My husband and I did a quick road trip to Calgary, A.B. at the beginning of September for one of my best friends weddings. We decided to spend the first night in Banff on the way. On the top of my must see list was Moraine Lake. It is a glacially filled lake situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks and the water is the most breathtaking shade of turquoise blue. You can’t tell from these pictures, but I was far from the only person with this brilliant idea! It was so busy the day we went, we almost didn’t get to see it as on our way towards the lake, the access road was closed! Thankfully by the time we drove up the road to turn back around, they let a few cars (including us!) through. The parking was a zoo but we thankfully managed to find a spot. Unfortunately the day we visited was during the B.C wildfires (actually our entire drive to Alberta was pretty smokey) so the sky was far from clear, but the view was still spectacular! The water was the most gorgeous shades of blue and green and so beautiful! It was definitely worth the visit! My only recommendation would be to get there early to try to beat some of the crowd 🙂
Where are your favourite spots in Alberta to visit? I would love any recommendations for our next road trip 🙂
On Monday I wrote a post about my personal travel guide for Kaanapali. Today I am going to summarize the second two weeks of our month long Maui trip which we spent in Kihei. As I mentioned in my previous Maui post, there are an abundance of beautiful beaches, delicious restaurants and tons of activities to do. This summary is simply from my personal experience of what we got up to during this particular holiday with our children. If you are heading on a kid free vacation to Maui, I could give you a boatload of different suggestions!! These are my family friendly recommendations for the Kihei area:
When I am eating at a restaurant in Maui, one of the most important thing to me (besides tasty food!) is being outside with a view!
Kihei Cafe– This was our go to breakfast restaurant! It is a total local spot, super casual with delicious food! Nothing fancy which makes it perfect for eating with kids. Just huge portions of homemade yumminess! I would say my favourite menu item is tied between the pineapple coconut french toast and the banana macadamia nut pancakes!
S&Q’s Shaved Ice & Coffee– A little walk up spot next to the Rainbow Mall. It seriously has the BEST Acai bowls! I would grab one as a quick-lunch and then take it down to the beach to eat on the sand… almost daily!
Fred’s Mexican Cafe– This restaurant is so fun, the food is delicious and they have a fantastic happy hour- (cheap & strong margaritas!) There isn’t necessarily a patio to sit on, but it is open air dining right across from the ocean- pretty awesome!
Paia Fish Market– We ordered the shrimp & chips and fish tacos. The fish was Mahi Mahi, perfectly seasoned and delicious. It isn’t fancy, just tasty food and good-sized portions. We loved the outdoor seating- covered picnic tables with a breeze off the ocean, which was right across the street.
Cafe Des Amis– This restaurant is in Paia town. (We visited here during our stay in Kihei, hence why I am including it in this section). It is one of my must go to’s! I am obsessed with their shrimp and coconut rice curry wrap. It is seriously to die for! They have the cutest little patio to sit on. If you make a trip to Paia I can’t say enough about the yummy food here! (If you end up making a trip to Paia Town, The Flatbread Company is super tasty as well with delicious, organic and local ingredients on their pizzas!)
Charley Young– This was the beach we spent the most of our two weeks at. It was walking distance from our condo and the ocean was picturesque so we really didn’t feel the need to venture far from it! It was more of a local beach so it didn’t seem as busy as some of the others. Essentially along South Kihei Road there is a long stretch of sand which is divided into Kama’ole Beaches I, II and III, with Charley Young at the North end of Kama’ole I.
Kama’ole I, Kama’ole II, Kama’ole III– We spent a day at each of these beaches. They are all beautiful. As I mentioned above, they are one long stretch of sand divided by rocky points. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
Makena (Big Beach)– This beach is beautiful and we enjoyed playing in the sand, but the waves were way too big to play in with my boys and the current was crazy strong. So from a scenic point of view it is worth a visit, the stretch of sand is huge. We got a kick out of watching the boogie boarders, but I personally wouldn’t recommend swimming at this beach. Not during the time we visited anyways.
Paia Town– A really colourful, cool little surf town with lots of interesting shops, restaurants and galleries to wander through. On our way to Paia, we stopped at Ho’okipa Beach Park to watch the surfers, windsurfers and to check out all of the turtles resting up on the sand.
Road to Hana– (this isn’t an activity to do in Kihei, just an adventure my husband and I took during this time). Plan an entire day if you want to do this drive. The drive has many curves (over 600) and many are hairpin. The one lane bridges are a little nerve-racking, but the scenery is absolutely stunning. We grabbed coffees and my favourite curry wraps from Cafe Des Amis (as mentioned above) for the drive. If swimming in picturesque waterfalls is something you like to do then I definitely recommend this trip!
Mahina– Go shopping! This is my favourite little boutique in Maui. There are four locations: Paia, Lahaina, Wailea and lucky for me, walking distance from our condo in Kihei (and half a block from Starbucks.. yet another bonus.. lol!) I actually visited all the locations on this trip and came home with so many cute things. They have the most affordable, stylish fun clothing and accessories!
