We hope everyone had an amazing Christmas if you celebrate. Ours was wonderful, and we've enjoyed spending time with family and friends in Austin, celebrating Brendan's birthday, and celebrating Christmas part II with my brother and Erynn. We're also cat-sitting for our "cat-nieces," Kayla and Haley, right now, so there is a lot going on. I haven't been feeling great the past few days (runny nose/cough), but I think I've finally turned a corner to recovery.
As promised, I wanted to blog the rest of our Maui babymoon. Here's part one that left off on Monday evening.
On Tuesday morning, we woke up to a cloudy day, but we decided to get out early and enjoy it anyways. In one of our guidebooks (Maui Revealed), I'd read about the "Acid War Zone Hike to the Blowhole." It didn't sound that ambitious, according to the book, so we ate breakfast in the room and packed for a short hike.
Well, the book's version of the hike and reality were a little different. In reality, the hike was really muddy, not well marked, and (for the first hour we were there) totally isolated. I did get nervous because it looked like it might rain, and I didn't want to get trapped in the valley due to slippery conditions.
Because of that day's weather conditions and the pregnancy, we didn't hike all the way down to the blowhole, but we were still able to get a good view from above and watch the waves crashing in and out. We did spot two hikers at the bottom.
After the hike, we enjoyed pulling over on HWY 30 to watch extremely brave surfers ride these huge waves. We got some pictures on Brendan's camera.
We decided we weren't up for going back to the hotel. Though we were in non-fancy hiking clothes, I called the fanciest restaurant in Maui, Mama's Fish House, recommended by basically everyone, and got us a lunch reservation. It took us an hour to get to Mama's, but we definitely had the time to enjoy the drive.
We enjoyed the beautiful setting at Mama's.
Despite this being an upscale restaurant, the dress code is extremely casual (at least for lunch). We really didn't feel out of place in our post hiking clothes.
We enjoyed one real and one fake Mai Tai (actually good!) at the bar before being seated for our reservation.
Here's our take on Mama's: we both really enjoyed it, but it wasn't our favorite meal (we still like the Lahaina Grill best). It's also super pricey. We shared one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert, and had one real cocktail and one mocktail, and our bill was still $150 post tip. The food is really good, and we're glad we tried it, but we weren't like "oh, we have to come here next time we're in Maui."
I did really love this chocolate mousse dessert though!
After Mama's Fish House, we spent the rest of the day shopping in Pa'ia before heading back to the hotel. We bought a cute "I Love You" banner made from recycled board books for the baby's room, and I bought a paper garland for my office. Despite the darker skies, we never saw rain on either of our hour drives. We snacked for dinner and finished watching our movie (Sicario, which was intense but really good).
We woke up Wednesday morning to still dark skies. I planned another "hike" to the nearby coastal trail. I say "hike" because at times you could hike out on rockier terrain, and at times, you were just on a boardwalk. There were lots of people all around. It was gorgeous though and, at about 4 miles, it was a good workout.
I took some soothing videos of the waves crashing in and out. The second half of the walk/hike, the rain started, and we were SOAKED by the time we reached the car (thankfully, we remembered our raincoats!)
Since it rained all day, we spent a few hours reading in the room (I started Don't I Know You by Karen Shepard, which I'm loving) before heading out for our reservations at Warren and Annabelle's (we'd later agree it was the perfect activity for a rainy night). Warren and Annabelle's is a magic show for adults 21 and over. The magicians also perform at The Magic Castle in Hollywood and specialize in close-up magic. We choose to eat appetizers and dessert there and call it dinner. The food is fine but pricey and not spectacular, but the piano bar vibe is fun, and it was really nicely decorated for Christmas. We saw the earlier (7PM show), and I'm so glad because 9PM is basically my Maui bedtime. The magic itself was awesome. We were really impressed and enjoyed the two hour show a lot.
Thursday morning, we finally got our sunny skies back! YAY! We put on our swimsuits, grabbed our snorkel gear, and walked down to Black Rock for more snorkeling. The water was murky, but we still saw plenty of fish. The coolest moment was when a turtle came within six inches of Brendan's face. Brendan didn't notice because he was messing with his camera. I tapped him on the shoulder, and he looked up and saw the turtle right in his face. The least cool moment was when Brendan told me (and several others) about the white tipped "harmless" reef shark he spotted. I'm both envious and glad that I missed it.
Thursday ended up being one of my favorite days of the trip. After snorkeling, we hung out by the pool for several hours. The weather was great, we enjoyed reading on the beach and dipping into the pool. We shared an appetizer from the pool bar for lunch and just enjoyed being together and feeling baby girl kick. We also each went down the hotel's water slide many times (and enjoyed using Brendan's waterproof camera to document our hilarious faces).
We drove to Lahaina for dinner. We were hoping for an evening meal at Kimo's, but we didn't have reservations. While waiting, the couple in front of us requested a table for two without reservations and were told 45 minutes to an hour wait. They walked away. Another hostess got off the phone and said she could seat us immediately (we assume the phone call she was on was someone canceling their reservation because she immediately led us to a table with one of the best views in the restaurant--so lucky!). We had an excellent meal while enjoying a gorgeous sunrise.
Then, we headed to Local Boys Shaved Ice for dessert. Brendan got ice cream in the bottom of his shaved ice, but I didn't. We couldn't decide which was better: Local Boys or Ululani's, so we're glad we had both during the trip.
After, we checked out the banyon tree all decorated for Christmas. Thursday night, we packed up our bags and loaded up the car.
Friday, we were out the door super early for maternity photos at Makena Beach (more on that in a later post). Afterwards, we drove to very nearby Ahihi-Kinau Natural Reserve for snorkeling. Thanks to a local, we avoided getting in on the rocky side with "razor sharp rocks" that we'd already started wading into. I'm always thankful for a safety tip, so I thought I'd pass it along...go left, FAR left.
We saw so many beautiful fish while snorkeling, and then we drove to nearby Makena State Beach Park for swimming and sunning.
We returned our snorkel gear, went to a coffee shop (Lava Java), and then went to happy hour (happy for Brendan at least!) at a bar to kill some time before watching a gorgeous sunset on the boardwalk. Then, we had dinner reservations at Sansei...it was still delicious (just like on our honeymoon), but we think Miso Phat replaces it as "favorite" in this category.
After dinner, we drove to the airport, returned the rental car, and made it to the gate with plenty of time (our flight didn't leave until 11:59PM). I changed into glasses and PJs at the airport and slept most of the flights from Maui to LAX (despite a lot of turbulence) and LAX to Austin. We arrived in Austin on Saturday at 1:30PM and spent the rest of the day (after eating lunch with my mom) pretty much feeling exhausted. It was such a great trip though, and we're so happy we were able to go.
I'll always remember our babymoon as a super romantic and special trip. Week 24-25 proved to be a perfect time to travel. I had plenty of energy and wasn't uncomfortable at all. I would highly recommend taking a babymoon. If you don't have a full week, a nearby weekend getaway would be great too.
Maui was a perfect warm weather destination for December, and we had six really nice days (one cloudy and one rainy) out of eight days. We stayed at the Marriott Maui Ocean Club for the second time and loved it (the tight squeeze parking garage is the only negative remark we have. Everything else is wonderful). It was nice that this wasn't our first trip because we really didn't feel pressure to re-do things like the road to Hana or Haleakala and just focused on relaxing. Check out tips from our honeymoon for more recommendations (also, the snorkeling spots we enjoyed during a July trip).
I'll check in soon with some Austin recaps. Have a great Friday before the long weekend everyone!