Recipe for a Happy Mommy Maui cocktail: equal parts new friends, handsome boyfriend, pog and waterfalls. Shake. Serve with a rum float.
Mark Twain said, “I went to Maui to stay a week and remained five. I never spent so pleasant a month before, or bade any place goodbye so regretfully. I have not once thought of business, or care or human toil or trouble or sorrow or weariness, and the memory of it will remain with me always.”
Now that I’ve been to Maui, I can’t help but agree with Mr. Twain (and be very jealous he spent five weeks there). Shawn and I went to Maui for seven nights to attend the wedding of a couple close friends. We spent four days in Lahaina, a fun beach town with great restaurants and energy, and three days in Napili, a picture-perfect beach enclave. It was an outstanding time. Easily the best vacation of my adult life.
Maui was everything you think it would be—amazing food, beautiful sunsets, warm beaches, you name it. Here are a few high points and memories:
The Fun of New Friends
As I’ve often emphasized in the blog, friends matter. About 25 people travelled to Maui to celebrate the wedding of our friends, Mark and Stephanie. I knew a few of them fairly well before, but most I had only met once or twice, if at all.
For starters, I was so grateful to be welcomed as a guest on Mark and Steph’s special day. Longtime friends of Shawn, they’ve been kind and inclusive since the moment I met them. This same warmth and openness extended to the rest of the group. I had a truly amazing time getting to know everyone who traveled to Maui, and I am incredibly appreciative of how welcoming they were.
The ceremony was beautiful and personal. I’ve never been to a beach wedding before, but from what I experienced, I hope this one isn’t my last. Mark and Stephanie put on a great event, including with all the activities planned on the days before the wedding itself. A truly wonderful time.
Napili Surf Beach Club
The second half of the trip was spent in Napili, an idyllic beach area perfect for couples or families looking for the quintessential Maui experience. Shawn booked our stay at Napili Surf Beach Club, the same resort his parents stayed at decades ago when they first started travelling to Maui.
The resort was just lovely. Intimate, comfortable and perfectly situated on Napili’s caramel-colored sand beaches. I thought it was so special to stay in one of the hotels his parents vacationed at during the early years of their relationship.
Life’s Little Adventures
It’s been a long time since I’ve had this much fun in a single week. The island was definitely our playground.
On our first full day there, Shawn was a good sport and woke up at 2 a.m. to go on morning excursion with me. First, we watched the sun rise over the Haleakala volcano crater,…
…then we did a 23+ mile bike ride down the volcano all the way into the beach town of Paia. It was a stunning way to see the island.
Other highlights include Shawn and I swimming with a group of seven giant sea turtles while snorkeling, a group beach day on the Fourth of July and enjoying the beauty of the coast with the top down on a convertible Mustang.
On our last day, we did the full Road to Hana loop, and it was a trip, both literally and figuratively. It’s only about 45 miles from the base but loaded with hairpin turns and one-lane bridges so it takes hours to do. The drive up takes you through lush rainforests with beautiful scenery.
Shawn and I stopped along the way at various waterfalls and hiked down to the lagoons. Absolutely amazing.
The day also included stops at a black sand beach and the Seven Sacred Pools, where we climbed to the upper pools few people trek to.
We came home happy and tan, which is all you can ever ask for. I still find myself occasionally missing pog and rum (pog is a juice made from passion fruit, oranges and guava that you can’t get on the mainland), and I already can’t wait to return. It’s an ideal spot for kids too, and I know my little water bug would love splashing around in the warm Pacific. Maui is definitely on our list of places to enjoy together someday. I missed Brayden so so much, but it was important to take some mommy time to recalibrate.