Welp, I showered and put jeans on for the second morning in row today, so I think it’s safe to say vacation is officially over. WAH!
But that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about it!
When our friends invited us to join them on a trip to Maui, as kind as they were to include us, we laughed in their faces. But then, as they usually do when things are meant to be, the stars aligned. Hawai’i has held a fond little spot in my heart ever since I left 12 years ago. It’s a breathtaking place full of warm people, vibrant culture and amazing experiences. I was excited to go back and experience Maui for the first time with Seth and our friends. And I have to say, it didn’t disappoint. Here are the highlights just in case you’re a masochist and want to escalate any wintertime blues you might be having.
First things first, Hawai’i is 4 hours behind CST right now (I say right now because they don’t do daylight savings time, so half the year they’re 5 hours behind). So, we flew out at 7:00 am CST and we arrived in Hawai’i at 3:45 HST (AKA my bedtime CST). Our layover and flights were pretty uneventful. Before we left, I had set a goal for myself to read Shrill before we landed in HI and I finished the book (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) about 3 hours before we landed which meant Seth only had to deal with my self-diagnosed ADHD for about 2 hours. There wasn’t wifi on our flight so our plan to watch a movie failed and we were stuck watching ridiculous reruns of HGTV shows that may or may not be fake (yeah right, they’re totally fake) for the rest of our time. When he arrived in Maui I was hoping to be greeted by enthusiastic hula dancers but instead we were greeted by our friends with leis in hand and it was just as satisfying. Our next stop was Costco which was pretty much just me watching Seth hunt down and stop at EVERY. SINGLE. taste-testing stand while talking about what alcohol we needed to buy. We left there with a handle of whiskey, a handle of rum, a ginormous bag of Hawaiian turkey jerky and a bigger-than-life bag of Maui Sweet Onion potato chips. And honestly, if you’re creative that could about sum up our vacation.
Once we made it to the resort, the sun was setting and we were all starving (well, everyone but Seth) so we went to the Maui Brewery up the road. We indulged, went back to our place, made drinks, went to the beach and then stopped at the Beach House – the resort bungalow – for a drink. I was so tired I brought in my own drink without thinking, the bartender laughed at me (in an she-must-be-an-idiot kind of way) and told me to chug it (which I did because – vacation). At this point, I went into full zombie mode. I think I went to bed shortly after but I really have no idea.
I woke up at 5:45am. Which is sort of like sleeping in but also not at all? And to make things even more trippy, College Gameday was on – at 5:45am. Am I on Mars?? Time changes are weird and I hate them. Oklahoma, Seth’s football team, had an 11:30 am kick-off. At 7:15 my friend, K, and I went to the Beach House and ordered Pina Coladas. Shortly after, Seth arrived. For the next hour or so, K and I continued to order piña coladas while Seth (unsuccessfully) tried to contain his football-induced temper and foul language. At half-time Seth and I went to take a quick swim at the beach. I almost drown while unintentionally body surfing and stubbed my toe on a giant rock but all in all it was a good start to the day.
Later on, after one too many piña coladas, I literally got beached after being carried too far “up shore” by a wave and when Seth tried to “save” me, he also became beached. In a nutshell, this sums up our lives. Everyone on the beach thought it was the funniest thing ever and I was having too much fun to disagree. We spent the day on the beach until it was time to do something with our lives.
We went to an amazing luau that evening and the entire time I kept thinking about how much Matty would have loved it. Note: If I learned one thing while I was in HI it’s that I will never go anywhere without my kids and not relate everything back to them.
Woke up at 5:15. Sunrise whale watch in Lahaina. Saw, like, four whales but no real activity outside of blowholes. I was expecting something more National Geographic but it was still awesome. Little did I know, the National Geographic stuff would come later in the week and not on a boat. Saw a Banyan tree that was literally the size of a city block. Online this looked way cooler than it was in real life. I’ll just say this: it’s a really good thing that in Hawaiian culture having a bird poop on you is good luck* because there is no way less than 15 people get pooped on a day under that thing.
THE ROAD TO MOTHEREFFING HANA. It was a 64 mile drive that took us 8+ hours and we didn’t even go as far as we wanted. I could write about this roadtrip for days but I’ll spare you all the details and just give you the highlights: sea turtles, ALL THE WATERFALLS YOU COULD DREAM OF, bamboo trees, eucalyptus trees, breathtaking views and a dangerous hike to a red sand beach that is tucked away under towering cliffs and will MAKE YOUR LIFE WORTH LIVING.
