Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm ready to change zip codes.

If the Tat Atwood family up and disappears, you can look us up in Maui.
This is where we'll be living out the rest of our days.
So here's the thing, I've seen some cool places in the world in my 26 years of life:
various parts of the US of A

& after every trip I've ever been on, I can legitimately say after about 1 week I'm ready to return to my normal home & life. That's just me. I like to travel, but I also love my daily life & miss it after about 7 days.

However, the past week we spent in Hawaii was magical.
Sounds corny, but it seriously was. I know it's not an unknown, un-touristy place to visit, but it was one of those places & vacations that just worked so well for our family.
Leaving to go to the airport yesterday was honestly a sad thing for me. Possibly I was so bothered about leaving b/c I'm preg & get a little oddly emotional about things, but no, I think it was really b/c we had such a perfect time.
The fact that I even got Tat to agree to return many, many more times says a lot. He generally likes to try new things & go different places, but he even said it couldn't have been a more perfect little trippy.

I'll break it down into 2 categories:


Maui Ocean Center
-It was cool, priced higher than it was worth, & not as cool as the Aquarium I had just seen in Long Beach a month ago. But Avycakes loved it & the tropical fish were pretty sweet.

Maui Tropical Plantation
-Very neat. Got to trolley ride along a huge farm & check out all the local crops grown on Maui. Saw a chica husk open a coconut & saw a Bouganvillea faves!

Made hala bracelets & leis
-I love orchids so this was especially fun for me.
Hiked in the Iao Valley State Park
-Breathtaking. When you visit, you HAVE to go. It rains all the time, but is so refreshing & so amazingly gorgeous. We saw locals jumping off the bridge into the water. Made me nervous but Tat encouraged it. Grrr...

Took a Sunday drive out past Wailea
-Amazing. Saw fields & fields of lava rocks. I still need to look up the history of that place b/c it was really a sight.

-Delicious food & of course fabulous entertainment on the beach. I'd highly recommend the Royal Lahaina Luau.

The Plantation Restaurant
-Tat & I left Avykins & my sister Brooklyn one night & headed up to Kapalua for a romantic little dinner. It was to die for. We almost didn't want to eat it just b/c we didn't want it to be gone. The view was of course breathtaking.

Cruised around Lahaina
-Always fun to visit local shops & eat some good ice-cream. Avy loved all the big statues around & kept informing us that they were all, "Nice Pirates."

-Of course you can't visit Hawaii w/o soaking up the sun EVERY WAKING MINUTE. I couldn't believe how much Avy loved the water. She would go down for her naps & bedtime saying,
"Wake-up...Swimming?" & she would wake up saying, "Carry...Avy...Ocean."
So of course her highness' wishes were granted & we spent LOTS of time at beaches & in the pool.

-Tatty pants went on a snorkel cruise all day Monday & had a great time. I opted out thanks to the fact you had to ride a boat for a while, & that just seems a bit unsettling for my motion sickness right now. But he liked it & did a little bit more back at the resort. (Since he went solo on this little excuursion, we have no pics. Him in his "whale-training outfit" as Brooklyn & I like to call it, will have to suffice).

Such a mom thing to say, I know, but watching Avy embrace a new environment & grow so much in just 1 week was the icing on the cake. She was saying all sorts of funny stuff we'd never heard before & braving the water like I couldn't believe. With the aid of her dorky tie-die floaty swimsuit, she was able to swim all by herself & just thought she was the cats meeee-oowww. She would jump off the sides of the pool only to quickly shout out, "MORE! MORE!"

-Having our own washer & dryer in our place while on vacation was a bite of Heaven.
-Realizing that I TRULY was the whitest one on the island was a great accomplishment. This isn't a joke. I embrace my white skin & have never been bothered by it. But when I saw ladies with triple the cellulite that I have & they look much hotter b/c their fat is brown & mine is white, that's when I realized I will DEFINITELY be hitting the spray tan factory before our next trip.

-Saving hundreds of dollars thanks to our full kitchen in the condo was also a great feeling. Food was SO expensive there, & we were able to feed 4 folks (Tat, myself, sister Brooklym & Avy) for the whole week on $120. That's a highlight in Tat's eyes. (Of course that doesn't count our nice dinner out & the Luau).

-Having an awkward conversation with a lady on the airplane.
Her: "I think your daughter needs her diaper changed."
Me: "Oh, I think she's okay. I just changed her a few minutes ago."
(Literally, I had JUST changed her.)
Her: "Really? I think she has something there."
Me, now annoyed at this chatty cathy, checking in Avy's diaper for anything unusual: "Nope. She's clean. She must just have some bad gas."
Her: "Hmmm. I thought I smelled something."
Me, appalled that she would tell me how to properly care for my child: "She's clean, but maybe you need a change. A filter change that is."
Kidding, obviously I didn't say that, but I thought it was so strange that she INSISTED I change my child when she wasn't even stinky!

