Maynard Maui Getaway 2018 – Hyatt Maui

Maynard party of… 7?

Hey you guys! Happy [Maui] Monday! We are back to life + reality after a nice long week at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort + Spa. Talk about a much much needed adventure.

This past trip – we mixed things up a bit + traveled with FAMILY! My brother and my SIL were able to sneak away from work to meet us on the beautiful island for mai tai’s and memories. Talk about the perfect little combo. This was the first vacation I’ve taken with my brother in well over a decade and honestly, it couldn’t have gone any better. It was so nice to see him and his wife bond with their nephews in a vacation setting. Tossing the kids around in the pool, holding their little hands for beach walks, sea turtle searching…. makes my ❤ extra full. Not to mention – we had a little HELP! Bracy + I were able to sneak away for some SUP, snorkel + extra smooches:)

This Maynard + Ward Maui Getaway was a game changer for our family – we all grew a little closer, held each other a little tighter, and made some of the greatest + happiest memories we will never forget.

Thank you for reading + allowing me to share my family with you:)

All about that H20

If you’ve been following my journey, you know my Ben. You also know that my Ben is a teenager:) And if you have a teenager, you know this phase is a tough one. But being able to take him out and spend some QT on the water – seeing him smile the way he did – brought us so much closer. I worry about that… losing that tight bond + connection as they enter the inevitable emotionally driven moments of puberty. I do find that carving out special time for him on a regular basis strengthens our relationship to a level I can only hope is indestructable.

When we lived in Florida, we spent all our days on the water. This day on Maui, made us feel at home. When we weren’t loungin’ in the ‘Ohana [family] beachfront tent [which I highly recommend booking in advance] we were snorkeling along side the hone [turtle] + SUPin’ above the beautiful reefs. All of the snorkeling equipment was available right at the resort – keeping things super simple for us. And a special thanks to Chris with the Ka’anapali Surf Club who graciously shared his local insider tips on snorkeling hot spots giving us the most surreal underwater adventure imaginable.

Pool Time!

The pool at the Hyatt was pretty much home for the week. There was something to do for everyone. The swim up grotto pool bar, waterfalls, awesome slides! Best part? The kiddie pool was fantastic!

Lu’au Baby!

Listen. You can’t go to Maui + NOT hit a Lu’au – it’s probably one of my favorite things to do on the island and THIS Luau was something special. Drums of the Pacific   offered an unforgettable evening filled with conch shell blowing, the beating of the drums, the echoes of the Hawaiian chant, the delicious food, the drinks – literally it was such an incredible experience for the whole family.  This lu’au took you on a journey throughout the islands of Polynesia through song + dance, wrapping up the night with an INSANE fire-knife dance finale!

Wildlife

My kids LOVED the animals you’ll see throughout the resort. Parrots, penguins, fish – the list goes on! We were lucky enough to meet up with Pono who gave us a “behind the scenes” wildlife tour where we were able to feed + bond with the animals! If you find a little free time during your stay at Hyatt Maui – I highly recommend booking this experience! And be sure to give Maddie the parrot a big kiss from all of us:)

That Sunset Though…

Maui is one of those places – actually it’s the only place I’ve ever experienced this immense desire to move. It’s a place I can actually envision us living. It’s a place that feels so much like home to me. For weeks after each trip, Bracy + I discuss ways to make it happen. Maybe one day?:)

Thanks for following along! Maui has been an annual tradition for our family that I hope we continue for the rest of our lives, with hopes that the boys will carry on for generations.

Whats your family vacay tradition? Comment below + share a story of your own!

PS: If I all of a sudden go “missing”, chances are you’ll find me right. back. here:)

*partnered with Hyatt Maui for this post, however, all opinions are my own.

When Luxury + Family Collide [Maui]


Maynard Maui Getaway 2017. Aloha! And Happy Monday!

So here we are you guys, a year later, plus another [baby], + the best Maynard Maui Getaway in the books. Not gonna lie… this most recent trip to the incredible [brand spankin’ new, btw] Westin Nanea Ocean Villas , Ka’anapali will be one we’ll never top. Never. Period. It’s a fact and I’ve accepted it.

