Ever since marathon-ing our way through the Lost series with my mini-me over the past winter, I’ve been craving a return to the Hawaiian islands.
“We have to go back!” urged Jack, and I couldn’t agree more. We’ve been away far too long.
Our family has close ties to the beautiful Hawaiian islands – especially Maui.
My tattooed arm sleeve was even inspired by scenery found in and around these beautiful tropical isles, among other exotic locales.
E and I first visited Maui together while pregnant with Zoe. We went back again with baby Z at 18 months. Our most recent Maui trip was with sassy, pre-kindergarten Z at age 5. All three family trips were perfection in their own way.
For our idyllic 2009 babymoon in Maui, we vacationed along with my parents, brother, SIL and our baby niece. I was not quite pregnant enough to be showing, but I was definitely pregnant enough to be glowing. We hiked the Waihee Ridge trail and snorkeled, imagining Zoe floating in my belly as we floated in the waves. I first felt baby Z move in my belly while listening to the Kaanapali surf – a magical experience I’ll never forget.
Our trip back to Maui with baby Z at 18 months was enchanting. We stayed with my parents again and had the most marvelous time. Zoe wanted nothing to do with the ocean and was all about the pools! We had professional family portraits taken along Kaanapali beach and they remain some of my favorite shots ever taken of the three of us. We even took her in a yellow submarine under the sea so she could see some of the coral reefs and fish that we saw when we went snorkeling!
On our last Maui trip in 2015, our then five-year-old Z was still all about the pool, but she was also very into the ocean and snorkeling. That was an absolutely unforgettable trip – in fact, our most fun Maui trip ever. Z was at the perfect age to be fully appreciative of our island surroundings. I remember going out every morning together to collect shells on the beach, pick up plumeria blossoms on the hotel grounds and dance the sun up. That was Z’s first time snorkeling with sea turtles and she loved it just as much as we do.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been six years and that our girl barely remembers Maui. It’s such a long flight for us that anytime we consider going, we always put it off for another year. However, I’m happy to say we’re finally planning a trip back to Hawaii and this time it’s to Kauai, the Garden Island.
I’m already in full-steam trip-planning mode. I’ve started a Trello board about Kauai, I’m researching the best local restaurants and shopping, and I’ve got a list of hikes and adventures I’d love us to take. I already know we’ll spend time snorkeling and lots of time in the pool, but I’m most excited about unique-to-Hawaii adventures like hiking into rainforests, staking out the perfect coastal views along the Napali cliffs and chasing waterfalls.
We have plenty of time to plan since our trip is not until next year – but I’m already as excited as if it’s next month! Have you been to Kauai, and do you have recommendations for must-see sights and must-do activities? I’m all ears in the comments below and on Facebook.