Easy Hawaiian Vacation: Part 1

My eldest overcame her fear of the water this summer. My youngest overcame her fear of dogs.Hawaii Vacation P1_1

But my husband and I made the most progress this summer as we overcame our fear of flying with small children.

We’ve taken short trips by car, but it had been a while since we’d spent time on an airplane with both kids. Smalls was much smaller— just 10 months. We went back east for the holidays and we haven’t been back since.

But we had a feeling that travel would be easier with the kids now 3 and 6. (It was!) And we figured if we chose a tropical locale we wouldn’t have to pack much more than bathing suits and flip flops. (We didn’t!) This is how we ended up in Maui.Hawaii Vacation P1_2

And despite a little vomit driving to the top of Haleakala, it was a huge success.Hawaii Vacation P1_3

We rented a condo on VRBO in Ma’alaea Bay. 2 bedrooms, 2 floors. Steps from the most kid-friendly beach on the island. Here’s our view. Oh, and this easy Hawaiian vacation was also incredibly economical– $140 night.Hawaii Vacation P1_4

We played in a natural lava pool and tickled starfish. I didn’t worry about huge waves sweeping the kids away. We were also within walking distance of/short drive to the Maui Ocean CenterMa’alaea HarborMaui Golf and Sports Park and a slew of restaurants and shops.Hawaii Vacation P1_5

One of my favorite features of the condo was that it had two floors. One for us, one for them. (At least until 5am when they piled into bed with us.) There was also this long desk with plenty of room for crafting. They spent each morning here before we headed to the Ma’alaea General Store for coffee and muffins.Hawaii Vacation P1_6

I’m crafty, but I’ve never been a scrapbooker. Still, we couldn’t resist visiting the Island Paperie to see what it was all about. Apparently, it’s the the world’s only island-themed scrapbooking store. Bigs got a scrapbook… but instead of buying a bunch of stickers and papers, we used all the brochures we had accumulated.Hawaii Vacation P1_7

In the afternoons we hit the Maui Ocean Center and Maui Golf and Sports Park. Both are in Ma’alaea Bay within walking distance from our condo. We bought week passes to the Maui Ocean Center because we knew we’d be there a few times.Hawaii Vacation P1_8

They had really funny fish.Hawaii Vacation P1_9

Bumper boats at the Maui Golf and Sports Park.Hawaii Vacation P1_10

The perfect end to the day was attending a traditional Hawaiian luau on the beach. At the Royal Lahaina Luau we enjoyed a fantastic hour of crafting ti-leaf bracelets and getting Maori tribal face-painting before the show began. Oh, and we saw the only rainbow of our trip.Hawaii Vacation P1_11

I had been to Maui before but never as a family of 4. I was nervous about the location I’d chosen– it was not a crowded area, not a big resort and I’d never stayed there before. We often made our own food. We were our own concierge. WE were the Kids Club. But staying in centrally-located Ma’alaea Bay was pivotal in making our vacation super easy. It was a very intimate, stress-free family vacation– exactly what we needed.Hawaii Vacation P1_12

For more on our easy Hawaiian vacation read part 2 and Drums of the Pacific.

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