four days at the beach…

I don’t think I’ve been this excited to visit a new place since Paris.

4 days in Hawaii with my baby girl. it’s always been a dream of mine to travel with my kids. one on one. a trip to somewhere far away, where we connect, experience and learn about a new culture, or just relax and catch up with each other.

I’d say South Africa was the first of these trips. it included friends, and family – but I was there with my kids!

Hawaii will be my first trip and Taylor’s second. Maui will be a first for both of us.

day one.

flight: earrrrrly! out of San Jose to get a direct flight and avoid a 10 hour trip (layovers suck). left home at 5:20am to make a 7:45am boarding. made it no prob.

I’ve found that traveling alone gives me LOTS of time to observe. I’m attracted to the elderly on planes. maybe because I’m confined and have to pay attention. maybe because when I sit near a restroom, they are always there, maybe because I am entering their bracket. who knows. I just know I want to talk to them. to learn their story. to understand what they’d tell me about me at my age or about them at my age.

landed, waited for Taylor to land and headed to our paradise home for there next 4 days.  there are lots of kids here which is great, and fortunate for them. I can’t imagine the lifestyle they live on a day to day basis where the Four Seasons is a hotel choice for their family vacation. the grounds are like the garden of Eden if I had to imagine what it might have looked like. beautifully manicured gardens, fountains, fragrant plumeria and smiles from all the staff, all the time. I love that they come from behind the desk to hand you a key or map. the service feels like Nordstrom – back in the day.

we’ve taken a spa where we were cocooned and floated and rubbed down with Shea Butter, so we are two super soft chocolate sisters (yes we have been mistaken for sisters – don’t worry Taylor, it used to happen to me too with grandma. You come from a good gene pool). and we hung out in the eucalyptus steam room that made scary guttural sound every time it delivered steam which made us giggle like fourth graders.

day 2.

today it’s off to explore some nearby towns, get the souvenir purchasing out of the way and take in some downtime. beach time. nothing time.

paddle boards. I can see them float by in the ocean from our patio. no one falls down on their paddle boards. I hope I don’t fall.

so there was no paddle boarding, but there was a lot of body surfing. weeeee! so much fun to jump and play in the waves of the pacific ocean.  what was not so much fun is the screaming tooth ache I landed with. it’s progressively gotten worse, and forced a mainland call to my dentist for help.  looks like dental surgery for an incorrectly placed root canal is in my near future.  GAH!  popping antibiotics chased by probiotics, tylenol and ibuprofen was not how I envisioned these four days – but a lot of pain is not going to keep me from having a great time with Miss Taylor.

Speaking of the daughter — I think she has enjoyed everything so far.  She is a wonder to watch, and I still love to just watch her sleep.  It was cute when she was a baby, and it might be kind of creepy now – but I’m her mom, what can I say.  She is trying hard to just relax and be in the moment, which is hard knowing that the day after we return to real life she starts the final leg of her engineering degree.  She is as prepared as she’s going to get, and I have every confidence in her to stick it out and do well.  This whole trip is a celebration of her perseverance.  Her “stick-to-it-ness”, her ability to stay focused on her end goal and learn how big mistakes or lack of making a decision along the way impact the overall arrival time.  She WILL get this done, and we WILL party party party to celebrate her success. 

we found the “serenity pool” (sans kiddo’s) with the swim up bar and we swam up a few times.  made chair reservations for tomorrow – this will be where we are if anyone needs us. 🙂

dinner at Spago, and called it a night as we could barely stay awake (the downfall of a lot of sun, and a swim up bar)

day three.

early morning beach walk. it’s my thing to be on out and about before the sun comes up when I travel. I love the feeling of a foreign place with its still asleep — at the beginning of a new day.  today, I walked the beach, took a few beautiful images and headed back up to the hotel for breakfast where taylor joined me.  we had our second spa experience where we each had “trim and tone” appointments.  this was hands down the best spa treatment I’ve ever had.  I am a huge fan of vichy showers and this included a full body dry brushing, application of an oil infused with ginger, and cardamon, and a dusting with volcanic ash that was scrubbed into my skin.  lymphatic system improvement, blood flow, circulation and reduction of cellulite.  it smelled amazing, felt amazing and included a vichy shower.  heaven.  [maui wins for best body treatment, and cape town still holds the award for best pedicure]

serenity now. the pool was our afternoon campsite.  people on their phones, on iPads & kindles, wearing headphones, on laptops and reading books (the old fashioned way). this is how we relax. in the pool, take a lap, swim up grab a refreshment and back to your lounge chair for your choice of entertainment.  serenity – no keiki’s – now. 

day four.

whirlybird, chopper, copter, eggbeater.  yes, we rode in one – over the entire island of Maui.  it was the thing I wanted to do most, and the thing Taylor wanted to do least but we met in the middle and had a really fun time.  did you know there were varietals of plants from all over the world growing on Maui.  Things naturally show up through ocean storms and thrive. there are trees from Africa, Japan, Australia, and the native Kukui Nut.  We flew over the dormant volcano, past breathtaking waterfalls and saw the desert, farmland, lush tropical jungle, and beautiful beaches.  We even flew over Oprah’s house and her private 3-4 mile long driveway that gets her from the beach to her mountain retreat without having to travel around the island (that’s what having “Oprah status” will get you),

Dinner at Mama’s fish house was accompanied by the best sunset of the trip.  Refreshing cocktails and creamy exotic curries and the freshest fish next to my daddy’s salmon.

Oh – I forgot to mention the plumeria.  Joshua did an amazing job creating lasting artwork for Taylor and I to remember this trip forever.  

day five.

Final morning, final breakfast, and an earthquake.  At 1AM (hawaiian time) I woke up. No reason, just wide awake in the middle of the night.  I checked my phone and a CNN notification about a 6.0 earthquake just north of San Francisco sent me into a mini panic. 4:15am, no one was going to answer a phone, or a text from me, but I still tried to reach home to get details and make sure everyone was okay.  Facebook became my window into what was going on in SF, and nearby towns. Friends in Napa seemed to be the most affected, but the long enduring rolling was felt as far south as San Jose.  

Four shooting stars, seven peach slices, two amazing spa treatments, five wonderful days and four balmy nights.  thank you Taylor for sharing this experience with me. I can’t wait for our next one…..where should we go?


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