my family normally goes on a trip every first week of july as sort of a remembrance of my fathers life because it marks his birthday & anniversary of when he died. so it's our way of being together & remembering him. it's one of my favorite traditions we have, not only do we get to go to cool places with each other but we always take time to talk about him & tell the grandkids stories about their grandpa so that they feel they had a chance to know him, it's pretty special. this years vacation was to Hawaii.

a couple days ago my friend said "a vacation with kids isn't a vacation, it's a trip" & i couldn't agree more. haha. totally true. there are few moments you have to relax while on a trip with your kids, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth it or that it isn't fun, it's just different. but, hawaii was a dream trip. the trip started off in maui where we stayed at the fairmont kea lani. while we were in maui we played hard at the pool & the beach, the kids went wild giving temporary tattoos to everyone, playing games with each other & swimming to the point of exhaustion (many meltdowns occurred). this trip was like a whole new experience. the kids are all at a point where they just run around & play with each other & besides the two little ones that were there, the parents were sort of left a lone. it was pretty nice. my sisters kids are 13, 11 & 9 so they totally entertained the 4, 5 & 2 year olds.

we took a day to drive part of the road to hana & hike in to a few waterfalls for swimming. the drive was gorgeous & gave me small anxiety. a lot of it are really tight switchbacks on one way bridges, which are not overly fun when driving a big car that you're not used to. but overall, it was fun & definitely worth it. the side of the island with the road to hana is like a rainforest & is so lush & green. we saw twin falls & then pulled over at some random falls later in our drive & went swimming in their pools.

a lot of times when we have gone to hawaii, we have just lounged & relaxed at the resort rarely leaving. but as i've gotten older i have loved taking time in a new place to just go & explore, it is so much fun & gives you a totally different view of the island.

most nights we would be too tired to venture out with all the kids for dinner, but for the nights that we did make it out of the hotel, here is where we ate!

1. stewz maui burgers
2. fat daddy's smoke house
3. cheeseburger grille & tap room
4. jaws country store (along the road to Hana)
5. ululani's hawaiian shave ice

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