Category Archives: Vacation

Sisters vs. Maui

This is why you brave the flights with little kids to Maui: approximately 15 seconds after de-boarding Michelle had completely forgotten the previous 13 harried hours in the air and was scheming about how to stay out there permanently. Tropical induced amnesia. How else to explain how two short years after shuttling a a single 2 year old out there, we decided to double down and take a four and a one year old?

We survived a marathon flight out there (thank you massive headwinds) and had an awesome time escaping winter, playing with cousins, running outside and generally reveling in temperatures above 27 degrees. We learned a few other things, as well:

1. Sugar in the raw should be a controlled substance for kids under five. It’s toddler heroin on every restaurant table.

2. Changing a cranky, squirmy toddler’s diaper was never a use case in designing and testing airline bathrooms.

3. Even a one year old needs two economy seats to be comfortable.

4. Afternoon saunas, massages and readily available mai tais are not a good combination if you want to make your dinner reservation.

5. Toddlers are not born with an innate fear of the ocean. Allison or Rachel would have happily marched into the waves with a smile on their face.

6. Maui comes with a built-in toddler coping mechanism for parents. Just turn and look at the ocean (or turn and pick up your mai tai).

7. Was happy to see green smoothies going mainstream at the hotel breakfast buffet, but judging by the condo’s unanimous revulsion, fermented veggies have a long way to go.

8. Cecilia will eat anything if it’s served in a bucket by the poolside.

9. When your child starts calling the swim-up bartender your ‘good friend’ you might want to slow down.

10. Landing home in a snow covered Boston, it’s quite difficult to explain why we live here and not in Maui.

Ce vs. Sesame Place

It was time. We had to tell her. It didn’t really seem fair not to. So we took a few belts of liquid courage and sat her down.

“Ce, you know those trips down to see Grandmother and Papa and Gigi? All those late night, endless drives with only brief, rushed stops at worn out scenic overlooks or bland, fluorescent-lit rest stops (thank you, Connecticut!) that we’ve put your through the last three years?”


“Well, your Mother hasn’t exactly been honest with – ouch. Okay, we haven’t exactly been honest with you. Yes, visiting family is great, but there is something we left out. During those midnight sprints across creaking bridges and through never ending paving projects? Well, there is also an amusement park nearby. Close enough that it’s hardly even worth calling it a detour.”

“What’s an a music park?”

“Amusement park, honey. It’s a place that drains a parent’s sanity – ouch. Sorry, I mean it’s a place that has fun rides, and food, and this one has lots of your favorite characters from Sesame Street.”

After confirming that yes, Elmo doesn’t live in the TV and would be there, she was very excited. We remained nervous and wondered if they would sniff check our ‘water’ bottle for bourbon.

Well, it turns out we needn’t have worried. Ce LOVED it. It wasn’t quite warm enough to enjoy all the water rides, but with most schools still in session it was not crowded (it’s not a big park and I could easily see needing that ‘water’ bottle in July) and Ce took to the rides like a toddler to Fruit Loops. No cajoling necessary. We had to pull her away in the end. Her final tally?

  • 3 giant swing rides
  • 1 carousel
  • 5 roller coasters (a small, but legit coaster)
  • Countless rides on the free fall
  • 2 big water slide plunges
  • Single sampling of many others.
  • She even forget her natural shyness and ran up to the six foot Elmo for a hug.

Next stop, Disney. Gulp.

(This post dedicated to Cousin Amy. You’ll get there one day.)

Fire Dancer

Now that we’ve reintegrated into reality and caught up on work, you can expect a lot more vacation photos and videos soon, but here is a little video that captures the mood pretty well. A sunset like that will quickly make you forget a long flight in coach with a toddler.

This was taken at dinner one night when Ce was antsy. Not unusual. Sitting still for toddlers isn’t a normal trait, right? What was a bit unusual was Ce getting up and dancing in front of many, many people. Let’s just say she typically takes after her Dad and is a bit more reserved in public (we don’t know about her air guitar or how she acts at weddings yet). You’ll notice she sort of stops and stares when people try to interact with her almost as if they popped the invisible, isolation bubble she believes she’s in.

The whole show lasted a solid twenty minutes and received rave reviews from other diners. So much so that the following night, in an entirely different town, two people approached us at dinner and said how much they like the show previous night.

Larger HD version here