These are our photos from a vacation in Maui with my Mom and the boys in
Dec 2018. We stayed at the Honua Kai, Hokulani building, 9th floor,
booked through VRBO, and managed through Maui Resort Rentals. It was
a pretty ideal setup for us since Henry and my Mom shared one room and we
had Walter in the other one. Good space overall, and most importantly, we didn't
get gouged on eating out for every single meal! Having our own kitchen was
super valuable and worth doing. Okay, on with the photos and videos!
We elected to overnight at the Calgary airport in order to have a lower stress travel day (try starting
your day at 4am with toddlers...). That meant we had some airport time to explore and hang with Grandma
G at YYC.
There are a number of excellent kids' playgrounds at the airport. This is one that is set up to look
like various Calgary landmarks and the boys loved it.
Walter loved the tunnel (made to look like the new bridge across the Bow).
Henry learned about wishing ponds here (at the old international arrivals area).
The Calgary Spaceport is a bit of a tired space museum area, but it's still pretty fun for kids. This is a
Beaver cockpit and Henry loved pulling the levers and handles.
Walter liked the video game setup (actually using what looked like a Sega Genesis)
Walter and Henry at the SpacePort
The boys couldn't get enough of the big train set up by the Montana's. It's a good thing they had barriers up!
Henry and I went for a walk and found the big stone animals enroute to the new P2 parkade.
We arrived to typical December weather in West Maui - a bit of rain every day and the trade winds blowing.
The upside of course is the beautiful rainbows, along with much fewer people too! Here are Henry and Walter
on the beach out front of our condo.
Natalia and the boys enjoying a rainbow on the beach, looking out to Lanai.
Grandma G getting her first taste of Hawaiian beach with the boys and a rainbow.
I'm not sure that Henry really understood the magnitude of how cool it is that he gets to spend his
5th birthday in Hawaii, but he genuinely just enjoyed the beach and pool time, and extra time with
Walter was pretty jacked every day he got to spend time in the sand. He'd mostly dig and dump buckets
of sand, then run at Mach 10 towards the surf whenever he could. Definitely no fear in this one.
Natalia and the boys out front of our condo. The unit owner left us with beach chairs, an umbrella, and
sand toys for the kids. So, all we had to travel with was swim suits, allowing us to do the whole
trip with carry-on luggage.
The boys having a snack on the beach. I think this is officially the long extension of Kaanapaali beach
but it may also be called the extension to the air strip beach since most of Kaanapaali used to be a small
Maui Dragonfruit Farm
So, as an outing, Natalia suggested we tour a farm to see some pineapple and other fruit growing. Well,
her suggestion of the Maui Dragonfruit Farm was 'interesting' since the place basically burned to the ground
earlier this year, so there wasn't a lot to see. This is some kind of a maze that the boys thought was cool.
More on the actual farm HERE , but I'm sure it'll be in better
shape as it grows back and the 'woofers' spend time fixing things.
Henry looking back towards the ocean, since the farm was up-island a bit.
Here is our tour guide, who was 'basically running the place after 3 weeks on the job'. So, yeah, in exchange
for working here, he basically gets room and board and gets to work on an organic farm. See more on
'woofers' HERE , but he's showing us some variety of organic fruit here.
He's showing us here how they use sugar cane to basically take the damage from insects to protect the higher
value fruit trees.
This operation is keeping themselves afloat while they regrow their farm with their 'aquaball' and ziplining.
Henry is showing the trench that they run the aquaballs down. Basically, you get into a ball partially filled
with icy water and you try to keep yourself from falling as you try to navigate going down a slope.
An actual dragonfruit growing on their cactus plants. We got to taste purple flesh dragonfruit,
which is pretty cool. Since there are no fruit bats to pollenate these fruits, the workers have to
hand-pollenate the flowers. This is the definition of 'this doesn't scale'.
Just to the north of our condo development is the lovely community of Honokowai and their beach park.
Another day, another rainbow. This was the only actual playground I think we found during our time in
Maui - hot weather isn't conducive to safe outdoor structures.
Honokowai Beach Park has a rocky reef offshore meaing the beach itself is pretty safe for munchkins.
Grandma G took us to the best burger place in Maui - the Cool Cat Cafe. While the boys ate basically
nothing (not totally true as Walter tried to drink all of my macadamia nut milkshake), we loved our lunch!
Grandma G on our lanai enjoying a pina colada.
