Saturday, February 16, 2008

Picture Update: 6:32PM Saturday

Lots of playing, napping, eating...I'm too tired to go through the day. Thought some pictures would sum it up better!

Yesterday, we went to Lahina & I liked this sticker on one of the store windows:

Of course, the ukelele came with us everywhere. Rusty gave a live concert in Lahina at the docks...
The boys had too much fun playing in the gift shops. Rusty ended up talking Daddy into buying a back scratcher...
We tried on tribal masks...
After Lahina, we came back, took naps, & then played on the beach. Clark took this photo, which I think is beautiful :)
I can't remember the last time I actually played in the sand. I mean, really played...where I had sand up my butt & in my hair. At first, I buried Rusty in the sand (at his request)....
I turned him into a mermaid...
Nice job, eh?
How could I refuse Rusty's request to bury me? It was fun, it felt awesome to be blanketed in the warm, heavy sand. I dodged a few sandy handfuls that were aimed at my head. This was a first for Mommy & Rusty...playing in the sand like this together. We've been to the beach a bunch of times, but never have been IN the beach!
After playing in the sand, Rusty & I played in the waves a bunch. Clark took pictures. My butt looked really frightening. So I deleted the pictures. Rest assured though. We had a blast!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

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5:52PM, Thursday

I had the best intentions of decorating our room for Valentine's Day...I brougt streamers, tape, & heart confetti to decorate with while Rusty slept last night. Didn't happen though...Rusty woke up at 5:45 and was up for the morning! I guess we're still adjusting to the time change...

I did bring along some Valentine's gifts from Rusty's homeschool buddies & a few gifts from Mommy & Daddy. He was really excited to open his gifts...this picture was taken about 6am and Mommy is really, really sleepy still!

After putzing in the room for a few hours, we showered & got dressed. We decided on McDonald's for breakfast. On the way downstairs, we shared an elevator with Chris Mortensen from ESPN. The Pro Bowl was held in Hawaii last weekend, so he must have been in town vacationing still. It took Clark a minute to place his voice, & it didn't click until we had parted ways. Too bad! I could have been an obnoxious fan!
After breakfast, we went to check out the Maui Ocean Center. It opened at 9am & we arrived about 8:45, so we did a little shopping while we waited. Rusty found a ukelele that was the perfect purchase, & he had fun entertaining us while we waited.
We can never escape field-trippers I guess! Today was field trip day at the Maui Ocean Center for some middle school kiddos. Luckily we missed them most of the time, but it sure made the Ocean Center much more crowded. We've gone once before with Audrey & Chuck and it was almost empty when we were there last time!
Since Rusty (and Clark) woke up SO very early today, Rusty was pretty tired by the time we started walking through the aquarium. I think if we had a bit more sleep, we would have stayed longer. Here, Clark is helping Rusty check out some coral.
One of the neatest parts of the Ocean Center is their touch tank. They've got starfish, urchins, & sea cucumbers that you are encouraged to touch.
It was so neat to feel the puffy, hard starfish turn softer in your hand!
After the aquarium we headed back to the hotel for lunch & naps. At Safeway the other day, Clark picked up a pack of bologna & we ate bologna sandwiches for lunch. So what, you say? Rusty has never had bologna & Clark & I haven't had it in many years. Oh, it tasted so good....

We all crashed for a two hour nap together & after waking, put on Rusty's bathing suit to head down and check out the ocean.
We went to the beach on the opposite side of the hotel as the day before. As we rounded the corner to enter the beach, check out what we found:
On top of so many rocks, people had built cairns that were preched just so...I found this to be REALLY cool & couldn't believe some of the cairns were standing.
Aren't these cool???
I wanted to leave our own cairn, so Rusty & I set out to stack our rocks.
It was much harder than it looked. But we found out the white "rocks" were actually light weight coral pieces that had been tumbled into round shapes & would stack well.

After our rock stacking, Rusty spent the rest of the time frolicking in the water. Clark & I stood at the edge of the beach trying to give Rusty some room to explore without getting into danger.

By the time he was finished, Rusty had more sand in his suit and hair than I ever thought possible. It took two rinse cycles in the tub before I could even begin to bathe him!

We cleaned up after the beach & headed out for dinner and came back to the room to relax. Another fun day in paradise :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

5:22pm, Wedensday

This morning we hopped in the car with two destinations in mind: Denny's for breakfast & the Safeway for groceries. Talk about Maui living!

The Denny's is the same one we always took Chuck & Audrey to, so it was fun to go back. We all ate WAY more than we should have...pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, toast. And french fries for Rusty. Oink. Oink. But it was sooooo good!

After breakfast we headed to Safeway for some groceries. We're now official Hawaii Safeway Club members....and it saved us almost $25 on our grocery bill. I was prepared for expensive food, but wow was it expensive! Although we spent about $100 on our groceries (and didn't walk away with all that much stuff), it still was cheaper than buying everything at the hotel.

Rusty loves "loaf" and wouldn't you know....Maui has loaf too!

After we came back to the room, unloaded the groceries, & looked at our watches, it was....9AM! Wow...we had done so much already it felt like. No way was it 9AM!

