Dec 2007

Maui Day 1 (Beach)

OK, so here starts the recaps from our trip! I am starting from December 20th, because December 19th was mainly spent in the airport. We were supposed to arrive in Maui by mid-afternoon but there were problems with the plane and we arrived over 5 hours late (so much for saving time with that that direct flight), it was 11pm by the time we got to our room, ordered room service and passed out.

But I have to give the hotel credit, they still had leis waiting for us at 11pm.
(Click on any photo for larger version)

And then we were up bright and early given the jet lag – so we headed down to let Declan feed the koi. The HUGE koi. The koi that ate more than I do.

Speaking of the resort (the Hyatt Regency), it was awesome. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Gorgeous! Great location. Great rooms. Great service. Great amenities. Great food (although expensive – but that’s Hawaii). Great pool. The beach was a little small, but you just had to walk a little way to the right and it was all good. Over all, big thumbs up.

So, we spent the morning on that beach. Declan loved it.

That is the island of Molokai in the background.

Yup, he is dancing on the beach. It doesn’t get much cuter than that.

I have to say, Jeff and Danielle are most excellent to go on vacation with. And they are cute as hell, too.

That boy did *NOT* want to leave the beach for a nap.

But he finally relented and while Bryan and Declan napped, the rest of us went to the grocery store to stock up on supplies to offset those expensive Hawaiian meals. And couldn’t resist getting a snack while we were out. A snack that included a drink or two. I discovered a local favorite – a Li Hing Mui Margarita… made with an Asian plum spice. It was sweet and salty at the same time – it rocked. I bought 4 bags of the stuff to bring home.

Then we went back to the beach for a little bit before dinner.

And made Jeff climb a palm tree.

To top off the evening – my first Mai Tai in Hawaii! The glass was a riot, happy face one side – sad face on the other. Our waitress said she took which way it was facing as a sign if you needed another or not. I did not – those things are STRONG!

Yup. An all around great first day in Hawaii.

Tomorrow: The Road to Hana.

Dec 2005

San Diego

Well, of course we had a blast. Every single photo of the nearly 250 will be up on my photo site soon.

But here are the highlights our trip.

Arrived in at our hotel in Oceanside at around 11pm. Which was 12am Denver time. An all-time record for Declan (who is usually in bed strictly by 8pm!). But he was a trooper.

Went to go get groceries. Car would not start. Coincidentally, the mileage on the Trailblazer they gave us was “666” when we picked it up Thursday. I was stupid enough to make a comment about it, which of course, doomed the car.

But the great part of the day was Sea World. Declan was a bit terrified of the whales at first, somehow he got it into his head that “whales bite.” (We then, um, glossed over the part about Shamu being a ferocious predator in the wild.) We walked, played, ate a bunch of unhealthy stuff. All the things you do when you go to a major “attraction.”

Jeff & Danielle dropped us off at Legoland while they went and toured the Temecula Wine Country. Legoland rules! Perfect place for the 3-5 year old set. Declan was just big enough for most of the rides and only a few were overwhelming for him. One that was particularly overwhelming was where he piloted his own car (the smiley, happy photo below is before he had to actually drive the thing). He kept running other little kids down, which upset him to no end – and his feelings were hurt further by asshole dads who kept yelling at their kids to go faster, go around him, run him down, etc. I am NOT looking forward to any team sports with idiots like that on the sidelines. What is interesting to me is how Declan is becoming a little perfectionist just like me… Even when I try so hard not to put that kind of pressure on him.

One of the areas we really liked at Legoland was Miniland USA… Where they have reproductions of many major US cities. We particluarly liked their sense of humor, like when they included a call girl in the New York milieu (she’s the sassy one on the phone).

Of course, any Dora that is larger than life, is a good thing.

That evening, we had the most spectacular sunset. Jeff & Danielle were kind enough to hang out and listen for a sleeping Dex to wake up from his nap – and allowed Bryan and I to stroll down to the beach and watch the sunset. It was amazing. One of those evenings that make you believe in a higher power.

Sunsets on the ocean are totally foreign to us, having grown up on the east coast. All I can say is they are fucking cool.

Bryan played photographer for a while and he got some incredible colors in the shots – not to mention – hey, who is that cute chick???

The lack of sleep was wearing on all of us, especially Declan. Three hard core days is about all he could stand and his nose started phlegming. Of course, a little thing like a cold would not keep him from the Pacific Ocean. So what started as a lazy day turned into Endless Summer – 3 Year Old Style. We gave up trying to keep him dry and stripped him down to his Spider-Man underwear. He just went NUTS. Which was a bit startling, since last year he was very afraid of the waves in Mexico. All 4 adults just looked at each other with glee as we realized we were in for an awesome time when we go back to Mexico next May!

So, since Declan was so into it, and the hotel pool was pleasantly warm (as opposed to the frigid ocean), we kept the water theme going for the rest of the day.

Sunday night, we decided to drive down the coast to La Jolla and had the most expensive dinner, ever. But as Danielle and I said many times yesterday – it was so worth it. That was the best meal I have had in a long time. And with lots of fish – since the seafood here in Denver is crap.

And the crazy thing is, we picked the restaurant from a magazine… and as we entered I realized I had been to that exact restaurant before on my business trip to San Diego a few years ago. Major deja vu. Of course, had I remembered it, we would have saved a bunch of time hemming and hawing about where we were going to eat. C’est la vie, I guess. 🙂

We packed up and checked out of the hotel. Drove down to San Diego, over the bridge to Coronado and then back to the Gaslamp Quarter for lunch. Walked around a bit and headed to the airport.

Surprisingly, there were no lines and we were at the gate nearly 2 hours before our flight. Crudballs. But then, the most amazing thing happened. I laid Danielle’s coat on the ground, asked Declan to lay down on it and he actually fell asleep. WHEN DOES THAT HAPPEN, EVER? When everyone is to the breaking point of exhaustion, that’s when. So we chilled for a while, hopped the plane and got home close to 10pm.

Another late night for Declan. But so worth it.