Adventures in the Valley Isle!

Ryan and I usually like to take one big trip a year, we had talked about doing Italy and Greece in the fall and had even started researching and planning it. But surprise! There’s a baby in me and it’s coming early November! So after some discussion we decided to take a two week trip to Hawaii, somewhere neither of us had been but always wanted to go and went in May for our anniversary. I’ve never talked to anyone who hates Hawaii, for the most part people say it’s heaven and their favourite place in the world. After consulting our friends who are Hawaii veterans we decided on Maui, and it was the best choice! Amazing weather, great food, gorgeous beaches and so much to see and do. Two weeks went by in the blink of an eye and there are so many things on our list that we would go back for.

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We stayed in Kihei, but in a condo in North Kihei where it’s a bit quieter but still really close to the bustling town in South Kihei. We were on Sugar Beach, which isn’t the most gorgeous beach of all that we went to but has miles of beach that we went on several walks down. The above photo is the view from our balcony.

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I’m just starting to get used to having a changing body for baby so there will be a long showcase of loose tops in all these pictures!

This first day we spent some time walking the beach by our condo and drove into Wailea and Makena, stopping at Makena Cove for some swimming.

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A friend of mine suggested we go to Costco and buy snorkel gear then go to different beaches to snorkel. Do it! Some of the snorkelling is so incredible, it was one of the best things we did.

We also went for our first taste of shave ice! In the heat and humidity it is an absolute must! I don’t usually like sweet things so the couple of times we went I got half watermelon and half lime, it was so good and refreshing! There are hundreds of shave ice places in Maui, you just have to find your favourite!

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That night we went to check our more of Wailea, which I would basically describe as the Beverly Hills of Maui. It’s where a lot of luxury resorts are, it’s beautifully maintained, gorgeous beaches and views. We actually got lucky when we were there because it was Wailea Restaurant Week, so a lot of the restaurants have special preset “taste of Wailea” menus that are heavily discounted and a portion goes to charity, so we took some advantage of that. This is the Four Seasons, which was by far our favourite of all the hotels we went to.

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The fabulous four seasons! We went back several times for dinners and “drinks.” We look like sorbet in these outfits!

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It was really nice to stay in a condo because Maui can be very expensive, being able to go to Cotsco and Safeway for groceries makes a huge difference. We went out for quite a few dinners but also barbecued at the condo and ate our own breakfast at home everyday but one.

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On our 2nd or 3rd day we went to the Alii Kula Lavender Farm, I’d say it was probably our biggest disappointment of all the things we did. Some of it is beautiful but it is very underwhelming and not nearly as polished and maintained as we expected. The weather was also extremely overcast in upcountry that day so that didn’t help either.

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We went to a Luau that night and it was really fun, definitely a highlight from the trip! There are a lot of options for different Luau’s throughout Maui, we went to the Marriott where they do it on the roof top so the views are gorgeous. The entertainment is fun and we enjoyed the food, they don’t do the ceremonial pig in the ground so that was really all it was missing. We really had fun, I would recommend doing one.

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Before we went to the Luau that evening, we parked at the Marriott then went on this long stretch of beach walk in front of the hotels in Wailea, it’s some of the most gorgeous natural beaches. It connects a lot of those luxury hotels in the area and you can walk and walk, which was difficult in the outfit I had mistakenly chosen but worth it for the beauty.

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There are so many gorgeous beaches, all public, to explore in Maui. Some of our favourites were Kamaole 3, Wailea Beach, Makena Beach State Park. But there are really endless options to try.

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Wailea Beach

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Serious burn to that little baby bump!

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Makena State Park

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There was so much more to see and do on this vacation! Soon I’ll post about our fun in Lahaina, the Road to Hana, snorkelling at Molokini and more. Have a great week!

