Shop What I Wore In Maui:
It is no secret that we travel a lot with our kids. We took William everywhere when he was a baby – you can read about some of our adventures here, here and here. Then this February we had David – and we still headed out on multiple trips. As amazing as traveling with your kids is, it is tiring, and often times after taking our family vacations, we feel as if we needed a whole other vacation to de-stress from our vacation.
Kind of pointless… right?
That being said, in the middle of the summer, Joe and I were both feeling a little burnt out. The stresses of day to day life, the exhaustion of two kids, the demanding nature of both of our jobs… we decided we needed a little break. Just us.
So we booked an amazing week long trip to the Bahamas. As many of you know, I am from the East Coast, and I LOVE the carribean. There is just nothing like that water. We booked the trip in August – and we decided we’d head to Harbour Island (somewhere I’d always wanted to go) over new years with our best friends, Kristin and Jeff. They also have two young boys and were very ready for a relaxing break. We booked the whole thing, flights, hotels, we started to look at excursions. And wouldn’t you know… the next week I found out I was pregnant.
If you are in baby territory, you know as well as I do that if you want to go on a tropical vacation – pretty much everything is off limits other than Hawaii – because of Zika. We desperately needed a vacation, and I SO badly wanted to go somewhere warm, so my girlfriend Kristin’s mom rearranged our whole trip, and we decided that a week in Maui – that same week – would be perfect.
Since we were booking SO last minute, we only had one choice for a hotel, and even our dinner reservations were incredibly difficult. Despite all that – everything was wonderful and we had THE most amazing time. The weather was absolutely fantastic – it was never too hot – and if you’re contemplating on going on a baby moon, or a “recharge” vacation with just your spouse, I very highly recommend it.
Prior to heading to Maui, my husband and I were both exhausted. I was short with my husband, irritable around my coworkers, and by the time I would get home at night, my kids definitely weren’t getting the best of what I should have to offer them. Flash forward to now…. after a week away, I feel more connected to my husband, I feel ready to concentrate on my kids, and I know that my work will be better as well, because I feel a renewed sense of energy that just wasn’t there before.
Prior to going on this trip, I had no idea how important it was for us to get away – without our kids. But now I am intent on making it a yearly ritual. It was healthy for me personally, it was healthy for my marriage, and I know in the long run it will be incredibly healthy for my kids.
As for my vacation recommendations – I loved Maui – but truth be told, I love Kauai even more for a romantic trip like this. Maui was amazing for so many reasons, there was so much to do, so many restaurants, and a bevy of hotels to choose from (had we booked at a normal time). But Kaui – especially the St Regis where we stayed for our honeymoon – is just pure pampering and relaxation. I would highly recommend it. But since this is a post about our Maui trip, here is what we did, where we stayed and what we ate. Nothing is sponsored, and as always this is my unfiltered version.
Where we stayed:
We stayed in Wailea, and I LOVED the area, but the hotel was neither here, nor there. We stayed at the Wailea Marriot Beach Club, and although the location was fantastic for easy access to restaurants and shopping, if we went back to this area again, I would definitely stay at the Andaz. Unfortunately when we booked, it just wasn’t a choice for us. Our hotel was fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but the Andaz is much more modern and has a few amenities that would have been nice to take advantage of. It is a much prettier hotel in general. But, value wise, you really can’t beat our hotel, and with kids, it would have been great. There are three gorgeous pools, and our hotel did boast the highest and longest waterslide of all of the Hawaiin islands. You better believe our husbands went on those ridiculous slides every day. The spa at our hotel was lovely – but nothing to write home about. Everyone else had lackluster spa experiences, but I did have one of the best pregnancy massages of my life. I was so sad when it was over -be sure to ask for Mahati. The pool situation was fantastic at our hotel. We enjoyed the serenity pool (no kids) every day, Teri the pool waitress was amazing, and I was able to chat with an abundance of pregnant ladies at every turn. It was insane – literally everyone was pregnant. As I said before, Hawaii is pretty much the ONLY place you can go if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant in the near future. As for hotel food, breakfast was included with our room and was quite honestly one of the highlights of our vacation. It was THE best breakfast buffet I have experienced – ever. So that is good to know. The hotel had a lovely gym – which I know – shocker – I actually made it to…. once. 🙂 I also loved that the hotel had a Starbucks on the main level, and an amazing hotel store with everything you might need – including souvenirs. Lastly, the hotel had some really fun photo op spots, including a huge sign that read “Aloha”, a life size chess board, and beautiful napping pods under a grove of beautiful banyan trees.
What we did:
Nothing. I have been to Maui before – albeit a very long time ago – but I’ve done the road to Hana and the Seven Sacred Pools, and this trip, we all just wanted to do nothing. We laid by the pool, drank tropical drinks (mine were non alcoholic of course), played cards, read magazines, shopped, and ate so many amazing meals. 🙂
Where we ate:
Since we booked so late, many of the normal Maui staples that people love were completely unavailable. Mama’s Fish House – no reservations. Monkey Pod – never got there. But we did eat at some amazing restaurants that I would highly recommend. The first night we were there the concierge recommended we go to Sensei Sushi. It’s literally a hole in the wall – so don’t expect anything crazy, but the sushi was quite good, and the service was quick. We were exhausted from the long flight, so it was just what we needed. Star Noodle was, by far, my favorite restaurant of our whole trip. It had a super relaxed and chill vibe, the service was amazing, and the food was outrageous. The pork buns were probably one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my whole life. We ate at Morimoto’s twice while we were there. The first night we did the chef’s tasting menu, which was amazing, and they modified the whole sushi course for me, since I am pregnant. The next night we went back, sat at the bar, and ordered to our heart’s content. Things I loved here – the spicy crab legs, the rock shrimp tempura, and the calamari salad. The bartender here made me an incredible pregnancy mocktail – and My girlfriend Kristin ordered the most delicious drink ever. It was called the Peilei something – I can’t quite remember – but it had tequila, chiles and guava… and it was unreal. Yes, I had a small sip. Everywhere else we ate was pretty mediocre, but like I said, our options were pretty slim. We also visited an adorable fruit stand during our time there. I am obsessed with fresh coconut, and couldn’t find it anywhere. I know – weird. So we drove into town and found Mr. Yee’s Fruit stand. You would literally drive right past it, if you didn’t know what you were looking for, but the fruit was amazing, and he makes a picked mango that is actually quite good and worth a try! And he has the sliced coconut. 🙂
If you do decide to head to Maui, I hope all this helps. We didn’t do much, but you have the details on what we did do.
More than anything, if I could stress one thing… it would be to plan time away with your spouse. Even if it is just for a date night, or a staycation, or a weekend over the hill. Whatever it may be, it is so important to slow down once in a while and to take care of yourself and your relationship. Whether you have kids, or if you’re newly in a relationship, I think travel is so important, and taking time to truly be present with one another is always worth it. My husband and I are very lucky, we have an amazing relationship, but we work at it, constantly. We try our best to be present with one another every day, but even we needed this break and to concentrate on one another before baby number 3 comes. No matter what season of your relationship, I seriously cannot recommend “getting away” for any amount of time enough.