Our recent vacations have found us in big cities or foreign countries, where there are new sites to see and cultures to soak up. I crave these vacations and times to get away from Boise, but sometimes what we truly need is to escape. Our time in Maui had no agenda and I didn't mind one bit that we missed the road to Hana or didn't eat shave ice in Lahaina or go hiking through waterfalls.
Instead, we unpacked our bags at the Fairmont Kea Lani and enjoyed the amenities. I cannot say enough about how enjoyable staying at a resort can be when you just want to relax. I am usually one for airbnb rentals, especially when a child is joining the party. But at a vacation rental, the days end up filled with cooking and cleaning and making beds and driving to activities/museums/sites and feeling a bit secluded at night. I feel like I had a vacation after this week in paradise.
Mornings were spent lounging in our suite until the sun came up (with the three hour time change from Boise, most mornings started around 5:30 am). Maybe we would get dressed in clothes to feed the koi fish at 9 am, but most days we would pick out a swimsuit and apply sunscreen and head to the pool.
There was a kiddie pool a mere 6 inches deep that was great for splashing and soaking for the littles. I have never before appreciated this sort of pool - it's brilliant for parents because you can actually sit on your lounge chair and watch your child be giddy with delight, splashing in the warm waters.
Eventually, Kiki summoned one of us to the pool, but it was usually her daddy, who is much more fun than mom. They enjoyed playing and swimming together for hours. It was the most wonderful activity to watch - a special time for just those two.
We only made it down to the beach two mornings. Turns out when land-locked kids are about three years old, they decide those big, crashing waves are a bit too unpredictable. She steered clear of the ocean and was happy to dig in the sand (and didn't eat the sand this year!!). Maybe next year she'll put her toes back in the water.
Sunset over the Pacific is breathtaking and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset every night. At the Kea Lani, right before dusk, "the man" as Kiki called him, blows a conch shell and sprints through the resort, lighting the torches around the grounds. Older children chase after him, following in wonder. Kiki was really enchanted by this ritual and I found it such a lovely way to end each day.
The other really special treat about this vacation was that we brought my mom! Maybe this was the real reason it was so relaxing :) My mom made sure to get me out of the hotel room in the morning so I could enjoy a walk on the Wailea walking path. She spent time in the hotel room while Kiki napped so Dan and I could enjoy some pool time alone in the afternoon. Dan and I were also able to enjoy a few late dinners out by ourselves, while my mom and Kiki enjoyed sunsets from the lanai. It was a perfect mix of family time and couple time. Mom, thank you!
We have a knack for meeting the most wonderful people on vacation. This time, we met the most fantastic couple from San Francisco and their 2.5 year old daughter at the pool on our first full day at the resort. They were sweet and funny and great companions for both us and Kiki. The parents enjoyed talking and gushing over our cuties and the girls became quick friends, enjoying drinking smoothies by the pool and running around the grounds with the setting sun as their backdrop. I think we all felt sad to say good-bye at the end of our time together, but really looking forward to reuniting when we are in San Francisco again.
Our weather was great and the hotel kept us comfortable, hydrated and well-fed. We were surrounded by good people. This truly was a getaway that allowed us time to be together as a family and enjoy one another, away from work and chores and everyday life. I do love my family and feel grateful for this time to reconnect and enjoy life away from all that extra stuff.