Last week, I went to Maui for a couple of days with my kids and husband. It’s been a crazy year, and I needed a few days to get away with the kids, spend time with them and just clear my mind as well. But this was our first family vacation and, to be honest, I expected it to be far worse than it was.
The idea of traveling on a plane with kids is terrifying to say the least. For the most part, the kids cooperated. They were excited and intrigued by the whole process of flying. Things took a bad turn when the stewardess had to spray the plane with detergent spray because my baby’s poop smell took over the plane. I was humiliated, but the flight attendant assured me she’d seen worse. She said it’s worse when adults poop on themselves. That made me feel better despite the stares from other passengers.
Traveling with kids is not the same as traveling with your partner. Of course I wish my husband and I had more time for activities to do on our own, like hiking the “road to Hana” to see the famous waterfalls, or cool activities like zip lining that you have to sign your life away to do.
But with kids, we had to forget about all the fun sport activities. Instead, we focused on doing family-friendly things. We stayed at Waldorf Astoria because I was told it is kid-friendly with its water slides and fun pool activities. But the hotel was too big for my taste. It took forever to walk from my room to the beach or pool. Especially with the stroller and kids, it was a lot of work. My friend told me to stop by the Four Seasons hotel next door. That’s more my style. It’s smaller than the Waldorf and more chic. If I ever go back, I’ll stay at the Four Seasons. It’s got amazing restaurants and has day care as well.
Maui is a magical island where you feel the pull of the land. It was beautiful, and I spent a lot of time meditating on a hillside, just practicing my breathing and relaxing when I stepped away from the kids.
We went to the turtle beach to check out the massive turtles. My daughter Collette was so excited to see them, and she couldn’t get enough. The only concern about these turtles are that they bite. It was important to look at them from afar and not get too close. They look cute, but no one needed to end up in the ER because they didn’t respect Mother Nature’s boundaries.
We at ate Mama’s Fish House restaurant, which was so gorgeous. It has the best food on the island and is a must-see. I also went to Coconut’s Fish Cafe, which is a Hawaiian fast-food chain. But it’s not any fast-food restaurant you’re used to. It’s like five-star fast-food dining. It’s a small cafe that’s literally in the middle of a shopping center, but don’t be fooled by its appearance.
I also loved Humuhumu at the Waldorf. Since we couldn’t dine out, we brought the food to our room. The risotto was to die for.
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice is an institution. The shave ice cream is insane, especially with the macadamia nut ice cream inside. The shave ice is a gift that keeps on giving. You have no idea what you’ll find inside.
The Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons was amazing too. I had the lobster Caesar salad and the truffle pizza. Both were delicious.
My favorite beach was Big Beach, aka Makena Beach and Oneloa Beach. It felt like paradise. I didn’t want to leave. It’s barren, so there’s no cocktail service or hospitality like you’d will find on the hotel row. But the ocean is pristine and worth seeing. If you’re traveling with kids, make sure to go there early, because it gets busy and hot. I went early in the morning with the family and enjoyed the beach until 11 a.m. As it was getting hot, I left and headed back to the hotel. It was a lot of work walking to and from the beach with the kids, but worth it. It was my favorite part of the island.
Maui’s lavender fields are renowned for their beauty. Unfortunately, lavender season starts in July, so I didn’t see much. But the scenery is still insane, and I got to enjoy the view and some lavender coffee. Yup, they sell anything and everything made with lavender. Pretty cool, right?
Overall, Maui is a pretty chill island. Other than going to a luau at the Waldorf or Marriott, there isn’t a lot to do, which, If you’re looking for a vacation to unwind and turn off for a couple of days, is the perfect medicine. (If you need more action, head to Oahu.)
I’d love to go back to Maui, especially around December, which is their high season. The flight with the kids wasn’t too bad, and the scenery on the island is just exceptional.