Many people don’t know this about me but I’m not really into dolphins – I am terrified of them to be honest. I’ve read some things about them in the past that have lead me to believe they’re rapists – yes, rapists – but I’ll digress and let you read up on that on your own. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so. On day 5 of our trip, we went snorkeling and encountered dolphins. I thought I was going to die.
As the story goes, K and I went out to a popular snorkeling spot, Black Rock. Snorkeling, while a decent time, isn’t really one of my things – I can never get the masks quite right and I’m never 100% sure I really want to know what’s in the water around me – but K really wanted to go so I obliged. We swim way out to this cove in the middle of this rock and by this point I’ve seen angel fish, blue fish, yellow fish, multicolored fish, a school of fish and to be real I’m pretty much fished out. So, I stop swimming and I’m just sort of hanging out minding my own business, letting K do her snorkel thing. She keeps going and her and pretty much everyone else snorkeling are on the other side of this cove. No big deal. But then I’m out there just treading water, chillin’, and I see everyone in one clump with their heads down under the water so I think there must be a turtle or something exciting. I hold my mask up to my face and look under the water but I don’t see anything so I come back up. As I’m treading and watching them again I notice two things bop up out of the water and then back under, heading in my direction. UM. They bop out again, in sync with one another. Immediately, my mind registers that they’re dolphins but because I so badly don’t want them to be, I irrationally start hoping they’re sharks. THIS IS HOW MUCH I HATE DOLPHINS. At first, I choose to stay right where I’m at like they won’t notice me if I’m still but then they bop out of the water about 20 feet from me and in that moment slightly change direction and head directly towards me. I. fucking. lose. it. I’m like doggy paddling (because apparently I’m so terrified I forget I know how to actually swim) and simultaneously trying to look under water with my mask. I’m obviously getting absolutely nowhere. I look in K’s direction. She’s staring at me from across the cove because she knows. I can feel the wideness of my eyes screaming, “what the fuck? Am I going to die?” and I wave her over dramatically. I’m legit panicking (deathbydolphindeathbydolphindeathbydolphin) and then very clearly I hear this voice inside my head say, “You are a fucking idiot. You are never going to out-swim a fucking dolphin. CHILL.” And so I just stop doing everything and watch K as she makes her way over (SLOW AS MOLASSES). When she arrives she says, “I was over there like ‘oh my God, where’s Megan she’s going to lose it.'” I tell her how I was certain I was going to die. She says she can hear them again. I tell her I’m done snorkeling. FORFUCKINGEVER.
That night we went out to Mick Fleetwood’s bar. As we walked in, the guy playing live music started playing Tennessee Whiskey (our first dance at our wedding) and, once again, all was right with the world. ME – 1, RAPEY DOLPHINS – 0.
Day 6 we kayaked in the morning and then Seth and I spent the afternoon on the beach enjoying the sunshine, drinking piña coladas, hanging with the sea turtles and watching the whales put on a show (National Geographic style). It pretty much couldn’t have been a better day.
It rained on our last day, all day but we could still see the whales jumping and breaching out on the horizon and there was a surplus of sea turtles just rompin’ in the water. We said goodbye to the islands and hopped on a red eye that night, OVER THE MOON excited to see the boys. I spent the whole trip wondering what would be an appropriate age to take them to Hawai’i, hoping that we’d be able to give them adventures like this one day. I wondered if they’d crave adventure or be overly cautious like their dad. I thought about how much they’d have loved the whales and the turtles and the culture and the weather. I missed them so much and was ready to be home. Aloha nui loa, Hawai’i.
After a whole night and day of traveling, we finally made it home. The boys were so happy to see us – but I’m not sure anyone was more excited than we were. Abbott just stared at me with disbelief when I saw him – he had spent the week recovering from a double ear infection and thrush (thank God for my parents and Auntie for taking good care of him). Matty gave us the sweetest, longest hugs.
Kid-free vacations are nice and important every once in a while, I’m super thankful we had the opportunity but let’s be real nothing really beats home…
A HUI HOU, HAWAI’I!