I get it now. Why everyone around here has been to Hawaii (and Maui in particular) and keeps going back. Now that we're West Coasters, we decided to do what West Coasters do and get a taste of paradise ourselves. So, right in the middle of a wicked ice storm, and Portland's biggest snowstorm in 10 years or something, we escaped!
Escape indeed. It was 10 days of wonderfulness on Maui's southern coast. With 500 pictures taken and many memorable moments, I'll spare you ALL the details and boil it down to 20-something pictures and a top 10 list:
1. It was like a sibling hugfest the whole time. I love how much they bonded.
2. It is warm enough to wear nothing more than a bathing suit from dawn to dusk.
3. A mama and baby whale hung out right by the side of our whale watching boat. Brought tears to my eyes.
4. Lewis and I took turns stand-up paddle boarding out over the reef. We looked down to see fish swimming around the coral, and we both ran into sea turtles swimming on the surface. No sharks, thank goodness. (We found out later that a shark had bitten into a paddle board the day we arrived.)
5. Hearing the ocean while we slept. Eating dinner on our lanai while watching whales jump was pretty awesome, too.
6. Plumeria. It's my new favorite flower. Leis smell even more amazing than they look.
7. Makena Beach and Golf Resort swept us off our feet the moment we arrived. The nicest place we've ever stayed (we loved the whole Wailea area, too). My favorite beach was Keawakapu because it was beautiful and the waves were mellow. We spent the majority of our vacation at a condo in Kihei, but we continued to spend our days in Makena/Wailea. Can we retire there?!
8. Mango daiquiris. What a wonderful treat at Pacific 'O in Lahaina. I waited until our last day in Hawaii to have one. Why did I want so long?!
9. Splashing in the waves with Sophie. It was nice to be "fun mom." I don't think I ever turned down an invitation from her to play in the water. Well, maybe once when I just wanted a few minutes to bask in the sun. :)
10. Knowing we'll be back.
Oh, and 1 more ... THAT PARROT. Baaaahhhh!*
* inside family joke