 

 

 

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Honeymooners

My husband proposed to me at Walt Disney World in December of 2011, so Disney has a very special place in our hearts. Growing up, my grandparents had a house in Sebring Florida so I would go to Disney World almost every year and Ryan looks to Walt Disney as a role model and creative inspiration. We have been there 4 times together – we’re obsessed. When it came time to choosing where we wanted to go for our Honeymoon, we knew we wanted the hot hot heat and beach, but also thought it would be special to go back to where we got engaged. This thought process of course lead us to Florida. We spent some of our time in the parks, and some of our time on the beach and the pool. I did a ton of research leading up to our honeymoon, what restaurants to choose, what camera to buy, what was best at Disney World for a honeymoon. I won’t pretend we’re not total Disney geeks but we did want some romantic time and some space from the chaos. I’ll share some photos from both aspects and give what is hopefully some good advice for anyone hoping to make this trip. (If you want to see the pictures bigger, just click them and they’ll expand.)

Walt Disney World

While we were at Disney we stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. If you’re going to go to Disney stay on property at a Disney hotel, it is way more convenient to get around and I think it adds to the magic a lot. Riverside was a perfect choice for a honeymoon, it is very large, on a huge river and has lots of walking trails. It is a moderate level resort (the levels being value, moderate, deluxe, and deluxe villas) but it really felt more like a deluxe. The rooms are updated and fairly large and we loved that there were small quiet pools which were hardly used and so much more peaceful then the big pool that was just a ton of kids. We ate at their sit down (table service it’s referred to if you’re on Disney dining plan) restaurant and my husband loved it.

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I’d say my favourite park is Epcot. I used to love so much Hollywood Studios, which is still great, but Epcot is more geared toward adults. The other parks are about the rides and Epcot is more about learning and exploring and I enjoy World Showcase a lot. England and France are probably my favourites. Epcot has rides as well, we like Living With the Land, Soarin’, Test Track, Spaceship Earth and Sum of all Thrills. I HATE Mission Space, it scared the hell out of me and made me feel so sick, and normally I like crazy rides. One major benefit of Epcot is the drinking! You can try different drinks from every country, although I’m not much of a drinker so I didn’t get very far.

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Even though Epcot is my current favourite, we still had fun at all the parks. We did a tour at Magic Kingdom called “Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom” and loved it! A guide tours you around and we got to go “backstage” before the park was open to the public and tells you a lot of history, secrets and inpsiration. If you’re interested in the history of the parks and what goes on behind the scenes, you will definitely enjoy this. Next time (which won’t be for a long time, probably when we have kids!) we want to try to do the “Keys to the Kingdom” tour which fills up fast.

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Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

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Beach Bums

We rented a car while we were there so we could go to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Although the Gulf side is calmer and has more emerald waters, we like the Atlantic side too with its big waves. We have always talked about getting a vacation property in Florida and visiting both sides made us want to do it more than ever. It was so hot and humid while we were there that it would usually get a thunderstorm in the afternoon, but it ended up being perfect so we could go back and get pretty for dinner after being in the sun all day. As much as I loved the beach, I enjoyed going to pools too, you can lay out for hours and take a quick dip when you’re hot – it’s just so convenient.

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Atlantic Side

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I think this bikini is super cute, and a total bargain! I got it at Simons.

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Gulf Of Mexico

My hot husband!

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Fancy Times

Dinner on our first night, at Narcoossee’s on Bay Lake, really delicious.

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This is my favourite lip gloss right now, it’s a MAC lipglass in Dreamy.

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I borrowed this dress from my friend Erin, but I’m so obsessed with it I’m going to figure out a way to steal it. It’s from American Eagle.

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This skirt is from Express, they always have such cute summer stuff. I actually got this when I was in Vegas but we have an Express here now too.

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I’m obsessed with a big high bun, totally out of the way, easy and so chic.

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Other Honeymoon Fun Stuff

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I ate so much ice cream on this trip!

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He loves his cigars!

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I know we’re complete nerds, but I don’t care. I love these shirts.

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This picture is quintessential Florida to me, as a tourist anyway.

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It’s so hard to come back to reality! I can’t wait for our next vacation, I’ m thinking Hawaii!