At least once a year we take a big family vacation with my sis, her bf, us, Rachel, and Grandma (when she was alive). Last year we went on a Caribbean cruise and this year we went to Hawaii. Most of us had been to Hawaii before, but it had been 4.5 years since Matt and I were there together. That was one of the best trips we had ever been on so we were excited to go back, this time with Charlotte in tow. The only bummer: living on the east coast means flying to Hawaii is quite the trek. We tried to break it up but it still seemed like the never ending travel experience. Charlotte handled it like a champ, per usual. She loves "flying high in the sky" (as she would say).
We flew to CA first, arriving late, staying a whole day, then flying out to Hawaii....
|Charlotte was in charge of the camera. haha|
|little selfie. There must have been about 30 of these exact images on my phone.|
We arrived in Kauai in the afternoon, grabbed our rental car, stopped for groceries, and eventually made it to our hotel (Marriott Waiohai). It was a long day of travel and we were desperate to for some fun, so we and headed straight for the pool.
|kiddie pool overlooking the ocean|
We got a two bedroom with a kitchen so we could all be together in the same room. No ocean view, but it was a very nice quiet room with an amazing view of the morning sunrise.
|view from our room|
|the phallic shaped hot tub just below our balcony|
And just a short walk around one other building were the rest of the pools and of course the ocean....
It was a nice little cove with perfectly sandy beaches. Sometimes the turtles came up to chill on the rocks at the end, Charlotte and I got to see one up close and personal.
|building sand castles and playing on the beach|
|out to dinner|
a little sunset photo shoot on the beach after dinner.
We only had 3.5 days in Kauai, so most of the time was spend lounging around the pool and beach. We did book one excursion, the must see of Kauai....the Na Pali coast. We took a sailing trip out to the Na Pali coast and had a delicious dinner on board. It was breathtaking ....and a little scary. It was a bumpy ride and I was afraid to get up and walk around at all. Charlotte and I stayed put on our little bench almost the entire time. Bummer for taking good photos, but it was too rocky for comfort for me.
|walking to the boat|
|relaxing in the sun (shocked we didn't get burnt on this trip!)|
|Rachel napped almost the entire ride out. haha|
|group shot. notice the poor sick girl in the back. :( Thankful it wasn't any of us!|
|matt out front in the wet and dangerous spot, typical :)|
|a little pic from our seat. Charlotte was done taking photos|
At the end of our trip, on our way back, we saw a rainbow. First thing I thought was Grandma. She was with us....
I wish I had more pictures to post, but our camera was acting up so most of the images didn't turn out. Bummer. If we ever go back to Kauai I plan to see the Napali coast via helicopter. Once from the sea, once from the sky.
The day before we headed to Maui we did a little exploring of Kauai. Drove around, had breakfast at the Ferral Pig and stopped at the Fern Grotto.
|at the fern grotto|
|it was really beautiful|
|playing hide and seek in the trees|
Enjoying our last afternoon on the beach...
Waiting for the bus to go to the airport...
|random chairs at a random bus stop with some random peeps|
Before we knew it we were off to Maui. I have to say I was super excited for this part of our trip. Kauai is beautiful, but it's more of an adventurous island. Zip lining, hiking, ATVs, etc and I couldn't do most of that since I was pregnant. Maybe when the kids are older we can come back and give Kauai another try. Any who, Matt and I had been to Maui before, actually stayed at the same hotel we had booked for this trip, so we were really looking forward to the next 6 days.
|got our leis on!! super excited to be here!!|
|made it to the room! yay!!|
We stayed in a 3 bedroom condo at Honua Kai in Lahaina. We booked it through VRBO and could not have been happier with the room or the company we rented it from. Not only did we each have our own bedroom and bathroom, but we had a full kitchen, laundry, etc and one gorgeous view of the ocean and sunset. Paradise.
|sunset dinner at Duke's|
|playtime in the pool with Mama|
|going down the slide together. She was scared the whole time we were in line, but as you can tell, she loved it!|
We spent a majority of one of our days at Kapalua Beach, about 10 minutes from our hotel. It is a small beach in a cove with gentle waves. Our room came with chairs and coolers, so all we had to do was rent an umbrella and we were good to go. We also grabbed some snorkel gear and a paddle board to try and find the turtles who love to swim in this bay. It was one of my favorite days in Maui, despite getting burnt. (I should have re-applied more often!) Swimming with the turtles was unforgettable.
|building sand castles|
|swimming in the water|
|There were at least 6 swimming all around us. One as big as Matt!|
|playing with bear in the sand|
|playing a little music on the balcony. One of my fav pics of C|
On Friday Sara and Peter were kind enough to watch Charlotte for us while we went on a little hike. It was a bit of a drive to get to, but totally worth it. We went up near the Maui mountains, just over 4 miles round trip....beautiful.
|at one of the best view spots|
|FIVE month bump photo!!!|
|mountains on one side, ocean on the other|
|at the top....covered in clouds.|
|watching Cars with Uncle Peter. That looks like a comfy spot :)|
|dancing the afternoon away|
That night we had an early dinner so we could hit the beach for some family photos. Big thanks to Sara for taking them for us!
|beautiful girl all dressed and ready to go!|
|one of my favorites...pic of both my girls :)|
|just me and my main man|
|oh, someone else was feeling left out. :)|
|kisses for mama|
|and kisses for Daddy too!|
On Saturday we got to meet up with Chris and Brandy and spend part of a day with them. They currently live on Oahu, so they hopped on over for the day (how sweet!). We took them out to lunch at a place we missed on our last trip...Ma's Fish House. It was divine. Then we spent some time at our hotel catching up before they had to head back home. Short and sweet but so glad we were able to see them!
|checking out the water before lunch|
|view from our table|
|dessert, the black pearl. mmm|
|row row row your boat ..|
On our last day in Maui we headed down the street to another beach to see if we could do some more snorkeling. We grabbed a shady spot under some trees and enjoyed swimming in the ocean for a few hours. Matt also did a little cliff jumping and thankfully came back on one piece. After nap we headed to the pool for one last swim and then had a little homemade BBQ on the grill as our last meal.
|our last sunset.|
|all packed up and ready to go|
|one last family photo on the balcony|
Goodbye Maui, goodbye amazing room and amazing view. We had a blast and can't wait to come back!!
Only on a Clute/Hall family vacation: we almost missed our plane flight! Somehow I had our departure at 12pm, when it was actually 11am (I am blaming Hawaiian for not sending me an updated itinerary), and when we got to the airport we thought we had an hour and a half, only to find out as we are checking in we actually have 30 minutes! Thank goodness the airport in Maui is small. We ran and had limited lines and made it just in time. Phew. Although if we got stuck there for a few more days I probably would not have cried about it.