A “babymoon” is a newfangled concept commonly used by privileged white people who are out of touch with reality!
I thoroughly enjoyed our bbmoon to Maui!!! What Australian fires? What war with Iran???? Meghan and Harry aren’t royalty what??? Bieber has Lyme disease, what??? I can’t hear you, I’m drinking a virgin pina colada!!!!!!
We celebrated the last month I could travel in this pregnancy, our second anniversary, and as well as our ignorance! It was glorious, Hawaii is glorious. Here is where I tell you about everything I did, everything you didn’t ask for, and don’t wanna know. I hope you enjoy!!!!!!!!
Everything I did was recommended by *basically* a local. One of my coworkers married a man from Maui, they travel there are all the time, and are actually MOVING TO MAUI this year. So you can trust this list of recos as a source of gospel truth.
OUR 8 DAY ITINERARY:
- DAY 1: TRAVEL & RELAX. Travel day, check into Sheraton, dinner at Rock Salt restaurant.
- DAY 2: RELAX. Relax by beach/pool. Dinner at Kimo’s + walk around Front Street.
- DAY 3: ROAD TO HANA + Dinner at Hula Grill in Whaler’s Village.
- DAY 4: RELAX. This was a maximum lazy day for us — we didn’t even go out for dinner. We ordered room service and enjoyed watching local Hawaiian commercials and the second half, then first half of Suicide Squad, because cable TV.
- DAY 5: SNORKEL & LUAU. Snorkel at Black Rock and Luau dinner at The Westin.
- DAY 6: HALEAKALA + PAIA DAY. Breakfast at Dynamite Donuts, Hike the Haleakala volcano, walk and shop in Paia, lunch at Paia Fish Market, Ululani’s Shaved Ice snack, dinner at Leilani’s in Whaler’s Village.
- DAY 7: RELAX. Couple’s massage at hotel spa, swim in pool & ocean, dinner sunset whale watching cruise, walk around whalers village.
- DAY 8: TRAVEL. Full day of travel flying back to Dallas.
MY GUIDE TO MAUI
WHAT YOU MUST DO:
- Whale watching cruise
- Kimo’s sunset dinner + Hula Pie
- Road to Hana
- Eat shaved ice
- Eat poi
- Donut Dynamite
- Mama’s Fish House
IF YOU HAVE TIME & ENERGY:
- Haleakala volcano hike
- Front Street
- Whaler’s Village
KIMO’S HULA PIE. Go to Kimo’s for a sunset dinner with their perfect outdoor seating. You MUST get the Hula pie!!! They brought it to us for free for our anniversary. Or because I’m really pretty. This pie can also be found at Leilani’s Beachside Grill in Whaler’s Village (it’s literally listed on the menu as “Kimo’s Hula Pie”). It’s basically just a well-marketed ice cream cake, but it’s delicious and iconic and you need to eat as many as you possibly physically can.
LUAU. Wow, please never make the mistake of going to Hawaii without attending a Luau. This might have been my favorite part of the whole trip. I love performance art. I love dancers. The Luau men do extremely unsafe activities with fire sticks and I couldn’t be more supportive of it!
A HOT TIP: Go to the Westin Luau, not Sheraton. We heard the Westin’s was better, so we booked there instead, and wow it did not disappoint. My one complaint was I did not receive a Lei, which I thought was going to be like a guarantee. So unmet expectations are hard.
WHALE WATCHING CRUISE. We thought this would be “just pretty cool” and it ended up being so much more majestic and magical than we could have ever imagined. Massive whales just feet away from us. Just imagine that for a sec. Now back to reading my blog.
There were maybe 30-40 other people on this sailboat with us and we met 3 European couples, all newlyweds!!!!! I was like, ohmygod we got married in January too, we have so much in common y’all, let’s be friends forever!!!!!!!
The couples were from Ireland, Australia, then a wife from New Zealand, her husband from England!! As you know from my Italy recap, I am obsessed with making European friends and failing to understand their accent, and just smiling/laughing and nodding with no understanding of the conversation, and forming deep bonds, then not getting their phone numbers or becoming Facebook friends, and forever losing them, and listening to Halsey alone in the dark.
I literally told the Australian couple to come back to Dallas with us instead of going back to Australia, I don’t think that’s going too far!!!!!!!!! I think it’s just enough!!!!!
A HOT TIP. We did the “sunset dinner” cruise, but I strongly recommend doing just the “appetizer & cocktail” cruise and grabbing dinner afterwards. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that sailboats aren’t known for their food. We ended up having to buy a second dinner afterwards because I just couldn’t do it. And I’m NOT a picky eater, so that’s kind of saying something. Although Lane did thoroughly enjoy the open bar!