Now let me tell you a little bit about this property + why we loved it so much. The little bits of info you’d never know unless you’ve experienced it for yourself first hand. This new beachfront Westin is no Westin at all. In fact, it sits alone, at the very top of a category beyond 5 stars. Singles, couples, families, honeymooners – this property offers enjoyment for everyone! Truth:: I get goosebumps as I write about this super unique place, one I hope to be able to bring my kids back to year after year.

What’s in a name?

Nanea (na-neh-ah) is a Hawaiian word that means to be in a state of relaxation, leisure, + tranquility. This resort is like no other in ways that can only be experienced during a stay. The details, the auras, the authentic Hawaiian vibe really have a way at putting you into the most peaceful place you’ve only dreamed of. One you’d like to stay in forever. Something I really appreciated was that the [local] staff would share stories and unique details on the ground-on-up construction time-lapse. Their heart’s lie deep within this property. You really do get a sense of care + respect when speaking to just about  a n y o n e  working on site. Something you have to remember, is these employees watched this property go up from dirt, as most worked at the neighboring [sister] property, The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas.   [pro tip: stay at one resort + use the other! Something that’s also unique to this property is that you’re able to property hop sharing the pools and ammenities!]

The Decor

One of the things my husband + I absolutley loved about the Westin Nanea was the attention to detail + purpose by incorporating the history of the island and of the Hawaiian people in the construction + creation of this new property. One of the ways in which they delivered that experience was with the Hina’i, a traditional Hawaiin fishing basket. The Hina’i represents a basket of stories, which is the hope + expectation of the resort and it’s design. From the lobby to the light fixtures, locally created artwork in the villas to structural murals on the building, all being focal points throughout the property that give the guests inspiration to create and share a story of their own. Any Moana fans out there? Check out the floor in the picture below. What do you see?

The Food

The Westin Nanea makes dining quite simple. When you’re not shopping on property in the convenient Kauhale Market + cooking in your villa or BBQing near the pools, feel free to start your mornings off at Mauka Makai [meaning toward the mountain, toward the ocean] The relaxed + upscale menu is inspired by ancient Hawaiians, who drew their physical and spiritual sustenance from the land and sea around them. Pro Tip:: definitely try the mango Bellini paired with your coffee + the corned beef hash. It’s served with the most amazing chorizo gravy that will make your mouth want more. So yum. If you’re feeling uber hungry, try the buffet:: a never ending option loaded with the freshest fruits, tender smoked salmon, delightful pastries, and more. 

Lunch daily was poolside for us.  Waitstaff circled around the pools carrying yummy frozen drinks + snacks from Inu [the Hawaiian word for drink]. The smells were undeniably tempting. Dine poolside, in a private cabana, or in the wide-open restaurant with stunning views of Kā‘anapali Beach, the resort, and the swimming pools. Pro Tip:: Definitely order the Edamame + the Tuna Poke Bowl. Ahh-mazing. *Be sure to ask for Jake. He was the kindest, most knowledgable waiter I have ever met. Jake taught us so much about the menu: the story behind it, how the food was caught + prepared, and the rhyme/reason behind it all. Jake was a very memorable part of our trip and not because he introduced me to the Macadamia Nut Chi Chi [my go-to poolside cocktail made with Ocean Organic Vodka, macadamia nut liqueur, pineapple chunks, coconut cream, + pineapple juice] We sure do hope to see him again some day!

Dinners at The Westin Nanea felt so elegant yet kid-friendly; a combination that very rarely sits together. This is definitely an important quality to our family as my husband and I love to “fine dine” with kids in tow. The menu was created by Executive Chef Ikaika Manaku with fresh, local ingredients sourced from mountain to sea. Our Faves:: Start off with the Kula baby mesclun greens. It’s topped with fennel, Waimea cukes, local cherry tomatoes, hearts of palm, Kā‘anapali beets, and a lavender dressing. Next, try the Yukon Gold Gnocchi. It’s served with charred Hawaiian orange butter, toasted macadamia nuts, + a garden herb essence. Seriously incredible.  Main course options are all perfection, but be sure to save room for dessert! My husband + I had 1 fight in Maui and it was over the last bite of the Baked Maui; House-made pound cake, meringue, Lappert’s Hawai‘i coconut ice cream, + macerated Kula strawberries. Oh my yumm.

