mobbed and we could barely get through the crowds to board!

There was no meal on this flight so the kids had to snack on junk, and Everett, while still awesome, was a bit fussier/loud on the flight home.  Poor guy, this time he had NO nap at all, no real meal, he was so tired but still a trooper.  Both kids were great.  And this was a smaller plane with 3 seats on each side so I sat between both kids and Gary was in the aisle seat on the other side.  Not ideal.

We finally arrived at LAX at 9:15, but baggage claim took SOOOOOO ridiculously long that we didn't arrive home until midnight!  MIDNIGHT!  The kids and I were bored...

Everyone was starving so we made the poor driver who picked us up drive us through Del Taco (nice healthy choice when eating dinner at midnight, right?).  Both kids had fallen asleep in the car, but Ella woke up to eat.  Everett said he was starving, but when I set him down on the couch to get the food ready, he literally tipped over and fell back asleep so we just put him to bed.

My general thought is that it was an amazing trip.  The best thing about it was seeing how happy the kids were and how much they loved Hawaii (they are already asking to go back!).

The kids did SO well with their luggage.  They each had a heavy backpack AND a rolling carry-on, and they lugged their own stuff the entire time, through all the airports, hotels, etc.  Without even complaining!  It made our lives so much easier.

The hotel was fantastic.  We love Wailea anyway, but I feel like the Kea Lani is the best deal in town since all their rooms are suites.  The pool was perfect.  I love the location because I love Kihei, and it's right next to Wailea.  It's also close to the airport, Target, Walmart, Kmart and Costco if you need them!  It's also not too far from Paia.  The only downside was the beach (Polo Beach) since it's a little choppy, but the sand was like walking on feathers, and even the Four Seasons beach (Wailea Beach) right next door is calmer if the water at Polo is too choppy for your kids.  My kids won't go in ocean water so all we need is sand to play on!

Since you can't go out of SNA to Hawaii anymore, the best thing we did was hire a limo company to come pick us up in an Escalade to take us to/from LAX.  The car easily fit all of us and all our luggage, we had no hassle of parking our car, waiting for a shuttle, getting tons of luggage on/off the shuttle, etc.  Especially for the return trip when all we had to do at 11 p.m. was walk out of baggage claim, get into the car and head home.

We are already talking about doing another big trip since this one went so well!

Pumpkin Patch 2015



Friday, October 9, 2015

Happy Birthday Ella! Frozen Party Time...

We told Ella that there would be no birthday party this year...but then I started to feel bad, so I decided to just do a very small playdate with a few of her school girlfriends.  I made it a Frozen themed surprise party (she finally got her Frozen party- we are so behind the times!), and did NOT do my usual over the top decorations, food, etc.  I really did well- very low key!

She seemed confused about what was going on, but it was pretty funny when she realized there was a giant Frozen bouncer in the backyard!

Cake Time!

I was so happy that I decided to go low key and not do my usual big sweets/food table with risers outside because it was over 100 degrees!!!!!  I kept the food inside on the peninsula...

Princess tiara cookies...

 Olaf's Noses...

Sven's Antlers...

Melted Snow...

Olaf snuck into the fruit squeezers...

And some lemon kale salad for the mamas!

I couldn't resist just a few Frozen touches like napkins and the snowflake wands I made...