This year we decided to be sure to include plenty of the things we absolutely loved from our previous visits. We didn't want to over-plan or over-schedule - just do what we love and most of all RELAX!!! Being return visitors to the island was an enormous advantage, since we don't have any problems finding our way around and we also have all our little "trip tips" we've collected over the past three years. We knew the places we loved to eat (and yes, I ate at Maui Taco almost every day we were on the island)! We also knew that we didn't want to take on certain things, like the Road to Hana - beautiful, yes, but so not worth getting sick and suffering for the rest of the trip! Oh, and no deep sea fishing for us!!!
Instead we spent plenty of time enjoying views like this one:
Oh, and these:
We couldn't go to Maui and not have some real adventure. So we explored a bit. We also spent plenty of time snorkeling, where we saw turtles, colorful fish and even an eel! We also tried boogie boarding - which I'm quite terrible at, but had fun despite that fact!
I had to visit my favorite place on Maui - Twin Falls. The hike is amazing, and the falls flow directly over this awesome cove. Something about it just amazes me. The cave, the serenity, the green life overflowing along the way, wading through the water to reach the falls. It's like being in on a really cool secret. I absolutely love it!
When we did this hike a couple years ago, we didn't realize there would be an option to actually get in the water, so we weren't prepared with our swim suits. I was not going to make the same mistake again! I wore my swimsuit and went prepared! I REALLY wanted to swim in the water - and more importantly I was determined to touch the falls! What an incredible experience it was to actually swim right underneath the waterfalls! Definitely something I can check off my bucket list!
We couldn't come to Maui and not do some whale watching. We had some close encounters this year, including a playful mom and baby and even a couple dolphins!
Our final day in Maui we took the trail to see the Iao Needle. It was totally awesome since it had just rained and there were all these little waterfalls surrounding the needle. They were too small for the camera to really do them justice, but I took plenty of "mental pictures."
One of the best things about Maui is the fabulous food. We ate pineapple like it was candy! We kept telling ourselves not to overeat, but everything just tasted so good! I'll be paying for it on the treadmill for months, I'm sure!
The dates we were in Maui perfectly aligned with our anniversary. We splurged on a luau to celebrate. We went to the Feast of Lele, which is ridiculously expensive - yet absolutely incredible! We figured celebrating 12 years together and being in Maui warrants a little indulging. Happy Anniversary to us!
By Saturday, our final day in Maui, I was just aching for my kids - especially this little guy:
The kids had a vacation, of sorts, of their own with their Grandmas. They all did very well, including Cael, which was a huge relief since I had really been stressing about him. I certainly love my beautiful island of Maui, but I was so, so, so happy to return home and snuggle my little munchkins! Someday, Wade and I are determined to take the kids on a dream vacation to our beautiful island. It's an experience they wouldn't forget! Yay, Maui!!!