My beautiful wife at the DT Fleming Beach at the north end of Maui. The waves were a bit too rough for
us to stay too long here, but the boogie boarding and surfing would have been pretty good.
Henry enjoying the pool outside our resort.
Our family on Kakekili beach. I learned on the last hot trip that I burn when I snorkel for too long
so I wore a long-sleeve water shirt whenever I was going in the water.
Grandma G and Natalia went to a luau down the beach from our resort. Of course, Natalia conveniently
cut herself out of this photo so that Grandma G looks like she's hanging out with the dancer who
also weirdly looks like Barack Obama.
Lahaina Baby Beach
Our general MO most days was to go to a beach in the morning, play in the sand and the water, then
come back to the condo for Walter's nap, then play in the pools until the boys were ready for supper,
and then put them to bed. Pretty good days. Here's the Lahaina Baby Beach, just south of the wharf.
Having a picnic at Lahaina Baby Beach. Did I mention the owners also left us a cooler?
Natalia and the boys on the Baby Beach. With a pretty far out beach break, this beach is actually
pretty perfect for young kids. Decent snorkeling too as I saw a turtle here.
Grandma G tried another Aloha picture here.
Natalia and I were able to have a couple of date nights with Grandma G watching the boys. I booked us
a dinner and a show night at the Napili Kai Beach Resort. This was just outside their Sea House restaurant
which had a gorgeous view of the sunset just along the Napili Bay beach.
Then we had a ukelele show followed by a slack key guitar show, which was definitely a unique outing.
Some of the challenges with bringing the boys on vacation is adjusting to time zones. This morning
started before 5am so after early breakfast, Walter and I went on a 10 km walk to explore the area.
Walter likes the hibiscus flowers so we picked a few from the hedges. It's funny to me that some of
the nicest blooms are simply landscape hedges here.
Black Rock Beach is a great snorkeling spot, and does have public access, but the resorts try really hard
to make it inaccessible by making the public access trail walk by their garbage dumps and by having
exactly zero parking near there. In either case, it's a great spot to snorkel if you're staying near here.
Driving up to Haleakala
We decided to take the boys up the volcano since Henry has been so fascinated by volcanos. The drive
was long (by the time we got back to the condo, we would have been almost all the way to Saskatoon...),
and it was crazy windy so I'm not convinced the boys got a lot out of it. However, here's the top station,
near some of the best telescopes in the world to take advantage of the clear skies and zero light pollution here.
Henry waited until he actually turned 5 before he tried the waterslide. And of course, after having tried it
once he said, "Daddy, I could have done this when I was four!" He then proceeded to ride the waterslide
about 50 times. Zoom into this one to see the look on Henry's face. Nice job Mom in capturing this one!
Henry finally watersliding
My mom treated us to a great lunch for Henry's birthday at Duke's beachside restaurant.
Natalia wearing the cute hat she bought in Maui.
To this day if you ask Henry about his birthday in Maui, he'll tell you about the giant hula pie they gave
him at Duke's. This is a seriously delicious ice cream pie with macadamia nuts, whipped cream, and chocolate
sauce, and it was actually as big as Henry's head.
Maui Ocean Centre
Grandma G, Henry, and Mommy heading into the Ocean Center for Henry's birthday.
Walter absolutely loved the aquarium and couldn't get enough of the fish in all of the tanks.
Henry touching the anemones, starfish, and other gooey animals in the Touch Tank.
Henry and a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, a honu.
Walter and a few sharks. He thought they were pretty cool.
We found a small playground here that the boys needed to use and run off some energy.
Here's our family with the obligatory picture in the shark's teeth.
We had Henry's birthday dinner at Leona's pie shop. Henry was less interested in pie for dessert than he
was in having more shave ice. I had amazing chicken and waffles here, which is worth recording for posterity.
Henry thought that Blue Baby should ride with him in his shirt to 'stay warm'. This is in the elevator
to our condo.
Natalia and I having a drink on our lanai. Having a serious blender in the condo was definitely a plus as
I made a pitcher of blender drinks pretty much every day.
Grandma G and Henry and a flower at our resort that Henry liked.
More beach and pool photos
Video of Walter playing in the pool and jumping on his bum
Henry running into the ocean in Maui
Walter and Henry running around Honua Kai
Natalia's brother E had bought Henry this speedo years ago, but we finally got some photos with one of our
boys wearing it. Here's Walter rocking out the beach in a Speedo.
Walter and his watering can showing us where the ocean is.