Lifestyle & Parenting

Aloha (Again) Maui

May 29, 2014

A decade after our honeymoon my husband and I returned to Ka’anapali Beach, Maui. Which had changed more, Hawaii or us?

When we flew from Vancouver to Maui back in 2004 on Harmony Air we were served Mario’s Gelato in little tubs and Mission Hill chardonnay in crystal stemware. As we started our decent that August afternoon the plane flew directly through a rainbow; “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” sung by Hawaii’s Israel Kamakawwiwo’ole had been our wedding song the previous weekend. Clearly the honeymoon was off to a good start. We subsequently spent the week feasting on bright-pink tuna sashimi from the fish market across the road from our condo, driving up precarious roads into the mountains to hike, doing early morning beach runs and eating fresh papaya found on the side of the road.

Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villastay: Ten years, two children and two fulfilling-yet-exhausting self-employed careers later, we returned. This time, instead of a borrowed condo, we stayed at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas—the grande dame of the beach with fully equipped kitchens, amazing snorkeling and, the most romantic aspect of all, a Westin Kids Club. Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas, 6 Kai Ala Dr., Maui, 808-667-3200,

spa helanispa: With our daughters safely enrolled in a trip to a nearby farm, my hubby and I beelined it to the spa. Side-by-side massages in the expansive Treehouse Suite at Spa Helani, wooden shutters open to the sounds of the birds, were transcendental; the locally made Volcano Oil soothed our middle-aged muscles. (By comparison, a trip to a spa on my honeymoon resulted in a manicure that turned my hands green. But I digress.) Spa Helani, 808-667-3200,

maui fish marketshop & snack: This time we used our precious free time for what, in homage to Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, we call “Conscious Coupling.” The weather was iffy but we donned our running shorts regardless and jogged the beachwalk back to the honeymoon condo and, subsequently, the Farmer’s Market and Fish Market. Drenched by a sun shower and dripping wet when we arrived (we agreed that our sense of adventure had not dulled over time) our shrimp tacos were delicious. The Farmer’s Market of Maui (Mondays and Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 61 South Kihei Rd.) had become a full-time store with the most addictive, made-by-a-local-grandmother slow-roasted coconut strips and artisinal salsas. The Fish Market Maui, 3600 L. Honoapiilani Rd., Lahaina, Maui, 808-665-9895,

maui restosup: We fit in our 6 a.m. runs by switching off with the kids (no, that does not read switching off the kids—but that’s a thought!); instead of sashimi we feasted on the local Kona lobster at the Westin’s award-winning Pulehu Italian Grill (lest you think us high-brow, let it be known that the new Local Boys Shave Ice stand on the seawall was also a popular dining destination). Puleha Italian Grill, Kai Ala Dr., Lahaina, Maui, 808-667-3254,

On our last morning, as we walked with our kids along the beach, a rainbow appeared.

While this trip was more about shoulder rides than shoulder rubs, the sand still looked like brown sugar and the air still smelled like fresh orchids and jasmine. Harmony Air and Israel Kamakawwiwo’ole may be memories, but we’re just as in love with Ka’anapali—and each other—as we ever were. —Sarah Bancroft


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