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  • Writer's pictureShayna Gaman-Bean

The Valley Isle: Our week in Maui

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

The sea is very calm. All is peaceful. ~ Hawaiian Proverb

This was my second time to Maui, but our family's first and the trip was inspired by a wedding and this one was extra special because it was Mike's father's wedding and Mike was the photographer. We made it a big family trip (about 50 family members staying at the same resort). Words can't express how amazing the trip was and how awesome it was traveling with family and watching our kids and their cousins play.

This trip was our longest at the time at 8 days long, but during the trip that 8 days certainly didn't feel long enough!

Quick guide for fun family things to do on Maui with details below, in no particular order:

1. Baby Beach (play + photoshoot):

Play: Baby Beach in Lahaina is a stunningly beautiful beach with water perfect for a young family to play in thanks to a reef protecting the beach. The water is shallow and calm enough for the kids to play with some toys.

Photoshoot: We had a fabulous experience with Capture Aloha Photography and Love and Beauty for my hair and makeup. We loved how great the photographer was with our kids, we loved the location they picked, and the pictures turned out great (see below):

2. Aquarium: Maui Ocean Center is a must visit! What isn't there to love about this place? So much to learn, see, and do!

3. Parks: Haleakala and Kealia Pond are must visits. I was able to hike Haleakala as a child, so it's definitely worth doing. Fair warning that it can be quite windy up top. Kealia Pond is worth a walk along the tranquil walkway where you can spot all kinds native birds.

4. Food: Some favorites included - Merriman's , Mama's Fish House , Slappy Cakes (for breakfast), and South Maui Fish Company ... just to name a few. We did a lot of BBQing and cooking on our own at our resort.

5. Luau: Drums of the Pacific Lu'au was so much fun!! There were lots of people which lead to a long line to get it, but there's a reason it's so popular: the show, food and drinks were awesome! Tons of fun for the whole family.

6. Parasailing: West Maui Parasail provides a fun and safe parasailing experience for the whole family (actually our 4 year old didn't do it, but our 7 and 9 year old did and loved it)!

7. Snorkeling: Molokini Crater is one of the best in Maui and definitely worth a visit.

Day 1:

We arrived fairly early in the day and after getting our rental car, our first stop was actually to Costco to stock up on food and drinks which was a necessity and worked out great. It was our one and only trip to the store. Highly recommend.

We then checked into our resort Aston at Papakea Resort and headed straight to the pool to hang out with family. This place was absolutely perfect for our family. Great location on the Kaanapali Coast, with beautiful beach front suites. Ours was huge with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and with full kitchen, washer/dryer, nice patio, etc. It was perfect! The pool and spa were awesome and there were plenty of places to BBQ there which was awesome when you're trying to feed 50 people.

We spent the rest of the first day swimming, eating, drinking, and laughing with family.

Day 2:

We had planned to do a sunset photo shoot this day but it got postponed because of the weather. Long story short, the photographer actually flaked on us and we had to find another one. Goes to show everything happens for a reason because we found a better photographer, a better day and a better location for photoshoot.

So we literally hung out at the pool and beach all day. Just playing and enjoying life.

Day 3:

We had planned to go parasailing this morning, but again, due to our streak of bad luck and windy conditions, it got postponed. So instead, we explored Kaanapali a little bit, then headed back to play at the resort.

Then in the early afternoon it was time to get ready for our Lu'au.

We all had matching Hawaiian outfits and headed to the Hyatt to meet up with family. It was packed, but we were taken to great tables with great views. The buffet was delicious and so were the drinks.

The Lu'au was so entertaining and we even had an opportunity to get up on stage and dance! So fun! I would highly recommend. Drums of the Pacific!

Day 4:

This was wedding day at Merriman's! Of course such a beautiful wedding and we had so much fun celebrating!

After the wedding we headed back to the resort for, you guessed it, more relaxation, playing in the pool and eating good BBQ.

Day 5:

This was photo shoot day! We woke up super early for hair and makeup for our sunrise shoot at Baby Beach. Pics speak for themselves:

After our photoshoot we hung out and swam at Baby Beach for a while. The conditions were perfect and there was no one there!

The afternoon was spent parasailing. Both Aidan and Camilla were brave enough and the conditions were finally perfect. The line from the boat to us was 1200 feet and we were about 500 feet above the water.

Day 6:

This was our day on Molokai which I talk about in a different blog post.

Day 7:

We spent this day at the aquarium. We saw tons of beautiful fish and turtles and learned all about Humpback Whales. It was a fun and relaxing day. The kids even played at a little park there for a while. It was a warm day and after a few hours there we headed back to the resort for one last swim.

Day 8:

For our last morning we went to breakfast at Slappy Cakes and hung out at a Lahaina beach for a while soaking in the views. Always so hard to go home, but it was a perfect way to end a perfect family trip!



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