Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rule #71: Everyone needs a kid-free vacation

Alex and I had the incredible opportunity to go to Maui the first week in February. (Thank you Doug and Susan). I had never been to Hawaii before and it's pretty much the tropical paradise that people say it is.
We left Evan home to be passed around between my family, and a few friends. Thanks to everyone who made our kid free vacation possible! Evan did really well while we were gone. I usually got report that he was happy and playing and sleeping like a champ. It made it so easy to enjoy myself. Evan did have a rough time with his cousin Sanders. (who is younger than Evan, I might point out) I'm really not sure what that was all about, but Emilie handled my clinging, crying child fantastically. Sigh, what a silly kid.

With my son well cared for, we were able to do some of the most amazing things I've ever done. seriously. Everyday we did something, and I could lay down at night and think, that was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. And every night it was true!

I went snorkeling for the first time, just right outside of our hotel. It's a little claustrophobic of a feeling at first, but I really did enjoy myself. Alex, on the other hand, did not. He doesn't enjoy the water, but I was proud of him for at least trying it. We swam with the fishes, saw a few giant sea turtles, a group of squid! All while hearing the whale song underwater! It was amazing! (see, there it is again, I'll probably say amazing twenty times in this post!)

Picture taken by Doug underwater. We really were that close!
We went on two different whale watching trips. Both were amazing, and there were SO many whales, we were surrounded most of the time. Seeing little babies with their mom's was so adorable. But the highlight of the whale watching for me was the second trip. The captain let me put on his mask ans snorkel and hung me over the side on the boat so I could stick my head underwater and watch the whales swimming beneath us! I have never seen anything like that in my life! I probably never will again. It was AMAZING!! And those animals are HUGE! Intellectually I knew they were large, but I had no. idea. Simply amazing.
Whale watching

We went boogie boarding several times. It turns out that is one water activity Alex does enjoy. Found perfect beaches and perfect waves. Such a great time!

We took the road to Hana one day, stopped to hike to waterfalls along the way. It really is a tropical paradise. Everything looked like it came out of a movie set! And all along the way were trees with beautiful red flowers, turns out they are African Tulip Trees. I loved them!

We also went to the aquarium on one of the rainy days. We got to see them feed the manta rays and the sharks. It was neat.

We ate excellent seafood, well, Susan and I did. Most of the boys did not. Although I am proud of Jeff for venturing out and trying something different, and he even liked it!

On the last day we drove up to the top of the volcano, standing above the clouds! I've never done that before either! It was a pretty impressive sight.

The flight home was long, but we were lucky enough to get on the direct flight again (thank you Doug) so really, there's no complaining here. I was ready to be a mom again. I was so ready to go get my baby! I had an amazing time, made memories I'll never forget, but it was so nice to go home! I'm glad that we didn't bring him along, not until he's much older. (At least not on that kind of vacation.) As much as I missed him, I'm proud of how well I did without him. It's a good feeling to know that you can exist without your children, and it does make returning to them so sweet!

And here are a few more randoms pictures, because I know you just haven't had enough! :)

The Dragon's Teeth (made from flowing lava that crashed into oncoming waves!)

Meghan in front of the Banya tree, a local landmark (not the tree right next to me, but the huge one way in the back. It's hard to tell from here. All those trunks....they're all the same tree!)