HANA. We survived the road to Hana in treacherous conditions (rain, convertible rental car, pregnant, etc) and it was still surreal, so I can’t imagine how much more magical it is in the summer without a fetus inside you. Our luau friends swore that the bus tour is better than driving yourself, but we really enjoyed driving on our own, so maybe our luau friends are wrong.
If you do drive yourself, YOU MUST download the $6 tour guide app that talks about history, culture, and fun facts at each stop, and also works offline (your phones WILL lose service on the Road to Hana). We downloaded the Gypsy Guide. We really wanted to go to the Seven Pools milestone marker, but we were so exhausted and the rain wasn’t showing any mercy, so we turned around at Black Sands (which is actually where most people turn around anyway).
Garden of Eden, Keane peninsula, 3 bears waterfall were more of our favorite stops! (Skip the arboretum stop, even though the app says it’s a must see).
A HANA HOT TIP: Your body clock will most likely be wide awake between 4-6am Hawaii time in your first few days. And Hana requires a FULL day, the earlier you start the better. (And the earlier you end the better–you do NOT want to be driving the road to Hana in the dark). The drive took us about 6:30a – 4:30p round trip from our hotel. Consider going to Hana day 2 of your trip, while your body clock is still in early bird mode.
SHAVED ICE. Lane didn’t order any and he is wrong! It’s a Hawaiian experience. Plus there is ice cream in it, it’s fun!
POI. It’s a kind of gross traditional Hawaiian food made of Taro, but it’s a must do because when in Rome. Lane liked it?????? Lane is wrong!
DONUT DYNAMITE. This is upcountry (I think this is considered upcountry lol I just feel cool using that word???) donut shop is sort of on the way to the airport/Hana/Haleakala from the Sheraton. Delicious. Cool brand, fun Instagram. Donuts in Hawaii are a big deal.
MAMA’S FISH HOUSE. We ended up not having enough days to eat here for dinner, but this fancy, reservation-required Paia restaurant was recommended to us by like 5 different people so I really need to put it on the must-do list, and please do not tell me how good it is when you go, because I have FOMO.
HALEAKALA. While this is on my “if you have time” list, we did this and I have no regrets. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen or experienced. We used the same audio tour guide app that we used for Hana, and I loved learning more history, culture, and fun volcano facts.
We made the unfortunate mistake of getting married in January AKA rainy szn in Hawaii. So where there should have been views of volcano craters and all of Maui, there were clouds at the top of the volcano. Whtvr. It was still cool and all UNTIL I ALMOST DIED HIKING AN INCLINE + ALTITUDE FOR HALF A MILE IN AND HALF A MILE OUT OF THE CRATER.
Everyone describes this as the #1 thing to do in Maui, so like good luck not being pregnant or being married in January when u go.
FRONT STREET. Front street is the place where you want to take your parents so you can enjoy it all without having to pay for anything lol. Shops, bars, boutiques, pop up markets, henna tattoos, lil knick knacks ‘n curiosities! Walk around here after a Kimo’s sunset dinner and get tatted. A perfect pregnant night in Maui!
WHALERS VILLAGE. This is on my “if you have time” list, but TBH, it’s walking distance from the cluster of hotels on the west side of the island, so like, YOU HAVE TIME. We ate at Hula Grill and Leilani’s (both so good!!) but a lot of people recommend Monkeypod and Joey’s Kitchen so basically everywhere is good here and you can’t go wrong. There’s also great shopping at more places you can’t afford. Lilly Pulitzer pls sponsor me i luv u!!!!
PAIA. Known as a “hippy town” according to our concierge. Paia fish market Lunch + shopping + shave ice is the perfect afternoon here and that’s what we did.
MAKAWAO. Known as a “cowboy town” according to our concierge. We didn’t stop here, we just drove through on our way to Paia. That basically sufficed! But I’m sure it’s v cool when you stop there too!
I LOVE TRAVEL AGENTS BECAUSE I’M A BABY BOOMER
I love travel agents for relaxation-based vacations. We planned Italy ourselves because we wanted to do all the research, planning, and have full control, but for anything beachy/oceany — TRAVEL AGENTS ARE THE WAY TO GO. You don’t pay them a dime, they book your flights, hotel, rental car, and hook you up with discounts to all the things. The gal who helped plan our honeymoon also planned our bbmoon so we have to name our child after her now.
