Elder Niece insisted on calling this a "holiday" because that sounds so much better than vacation. She thinks you take a vacation from stress and worry, but you go on a holiday for fun. Whatever it is, we've had a wonderful time. Maui is just as beautiful as people say, and we found plenty of ways to keep ourselves occupied.
The first thing we noticed upon arrival was the open walls in some parts of the airport. Only in a place with truly mild weather could you get away with that. We all met up at the airport having arrived in two groups. It took a moment of standing around and staring before we had it together to find our rental cars. Having visited Hawaii before, I was prepared for the dumb-struck effect. Look at all the flowers! Have you ever seen (or heard) birds like that? Oh my goodness look at the ocean!
In the days since arrival we've found all sorts of wonderful activities to keep us busy. We drove the long (and very twisty) road to Hana on one of our days. This entailed fantastic views of ocean, cliffs, and about 27 different natural environments (thanks micro-climates!). We did have some famous banana bread, and it was just as good as they say. We took 10 million pictures.
Another day was snorkeling, and this was a huge revelation for many of us. Even I, the ponderous pregnant lady, managed to get down to the beach and put my head under the water. It really is another world down there with all the coral and fish. Elder Niece was especially smitten, and I will not forget seeing her bobbing around with several of the others.
Whale watching is something we've tried before, and while out last trip off Kauai was a fun boat ride, we did not see a single whale. This trip was an entirely different story. However, I find that I've run on a bit long, so more on that later. Then we have the beaches. We've visited sandy ones and rocky ones, crowded and empty, calm ones and ones with huge crashing waves. The common thread has been an incredible time. Some of us sat, some of us went crazy in the waves, and I "think" everyone had fun. Nobody got seriously sunburned, and we did not allow ourselves to be caught by that vicious animal known as "the undertoad."
I could go on at some length. The house, the food, the sunsets, the family time was all well worth the trouble of getting there. Now we only face the challenge of accepting that our holiday is over, and we must return to the realities of regular life. Upon getting dropped off at school yesterday, both nieces were in tears. I can't hardly blame them. It's tough to go from a super vacation to the same old same old.