Spa Helani
Let’s talk about the most relaxing, rejuvenating experience of my life.  I ended up living the dream with an 80 minute massage. And get this:: I am honored to say I was the VERY FIRST to try the NEW Nanea Ritual.  This ritual was introduced in honor of the Nanea’s recent opening, soothing guests into a dreamy euphoric state of relaxation, or Nanea in Hawaiian. The ritual begins with a symbolic cleanse; using a ti leaf to cast away any negative energy lingering in the room. Next, you will choose your oil blend for the ritual. I chose the gardenia blend as it’s one of my favorite scents. Smooth, self-heating porcelain lava shells are then used to massage the chosen oils in a rhythmic pattern on the skin. You guys:: this was [seriously] without a doubt the most relaxing massage I have ever experienced.

The Bed.
It’s Heavenly®. Need I say more?

The Pool

The pool at The Westin Nanea was the one place we were consistantly at every single day. From sun up to sun down, the boys were splish n’ and a splash’n at the baby beach, cruisin’ down the water slide, and playing in the kiddo pool or splash park. We spent one full day in a private poolside cabana where my hubby and I enjoyed yummy drinks + treats while the babies napped and Ben watched surfing on the flat screen TV! I highly recommend booking a cabana, especially if you have littles!

You guys:: whether you’re traveling with the kiddos and looking for a cultural experience like no other, in love on your honeymoon, or simply flying solo, this is one place you need to hit. The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas on Maui will forever be a special place for my family. You can for sure count on us going back.

A big Mahalo for letting me share our Maynard Maui Getaway Part II with you!  Feel free to scroll down to check out the rest of our pics:)

xo

Renée

 

*partnered with Westin Nanea for this post, however, all opinions are my own.

Vacay w:: Baby || Travel Tips + My Diaper Bag Packing List! {Family Vacay Essentials}

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Family Vacation:: Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well guess what!  It’s totally not! Our trip to the Westin Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas in Maui was beyond perfectly incredible + ahhhhh-mazing! Kids in tow + all! You guys look, I get it. Two words that you’d think realistically, don’t go happily together. Family and vacation. Well with the help from my gal pal Emily Giustiniani:: new mommy + 5 year Delta Airline Flight Attendant, together, we’ll clear up any fears or misconceptions you may have about airline travel with your rambunctious rugrats. Now I can’t speak for everyone, but I will tell you what we did right, what we did wrong, and what we’ll definitely do next time!

{THE} Diaper Bag:: Essentials For <15 month-ish old

How we packed our Lily Jade Meggan for airline travel!

Below are the items we love + brought with us! They may not be your fave + may even not be as “clean” / chem free as we’d like. We all mommy differently so please do not pass judgement:)

»Diapers {2 for every hour you’ll be in the air // 1 extra bc you know you’ll need it}

»Package of Wipes

»3 binkies + a binkie clip

»Package of Johnson’s Baby Hand + Face Wipes {these things are GREAT for travel}

»Travel Size Hand Sanitizer

»2 Bottles/Sippy Cups {in total, you will have 3}

»Water/Milk/Juice

Similac On-The-Go Powder Singles if formula fed:: We brought these and added water once we were through security {kept the bag a little lighter + it saved us some time w:TSA} We also brought 1 full bottle for the car ride TO the airport + the time AT the airport. Per TSA:: Formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers are permitted through the security checkpoint. Separate formula, breast milk and juice from other liquids, gels and aerosols limited to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that you carry formula, breast milk and juice in excess of 3.4 ounces in your carry-on bag.These liquids are then screened separately.

»Age Appropriate Snacks {packed in plastic baggies}

»Munchkin LockFood Pouch Spoons! These will come in handy if bringing pouches!

