Tuesday, April 14, 2015

the epic hawaiian vacation fail

well, it's been over a month, so i guess it's time to catch up on our hawaiian family vacation. we started planning last fall to head back to maui with the boys in tow, thinking it would be super fun to have a mellow family vacation in one of our very favorite places. even though it was expensive, and b told me the boys wouldn't even realize they were in hawaii, but hey -- WE would know we were in an awesome place, and i'm always excited to introduce my boys to new experiences. everything was booked and we were PUMPED, counting down since september.

we left on march 2 and that day couldn't have gone better. we were early to the airport, the boys kept entertained with the 8,000 activities i'd packed, hawaiian airlines serves a MEAL on its flights (the only US airline left to do so) and hudson even took a nap! we also scored with a free seat in our row, so all four of us had our own seats. i was mentally patting myself on the back the whole time -- this trip was going to be a piece of cake.

then, we landed. cue the suspenseful music. we were all warm right off the bat in 80 degree weather with our seattle-winter clothes, but hudson felt especially hot. we got our rental car and went to costco and he literally screamed his head off the entire time. my kids are high maintenance but not THAT crazy. i knew something was up. 

we got to our condo which was baking in the late afternoon sun (with no a/c) and hudson was still screaming and we were all a little tense. it was past bedtime on the mainland so i dosed him with tylenol and put him to bed. b and jack went out to get supplies and started living aloha while i unpacked and we all settled down. 

the next day we hit the beach for a little while before i decided to take hudson to the local urgent care. the island doctor (who was wearing sandals) prescribed him an antibiotic but when i gave it to him later that night, he threw it up and after that couldn't keep down anything, even water. the poor little guy was so sad and tired and kept asking "juice? juice?" but would just barf it up. 

we got really good at watching early morning PBS shows, thanks to the 3 hour time difference and my sick kids being up at an ungodly hour (sesame street is on at 6 am FYI). as soon as the world was awake on wednesday, i called our pediatrician at home and she recommended finding a pediatrician (as opposed to urgent care) in hawaii. i did, got an appointment for a few hours later, and took hudson in. we had to wait foreverrrrr for a doctor -- i could hear a lot of scurrying outside our room, and thanks to my eavesdropping through the thin walls i discovered another patient was there with measles so they made them leave out the back door and quarantined the room next to me. LOL. luckily our vaccinations are up to date, and sick little hudson just slept in my arms the whole time anyway, so it wasn't a big deal. 

the doctor finally came in and checked him out and we got him a chest x-ray -- diagnosis: killer ear infections and PNEUMONIA. (who even gets pneumonia? i've known like one other person my whole life.) hudson and jack had both had coughs before our trip and i guess it just morphed into pneumonia. they gave him an antibiotics shot to get things rolling and then put him on another one to be taken twice daily. which he hated. we got him to take it every day by letting him watch the minions trailer on the ipad. 

hudson slept a ton over the next two days, and when he was awake he coughed and sneezed literally NONSTOP. it was crazy to see his little body trying to work out all the bad stuff. by saturday a little bit of his personality had returned and we even got a smile out of him! having an almost-two-year-old around, even a healthy one, is still a lot of work though. mostly i felt like i was still in my regular mom-life routine, just in a different scenery -- not much of a restful vacation vibe going on. 

MEANWHILE...while all this was going on, b and i traded off spending a lot of time with jack at the pool. jack looooved that pool, probably because half of it was three feet deep so he could still touch the bottom. (traditionally he has always hated water of any kind.) b taught him to snorkel and once he got the hang of that he was soooo into it. we kept making friends at the pool and everyone commented on how good of a swimmer he was. jack was also pretty friendly himself, swimming up to people and starting conversations even when b and i weren't in the pool. such a cute guy. 

the day i took hudson to the doctor, it poured rain all day long. the next few days featured intermittent rain and crazy strong winds. not exactly perfect beach weather, which i guess was okay since we weren't really in a beach-going state. between hudson's frequent naps we still tried to get out and see the sights. i will say this: for a trip that definitely did NOT go as planned, we definitely ate well. crossed almost all the restaurants off our list and loved every minute of it. 

the boys loved the whale skeleton at whaler's village (well, jack did):

church on sunday:

brunch at the gazebo:

hanging out at our condo (shuffleboard and the putting green were a hit):

hanging out in lahaina, getting shave ice, climbing the banyan tree and watching sand crabs:

over the weekend, jack's cough and demeanor started getting worse too. i took hudson in for a check up on monday (he had improved, but not enough, so they started him on a new round of antibiotics) and brought jack along -- they had me get him checked in, did the full inspection + xray and found pneumonia in him too. yay, more antibiotics. (if you ever need a good pediatrician in maui, i have gotten to know this one reeeeal well.)

we tried to go on a glass-bottom boat ride one day but it got cancelled due to inclement weather. (of course it did.) PS by this time b and i had gotten sick too. super fun. monday, we finally got to go on our rescheduled boat ride which was pretty fun. after a week in maui we were finally doing one of the things we'd planned to do! ha. 

tuesday was our last full day and it was PERFECT. it dawned sunny and calm, we headed to the beach and set up our umbrella in a great spot. we spent the morning there, then the afternoon at the pool while hudson slept. we played on the putting green and watched the sunset (one of the only good cloudless sunsets of the trip). nine days seemed long for a vacation but i'm so, so glad we stayed long enough to get one great day like that after everything that happened. as we sat on the beach, i told b, "see, isn't this nice? THIS is what i envisioned for the entire trip."

and wednesday (another rainy day) we flew home. a couple weeks ago i made a shutterfly book about our trip, and after going through all the photos i had to remind myself that this vacation wasn't as perfect as all the photos appear. ha. i mean, when you see things like this, doesn't it LOOK like we had a great time??

so anyway. we definitely had a few key learnings on this trip. A) if a vacation involves a human between the ages of 1-4 years, it will not be a "vacation" -- it will be a "trip." B) always be aware of the possibility of poor weather and poor health messing up your plans -- hopefully not at the same time. C) i need another vacation to recover from this one. preferably with no one to take care of besides myself. D) my family (and my marriage) is stronger after surviving this adventure. time is already dulling the not-so-nice memories from hawaii and i'm glad we'll have this crazy trip to look back on as an example of how our little family pulled through and stayed optimistic when things were NOT going our way. E) i still stand by my belief in traveling as a family and sharing new experiences with my kids. i'm glad we went to hawaii, i'm glad we can always look back at these photos, i'm glad even if the boys don't remember it i always will. but it will be a looong while before a toddler is invited on a family vacation. :) 

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