Last week my sweet little family of three spent our first vacation together in Maui. While the photos share an Instagram worthy story of sunshine and rainbows (literally), real life had us longing for the comforts and convenience of home and realizing we pulled the trigger on such a big adventure with a..scratch that, OUR…9 month old a bit too soon. To steal my hubs saying, the juice wasn’t quite worth the squeeze. We definitely had sweet moments and memories I will cherish forever. My favorite was on the last full day when my little bug and I went for a beach walk together to explore the sand and waves. He was captivated and held tight to his Batman toy with a clenched fist of concentration the entire time. We ended our walk with a nice long play session on the soft grass using Mom as a jungle gym and every stick in sight as a challenge of dexterity. This is my favorite baby stage so far! Maui is AHH-MAZING and you could be having the worst trip (or luck*) of all time and still be in paradise because MAUI. To be clear, ours was not the worst trip of all time. But making such a trek with our “spirited” 9 month old simply wasn’t fun for us and wasn’t fair to him. All of that said, by the end of the trip there were definitely a few takeaways I had from traveling in Maui with a baby I thought were worth sharing in case you’re planning a trip with your family to the island sometime in the future.
1. Happy Kids Maui is a phenomenal nanny service offered on the island that will give you the parents night out you need if you aren’t lucky enough to be traveling with a Grammy nanny (next time we are bringing Grammy!). They were kind, easy to work with and our nanny Susan was a pure delight. Worth every penny.
2. Ono Tacos is the best lunch in town. It is a little taco truck on the edge of Lahaina and their prawn tacos are the thing to get. An easy grab ‘n go if you have kiddos in tow or want something simple but delicious. Pro tip: add lots of the avocado green sauce and plenty of the pickled spicy red onions.
3. Every Saturday and Wednesday the Napili farmers market is open for business and a perfect way to spend the morning with kids. There are about 10 stands that include produce, baked goods, kombucha, art and even homemade sunscreen. Start at The Coffee Store in the retail strip across the highway for your morning cup (best coffee ever) and then cross the street to slowly meander through the booths and chat up the local vendors. I may have added about 10 pounds to our luggage with all the Krauts, seasoning salts and raw honey I bought. It’s tiny but a worthwhile morning outing.
4. Looking for a fun and easy way to spend date night? I highly suggest a casual sushi dinner followed by hot tubbing with a dessert cocktail in hand. If you have a baby who allows relaxing by the pool, congratulations and ENJOY IT. We do not have that baby. Having the chill time to enjoy the hot tub with no kiddos was like hitting the reset button.
5. We hit up Costco and the local grocery store at the beginning of the week to take advantage of our kitchen and cook our own meals. Two big takeaways on the food front:
- Tuna fish is the easiest light and quick lunch ever. Scoop it with crackers, cucumber or throw on greens.
- Make a slab frittata (like a baked egg casserole) at the beginning of the week. This way you have an easy breakfast, snack or lunch you can heat and eat in seconds, or even cut a piece to make into a breakfast sandwich to mix it up. I made one on the third day using leftover veggies from the grill and it was awesome.
- The Crowd Pleaser pasta salad is an awesome dish to make for dinner one night and eat for lunch the following days. Plus, the extra kalamata olives go well in the tuna and any extra spinach, pesto or sausage can be used in the frittata. I get giddy just thinking about buying the right amount of food and having no waste! #nerdalert
*I have to share this story because it’s too ridiculous not to. The hubs and I had scheduled one day date just the two of us. We planned to head to our favorite beach and relax with our books for a few hours for some R&R that wasn’t happening with the babe in tow. We got to the beach, sat down on our towels at the very top of the beach where the sand meets the grass and commented on how crazy the ocean was that day. I pulled out my phone to snap a few pics, set it down next to me and proceeded to pull out my breast pump bag because it was a bit past that time and I was feeling it. Within no less than two minutes of this sequence of events a wave came out of nowhere and swept me, my pump, my shoes, our towels…pretty much everything…down the beach and out to sea. I got to my feet in the waves yelling MY PUMP MY PUMP MY PUMP and threw myself back in to try and rescue the bag. Screw the phone, our valuables, screw anything else we had with us that day. The only thing I cared about was my pump because I was already dealing with what I thought could be another round (!!!) of mastitis (thankfully it went away). I managed to rescue the bag along with some of our other items floating in the water but it was too late, the pump was toast. We found my phone under about two inches of wet sand and spent the next three hours cleaning and drying out our things while calling drug stores trying to track down a breast pump. Can I just say this was the most expensive terrible date of all time? You can’t make this stuff up. Good story though, so there’s that. Oh, and after a night in rice my phone turned on and is good to go!