Each trip to Maui starts the same way.
Dreaming of the adventure to come, while
aboard the spotted shuttle bus at LAX.
This is usually the spot where Zoe
performs her first name drop. "Oh daddy,
when is our flight to Maui?" Classic stuff.
We knew we'd be up early the first day, so we headed to Lahaina to cruise.
Before hopping on the bus, we made our way past the giant banyan tree.
We went to all the way to Makena and then up the coast past the Kea Lani.
Here's a great shot of the Ekahi pool from about two miles out in the water.
The cruise was relaxing but Bigs gave the lack of dolphins a "thumbs down".
The weary travelers take a little cat nap as we cruise out to South Maui.
Between Facebook updates, DSi games and cell phones, this trip was wired.
We missed out on dolphins but did manage to find a few green sea turtles.
A hard day on the boat deserves a little shave ice from Local Boys.
Then it was time for a little quality pool time back at the condo. Aaaaaaaah.
After a nice morning at the condo pool and beach, it was time for taco night.
The is always the highlight of Bigsy's trip--he usually eats 3-4 tacos himself.
Craig & Zoe at the fountain outside of Lappert's--one of their favorite spots.
Not to be outdone, Zobo did dessert at Lappert's.
Most days included at least a little bit of time at the home pool. Nice spot.
When the clouds rolled in, we hit the popcorn & Toy Story 3.
Zoe enjoying some fresh
bread at a great new
at the Wailea Tennis Club.
How we never had visited Napili for beers at Sea House is a mystery to me.
Up just past dawn, Zoe & Craig head to Ahihi Cove for more snorkeling fun.
That rock in the middle is the tip of a lava bowl that dropped 40 ft. So cool.
The path along the beach is mysterious and full of wild goats. I'm serious.
Along the way, you'll find loads of big waves (and some surfer graves).
Captain competitive gets a little fired up at shuffleboard.
Bigs threatens to physically harm his own mother if she beats his high score.
"Dude rule! Chicks drool!". I think ya know who won.
Down to the beach for some more castle-building and chilling in the water.
This is the point where we realized we were much tanner than everyone else.
Pineapple Mulled Mojito from Tommy's. Yeah, it rocked.
Since we didn't see dolphins on the first try, we got a second cruise for free.
Nothing says Zoe on the beach quite like full-body sand coverage. Yipes.
Dad love the Shrimp
Longhi at Maui legend,
Longhi's. They also have
outrageous pizza bread
that's hard to beat.
Snorkeling and boogie boarding on Ulloa Beach, just south of the condo.
There's nothing like a tasty latte when you haven't had one for a week.
This village south of Lahaina is where the ancient Mauians used to live.
Along the way, someone spotted some netting that we picked up.
The next day, we kicked things with off with a jungle walk to Honolua Bay.
This shallow bay is great for snorkeling but only the cats can get inside.
I've heard of rocky entries but this was ridiculous. How are gonna do this?
Zoe gets her sporty pink fins ready for action. She was a real gamer.
And off they go--the two snorkel buddies head out in search of sea turtles.
The man who hates sand loved this crazy "beach".
From the top, this bay is really pretty. Reminds me of Hanauma on Oahu.
A late afternoon dip at the pool before dinner.
We visited Anhdai's cousins at the Four Seasons while Mr White Thighs slept.
We got back in time to walk to Honolulu Coffee with the rest of the family
Another Maui must-have, treats at the Jaws truck by Big Beach in Makena.
We ventured south of Makena for the first time and really dug the lava.
The road gets really narrow and it's basically lava as far as you can see.
The road eventually dead ends at one amazing mix of lava and blue sea.
La Perouse Bay is a bit of chore to get to--lots of hiking but worth it.
The tide pools are really amazing and all over the place in this area.
We found fish, eels, urchins, crabs and some sort of frog in the pools.
The highlight was watching this juicy red crab grab and attack this urchin.
