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I still identify with being a traveler and my heart still aches for the same as it did back then. I guess the only difference is that I no longer cringe at the idea of a vacation; leave it to parenthood to make you feel like you’ve earned the right to put your mother fucking feet up.

I’ve been coming to Maui since I was a little girl. I have all the typical tourist pictures buried in albums and albums of my childhood (though, to be fair, nothing close to the number of albums that would surely fill an entire room today — I’m talking about the 5 or 6 albums that basically encompass my entire childhood. And my sisters). Pictures of me dancing in luaus, biking down the volcano, holding those same parrots that are still there for the same photo op in Lahina to this day, eating ice cream under the big banyon tree, and so on and so forth. It’s the one place I feel okay going to and doing nothing but relaxing. As much relaxing as you can with kids in tow that is. Which is slim to none, really. But at least it’s in lieu of the weight of having an itinerary.

The flight was dreadful. I mean it can always be worse but there was a solid 30 minutes of screaming and for that 30 minutes you really didn’t know what way the remaining 5 hours were going to go. Hooper and Van’s demands and whines were extra loud; think of those people with head phones on that talk at the volume they can hear, which is louder than it needs to be because whatever they’re listening in their headphones is already loud. That was them. I NEED TO GO POO. I WANT MY GOLDFISH. HOOPER HIT ME. VAN WON’T SHARE. Combined with screaming Sonny and less-than-helpful or tolerant, for that matter, flight attendants, and Willy and I both considered just opening that giant door and jumping. Sonny fell asleep the minute the wheels hit the ground. Because life sometimes gives you the finger.

But flights are never easy. And there’s little reason to bitch because we recognize our privilege. We also recognize why my parents, who met us there, opted to go on a separate flight.

We stayed at the same place we’ve stayed every time we’ve visited, a condo complex mixed with vacationers and those who have made the sleepier south side of Maui home. And we quickly adopted our routine; beach in the morning, lunch on the way home, pool time while Sonny napped, and dinner in or out. The same, on repeat, for all the days we were there; with only a break here or there to venture into Paia, our favorite little town. No trips to Hana, though we love it there and will go when Sonny is a bit easier to manage. No overpriced luaus, no sunset cruises, just beach, eat, pool, sleep. On repeat. It was great.

The flight home was much of the same and nearly washed away any remaining aloha vibes. Making my pitch to Willy to travel with the kids to Asia all the harder. But in the end, I always think it’s worth it. Because, well, memories. And the best trip, in my opinion, is when you can insert a little vacationing with a little travel. Thus, my pitch for Asia. Trying to wrap my head around that flight though… Who wants to babysit Sonny?

A Video

It’s always my intention to shoot more video but frustrating when I can’t make the time to go through all the footage, edit the clips, and compile them together. It’s rather time consuming, in a good way, but nonetheless in a way I simply don’t have these days. So I worked on this on my birthday; a day declared as my own and it was actually nice to revisit our trip to Maui sometime later and to relive it all in a new way. I had intended to use the original version of this song but after much delay and lack of motivation, I’ve left it as is. Sometimes things are close enough. Ha.

Read More “A Video”

Hawaii, part I

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Things we did while in Maui: Listened to a local sing “going to California” and “fast car” (two of my favorites), after the rain led us into a saloon that’s now on our list of favorites, saw several sea turtles both from the shore as well as from in the water, spent a windy day at the aquarium, bought shell necklaces from a local maker; one went missing immediately and two days later the other broke, ate cream puffs and apple pie from a bakery the locals rave about, put extra sunscreen on burned butt cracks, potty trained Van albeit the time he peed on the car’s wheel in the parking lot and in the tide pools too because, well, when you gotta go you gotta go, ate off of paper plates to avoid dishes, gave the boys one shower that probably led the neighbors to believe we practice Chinese torture (both boys hate showers) and one bath… In two weeks (and no, we didn’t spend a lot of time – or much of any for that matter – in the pool), saw an Elvis impersonator perform poolside for all the retired folk (many of which snapped pictures with him afterwards), witnessed my first selfie stick and I have loads to say about it (namely, what happened to asking the stranger next you to take your photo?), laughed at my horrible English / Australian / anything other than American accent, walked out of Mama’s Fish House just as soon as we sat down and noticed that the kid’s meals were $20 a pop and that macaroni, chicken tenders, and hamburgers were not listed as options, watched Hooper catch his first crab, also watched him cry tears of sympathy when he came upon a dead gecko, packed more clothing than we needed and just barely enough sunscreen, and got on the plane feeling well rested, grateful, and sad to leave.

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To anyone who looks at these photos with any amount of jealousy, allow me to be frank: traveling with young children sucks. That’s not to say the water wasn’t warm, the sunsets beautiful, or the pineapples ripe because the water was glorious, the sunsets long and lingering, and the pineapple so ripe and sweet you’d wake up with mouth sores the next morning. Damn those mouth sores.  
But getting there required two long hours on a six hour plane ride with both kids screaming. And when the flight attendant offered Willy two bottles of Jack Daniels for free (because, hey, any parent dealing with two screaming toddlers damn well deserves a drink on the house), I swear the joke was on us when Van proceeded to spill it all over Willy’s lap. It was one of those plane rides. You know, the one where your child insists on bringing his beloved tennis ball on the plane only to have it rolling out of reach from one end of the plane to the other so then you turn to your grab bag of tricks and pull out a bag full of trail mix that you’re certain will entertain them for at least five minutes only the next thing you know the ground below you is sprinkled with trail mix like the steps outside a church are sprinkled with rice after a wedding. Needless to say, we got off the plane with our clothes smelling like liquor only to learn that Willy’s luggage was somehow lost. It was “found” hours later, because – you know – everyone there is on “Maui – aka lets all get stoned – time”.  
In any event, we spent the windy days exploring, the hot days on the beach, and every evening on the patio – drinks in hand – watching the sun go down with a mix of locals and vacationers alike doing the same.
Motherhood will always be a beautiful disaster. I’ll refrain from using the word vacation until the kids are grown and instead refer to trips like this as an adventure.  
What has your experience with traveling with kids been like? Do you consider it worth it?

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We leave today for Hawaii. The last time we were there, Hooper was 11 months old and the memory of our time there is synonymous with a personality explosion. It’s the beginning point of when I can say the real fun began. I look at these pictures of Hooper and I and can’t help but envision both of my boys in this photo. Baby #2 may not have a presence in these photos and the pregnancy test was definitely not even positive at this point in time, but I know for certain those cells were dividing and doing many miraculous things behind the scene. Oh life, you are such a beautiful thing.
I won’t be able to post any pics from Hawaii until we return, but you can follow me on Instagram by clicking here or on the link on the right hand side of the blog. I’ll be instagraming it up the whole time!