Luau's, Snorkeling, Shave Ice, Oh My! Our Fab Family Vacation in Maui

This will definitely be a summer to remember.  As a retirement gift to himself, my Dad took the entire Green Clan to Maui for a week!  I don’t remember when I have been so tired and laughed so much in a long time.  Philip and I flew in a day later than the rest of the group–we had Sarah & Josh’s fun wedding to shoot.  So Sunday evening we were greeted with lei’s, spent a few hours on the beach and then headed to the Old Lahaina Luau ( ).  It was one of the most succulent, lush banquet feasts I’ve ever seen! And our waiter was hilarious–animated and playful, the kids loved him.Philip and Dad, chillaxin.Mai Tai SunDSC_2933-EditTraditional seatingDad & Joyce at sunsetCrazy fun KyleTahitian GoddessAlex liked the coconutsThe food was incredible but the performance was even more fun.  Thanks Dad for kicking off the week with a bang!

Boogie down

Most days we woke around 6:30 am and started making plans for the beach.  Napili shores was a great boogie board beach and family friendly.  Spirits risingOn Tuesday we ventured out at 2:30 AM to see the sun rise on Haleakala.  Despite the nauseatingly early start and winding roads, it was one of the highlights of the week for me.  How often do you see the sun rise ABOVE the clouds.  The elevation was around 10,000… and seriously cold!  But once the sun began its ascent, the crowd grew quiet and we all were humbled by the brilliant beauty.  Such simple things we can so easily forget to appreciate, the rising of the sun.  Deep breath.DSC_3233-EditOn our way back to Kahana we stopped in the upcountry for some breakfast and heard “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” FOUR times, in less than an hour.  I love that song and apparently so does everyone else in Maui…but one does reach a point of oversaturation.  Good thing the veggie eggs benedict was so freakin delish.

Jump for joy!Back from the sunrise, it was off to the beach again!Sandy headAnd time to be buried…Emmett restrained, check

Or reflect…Surfer dudeOr enjoy the fact that your cousin is completely vulnerable…Got jump?Line up the boogie boys.Racing the boatWe took a boat trip out past Lanai for a snorkling excursion.  Let’s just say that most of the Green family does NOT have sea legs…  We were joined by a massive group of spinner dolphins who would race the boat.  I was positioned on the bow and managed to get this crazy shot–they were so fun to watch! And the snorkeling was great due to one word: CHUM.Happy foodBack to the resort for a bbq. Who wouldn’t want to eat a happy burger?  Especially when you’re serenaded with “SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW”!! Yes, again…Somewhere over the rainbow, take 43Maui brew pubWhile traveling, its important to frequent the local watering holes… just doing our part.

Waves of funWhat is more fun than a 6 foot waves knocking you into the sand?  Having your cousins along side…Sleepy eyes Waking up from a sandy nap.The famYes, we did the fam photo timer…

Howler monkeyThe last night, Eva was more than ready to be home.

Reflecting with BudhaThe majority of the fam left on Saturday while we stayed on for a couple of side trips.  Before heading into the upcountry of Makowao, we stopped to visit Budha in Lahaina.


Such beauty nestled in the middle of a busy town.

Shave in the mouthAnd we couldn’t leave Lahaina without sampling just a bit more shave ice–this one topped with adzuki beans and sweetened cream from Local Boys on Front Street. ( )

Paia BudhaBudha in Paia greeted us…

And we were seriously “mako-wowed” with the sea salt lattes from the Green Banana  Cafe in Paia off the Hana Highway.  Strangely delicious…salty joeAfter a long luxurious swim in the pool at the pool at the Banyan Tree House B&B  ( ) We headed for the airport–the Boyers to Kaui and Em and I to Oahu.

Heather, Chris, Katie and Buddy

We stayed with some family friends and took a few portraits out on Laniki beach near Kailua.  Driving the H3 in Oahu was spectacular.  I thought I was renting a jeep, but it turned out to be a red convertible mustang.  Can you say TOURIST any louder…?

IMG_1180We drove up to the north shore and snorkeled a bit at Shark’s Cove.  Luckily there were none of it’s namesake present…

DSC_4762DSC_4820-EditSerenity in HonoluluWe decided to spend our last night in Honolulu.  I wanted to check out a photography exhibit featuring never before seen photos of Amelia Earhart at The Royal Hawaiian hotel along Waikiki Beach.  The drive in from Kailua was peppered with rainshowers and rainbows.  Strange juxtapostion of old and new…

Em and I walked along Waikiki, enjoying our last Hawaiian sunset.

Sunlit EmAnd enjoyed the Scratch Mai Tai and a Virgin Pina Colada at The Royal Hawaiian hotel ( )

Scratch mai taiAnd now here’s where the story gets sad and a little scary… Em turned 13 a few days before the trip and has been begging for a phone. So we surprised him with a super sweet iPhone.  He was in heaven!  On the very last night while walking along Waikiki, he made an ill-fated decision to do a sweet par cour maneuver–which landed him on the only exposed lava rock on the whole stretch of Waikiki.  With a 1 1/2 inch gash that probably should have been stitched or butterfly taped at the least, we attempted to rinse the gory gash out at the water faucet, yeah that sand was not going anywhere…  It was nearly 9 pm and we were at least 40 minutes away from Kailua where we were staying.  We had almost reached the car (which was about a mile away) when a wide-eyed Em asked me, “Mom, do you have my phone?” We blinked at one another, I swore (sorry) and took off back to the beachfront hotel where we last remembered having it, retracing our steps and scouring the beach.  No luck. I called the phone again and again–which went straight to voicemail, and then called AT &T to suspend the phone.  Thankfully he had a security lock on it, but most likely it met it’s demise in the water.  I was mad for about 10 minutes, and then I switched to feeling just as heartsick as Em was.  I reminded him that although it was a super sweet awesome phone, it was still just a phone and could be replaced.  It was a total bummer.  So I called our hosts to let them know why we were running so late, when my phone died, battery done.  Great.  We were in Honolulu and I had been depending on my phone for directions…  OK, I think I remember how to get back there.  I would NOT advise driving around in a bright red mustang, especially when you are lost in Honolulu.  We were in some sketchy and scary parts of that city.  Needless to say, we made it back, dressed the wound, comforted Em and tried to get some rest before our flight the next morning.

SadnessWe decided to visit the Valley of the Temples to calm down from the previous evenings events.  It was nice to sit in the quiet beauty.BudhaDSC_5020-EditDSC_5024-Edit

While I love and live to travel, it is so nice to be home…

One thought on “Luau's, Snorkeling, Shave Ice, Oh My! Our Fab Family Vacation in Maui

  1. Ariel

    Your photos are beautiful! I was in Maui for two weeks in February and I visited a few of the same spots. I think you would’ve loved Hana! Thanks for sharing.


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