»2 burp cloths / 1 light blanket

»2 large Ziploc baggies {for dirty diapers or wet clothes}

»1 Full Change of Clothes Rolled Up

»Teethers {if needed}

»Medications {whatever your child will need, bring it.  In addition, we chose to carry Tylenol + Children’s Benadryl {in case of emergency}

»Changing Pad {comes w:: your Lily Jade}

»Baby Carrier / ERGObaby

{You will use this for takeoff / landing, and pretty much the entire flight during your walk-a-thon up and down the aisle}

Now listen to me.  Right now.  If your baby is ever going to have a meltdown like no other, it’s going to happen on your flight, and you know what, IT’S OKAY! It’s okay. Say it with me.  IT. IS. OKAY.

Babies cry, it’s what they do.  You’re still a wonderful mommy, in fact, you’re the best mommy! So if your LO decides to scream for hours, just know that it’s not forever. Just know that paradise {or home} awaits, and tomorrow is a brand new day anyway. On our way to Hawaii, Jax {my 12 month old} didn’t make a peep.  He was a perfect little travel buddy! He ate, he napped, he ate, and he napped.  It was so easy!  Well let me tell you, the way home was polar opposite.  I’m not exaggerating the slightest when I tell you he screamed for 5 hours straight.  There I was thinking, worst case scenario, maybe he’ll cry himself to sleep.  Nope.  He was a trooper and managed to get so pissed, there were sounds coming out of him I’ve never even heard before! {I later realized he was trying to tell me he wanted to go back to Maui}.  Anyway, I’m only telling you this because here I am now, wrapping up this blog post before I start looking up flights for our next family vacation.  Was it rough? Sure.  Were we “those” parents? Absolutely!  But who cares.  The trip + the memories you will make with your family are worth every tear, every single time:)

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 Travel Tips + Tricks::

»Book aisle seats.  You will be getting up A LOT with the babe.

“Ask for help! Most of us are happy to calm a crying baby or watch a toddler while mom changes a diaper in a lav.”  -Emily w:: Delta

»Did you know that most airplanes have a changing table in one or more bathrooms?

When boarding, ask a flight attendant which ones got it!

“Dispose of diapers in the lavatory. Seat back pockets are a BIG no-no!” -Emily

»Try to feed during takeoff and landing.  It just might help your little ones ears:)

“Bring treats for your flight attendants if you have a chance. A bag of candy they can split that you can pick up from an airport store or even one time I asked the gate agents how many pilots/FAs were on board and got each of them a $5 Starbucks gift card while waiting to board. ” -Emily w:: Delta

»Bring an umbrella stroller, and gate check that bad boy. You will use your stroller on vacay! Unless you’re renting one, then in that case, don’t bother.

“Headphones are polite. If you have a bigger kid watching a movie on an iPad, the sleeping business traveler near you might not want to listen to Shrek. And Frozen. And the Lego Movie.” -Emily w:: Delta

»You do get to pre-board if you travel with your little ones! Perk!

“Speak up! Make sure if your child has a peanut allergy to try and let them know when you’re booking your ticket. Many airlines still serve them and are happy to go peanut-less during your flight if you let them know. If there’s a severe allergy in your family, carry a prescribed epi pen. Just because your flight might not have peanuts doesn’t mean the person who last shared your seat didn’t nom on trail mix.” -Emily w:: Delta

»If your baby drinks milk, bring your own.  Do not trust the catered flight milk for LO.

“Many families are messy. It’s the nature of the beast! Feel free to ask your attendant for an extra trash bag so you can dispose of all the stuff you need during your flight and then pass it to them at the end.” -Emily w:: Delta

»Don’t introduce any new foods/drinks to your baby right before or during your flight.

“Pay attention to your closest exits, safety demo, etc. In the unlikely event of an emergency, you’ll be glad you paid attention! If you have a child big enough to understand, go over some of these simple things with them. Like how to buckle and unbuckle your belt, where the closet door is, and how to put on a mask. Even ask an attendant to show you!” – Emily w:: Delta

That’s a wrap! If you have any questions at all or would like to add a tip of your own, feel free to comment below! Good luck + happy travels:)

Renée

UP NEXT!

You guys! Be sure to check back next week as I breakdown our EPIC trip to the Westin Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas in Maui – you will not want to miss this one!

*Advertising Disclosure:Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”