SMALL CONVERTIBLE RENTAL CARS ARE VERY FUN UNTIL THEY’RE NOT
We were thrilled when our travel agent booked a convertible rental car for us! Until we got inside of it and were like how do adult sized humans fit in here! Our luggage was sticking out of the backseat, daring to roll out of the car at any sharp turn, as it wouldn’t fit in the trunk!
Every Hawaiian tourist ever has a white rental car. Don’t get me wrong — driving around top down was so fun, and I really leaned into it the lifestyle, and I took many videos. It’s just not fun when you’re driving the road to Hana in the rain. Rent the jeep, the SUV, the truck, the school bus, the wagon, the anything else.
I GET ROLLING BRIEFCASES NOW LIKE I GET IT
Being pregnant, I refuse to do anything remotely physically inconvenient, and that involves carrying a backpack filled with books, magazines, snacks, etc. So I did what hard working corporate baby boomers have been doing for years–PUT BOOKS IN MY CARRY ON AND ROLLED AROUND DIRTY IN THE AIRPORTS.
Plus I had tons of ExTrA SpAcE for souvenirs and gifts and cursed lava rocks to bring back. (I used a miniature backpack to hold my wallet, phone, chapstick).
CONCIERGES ARE EXACTLY AS INTELLIGENT AS MICHAEL SCOTT THINKS THEY ARE
I am Michael Scott-level obsessed with hotel concierges wow they know everything wow help. Skip the time share pitch incentives, they’re almost never worth it. “But Augusta, it’s a free whale tour!” NO MAM, you still have to pay for it and they promise to “refund it after you submit your voucher online afterwards.” At the very least, plan your entire vacation week slash life with concierge first before committing to the sweet talking Time Share Teenager at the other side of the front desk.
THE WESTIN HAS BETTER POOLS THAN SHERATON YOU’RE WELCOME
We stayed at the Sheraton, which was amazing, no complaints. BUT THOSE WESTIN POOLS BE LIT. However we chose Sheraton because it was the most affordable of that cluster of hotels on the west side of the island. Sheraton also provides free breakfast, which is helpful when every restaurant meal is $20+!! Westin doesn’t. BUT THOSE POOLS DOE. Drink pool water for breakfast!!!!
DEATH BEFORE WORKING THE DAY AFTER BACK FROM VAYCAY
The biggest lesson in the second half of my twenties is to book space between traveling and going back to work. We flew back on a Friday, then had a 3-day MLK weekend to re-calibrate before going back to the real world. And I desperately needed all 3 days and nights to recover (laundry, cleaning, 4 hr time difference jet lag, groceries, lying motionless for hours like I’m dead, etc) thanks!!
GO ON AN INSTAGRAM DIET AND LOSE LOTS OF EMOTIONAL WEIGHT
You know how people delete their social media and then afterwards tell everyone they know how they lived in the moment instead of look at their phones? I did a somewhat less annoying version of that.
Instead of a full blown digital detox (delete social, avoid emails, ignore texts etc), I put myself on a reasonable ~instagram diet~. Meaning, I didn’t delete the app (re-downloading and trying to remember my password is exhausting!) but I resisted posting and I checked as little as possible the whole trip.
I already barely look at FB or Twitter, so Instagram is really my only unhealthy addiction that needed rehabbing.
My IG diet felt so good. I lost at least five pounds emotionally. Instead of keeping up with everyone else and sharing my life in return, I read books, devotionals, chapters of Proverbs, 1 John, fashion blogs lol — I EVEN READ THE SKIMM which I haven’t done in months. It was so nice not knowing what other people were doing, not sharing what I was doing or caring what anyone thought. Wow, life as a pilgrim is really beautiful!
I proceeded to post over 100 Instagram stories and 1 feed post the last day of the trip.
100 Stories is actually the limit you can have in a 24 hr span! It just knocks off your oldest story, even if it occurred less than 24 hrs previously! Wow who knew! So blessed to have discovered that limit on my journey!
In high key contrast, I did NOT do any form of disciplined digital dieting on our honeymoon. My brain needed a different kind of recharge on that trip. After months of planning a 300+ guest wedding, reading marriage books, taking marriage classes HOMEWORK INVOLVED, on and off deleting IG—I wanted and *needed* ZERO form of discipline on my honeymoon. I only wanted mindlessness scrolling and many pina coladas.
Mindless scrolling can be healing in its own way too though.
I think it’s all about knowing yourself and knowing what you need to refuel in your particular situation.
I genuinely hope you find this recap helpful if you ever go to Maui!!!!!
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SOME PINS FOR YA