Littered in between lava rocks are a bunch of desolate mini beaches.
Bigs looking like a jungle boy who discovered a discarded pair of red crocks.
A Maui-style oreo cookie made out of lava, choral and lava. Yummy.
The little adventurer poses on top of a lava field.
Back at the Ekahi pool and enjoying a pretty strong afternoon breeze.
Bigsy's obsession with lizards hasn't stopped yet.
A certain someone decided to hang out in the front. Extremely bad call.
The dolphin sculpture at the Grand Wailea is really awesome to see.
One more cruise--this time at sunset to watch fireworks from the water.
Oh my god, is dad ever going to get up on that thing? He's killing me!!
Look out locals, there's a new sheriff in town.
Oh, you mean I'm supposed to be on top of the board. OK, now I get it.
Getting closer and closer with each new attempt--but it was really windy.
After an hour of flopping around in the chop, I skipped a pop-up step...
And then it happened--I figured it out. Kind of like snowboarding really.
The mermaid sculpture near the entrance of the Kea Lani is pretty cool.
This time we saw loads of dolphins. Hi Flipper.
The bellies of the bottlenose dolphins get a little pink when they're fired up.
We used the condo pool bbq for the first time. Cheeseburgers, of course.
This dude showed up outside the kitchen window.
Even in Maui, Joey Chestnut eating almost 60 hot dogs is must-see TV.
Bigs & Zobo wish a happy fourth of July from their home away from home.
Zoe, Little Zoe and Anhdai ready to head for sushi.
Monkey #1. What's not to like about a tree swing?
While dad hit his last snorkel run, we carved BD wishes in Makena sand.
One last afternoon stint at the pool--time for a crazy family pic to remember.
We didn't get any time in the water
on our last day but thanks to a late
Facebook posting by Craig's friend
Fernando, we found an Ululani
Shave Ice hut on the way to the
airport. We checked in our bags
and then drove back once it opened
to enjoy one last cup of paradise.
Until next time, Maui. Aloha.
The fireworks were
fun but the best part
was the cruise home
in the moonless
darkness. I have
never seen that many
stars--it was like soup.
That night, we joined
the full Tran family
(there were about 30 of
them--20 of which were
3 or younger) for a bbq
in Kaanapali. There
was a ton of food and
plenty of cold beers.
Here's little Nicky hiding
from the camera.
As the days passed, the sand sculptures got better.
Anhdai & Zoe venturing out near the condo to find some ocean life.
The man of leisure reclines with a cooling towel.
After a long day in the sun, it's time for a visit to Ono Gelato. Pretty good.
This time we made our way to Makena, where we found sleeping goatfish.
Carole tipped us on the Kihei
Caffe for breakfast, which
turned out to be spectacular.
That afternoon, we checked in early at the Fairmont Kea Lani for a few days.
Here's a sand version of what Zoe and I had been swimming with all week.
Oh my god, whatever you do just be sure to let him win or he'll freak on you.
The partial view from the hotel was cool but all the palm trees were awesome.
The kids love ordering room service at hotels. Ribs, Dim Sum, Pizza & PBJ.
Bigs flashing gang signs to celebrate the arrival of his fish pizza. Westside!
The Kea Lani has two critical things to ensure a terrific pool visit. A slide...
And a swim-up bar. Here's Anhdai trying to decide what to drink today.
One of my favorite
little spots on the
island, Cafe Ciao in
the Kea Lani. They
have this Peanut
Butter Mocha that is
off the hook.
Matteo's is now a staple
visit. Here's Bigs wishing
he weren't allergic to
pizza (and hated all forms
Riley and Ry had a blast running around the pool playing hide and seek.
That night, my friend Carole visited. Zoe & Gracie.
Sun is up--time to sneak out early and go snorkeling!!
Monkey #2. This is Craig's idea of a great birthday.
Monkey #3. Hey, I can't stop laughing long enough.