Check out the view from our room....did I mention we got upgraded for free? We passed on the Ocean View upgrade when making our reservation because it would have added another $800 to our room. For $800, I'll happily look at the gardens! When we arrived they told us (because Jeff's Platinum Premier status...ALL those lonley nights traveling were good for something!) that we were upgraded to an Ocean View Suite. Greatness!

We threw on our suits and sunscreen & headed down to check out the property. In general, the pools stink. There is no beach (did I mention this hotel is on a rocky cliff?) That photo above? That's a beach next to the hotel.

Good thing is, though, that all beaches in Maui are public property...even if they're in front of a hotel! There's paths all over the place that connect our hotel grounds to beaches on either side, so it wasn't as bad (the no-beach situation) as we originally thought.

We went out to the rocky area to see if we could make our way down to some tide pools.

I took Rusty down & we found all sorts of neat invertabrate corals.
The waves would gently roll in, wash into the tide pools, & wash back out softly.
I knew there was a "children's pool" on the hotel map, so a little further down the path we found it. It had a fun little spray park that Rusty loved. Although, again, for a Category 6 Marriott resort, this is pretty sub-par. And it was COLD....but Rusty didn't notcie too much!
The beach in front of the hotel next door, the Grand Wailea, was just steps away from the Children's Pool, so we headed down there next.

Rusty had fun chasing the waves, yelling into the ocean, & digging in the sand. This child, who hates getting dirty decided he would roll in the sand/surf and ended up with sand in more places than I thought possible!
It was most fun to run.....
Kick water as fast as you could....
And fall down to roll in the sand!!!

Currently, Clark is dead tired & is suffering from jet lag. Rusty is taking pictures with my cell phone (sorry if he calls any of you by mistake!), & I'm getting dressed as soon as I finish this so we can head out to find dinner. **I'm not naked...just in my pjs!**

We've made it!

After an awesome flight, we made it to Maui at about 4:00 local time. Since Hawaii is 4 hours behind our normal time zone, Clark & I were already yawning as we got off the plane!

My biggest stipulation for planning this Hawaii flight was that we had to go in First Class (we saved our airline points!) and we had to have bulkhead seats so that Rusty could get up, move around, & I wouldn't worry about him bumping anyone in front of us.

We REALLY lucked out on this flight (and on the flight home as well it turns out) because this was a new plane and had lay-flat seats! Talk about awesome!!! The first time we went to Hawaii with Audrey & Chuck many,many years ago, we sat in Coach and the ride home (which is always an overnight flight) was just hell. Nobody could get comfortable, nobody slept very well, and it was something I will never do again. Either First Class, or no Hawaii!

The second time we took Audrey & Chuck (when I was big, fat, & pregnant with Rusty), we were up front and it made a world of difference in our comfort level. Then, add these awesome seats, & we were in a whole 'nother level of nirvana!!!

Before we left, Rusty & I made this paper chain that you see in the picture. Each loop represents 1/2 hour. I knew an 8+ hour flight would be a LONG flight for a munchkin, & he really has no grasp of what eight hours is. So as we flew, every 1/2 hour, we took of one link.

He was very excited after his nap that he got to remove three links at one time! And it really kept the "Are we there yet?" questions to a minimum because he could just look at his links and see that it wasn't time to arrive just yet!

For meals, we had a choice of ravioli or "short ribs". By the time the flight attendant reached our seats, all that was left were short ribs, which Rusty wasn't happy about. But once the meal came, he was thrilled. Mashed potatoes, meat that was more like pot roast than ribs (which Rusty LOVES), rolls...all of Rusty's favorites! I gave him my mashed potatoes as well & he was completely stuffed after his meal.
After lunch, it was time for a nap. Rusty pushed the magic button & his seat reclined to a nearly flat bed. WHAT a deal!
Clark dug his hot fudge-strawberry-whipped cream sundae. This picture reminds me of the Seinfeld episode when Jerry is up front indulging in his sundaes while Elaine is in the back all smooshed.
When we arrived at the hotel, there was a slight hitch. Turns out the "Marriott Wailea" we thought we were going to was closed & has changed to the current hotel we're in. Which has NO beach (it's on a cliff!) and teeny pools.

We called around to see if we could change hotels to another Marriott on the island, but no luck.

The good: We were already upgraded to an oceanfront suite.

The not-so-good: We'll have to walk a bit to find a suitable beach for playing.

But that's all OK! We're going to make lemonade with our lemons...Right now, Rusty is taking pictures with my camera, Clark is munching on the fruit plate the brought last night, & I'm typing as I listen to the waves crash on the cliffs, birds greet the sun with their's 6:45am afterall!

I'll update often since internet is a per-day charge. Aloha!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Griswolds Are Off To Maui

The Griswolds leave bright & early tomorrow morning for our Maui trip! Clark thinks I've gone over the deep end trying to think of things to entertain Rusty for the 8 hour flight. We're making a paper chain today...each link will represent 1/2 hour incriments of the flight. I say it will help Rusty grasp how much time is left during the flight. Clark just laughs, says I'm a great Mommy, even though I'm a bit nutty.
We'll do our best to update this site daily...I won't be updating our other blogs during vacation since I don't want the entire Blogosphere to know we're not home!
So feel free to check in here instead of the other blogs to get your Family Fix. Here, we're the mysterious on another adventure :)