What is a vacation to Hawaii without at least one visit to the beach... or two... or three... or every single day?! You ARE on an island, so making it to the beach isn't that hard.
We lucked out with a great price on a hotel that was 1 block from the beach with gentle surf. This is uber important because not every beach is created equal and depending on the season or area of the island, you could be dealing with some nasty undercurrents and aggressive waves. Both of those do not make for a laid back trip with kiddos!! Our friend, Izzy, gave us the low down on the beach situation before we booked anything and we settled on Kihei which is on the west side of the eastern portion of the island Maui. Yeah, that sounds confusing but maps help a lot! I was glued to mine most of the trip.
Molly was immediately taken with the water and sand... specifically the sand as you will see in several photos and evidenced by the sand that still resides in her swimsuits. Wash after wash and that sand is still embedded in her suits. Oh well, it's a permanent souvenir now.
|It's a bummer that a water drop was on the camera lens, but at least Luke and Molly aren't blurry.|
|After who knows how many washes, I'm resigned to that fact that sand will NEVER leave that bathing suit.|
Not only did we get the low down on the baby friendly side of the island, Izzy played tour guide and took us to several secluded beaches perfect for little ones. Our favorite was the aptly named Baby Beach! A natural reef created a barrier against the waves forming a shallow, calm lagoon perfect for a curious toddler. After Izzy brought us to this spot, we didn't go to another beach because it was ideal. This is in stark contrast to other baby friendly spots... like the Launiupoko Park where the native Hawaiians built a rock enclosure to shield their children from the sharks that are common on the western part of the island. No thank you!!
Anywho, we stuck to the Baby Beach! And it was clear the locals preferred this beach for their children, too. Families with toddlers just like Molly covered the beach and it seemed that every other woman was pregnant. We felt right at home. Though I wish I'd brought my normal bikini instead of my tankinis, and let the pregnant belly free. It was amazing how laid back everyone was about their bodies no matter their size, and I would have felt more comfortable with less fabric hindering my movement. I didn't learn until later that Hawaiians tend to live by the credo "less is more."
|See how calm that water is?!|
The Baby Beach is also training ground for guide dogs! Since Molly was missing her own dog with a passion, anytime she spotted a dog on the beach she bee-lined for it. And boy was it hard to catch up with her before she greeted those dogs, but thankfully they were well-behaved and very gentle. Surprisingly because the dogs were sweet and well-mannered, Molly was on her best behavior. The day she met those guide dogs, the word gentle finally clicked for Molly and she's been much kinder to all animals! Chalk up another win for the Baby Beach.
|Molly spotted a dog and took off running!!|
Something else we noted while in Hawaii that goes hand in hand with the "less is more" mentality, is that many of the young children don't even bother with swimsuits. You could pick out the tourists because their babies and toddlers were wearing swimsuits. So finally on our last visit to the beach, we let Molly romp in just her swim diaper. I couldn't bring myself to let her be completely naked... because poo happens sometimes!
That was also the day Molly discovered kite surfers. I'm still not sure what she was thinking, but she was clearly enthralled. She would stretch her arms out in front of her, palms up and go running towards the surfers babbling something along the way. She would even glance over her shoulder at us as if verifying their existence. So adorable.
And I'll end on that after bombarding you with all of Molly's beachy glory! It was a wonderful trip, though like any vacation was stressful at times (For example, sand gets EVERYWHERE!!). But I'd do it again in a heart beat and hope many more vacations are in our future.
What are some of your favorite vacation memories?
|My two favorite people.|