A Tale of Two Trips: Part I Maui

Last month, we experienced the joys of travel with trips to Maui and Cancun. I thought it might be fun to share some of the highlights.

On this gray, dreary morning, Hawaii seems worlds away. If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you know the company the MR works for has been taking its employees and families to paradise for years. Not only is it a wonderful perk, it’s a total morale boost in the midst of what can be a very overcast and depressing time of year in the Northwest.

This was our first trip to Hawaii without kids in over 20 years. It’s a little different when you don’t have to worry about accomodating little kids, or teenagers and their sleep schedules and shopping needs. Usually, we have at least one day, where one of the girls would be beet red and needing some time out of the sun. Suprisingly, we avoided that this year with a lot more time in the shade and plenty of sunscreen.

We stayed at the Grand Wailea, a truly beautiful resort.


All the public spaces are decorated with statues, and plants, and flowers. I saw a lady redoing this floral arrangement using a step stool—it’s just that mammoth.

ToTT Flower Arrangement

We stayed in the chapel wing looking out (surprise, surprise) on the chapel,

ToTT Chapel

the beach,

ToTT Beach

and a rather busy coy pond.

ToTT Coy

We divided our days between the beach and the pool, but I did manage to talk the MR into taking a trip up-island to visit a few of the sights. Our first stop was the Ocean Vodka Distillery. We just happened to stumble upon it on our way to some farms. It was a quick tour, and we learned all about the making of “organic” vodka from sugar cane and deep sea, health water. At the end, we were given recipes for drinks and were offered free reign in the herb garden, so we could make lavender lemon drops or other herbal libations.

ToTT Vodka Herbs

Then we pressed on to the Surfing Goat Dairy Farm. It was a bit hot, a bit dusty, and we decided to enjoy some cheese and forgo the tour.

ToTT Goat Cheese

This award-winning cheese was quite tasty, and we still were able to enjoy watching some cute baby goats before continuing our adventure.

ToTT Goat 2

Our final stop up country, was Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. The low bushes and steep slopes were pretty in early spring, and I’m sure they’re quite beautiful when in full bloom.

ToTT Lavender

After seeing a wooden bench snuggled under a wisteria draped arbor, I’m thinking maybe we need some comfortable overlooks for the meadow.

ToTT Bench

Along with lavender, the farm has a huge collection of tropical flowers. I was particularly wowed by this dinner plate-sized beauty.

ToTT Tropical Flower

I don’t think it’d grow at home, but I love the tropical, over-the-top plants you find in Hawaii. They’re just so in your face.

This was our second stay at the Grand Wailea. The first time, there was a snafu with the travel company, and all four of us were given one room with a king-sized bed. I wasn’t my nicest at that point. This time, thankfully, all went smoothly.

I love these resorts with their amazing landscaping and how they take advantage of little opportunities to add beauty. This underpass could simply have been left empty. Instead, it’s a wonderful vignette.

ToTT Vignette

We spent eight lovely, relaxing days in Hawaii, and then headed home for a week. Sweet Miss gave us a selfie-stick for Christmas. Me and the MR have this 10-11 inch height differential that makes selfies a challenge. We never quite figured out how to take a picture without totally blowing out the background, but we were really there—I promise.


I always have a good time with this guy.

Any favorite places in Hawaii? Where do you like to stay?

On a personal note, we said goodbye to Bogart this last Friday. He was a wonderful friend, a good and faithful dog who loved us all intensely. I will miss playing ball and frisbee and shoving him in the bathroom when I had to answer the door and didn’t want to subject people to his protective qualities. 










11 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Trips: Part I Maui

  1. Hawaii looks amazing – I’d love to go there someday. Wonder if it’s similar to Fiji!

    But what I really want to say is that I’m sorry for your loss. I have a 10-year-old dog and I dread the day she leaves us.

    “… what we have enjoyed, we can never lose … all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller

  2. You have had several wonderful trips this year, that we, your public, have enjoyed your sharing some parts of it with us. Life gets so busy at times, and it is nice to take a breather every once in a while to reflect, unwind and regroup. Looking forward to seeing you soon. MeeMee and Papa

  3. Hi Kim,
    In looking at these photos even more closely I really love the one of lavender fields and would love to paint it . I was wondering if I could have your permission to use it as a reference photo for a painting? Thanks! Rita 🙂

  4. Hi Kim,
    Not sure if you got my last message, but I was wondering if I could have your permission to use the lavender fields photo as a reference for a painting? It is really beautiful. Thanks,

  5. Hi Kim,
    I just finished the painting. Thanks so much for letting me use your photograph! I really enjoyed creating this piece! It is posted on my blog, and I referenced you and your blog in the write up. I couldn’t find an email address for you to send you a picture of it,….but if you would like me send it via email, I would be happy to do that. Thanks so much again. I really appreciate it! ~Rita 🙂

  6. Pingback: May Days | big white house on the hill

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