We're already most of the way through our Hawaiian getaway! It's been a lovely trip, though certainly different from our pre-parent days on the island. Luckily we knew our activities and sleep would be fairly limited, so we have still enjoyed a lot that Maui has to offer.
Marshall's first flight was on Alaskan Airlines at 7:15 in the morning. I'm not entirely sure if I would recommend such an early flight again or if I would suggest something later, but it wasn't horrible. I was nervous--mostly that he would have a horrible time or that we wouldn't be able to get him to sleep or something--but he did really well. The flight attendants were kind, the other passengers were patient, and Terry and I managed to organize all our luggage so that we could carry everything pretty easily (in all we had one huge suitcase, one carry-on size suitcase, one duffel bag, the car seat bag, the Joovy (portable crib), and my diaper bag. We also brought an umbrella stroller, which held the duffel and the diaper bag while I carried Marshall in the Ergo.
Some notes on the flight/security:
- I initially requested a pat down because I didn't want Marshall to go through the machines in security, but it turned out to be unnecessary; they have babies go through the metal detector with the parent.
- I was SO glad we packed only what we could carry on our own. I know they have those Smart Carts, and we had extra people with us who could help, but I felt more confident knowing I could easily keep track of all of our bags. Plus it made gathering our bags and loading our small rental car much easier!
- I kept reading online that babies should nurse during takeoff to help with pressure issues, but I'm not convinced Marshall needed it. Still, I'm glad I knew what may have been the problem if he had been unhappy at takeoff.
- The Ergo was a lifesaver on our flight. I couldn't get Marshall to sleep on me in the seat, so Terry strapped on the Ergo and got Marshall to sleep for almost two hours. I got to sleep a lot during that time, too, and Terry won Husband of the Year award from me and everyone else on that flight. Yes, it comes with the territory of being a parent, but that doesn't mean it's not appreciated!
- I had read one tip to bring out one toy at a time and stretch that toy as long as possible to avoid boredom. We only ended up using maybe one book and one or two toys (plus passing Marshall around to a few family members), but I never felt like he was bored. Between sleep, snacks, and a diaper change, we were pretty good.
So then we landed in Maui, got our rental car, stopped at Costco, and got Marshall to sleep for almost an hour in the car on the way to our hotel. First stop: Lunch at Aloha Mixed Plate!
We've enjoyed a nice mix of eating in (most breakfasts, steaks and potatoes, ribs and cornbread, fish and fried rice) and eating out on this trip. Some restaurant highlights: Duke's Beach House was tasty, great location and friendly service. I'd argue it's not spectacular, but certainly good. The Gazebo is a must if you've never been. This was my fourth time there, and while it was still amazing, I'd skip it next time if the wait is still crazy (today we waited 90 minutes, which would be worth it if it's your first time). Terry, Marshall, and I went to downtown Lahaina one day and hit up Ululani's for shave ice (I'm not a huge shave ice fan, but it was tasty!). My brother and Ashley went to Mama's Fish House for a date last night and could not say enough great things about their lobster-and-crab-stuffed-mac-nut-crusted mahi mahi.
As for eating in, Terry and I were in charge of a fish dinner last night, so we stopped by Fish Market Maui and chatted with the guy behind the counter for advice and cooking tips. We selected a grey snapper and bought pre-mixed mac-nut crust, then pan-fried the fish.
On the side: I loosely followed this recipe for fried rice, but I used frozen bell peppers, frozen peas, and leftover steamed broccoli for our veggies. (To avoid buying a giant box of brown rice at the grocery store, we had stopped by the Whole Foods bulk section earlier in the week and bought just a cup and a half of uncooked brown rice.)
We've also kept our condo stocked with beers, homemade mai tais, and wine all week to make sure we don't spend $10 (or more!) per drink all week. Special thanks to my mom for most of the drinks! And of course, lots and lots of water for everyone. Gotta stay hydrated in this heat!
As for activities, this trip has been SUPER mellow. Vacationing with a baby sure is different! On one hand, watching Marshall experience a new place has been a blast. On the other hand, it's definitely important to manage my expectations about vacationing as a parent.
Naturally, since Hawaii is three hours behind LA, Marshall took some time to adjust. We all woke up at 3 am the first morning, 4 am the second morning, and--finally!--5:30 am the third day. Now I think we're on a pretty good schedule. Marshall is napping like a champion, thankfully, so we have really relied on those times to kick back, read, chat with the adults, and rest. When Marshall is awake, we're all on Baby Watch! He's so fun at this age, but this place isn't babyproofed, so we have a lot of eyes on him to make sure he's safe. I'm again grateful we have a 6:1 adult-baby ratio!
Maui is definitely HOT (duh?), so we've been limiting our activities to morning and evening. We've taken Marshall to play in the grass a lot, to look at the fish in the resort pond, out for lots of walks, and into the pool. He loves looking at the birds, watching the waves and trees, checking out other people, and just seeing new things. That has been the best part of the trip!
Here's the only shot from Maui Brewing Company, which is a perfect spot to grab tasters or pints. We all found beers we loved! (Marshall abstained, but he entertained us with his adorableness, especially in the new Hawaiian shirt from his aunt and uncle.)
Oh, and a view from our hotel room balcony (with my breakfast plate of course).
Now it's Thursday morning (I started this post on Wednesday afternoon, but I'll fill in the rest of the details later), and we head to Oahu tomorrow. We'll be there for only 48 hours or so, but suggestions for great places to eat and visit are welcome!