Archive for April, 2024

We’re down to our last full day in Maui…I set out on my own on Wednesday morning for a solo beach walk.  I sat for awhile in the sand and said my prayers of gratitude.  The past few days had been such a treat for family.

Hi, kids!  Isaac’s face in this pic makes me smile, like…”What the heck, Mom?  You went to the beach without me?!”

All was forgiven.

We decided that morning beach time was really our jam, before it got too hot.  It was nice to feel the sun come up while we played in the sand, then take an ocean dip before heading over to the pool.

Little boxes of yogurt-covered raisins are Isaac’s favorite special treat when we travel – he calls them ‘eggs’ and gets giddy when I pull them out.  Shane missed the memo and picked up regular raisins from the market.  Isaac was very sweet in hiding his disappointment.

Isaac truly believed he could stop the waves with an outstretched hand a grumpy face.

Didn’t work.

Naptime seemed to lengthen a bit with each passing day – fun fatigue is a real thing.  We loved those quiet hours back at the room, though, reading and resting and hanging on the patio.  We’d all pile into bed when Isaac woke up and ponder how we should spend the afternoon.

I mean, was there ever really any question?

I know Shane’s arms were tired 14 rounds into this game, but Isaac kept shouting, “More, Daddy!  MORE!”

Who can resist?

Sister wanted in.

We knew our pool time was waning and did the slide circuit several times, then spent awhile cruising the lazy river, Isaac on Shane’s shoulders and Juliette on mine.

Side note: palm trees just don’t make sense proportionally, do they?

We had dinner that night at Monkeypod – Juliette and I wanted to try their famous Mai Tai’s with Lilikoi foam (sans alcohol for the kiddo).


We bolted back to the beach after dinner for one last sunset.  Oh, to lounge in the warm sand.  The luxury of this leisure was not lost on me.

1, 2, 3…pants OFF.

Never give up, Isaac.

We walked back to our room pink-cheeked and a little buzzy from Mai Tais and golden skies.  Another top day.

Rise and shine, kiddos!  It’s go-home day…

We staked out our beach chairs and did the mental math on how long we could possibly wait before checking out and heading to the airport.

These footprints were all ours.

Shane and Juliette took a dip while Isaac and I watched from our usual knee-deep spot.  They heard whales underwater and sheesh, could this place be more magic?

Chlorine rinse and one last rousing game of keep-away.

And then we blitz-packed and headed down to the lobby to toss our coins to the wish-granting mermaid.

Oof.  Saying good-bye is hard.  But how lucky are we?!  Mahalo, Maui.

Maui, Days 4 and 5…

I was up before the sun on Monday morning so that I could grab some coffee before my 7am beach yoga class.  I thought I would just quietly slip out of our room unnoticed, but who was I kidding?  Isaac was up, which meant everyone was up, so I had company for my walk to the market.

I laid out my towel on the beach with several other resorters and we warrior-ed while whales played in the distance.

Yoga was fun, but I could see the kids playing down the beach with Shane and couldn’t wait to join them.


We lounged in our chairs for a bit before going full-bore on sand play.

I thought I had plenty of pictures of Isaac in Shane’s hat, but then he flipped it around and I needed one more.

The kids loved having sand piled on top of their legs, but Isaac’s wiggly toes never stayed buried for long.

Time to rinse off!

Isaac picked out that orange car from the gift shop next to the shave ice place on Saturday and he clutched it close at naptime and bedtime all week.  It’s almost as cuddly as his favorite deer.  Almost.

We drove up to Paia after naptime for a late lunch at the Flatbread Company.  We visited this place a couple of years ago and remembered loving the Mopsy, their signature pie topped with Kalua pork and pineapple.  It’s as good as ever.

Pizza, then pool.  Isaac leveled up on the waterslides and started doing the little ones on his own.

We spent a lot of time at the upper pool this year – it seemed mildly warmer than the big pool down down below and it was away from a lot of the hub-bub.  Our family often had this area all to ourselves and Shane, Juliette and I played several rounds of Monkey in the Middle with our water-ball while Isaac happily bobbed around nearby.  There was a moment when Shane lunged at me to block my catch and I was struck by the volume of my own laughter – I guess we made our own hub-bub.

She’s going to have this boy swimming on his own next year.

The kids reluctantly changed out of their swimsuits in the evening and then we spent awhile playing more Monkey in the Middle, this time on our favorite lawn.  The kids ran and ran, then stopped for a snuggle.

We walked back after sundown and took a peek at the resort’s luau before calling it a night.

Goodnight, moon.

Tuesday!  Up bright and early again.  Shane headed out to play some pickle ball and I took the kids to the market for acai and coffee.

We stopped to look at some bugs and I reveled in how good it felt to be on island time.

CARS.  Always with the cars.

We took our acai bowls down to the beach and munched and read and played.

When the ocean roars, Isaac roars back.

ELEVATOR BUTTONS.  Another simple pleasure in the midst of paradise.  We made a lot of extra stops that week.

Suit up, kids!

Shane joined us for some volleyball and a poolside lunch.

And then we did the tired march to naptime…

Naptime over.  Right back to the pool.

Hot tub?  Don’t mind if we do.

We gussied up for dinner and it’s like this kid was auditioning for Miami Vice, the way he strutted through the lobby.  He clearly knew how good he looked.

Maui Brewing was all we hoped it would be – beer and nachos and cornhole, to boot!

I love a restaurant where Isaac can run free.

Shane’s got the best aim in our family when it comes to lawn games, but Juliette has the best style.

