Thursday, June 7, 2012

maui memories (our first family trip)

it's overdue, i know.  i almost forgot to make a post about the trip but i remembered it the other day and thought i'd reminisce that vacation for a moment.  today is specially a good day as i'm feeling like i need another vacation.  it has been a tough month at work. i could use some good memories to help me get by.

first off, this trip is a big big blessing to us from above.  with our meager income there is no way we can afford such a luxury trip.  but God has been so generous to us.  in february i purchased five $2 raffle tickets from my goddaughter for a fund raising at her school.  money was tight but i bought what i can afford at the time as wanted to help her meet her quota.  lo and behold, i won the grand prize of a vacation for two to maui! included are: airfare for two, 8 days & 7 nights accommodation at the Royal Lahaina resort and $500 hotel credit. it's the biggest prize i have ever won!  then my ever so kind and thoughtful mother-in-law paid for Sophia's airfare.  i couldn't ask for more.  i am thankful beyond words.  God is truly amazing.

some favorites from our trip (in April)...

♥  sunsets : we watched the sun set every evening,  on the beach while flirting with the waves and at the bar while sipping mai tais.
♥  sand castles : we built one every time we went to the beach. it was Sophia's favorite activity. she'd fill a bucket of water and dump it into the excavations we created to protect the castle from the wave. she went back and forth, back and forth, filling her bucket and dumping the water into the hole... until the castle is washed away.  it reminded of St. Augustine and the mystery of the Holy Trinity. ☺
♥  snorkeling : we took a boat ride to the molokini crater to snorkel. it was an experience but the nearby black rock (right next to our hotel!) is just as good if not better.  it was free, no need to get sea sick and plenty of  fishes to see even for beginners like me.
♥  swimming with sea turtles : a sea turtle was swimming right next to us one day. it lifted it's head up over the water and stared at us.  it was the weirdest and most amazing stare i've got in a while!   Then there was another one at Black Rock while I snorkeled and many more on the boat ride to molokini.
♥  whale sightings : it was toward the end of the whale season but we were lucky to see some humpback whales spouting from the shore.

where we ate:
○  royal lahaina terrace restaurant and lounge : the hotel was a very good host to our stay but we were not so impressed with the food served at the restaurant. well, except for the mai tais ☺
♥  cj's deli and diner : this is why i find smart phones so useful nowadays.  we were in a place we were not familiar with, and our phone presented us a list of eateries nearby, with reviews! we were delighted to find this place, tucked away from the touristy crowds and yet so close to our hotel. they have a wide selection of food, all good and reasonably priced.  after we found this place we almost pretty much ate our breakfasts, lunches and dinners there.  you ought to go and try their mango glazed pork ribs there if you go to ka'anapali.
♥ aloha mixed plate : we had the best coconut prawns here. but all their other hawaiian local food is also ono... the atmosphere and the view is great but don't expect something upscale.
hula grill : basically a fun place to dine and hangout at the whaler's village.  live entertainment and great food while you watch the sunset. quite romantic with stuck on you playing in the background.  corny, i know.  i couldn't help but chuckle! try to get there before you are starved as it could be a long wait.  pass time watching whales spouting, no kidding! their ceviche is a must.

maui was good to us. it was the ideal family-with-kids vacation. we hope to go back. hopefully soon.

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