Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Maui Vacation - without the kids

Yes, it happened.  First time in 12 years that we went on vacation without the kids!  After Lauren was born she traveled with us all over Europe and then when we moved back to the States we would travel to see the family in Michigan at least once a year!

Back in January I got a text from Mike saying we had a problem.  I responded "what?  I'm walking outside with the boys"  and he responded "We are going to Maui!" I knew what "going to Maui" meant.  Mike had earned a spot with his company's President's Club based on his performance in 2011.  Lots of thoughts came to my mind like who was going to watch the kids, could we take the kids with us (I know I was delusional), how long is the trip, and most importantly WHEN is the trip. You know after the holidays and all there were a few things I had to lose!
The information slowly came in advising us that the trip would be in May and no kids were allowed until after the week long activities planned for the winners and the their spouses.  I talked to Brenda and she graciously offered to spend the week with the kids.
I had a binder all ready for Brenda when she arrived.  It gave her directions to where the boys needed to go on certain days, where the parks were, who was giving Lauren rides to school and other extra curricular activities, etc.
I was a little stressed about leaving.  I wasn't sure how the boys would react when we got in that taxi and drove away.  There were no tears (from the boys!) so it was without drama.

This is when we got off the plane in Kahului, Maui.

 This is the view from our suite.

 The view overlooking the pool

We arrived on Monday and then we had to rush to check in, pick out a boutique item from one of the shops (oh the horror) and get our itinerary for the week and get to the welcome dinner by 6:30. No pictures from that night as we were trying to figure out what was going on.

Tuesday morning we woke up and went to the Welcome breakfast. We arrived on time and were first in line to pick out a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. How cool is that?!?! Mike was scheduled to play golf and I scheduled myself a spa day. I was scheduled for a massage at noon so after Mike left I walked the beach before my appt. After my appt I went back to the beach and found a place to lounge. It was so windy that I had sand everywhere...I think I might still be digging it out of my ear! Tuesday evening we had a company wide dinner with the theme of "Surf City". Mike wore his Hawaiian shirt that we bought on our last trip or perhaps when we lived's been in our closet for awhile! The shindig was supposed to be outside but because it was so windy (shocker) it was moved inside!!

Wednesday morning we are dressed and ready for team building. After breakfast we scooted over to where it was being held. We knew it was Minute to Win it games and there would be cool prizes...but that was about all we knew! One and a half hours later it was over. Our team won the "best team spirit award"..Yeah you got it..we sucked at the games but man did we have a good attitude about it! That night we attended a dinner with the sales team. We had about 22 people at that dinner at Ruths Chris Steakhouse!

 Mike and I on the bus going to dinner!

Thursday was another day that we chose to do some excursions. We signed up for these excursions back in February. Mike has always wanted to try Paddle boarding. I offered to do that with him and he was shocked (yes...I'm not a water person). Once we got to the beach and to the storefront, he changed his mind; he was going to go surfing! I was not overly happy at that moment. I went with the paddle boarders and he went with the surfers and I will say that I had a great time. I saw a shark right under my board (he was small, but a shark nonetheless). After I was calming myself down from that I saw three huge sea turtles. It was amazing. No pictures of course...the instructors gave me grief for keeping my sunglasses on and paddle boarding is kind of hard with only one hand! I'm happy to report that I didn't fall off my board. I did fall down on my board, but not off. Big difference! Thursday evening we went to dinner with Mike's boss's boss's boss. He invited us earlier in the week. How can you turn that down! It was a smaller crowd than the previous night and we got to know the crowd a little bit more.

 We caught this sunset as we were headed to dinner!

Friday was a free day until that evening.  I was trying to get one of my friends in Honolulu to fly over to see us, but she notified me earlier in the week that she just couldn't make it work. We rented a Jeep and decided to drive up to Haleakala. I've been up there a couple of times, but on our honeymoon we tried to see it and after driving up the winding road for over 2 hours it was so cloudy you couldn't see the crater. Mike was still bitter about it up until Friday. We drove up there again hoping it was clear. As we watched the temperature drop the clouds got heavier. We got to the top (FINALLY) and it was still a little cloudy but as we got to the visitor center the clouds blew away and we were able to see all the wonderful colors of the crater! It was 46 degrees and winds of about 40 mph. It was chilly. I'm ok with chilly but with 40 mph winds it was somewhat unbearable at times.

These pictures really don't do it justice!  It's beautiful.  You can also hike and camp in the crater!

We are inside another observatory (hence the reflection).  If you look closely you can see the two volcanoes on the Big Island in the distance above the clouds.

So after trekking up to the crater, we drove down and visited a couple smaller towns, Makawao and Paia. We then headed back to Lahaina and ate another (we ate there on Thursday) plate lunch at Aloha Mixed Plate!  Highly recommend this place (obviously).

This is the Hawaiian Plate (Kalua Pig & Cabbage, Lomi Lomi Salmon, Poi; Haupia) and
yes...I ate it ALL.  We also had the Gala dinner this night and I'm sure you guessed it, I wasn't hungry that evening, but did I eat the gourmet meal??  Yes I did!

Friday night was the Awards and Gala dinner. All the winners of President's Club were recognized and given pretty cool awards!  The food was wonderful.  There was plenty to drink and of course dancing was included.

The gala ended at 10:00 p.m. due to noise restrictions, so most of us moved it inside to the hotel bar.

Before we checked out of the hotel on Saturday, we went down to the beach and walked Kapalua trail.  It was quiet awesome, although I wouldn't recommend walking on the old lava flow with flip flops on.  I had a piece of lava that went straight thru my shoe.

 That's Molokai in the distance
This was my last drink at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua...I know it's sad!

Other pictures - not in any particular order!
Mike and his buddy borrowed boogie boards and had some fun in the water!  I hung out on the beach and got more sand in my ears.
 Spam Musubi
(We ate our usual breakfast and then went to the local store to grab these delicious things!)

Just a portion of the landscape at the hotel

As you can probably guess, we had a blast.  We were able to relax knowing that Aunt Brenda had the household under control.  After coming back it was learned that the schedule went out the door at the Scott household and two concussions were had by the boys.  When we walked in the door at 6 a.m. Sunday morning Aunt Brenda had the coffee going, the house was spotless (although she said it was only spot cleaned - is there any other kind??) and we shared stories until the kids woke up about an hour later!

Oh I can't wait for our next vacation!!
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