-Tyler rushing to be the first bag on the bus to get our rental car. By the time he returned to get the rest of our luggage, people had filed onto the bus, filling it up, & the bus took off with our bag & w/o us. No worries, we found it at the rental car joint, but it was kind of funny.

-Getting LOTS of sleep & naps. Lovely.

-The tropical smell of the island every morning we'd wake up & open the doors & windows.

-Avy waking up at 3:30am, ready for the day the first 2 days. Kidding, that WASN'T a highlight. But she actually did do pretty well with the small time change.
-The beautiful Koi pond near the lobby of our place. Avy loved "feeding" the fish with whatever she could find to throw in the pond.

-And in true Tat fashion, after arriving at the airport in Maui, I see him running past me with a bunch of luggage carts. Naturally, I wonder what he's doing since we would NEVER be that family to pay money for luggage carts. Why pay $ when you have a pregnant wife that's capable of hauling around another 60+ lbs of bags & 30 lbs of a toddler?
So I go ask Brooklyn what he's doing & amidst her laughing, she tells me,
"He's returning all the carts he can to make some money."
I don't know whether to be proud or embarrassed when he glowingly returns with 50 cents in his hand. gotta love the boy.

Good times in Maui. If you are planning on going in the next few hours, call me before I unpack & we'll figure out airport transportation.


Alie said...

I'm glad you had such a fun time!!! Next time we'll join you !!

Jen said...

Two comments --

1. What an awesome trip Hayley! I had honestly wondered if you'd fallen off the face of the planet because I hadn't heard/seen you in weeks, including our little playgroup reunion last week. Come to find out, you really did fall off the face of North America. . to Hawaii! Lucky, lucky girl.
2. Some relatives of in-laws recently went to Maui without their kids. In all their pictures, the she of the couple was pictured in extremely immodest outfits, bikinis, etc. How refreshing it is to see a fellow mom dressed modestly, even at the beach!! Thank you Hayley!

Jenni said...

I want to go to there. And on the matter of being proud or embarrassed by Tyler's money-making endeavor, I vote for embarrassed.

MB Newson said...

I totally know what you mean. There's something about Hawaii that makes it sad to leave. Maybe because it's a tropical destination with all the comforts of home because it's on U.S. soil? I mean heaven forbid I go anywhere that doesn't have a Taco Bell. Kidding! But I LOVE Maui. If you go again, check out The Cool Cat cafe in Lahaina. They have the best burgers. I know Burgers in Paradise claim to be the best, but it's hardly comparable to the cool cat cafe.
And the road to Hana is gorgeous and definately something to do at least once. But be sure to take pills for motion sickness and don't even try to drive yourself with those stupid self guide CD's. It's worth the money to not have to drive those tiny roads yourself and so you can snooze between stops. It's an all day trip and though we sat most of the time, it was tiring.

Matt and Jessie said...

I am so glad you all had such a great time!! I hope that your transition back into reality isn't too tough!!

Meghan said...

Oh my goodness Hayley. Reading your post just brought back so many of my memories of our trip to Maui a month ago. It was so much the same it feels like we were on the same trip! We also really loved the Maui Aquarium. I also felt like Reese grew and learned so much on our trip. To top it off, Mark also was collecting carts at the airport and returning them to make money. I'm pretty sure our hubbies could be best friends.

I'm so glad you had a great time. We missed you though and are gald you are home!

derrickandlisadye said...

Wow, what a great vacation!! I have to say I'm a little jealous, okay a lot jealous. That is so fun though that you could have a nice vacation with your family. Great memories I'm sure.

whitethunder said...

As if seeing the mister in his swim gear wasn't enough, you came in all your glory as well and the picture wasn't even overexposed. Congrats on that.

It seems like you guys have been gone forever but the best part of the trip was picking you up and seeing that cute Avy who is my favorite niece ever.

Candi said...

That looks like so much fun. Rayce went to Hawaii right after we graduated, and didn't like it. I think he's crazy, but I've never been. BUT we have been to the Aquarium of the Pacific (in Long Beach) and LOVED that! It was one of the few spots we hit last year on our vaca.

McDonalds said...

After the time I have spent in Hawaii (both living and visiting), I too could live in Maui...forever. I don't even care if I need to live in a one room dweling with few of the commodities I feel are necessities on the mainland. I am glad you had a good time and wish you and your family many happy returns...When you do go, contact me...we know of several "secret" hikes and such that you may be interested in. Oh yes and congrats on finding out about your soon to be baby boy!