We jetted down to Makena Cove after dinner to catch the sunset.  This little stretch of beach is pure magic at golden hour.

Isaac soaked and shed his shorts within five minutes of our arrival.  Juliette gave me kudos for packing her swimsuit.

I know I’ve said this before, but gosh, watching my kids play tag with the tide is one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world.

Isaac really expanded his repertoire of facial expressions on this trip.  This was a new one – he’d look at Juliette and me, wide-eyed and a little confused, then bust into a cheesy grin.

The sand here is some of the softest I’ve felt.  Isaac spent a long time burying and then searching for a little stick he’d found, just for the feel of the sand running between his fingers.

Magic, I tell you!  Magic!

Juliette and I were buzzing from our perfect sunset and felt too amped to call it a night, so we grabbed some ice cream from Loulou and went down the pool for a night swim.

We sat in the hot tub and chatted till we couldn’t take the heat anymore, then walked back to our room by the light of the moon.  Top day.

Goodness, I’ve got some catching up to do around here.  We’ve had not one but TWO beautiful sun-cations with a grief-filled March in between.  Life has been full, to say the least.

I’ll start with Maui, because that happened first and because it feels good right now to reminisce about those few days at our favorite place.  Maui.  Maui, Maui, Maui.  We have built a precious handful of annual trips and traditions into our family calendar, but our February trip to Wailea takes the cake.  We book our room nearly a year in advance, before the points-per-night rates skyrocket, and we look forward to it all winter long, religiously swallowing our zinc and vitamin D in an effort to ward off any bugs that could waylay our trip.  I was feeling especially anxious this last time around, as Juliette and I were both so traumatized by the five hours of puking she did on our 2023 trip to Maui, but as we inched down the jetway and Isaac tried to board with a family that was not his own, we laughed and my shoulders relaxed.  The kids felt great.  Our bags were packed.  We were making it happen!

Isaac is becoming such a good little traveler.  IPads help, as does a flight that spans naptime, but also, he’s just generally a more reasonable little human these days.  Way to hang in there, Bud.  Good things to those who make it through flights without throwing fits!

We landed on Maui, snagged our suitcases and rental car, and bee-lined for the hotel.  Our room wasn’t ready, but we rummaged in our bags for our swimsuits and passed the afternoon in the pool.  ALOHA.

We walked over to the beach as the sun started to set and the kids played in the sand and splashed in the waves.

When we took Isaac to the beach here a year ago, initially he hesitated to even put his feet down in the sand – it took him awhile to come around to the feeling of it squishing between his toes.  But this time around, he ran and rolled until he had sand in his hair and his shorts and his ears.  No time to waste!

We walked back to the room at sundown, feeling like Maui had rolled out its very finest welcome mat.

Saturday!  Rise and shine!  We walked to the market for our morning acai bowls and then it was right to the pool.

Isaac’s blue arm floaties proved to be the best thing we packed.  We’d click that buckle, toss him in the pool, and he’d happily bob and bob, the sweetest little buoy you’ve ever seen.

We took a break from pooltime to complete our annual scavenger hunt.

I appreciate that Juliette pretends like it’s all still a big mystery, even though she knows the location of each landmark backwards and forwards by this point.

Scavenger hunt over and prize claimed!  Back in the pool!

Pooltime -> NAPTIME.

We drove to Kihei in the afternoon for shave ice at Ulilani’s.  I really didn’t want to share my green tea / guava / passionfruit bowl of goodness, so I let Isaac get his own.  It was as big as his head.

And he ate it all!

We spent the evening at our dreamy little stretch of beach, digging and sunset-gazing.

Inevitably, Juliette couldn’t resist the pull of the waves and wished she’d left her swimsuit on.

Inevitably, Isaac followed sister into the tide and ended up with soaking wet clothes that were stripped off by sundown.

All in a day’s work.

We ate dinner in our room that night, too pooped to put on real clothes and read a restaurant menu.  Isaac threw the fit to end all fits before passing out way past his proper bedtime, then we woke at midnight to the sound of Juliette sleepwalking into the balcony sliding glass door.  She was fine, we were fine, all was fine, but sheesh!  Did we overdose on sunshine?

Sunday was another wide-open day, kicked off with yogurt and fruit from our beachfront cafe, then some lawn antics with the kiddos while Shane went for a run.

We settled into our beach chairs mid-morning and played in the surf.

Some of us played further out than others!

God, I love Beach Jules.  Freckly and smiling and wrapped in a cozy towel.

Pool Jules!

These photos are Isaac in a nutshell.  Silly as all get out, sometimes aggressively so (that second pic!).  I can always count on this boy for a good laugh.  It’s such a gift.

Juliette looks like she’s taking a mid-day Zoom meeting while her brother naps…

How many photos of my kids playing in the pool are too many?

Is there such a thing?

We walked over to Waikiki Brewing for cocktails and dinner.

Followed by ice cream at Lapperts.

Juliette left for a minute to use the restroom and Isaac spent the full time she was gone on a fierce lookout for her return.

She’s back.

We played for awhile on the lawn while the sun went down, twirling in the wind and tossing the ball around.


Does Isaac bug the crap out of sister sometimes?  100%.  But at the end of the day, do they have the sweetest, loving-est sibling-ship?  100%.

We walked back to our room as the sun dipped below the horizon, Isaac pointing up the sliver of moon brightening in the sky and exclaiming “MOON!” every few steps.  Even in one of the loveliest places on earth, it’s sometimes still about the simple pleasures.

Goodnight, Maui.