Spring of 2005, 2006 & 2007
Hawaii is really heaven on earth... It is so beautiful and relaxing (I am sure you have either experienced it or heard... make the trip if you haven't already... you will not regret it... great for kids, too).
We have been to Maui a few times with the girls and have always stayed at the Napili Kai Resort on the West Shore. If you have children, you want to check this place out... we love it...
We have always had the debate though -- should we stay at the world-renowned, Grand Waliea or at the family-friendly, Napili Kai Resort? Napili Kai always wins... But, we always trek down to Grand Waliea for a spa day... don't miss the spa there! You will thank me after your visit... ;-)
We have always traveled to Hawaii with my parents, which is so fun... We would get rooms right next to each other.... each with its own kitchen and have our own family time and time with them.
They have the coolest rock path right along the water to the beach, which is the way the girls always wanted to go, esp. with Granny & Grandpa.
One year we left the girls with Granny and Grandpa and did the bike ride down the volcano... absolutely incredible and awe-inspiring... But, it is not kid-friendly (at least not for small kids)... You pass through clouds to get up to the top (by van) and it is so cold... then, you head down the mountain and suddenly have to start shedding your layers like a snake as it warms up. The van follows you down to the bottom... and you stop for lunch. You have to do it at least once -- if at all possible.
We have also taken the helicopter ride (without the kids) -- We highly recommend it... You can take your kids, but our girls wanted to stay back at the resort with Granny & Grandpa that day. A shot from the helicopter:
And, we have gone on the whale-watching dinner cruise with Granny & Grandpa and the girls... so much fun and you are almost guaranteed to see whales... we have on both time we have done it (very kid-friendly, but can be a bit rocky if you have a sensitive stomach)!
The beach at Napili Kai is perfect for kids... nice little calm bay with mild waves and lots of shallow water... Not too crowded either. This pic is from our oceanfront room... When they say oceanfront, they mean it... You can also spend less and get rooms that are further back, which we have done in the past... You do have to book almost a year ahead of time to get oceanfront -- well, worth it.
Now, my brothers (both single) came with us last year and Napili Kai may not have been their first pick... But, they made the best of it and hung out with their family -- probably more than they wanted to... But, our girls were happy...
We even went snorkeling (you can walk to a great snorkeling beach from Napili Kai) with Uncle Mike and saw a huge puffer fish... awesome!
Granny, Grandpa, Uncle Ryan and Uncle Mike outside Napili Kai.