Maui loved us. Every minute of the trip was perfect. Every bad thing that could have happened, didn't happen. We didn't even spill any milk or get sunburned or get lost driving. It was perfect.
About 4 years ago I started saving air miles to "take the big kids to Hawaii" someday. About four months ago, on a good day, we bought 5 tickets to Maui. Three and a half of them were free. Not too long after we bought the tickets, life ... um ... changed and we weren't sure if we could still go ... money-wise. If we could find a cheap enough place to stay we might be able to swing it. I inboxed a friend who lives there and asked her if she could find a cheap but not icky place we could make reservations.
Kat and Chris called a couple days later and invited us to stay with them. Really? Are you sure? We're a lot of people. They didn't really even know the kids other than childhood memories. Five nights is a long time. It was sooooo incredibly nice. More than nice. I still can't believe they welcomed us like they did. And staying with them was definitely the BEST part of Maui. Palm trees are cool. Beaches are amazing. But these two people are the best.
The combination of Collin and Chris was my favorite part of the trip. They were better than watching TV. Chris should be Collin's big brother. There's 7 years difference. They have some memories of a family vacation we took together when they were both little. (Where was Tyler?) I knew we were going to have fun within the first 10 minutes of watching them play Mario Kart. Collin has never been so humiliated on a video game in his life and Chris enjoyed every second of it. Collin can take it. Did you ever win a single game?
My other favorite part was watching Chris take in Alissa. That can be like watching TV too. On our second day he said something about Alissa being funny and he was looking forward to the week. Whew. I was so glad. Not everyone can find the "funny" in a fourteen year old. Maybe especially when they are living with you? And I loved, by the end, watching Kat be big sisterly to her. Explaining life, answering some of Alissa's silly questions that the rest of us have a bad habit of ignoring.
Bonus: time with the Langleys. Dave and Joyce invited us for dinner the first night we were there while Chris and Kat were both at work. Dave bbq'd steak. Their condo opens right onto the beach. The sun set. It was warm and tropical and beautiful. And they are two of the most generous, kind, totally fun people ever. They spend part of the fall in Maui every year and the rest of the year at their home on the lake only a couple miles from where we live. The kids spend time every summer at their lake house swimming with friends and riding the jet ski. Did I mention kind and generous? The kids love them as much as I do.
Kat . Dave . Joyce . Chris
All 8 of us went out to dinner to Bubba Gumps in Lahiana on our last night. The seafood was fabulous. We had such a good time. Dave insisted on paying and Joyce kept telling the kids to order anything they wanted. Did I say generous and kind?
Beach pictures coming soon.