Often the greatness of a vacation can be underscored further based on how hard it is to come back to “normal life”. For many reasons, not just the post-vacation depression, our recent trip to Maui was perhaps as close to a perfect vacation as I’ve ever been on.
I had a nagging worry in the back of my mind days before we woke up at 4am and threw Charlie’s delicate but hard fought sleep schedule into complete disarray. How would he be on the plane? Would he hate the heat of Hawaii? Would it rain the whole time?
As it turns out, airplanes (at least for an infant of 4-5 months of age) are essentially just very expensive, super sized vibrating white noise generators. The end result for our and every traveling infant on the plane, they Sleep and Eat the entire time, aided with well timed feedings during liftoff and landing to help with pressure adjustments. I was dumbfounded, we weren’t “those parents” with the kid that found the energy to scream for 7 straight hours. Sure there was some awkward baby juggling in the tight bathroom as a I wrestled the change table down and made sure not to touch anything, but no harm. The flight attendants and really the whole airline experience was pretty incredible, to the point where Westjet may be now be my favorite airline (at least for family travel). Westjet, you are finally forgiven for losing my bags during reading week 12 years ago 🙂
But onto Hawaii, and more specifically Maui. Everyone has a picture of their perfect place in their mind. Mine always has been this stereotypical tropical island. A lush island soaked in sun with a cloud shrouded mountain in the middle.
As we began our descent and cleared the haze of the thermocline the beauty of the Hawaiian islands was clear below. It looked like everything I’d ever dreamed of in the perfect place. Beach ringed, lush green, pure tropical paradise. As we moved through the open air airport, we basked in the warmed, sun and humidity. Again, another needless fear, Charlie seemed to enjoy the warmth with the odd cooling breeze.
Now, planning for a potentially cranky kid and the exhaustion that accompanies that, we made sure we were at a resort that was completely geared toward families. Moreover, we selected a hotel that essentially represented the “Don’t lift a finger, we’ve got this” mantra. The Fairmont Kea Lani was outstanding, not only beautiful but we were immediately swept up into the “You’re on vacation, stop worrying” island life feeling.
Another unexpected bonus, Hawaii is 4 hours ahead in time from Mountain Time; Translation, waking up at 6am feels like sleeping in until 10am. With almost no effort, I slipped into a vacation routine of waking up at 6am, quietly slipping out while everyone else slept, chatting up the pool attendants and reserving pool side loungers, then hitting the beach for an 8km
slog leisurely beach run, dodging the crashing waves (I only came back to the hotel dry once).
In addition to sneaking in a daily sunrise run, my wife and I managed to take turns between playing in the ocean like a little kids and baby sitting little kids; I also managed to get some quiet time in every day to meditate, and just have some nice (baby quiet) time with my beautiful wife. While the luxury beach front of Maui may not be as imposing a setting for meditation as say, sitting cliffside within the caldera of Santorini, the rhythm of the ocean works well enough. 🙂
My own biases aside, Maui itself is almost incomprehensibly beautiful with incredible places to eat, adventure and luxury to satisfy every desire and we only just barely scratched the surface. It’s really hard to put in words just how amazing this long overdue vacation for us was. Perhaps the best review I can offer is, We will definitely 100% be back.. and soon!