Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Out & About in Kauai

Sorry about the time in between blog posts. When we got to this new hotel - only the wireless is free - and it is SUPER slow!!

Our first full day here (Monday) - we drove the entire island. There is basicall a road that goes ALMOST all the way around. So we went as far as we could one way - and then we turned around and went as far as we could the other way.

First stop was Waimea Canyon. You pretty much have to see this in person to appreciate the true beauty - but here are a couple of pics.

This one has a waterfall - it is in the far background - but I am sure it is huge.

This waterfall is called Wailua Falls. It is said to be between 80-173 ft. And then at the bottom it goes into a 33 ft pool. You can't get down there unless you want to risk your life - or maybe you can be dropped off by helicopter.

This lighthouse is on the island - and it is also in a park that is a bird sancutuary. There were mountains just covered with birds - but they were hard to make out in pics so I didn't post those pics.

This is one of the birds.

Here is the jeep we rented for this trip. We originally were going to have a convertible - but it wasn't going to be big enough to get all of our luggage to the hotel. Here is Cameron at one of the scenic overlooks. Eric had him set up on the bannister which freaked me out. To the right is a mountain - and down to the left is the ocean - a beautiful pic.
Hrer are the kids out at the pool the first night. There are 5 of thise statues - and during the day the spout out water.

Here are the kids at another lookout. Mountains, ocean and blue sky - it was VERY pretty up in the mountains.
This is what the kids looked like after the drive up to Waimea Canyon. On the way down they couldn't stay awake.

Crazily enough this trip tires everyone out. After a day on the beach - we are all ready for a good nights sleep!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Final Night in Maui - Polynesian Revue

So, tonight was our final dinner here at the Grand Wailea. This first picture shows you part of the dinner set up - although you can't even see the tables. There were probably around 300+ people at tonight's dinner - as kids were allowed to go.

They had a separate buffet for the kids with more appropriate food choices (IE french fries, mac n cheese etc). They even had some low tables with pillows on the ground for the kids to sit on. Here are the kids at one of the low tables. Nice face Cameron. Kiana didn't eat one bite of any food - only DESSERT!!
Here is a family picture of us - pretty much the only decent one we have. We were hoping to have the sunset in the background - but the sky was too cloudy tonight to see the sunset.

Here are the kids! Kiana went wearing a grass skirt that I bought as part of a swim suit. When we got there they were handing out grass skirts (of course Cameron did not want to wear his). The funny thing is neither did Kiana - she said everyone would laugh at her. So that was good reinforcement when we got there - and other kids were putting them on!!! They also handed out necklaces for the kids - and the cute coconut like coverings you see on Kiana in the next picture. SO CUTE!!!

The main event of the evening was the Polynesian Revue. It lasted around an hour. They went over all similar cultures - think Tahiti, Somoa, New Zealand. It was a good performance. The last dance of the evening was to get all the kids on stage and teach them the hula. I didn't post a picture - but I think Kiana was the ONLY child over 3 years old to not go up on stage - but that is how she is!!!! Here is a pic of the kids with the dancers from the Revue.

Last - but not least - a sample of what we saw. This is part of the first dance of the night. This video is not great quality because we took it using our digital camera - not our video camera. ENJOY!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Spa, Surf & Pool Time

First off - I wanted to start this blog off with a couple of pictures of us from the day we arrived. This is us at the Maui airport. These leis are made from real flowers. They are very pretty - but they are not comfortable at all. And Eric's caused him to feel like he was breaking out - so he didn't keep it on long!
Here is Kiana flashing a small smile in hers! She was excited to finally get to Hawaii after months of talking about it.
Today the boys went and took surf lessons, so Kiana and I spent the morning together.
Surf lessons were fun but really wore them out. And of course they couldn't go without a mishap. Cameron was following closely behind Eric -and Eric's board came out from under him and cracked Cameron upside the head. So now he has a swollen head to go with his gashed up face!!!!
They didn't take pictures - however there was a professional photographer there - so we hope to get those pictures back when we get home - and I will post then. I can't wait to see them - they say they did pretty good for first timers!!!

This picture is of Kiana in a rest area at the bottom of our building. She wanted to sit and pose for a picture on our way to breakfast.
Then further down the path on the way - is a pretty waterfall - yet another great spot for a pic!

Here she is at breakfast. Yesterday morning we had to leave so early we got a boxed breakfast - which was not filling. I was happy this morning to be here for the buffet - so Kiana could start the day off with a full belly. When she doesn't get enough to eat she is SUPER crabby. This morning she had 2 waffles, oatmeal and a little bit of scrambled eggs!
The restaurant we are eating at is outside - with thatched roofs like the seating area in Kiana's picture. Then it is on piers over water - with salt water - and filled with beautiful fish. A very scenic breakfast!!

Then we were off to the spa. This spa, the Spa Grande, is the largest spa on the island of Maui. The foyer where you sign alone is a 3 story room. Here you can see the chandelier in the middle. All of the decor on the ceiling appeared to be handpainted. It is a gorgeous room!!

Here is the front desk in that room - where you stop to check in!

