Monday, July 5, 2010


It is terribly hard to believe, but it has been a whole TWENTY YEARS since I first went to Maui and stayed in a Kapalua Golf Villa. I should pause now for you to say: "Really Michelle, you can't be that old?" Yes I am. My first few trips to Hawaii were spent at this spot, playing in this pool, looking at this view. It is where I was the last time I got my husband in a swimming pool on our honeymoon six years ago. It is where less than 24 hours ago I was taking my little baby down the steps for one last swim.

Kapalua is the most magical place ever. I love it. When you drive into the resort it takes you back in time with the almost 150-year old pine trees that line the street as you drive in. I've been to lots of beautiful places, and to me this little corner of Maui is the most lovely spot of them all.

Getting to Hawaii is kind of exhausting so we didn't do a thing when we first arrived on Tuesday afternoon. We had been up since the wee hours of the morning so we just relaxed. When I woke up the next day, I walked out on our patio and saw this:

We walked down to the pool just in time to sit under the clouds. We had the pool to ourselves and Stella had a great time with her new pool toy.

Of course, no trip to the pool is complete without reading gossip magazines with Grammy.

A neighbor lady that was leaving offered to give her flower lei to Stella, so I put Hot Stuff in her most Hawaiian outfit and had a quick shoot with her. Prepare to be dazzled by her hip sunglasses--she got compliments on them EVERYWHERE we went.

The next day we headed down to the pool for more fun in the sun. I got sunburned for the first time in like 10 years--I guess I was just too distracted by having such an awesome time.

I tried to get Stella to jump into the pool like she jumps on land. However, when I asked her to bend her legs she would just lift her leg up and then wait for me to pull her into the water. It was pretty hilarious.

One of my very favorite spots in Maui is the Kaanapali shops and the restaurant Leilani's. My little tip (that I didn't follow the night we went) is that you should get there before sunset to miss the rush. However, waiting for our table gave us some time to watch the sunset. Stella for some reason was in no mood to pose for pictures properly, but we still got some good ones. After the sun went down we still had some more time, so we did a little shopping at Louis Vuitton, and Stella loved her first high class shopping experience.

The next day was the day I woke up to realize I was (oops) sunburned. So we skipped the pool and went into Lahina and walked around. I showed Stella the huge banyon tree and we had an early dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise. Stella rates the fries at CIP the best on the island. We watched the sunset again and then called it a night.

Stella loved just hanging out in her luxury condo.

Well, Stella has been to the beach before and loved it. So we finally, on our last full day, got it together and headed down to the beach. I am not a beach person--the sand and heat don't do it for me. But I wanted Stella to enjoy the beach while she was in Hawaii. So what happens the first second she is out in the water with my mom? A GIANT wave comes out of nowhere and knocks them both down. You never get just one giant wave--it is always several--and as I am running to the shoreline to rescue my now traumatized daughter, another wave comes and knocks Stella right out of my mom's hold and my little baby starts rolling along with the sea! It was horrible! I grabbed her as quick as I could. She had sand everywhere and the tears started coming non-stop. As you can imagine, she was not interested in heading out to the ocean again and cried the whole time we tried.

Stella still thinks the ocean is beautiful and she was happy to watch grandma swim in it from the sand. But if I even offered to take her close again, she would cry: "No! I scared!" So that was our one and only short trip to the beach.

The night that we had to leave we still had a full day to enjoy so we went on a hot walking tour of Kapalua. We then headed out to the new resort that they built there. They are Ritz-Carlton condos and we as a family are still very sad about them tearing down the lovely hotel that was there before. It was a favorite spot of ours, and it still makes me mad. However, the view is still the same and as soon as Stella saw it she was all "oooohs" and "aaaahhhs." She ran around letting the wind blow on her face and posed for a few adorable pictures.

Stella is pretty much an angel most of the time, but traveling with a two year old is not always smiles and quiet thumbsucking. She had her moments, especially now that she has decided that taking off and landing in a plane is super scary. Here is a second series of "Stella: Having None of It." You will notice in the pictures though that she is basically only wearing two different outfits, so overall she was a pretty good girl. Then of course the other pictures are from her ocean disaster, and I can't blame her for the tears on that one.

Stella crying is sort of how I felt when we had to leave. I was so sad, and I hope to make it back to Hawaii soon.


John and Valerie said...

She is so stinking cute!! I am glad you had fun and got to go!!

Christy said...

Those are some beautiful pictures!! I LOVE Stella in her hawaiian outfit and sunglasses... priceless! I'm so glad that she's ok after her traumatic experience in the ocean. I know you must have freaked out. Glad she's safe and that you had a good time. You and your Mom look so cute in all of these. :)

angelicindy said...

oh what a wonderful trip! I felt I was right there with you on some of your pics. They were so great I could almost hear you laughing and your mom's voice. Stella is adorable and a sweetheart which why I loved her crying pics so much! Hilarious! Thanks for posting :)

mistieleigh said...

wow! I love all your pictures. I love Maui too! I love all the traveling you do too... and i thought i went lots of places!! You have me beat! more power to you though. I love traveling. Makes life so much more enjoyable! You have created Stella to be such a photojunkie...i wish Seneka would pose like her. She is adorable!

Brandy said...

Those pictures (and stories) are fabulous. The pine tree black and white is my favorite scenic shot though. The grand one of Stella in the hotel lobby on the blue/green couch is a fav too. Looks right out of a magazine and NOT a gossip one!