We have finished field day, the final awards have been handed out, and the bulletin boards are all empty. Summer break is upon us.
The last day of school holds so many possibilities.
As a kid it meant countless days playing outside till it got dark, waiting for your one friend who had a pool to invite you over to avoid the blistering heat, and endless trips to Sonic.
I have a unique opportunity this summer to be off work and I can’t be more excited. I find myself with that same feeling again, the promise of three months of adventures. I am looking forward to spending way too long in the pool and sneaking away for mid-afternoon treats.
I want to say that we are big adventurers.
That we are out there looking for all that is new and different.
But the truth is in Maui that is just not us.
There are things we find ourselves doing year after year that we come here. They have become our staples.
We started going to the Maui Ocean Center a few years ago. It is an aquarium that highlights the diverse sea life in Maui. It can easily be done in a morning and is very kid friendly. And thanks to Disney’s Octonauts my daughter knows more about random sea creatures than I do so she made a great tour guide. She even managed to wow some Australian tourists by rattling off the name of the Hawaii state fish, Humuhumunukunukuapua`a.
We then went to Aloha Mixed Plate, like we do every other day in Maui.
This is a low key, all outdoor, and reasonably priced place to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner on the island. They have a good happy hour daily from 2-6 and offer a daily drink special for $5.
I think we have had closes to everything on the menu. The most popular thing is the Mixed Plate which is always good. Yesterday we got the Chow Fun. This is a mix of well cooked noodles, pork, bean sprouts and green onions in a light sauce.
I got the teriyaki beef. All the plate lunches come with a side of macaroni salad and white rice. They are filling and around $9-$12.
Next door is the Old Lahaina Luau, which is one of the best luau’s on Maui. If you head to Aloha Mixed Plate at night you can listen to the music while you dine.
For me vacation is getting away from my every day life and routine.
Not rushing out the door to work.
Stopping to enjoy a second cup of coffee on the lanai.
Having the best shave ice at 10 in the morning.
My daughter informed me that she has tragically never had a shave ice. I sprung into action. We went down to Ululani’s Shaved Ice. I don’t want to throw terms like best parent ever but pretty sure that is what my daughter was thinking. They had lots of great favors to choose from. Of course my daughter didn’t go with the typical tropical flavor but rather cotton candy and grape.
I also wanted to try a new spot yesterday so we went to Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop for lunch.
It was a great find. Good sandwiches and a nice salad. Portions were generous but it was a bit pricy, $12-$15, for their signature sandwiches. They were worth the price.
We got the Ham’n and pork, pork, mmmm pork sandwiches with the out of the garden salad. Both were a great flavor combination. All served on homemade bread. My daughter got a great PB&J which she proclaimed delicious.
And then there is pie and who doesn’t love pie. Again please forgive the pictures as this experiment with blogging via my phone is a first time but they were amazing.
We opted to buy some to take home for dessert later. They were front of mind for my daughter all day. There were pies in the fridge just taunting her. Eat me!
Banana Cream Pie (mini)
I am going to make a bold statement. This is the BEST banana cream pie I have ever had. It was not too sweet and full of banana. The crust was crisp and flavorful. I would buy this agains and again.
A well balanced crumb topping with brown sugar and oatmeal. The apples were firm and the crust was crisp.
Macnut Choc Praline (mini)
The minis are the perfect few bit size. This pie was rich and creamy. Chocolate pie is not my cup of tea but my family thought it was amazing.
Another very early morning. I mean 5AM early. But it give me a chance to make the most out of the time we have here. Or that is what I keep telling myself.
We were sad to find our favorite breakfast place, the Honolua Store is closed for renovations. This place has a fairly extensive grocery/ABC style store in the front and great hot food served in the back. We came across this place years ago and it is very reasonably priced and you can eat outside on the front porch. The breakfast burrito is amazing and comes with the best salsa. I have been known to just buy the salsa to go for snack time at the condo.
Our day was pool, beach, pool, beach, lunch and pool. Which then lead to 2 hour naps. I love vacation.
There is an amazing beach walkway that takes you past lots of hotels and restaurants on the west side of Maui. We took it down and went to Dukes for dinner.
Dinner was good. I mean who doesn’t love a Mai Tai in a glass tiki head.
I had kabobs with chicken, beef, maui onion, pineapple and bell pepper. They also had a side we split of local maui creamed corn. Breathtaking.My husband opted for mango ribs. My daughter chose a cheese quesadilla, not pictured for obvious reasons.
Now off for another adventure as soon as the rest of maui wakes up.
So after being up for 19 hours yesterday, I find myself in my happy spot this morning. Sitting outside having the best cup of coffee.
The next few posts will be devoted to our travel in Maui. Enjoy and please forgive the pics as I am experimenting and doing this all via phone.
The morning started early. And I mean early a 5:30 wake up from a little one who wanted to go swimming. So I took the opportunity to wait an hour for Maui Grown coffee to open to go get coffee for the week. This is an amazing place for local maui grown, hence the name, coffee.
In my quest to get out and live more this year we went to Tilden Park for a weekend adventure. It has a great classic carousel and a small farm for the kids. I learned a few key pieces of information on this trip.
1. My husband, although living here most of his life, does not know how to dress “weather appropriate”.
2. I was raised in close proximity to bovine…….My family was decidedly not.
The carousel is a great vintage ride with interesting animals to choose from. I mean who doesn’t want to ride a giant chicken while racing a frog, while being chased by a lion.
The ride went surprisingly fast, slowly gaining speed over a 3 minute ride.The un-pictured flower-pot shaped car that my daughter talked my husband into getting into on the last ride, went a little too fast for a little too long for him. My daughter was of course unphased. Ah youth. We then made our way to the little farm. Here is a place where parents can bring their kids and Trader Joes celery and lettuce to feed the “barnyard animals”. Like you do on a real farm.
The appropriately placed nondescript piece of farm equipment. So rustic.
Of course there were goats. Which we had to stop and see. I love those crazy eyes.
This is when we learned the difference between my husband and myself, aside from the “aren’t sheep and goats the same type of animal” comment earlier in the trip. He was apparently blissfully unaware that a cow’s tongue was “that” long and “that” strong. I of course thought to myself “Of course they are”.
I am not saying that these are critical life lessons to have but they came in handy for me this time. All in all a great trip and some value bovine skills for my husband and daughter to learn. City folk.
I am a planner even when it comes to our new sense of adventure this year. So I even surprised myself when we decided to take a very last minute adventure to Disneyland. It was so last minute we were deciding on the way to my daughter’s school how we were going to tell her we were leaving at that very moment.
Things I learned on this trip:
1. When you trust your husband to pack the toothpaste you will end up brushing your teeth with sparkle crest for kids for two days.
2. The post 4 o’clock, no nap meltdowns at Disney are epic but can be cured with a Churro.
3. The heartfelt hug from my daughter saying thank you for “The most amazing adventure ever” is enough to make my sore feet and exhaustion fade away.
The adventures so matter how big or small are a reminder that time is precious and a reminder of that child like sense of wonder we sometimes lose as we move through our fast paced days. And sometimes it is good to find yourself also giggling on the Tea Cups at 9:45 in the morning after you just ate a Dole Whip.