Here Kiana is sitting on the couch in the main lobby waiting to be called back for her appointment. Her treatments consisted of a chocolate/coconut massage, pedicure and manicure. First was the massage. We went to the back and she got a robe and a locker. We took all but her panties off - and put her robe on. Then it was up to the second floor to wait for her massage. I took her in the room - and then left her. I am so mad that I forgot to get a pic of her in the robe or the room! nothing from the massage!!!!
This is the lanai on the second floor where I waited for Kiana to finish her massage. We took a picture of the kids down below yesterday. It was so nice sitting up there. It was open - so you could hear the waves crashing below. A nice warm breeze was blowing. It isn't hot here - just the perfect temp as long as you stay out of the sun (even then as long as you aren't walking it is greats!)

Once her massage was over - it was off to get her manicure. Her hair is such a mess b/c she has lotion in it from her massage. Of course she got her nails painted pink ( and now a few hours later, the polish is already coming off from going in the pool).

Then pedicure time. She picked blue for her toe nails. Pink and blue are her favorite colors! Her legs are also shining from all the lotion that was put on her during her massage. She looks like she is about 9 years old in this picture to me!!

After her appt we met Eric and Cameron back in the room. It was my turn to head to the Spa for a facial - and they all headed out to the pool. We have some pics from then - but I will save those for another post.
Right now we are resting up for the big Polynesian Revue (luau I think) that we are having tonight! And then tomorrow afternoon we are off to the Kauai!!!
Our time here has been packed tight with activities. We can't wait to get to Kauai and relax - and take a more leisurely pace.
Next post will be from the Polynesian revue - stay tuned . . .

Friday afternoon in Maui

So - how did the Hill's spend Friday afternoon?? Relaxing and playing at the beach!! Here I am taking a pic of my feet - with the ocean as my scenery. Kiana and I found a spot to sit under an umbrella so we didn't get any more sun. She actually plopped down in a shady spot first.

On our way down to the beach we stopped at a pretty spot on the resort property to snap a pic of the kids!
Here is the shady spot Kiana plopped down in to start playing with her sand toys. She had fun for a little while. But the wind picked up so much - that sand was blowing in her eyes. So - she decided to get in a chair and lounge with me. So Cute.
Here she decided to venture into the water with daddy. This did not last long. Eric took her out just a little way - but a wave crashed into her face. And one taste of salt water had her running back to her chair. She needed a drink - and kept saying she was going to puke!!
Cameron and Eric went and bought snorkel masks. Then Cameron was body surfing in the waves, and a big wave crashed him into the ground - and off came the goggles - leaving him with this gash in his cheek - and goggles off to sea!!!

We then took the kids to camp at the hotel so we could head out for the nights festivities. First on the agenda was a "surprise wedding" for Stanley. I work with him on the category team. He and Susan have been together for like 8 years. He has asked her to marry him a lot - and she has said yes- but the time had never been right for a wedding to take place. She cooked up a scheme to surprise him while the were here with a wedding and we all got to be a part of it. It was a quaint little ceremony on the beach! So fun!!!
Well - Eric and Cameron just left to go to surfing lessons. I don't know how many pictures they will be able to take. Kiana and I are headed down for breakfast - and then off to the Spa. She is getting a chocolate/coconut massage, manicure and pedicure. And then when the boys get back I am getting an anti-aging facial. Can't wait.
This afternoon we are probably going to go to the pool or beach. And then this evening we are having a Polynesian themed dinner - and this one the kids are also invited to, so it should be a fun evening!
I'll post again ASAP.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 1 - Maui Raft & Snorkel

Here is the boat we went on today (not us in the first pic). You literally sit on the edge - and hold on for dear life. We took this boat on the ocean - going probably 40 mph - no life vests (they were in hte top of the boat in case of emergency. There were a few seats in the middle - that is where Kiana sat. First the captain went kind of slow - level one. It was still bumpy. There were rough waters out on the ocean. Then he stepped it up to level 2. After a little while of that I asked to stop so I could move to the middle - I felt like I was going to fall of the boat at any moment!! Once I moved to the middle - it was much better - you didn't have to hold on as much there.

Today - every muscle in my body is sore from holding on. Especially my butt!!!

When this think hit a wave - we would literally get some air - and then crash down into the water!!! Don't get me wrong - it was fun - definitely an adventure!!

We stopped at three different spots to snorkel - but Kiana and I stayed in the boat. In this picture you can't even see how awesome this water is. This water the deepest, darkest blue water I have ever seen - it was beautiful and clear. We were able to look over the edge of the boat and see the huge salt water fish.

Here is Cameron in one of the snorkeling spots. We bought an Olympus underwater camera at Sam's for $158 before we left (we have 3 cameras and one video camera with us - LOL). It was a great investment. We love the pictures we are getting. It also has video - but the video Eric took is so large - and I don't know how to reduce the resolution so it doesn't take up all of the space on my blog!!!

Here is a shot Eric took of some of the fish he saw underwater. We also stopped at a spot with sea turtles - but the water was darker and they are too hard to see.
And here is a pretty shot of an anenome. So bright red!!

This last picture is from where we went way north of the island to where lava flowed and formed these black formations of lava rock more than 600 years ago. These huge waves (which our boat was riding) would crash into the rock and sometimes splash up higher than the rocks. There was this little cave than the waves would crash into - so much that water would hit the ceiling. Our captain backed us in there when the water calmed down for a second - we stopped in there for a split second and then got out - so our we didn't crash to our deaths into the ceiling.

Hope you enjoy our first day adventure story as much as we did!!