I am already planning our next trip back to Maui! It is honestly one of my favourite places to visit and a wonderful destination to vacation with children! My boys both loved playing in the sand and ocean and I loved seeing the sheer joy on their faces, and how they would squeal with delight as we ran away from the waves. Travelling with kids is a lot of work, but in my opinion totally worth the effort! I love experiencing new things through their eyes! If you have any recommendations for me for future trips, I would love to hear them in the comments below 🙂
This past April I was fortunate to spend 4 weeks in Maui (yay for maternity leave!) I have had a ton of people ask me what my recommendations are for traveling to Maui with children (we took our two boys then 2 1/2 years & 7 months.) I am going to break this post into 2 parts as we stayed the first 2 weeks in Kaanapali and spent the last 2 weeks in Kihei. Firstly, Maui is one of my favourite places to vacation and it is an awesome place to holiday with kids… it is so family friendly! As we were staying for an extended period of time, we decided to go the condo route versus staying in a hotel. I booked both condos off of HomeAway and our car rental through the Costco Travel site (both had great deals as April is classified as low season to travel there!) There are literally SO MANY beautiful beaches, delicious restaurants and fun activities to do, it can almost be overwhelming. I am going to tell you from my personal experience of what we got up to during this trip. These are recommendations for the Kaanapali/ Lahaina side of the island.
Part of the reason we stayed in a condo was so that we could do a lot of cooking ourselves. There is a Costco on the island and we shopped at the Safeway in Lahaina as well. That being said I love to go out for breakfast and Aloha hour. These were a few of our main stops:
Dukes Beach House– The banana & macnut pancakes here are my favorite! Great location with beautiful views and super tasty food.
Hula Grill (Barefoot Bar)- My husband and I were fortunate enough to have a couple of child free Aloha Hours here… I love their mangoritas! You sit at a table right in the sand, staring out at the ocean at the centre of Kaanapali Beach. It is pretty amazing!
Betty’s Beach Cafe– This place is a hidden gem down the road on Front Street in Lahaina. The happy hour is a steal, the view is awesome, food is delicious and the atmosphere is super relaxed. If you sit there long enough (like we did!) you might be lucky enough to catch a luau show out the window at the adjacent restaurant.
Maui Tacos– My go to for something quick and delicious! The fish tacos (& everything that I have ordered from here) are so yummy. And cheap, which is always a bonus!
The Sunrise Cafe– We asked our waitress at the Hula Grill what her favourite local breakfast spot was and she told us we had to go here. You probably wouldn’t look twice if you walked by it on the street but the food was incredible. We sat out on the little street side patio and joked around with the super friendly staff while we ate the best home cooked breakfast!
The beaches in Kaanapali are absolutely gorgeous. This being said, the waves were HUGE when we were there in April and I was terrified of my fearless two-year old being sucked out to sea! We did spend a few days playing in the waves but then spent the majority of time at more kid friendly spots.
Baby Beach– We found this to be the most kid friendly beach on this side of the island. Visually it is not as stunning as some of the other beaches but as far as being able to sit back and not worry about the waves it was my favourite. There is lots of shade with calm water and a small reef to snorkel around. We also saw turtles swimming by every day we were there which was super exciting for the kids!
Kaanapali Beach– This is the gorgeous stretch of beach in front of the hotels and restaurants. We found this to be a good place to play in the mornings but there is no shade and by the afternoon the wind would really pick up, blowing over our umbrella and creating crazy waves.
Black Rock– Is at the North end of Kaanapali Beach and this was a great spot for snorkelling.
Napili Bay– This was a hidden gem of a beach. There was no formal public parking lot, just spots on the street and a short walk down (which is the only downside because you need to get there early or all of the parking will be gone.) The ocean is beautiful, turquoise and fairly calm. Great spot for swimming, digging in the sand and snorkelling.
Maui Ocean Center– (this is actually located in Maalaea Bay but we went here during our 2 week Kaanapali stay which is why I am including it in this section.) The boys loved the aquarium, the shark tank was our favourite part! When we were there you could buy a gift card at Costco to help save on admission. You could also use the promo code “Airport” if you bought your tickets ahead online.
Whalers Village– The shops are fun to wander through, but one of the highlights with kids was the Honolulu Cookie Company, the cookies here are super delicious and lots of samples to nibble on! There is also a play area with a climbing apparatus and splash pad. You can also watch free Hula Shows in the village
Lahaina Town– Wander down Front Street in Lahaina. Tons of shops, galleries, restaurants and history to check out. Grab a shave ice and some shade under the ginormous Banyan Tree. My oldest son loved chasing all of the birds around while the rest of us sat and people watched.
There is honestly no shortage of activities to do in Maui. Drive to the top of Haleakala to watch the sunrise, it is spectacular! Visit the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, it is really beautiful. Tons of guided whale watching tours, snorkelling experiences, visit one of the many coffee farms, zip lining, luaus, surfing, paddle boarding… the list goes on and on. I am simply sharing what we got up to during our holiday with young children. If you have any recommendations for me I would love to hear them in the comments below! I will be posting later this week with my recommendations from our stay in Kihei.
Back in the Spring I had to fly with our two boys on my own (then 2 1/2 years and 6 months). I was extremely nervous about how I was going to juggle everything, being as I am a mother with only two arms and unfortunately in this circumstance, not an octopus! I decided to buy a cute little backpack to use instead of my diaper bag so that I had one less thing I needed to worry about carrying. It worked out awesome! I could hold my older son’s hand on one side and carry my baby in the other arm, without the diaper bag constantly slipping off my shoulder. I used it as my purse the entire time we were away and now I actually use it when I am out and about without the kids all the time.
Backpacks are so cute and they are available in all colours, styles and price ranges. I have rounded up a collection of various priced mini backpacks, including a few that I am probably going to be purchasing (lol) to a couple that I wish were hanging in my closet!
My backpack (sold out in pink but still available in black)