If you know me, the story of how our family ended up in Hawaii versus Mexico will not at all surprise you. Here's how it unfolded: a mom in our school posted on facebook that her friend's timeshare in Mexico was available for a specific week in March which magically synced up with ours. Duncan & I had both been working like crazy and agreed that this was just what the doctor ordered - vitamin d, babies in bathing suits & some computer-less days. I rushed to get Kaitlin's passport with two weeks before the trip & started planning for shorts weather.
The night before we were leaving, we were out to dinner for a relative's birthday. My mental checklist was going & I couldn't shake that somehow I couldn't find where I placed my own passport. I had carried it all week for verification (unnecessarily) as I moved through the checklist to obtain Kaitlin's. Sure enough, Duncan & I turned the house upside down and at 3am : it was still not there. We were back at it, at the crack of dawn and still nothing. Then it occurred to us: we would not be able to go to Mexico but there was nothing stopping us from Hawaii!
We had never purchased a time share before and while I was in a heap of depression on the couch, a light bulb went off! Maybe the timeshare broker, whose information I had in email, could assist us with another timeshare....enter Kris Shotwell. From the moment I heard his voice I had faith. He explained that he was in Florida and due to ref a hockey game that night, but he'd stay at his desk & try to get the job done. The unimaginable happened : Kris secured us an incredible time share in Mauii & United Airlines changed our flights for $50 per person. As you might remember, we purchased the first time share from a friend of a friend - at a discount. Given that Kris was able to offload inventory at the last minute, both time shares only put us slightly over budget. Our bags were already packed & after a good night sleep we were off to the airport.
We couldn't have fallen into a more perfect scenario for our family. With two children, 1.5 & 3.5, the property was a wonderful combination of convenience & comfort. Here's what we loved:
- Accommodations: Our timeshare was 1000 sq feet & a one bedroom suite. We had a full bedroom, a queen size pull out couch & a kitchenette. Our balcony overlooked the pool & ocean, so that when the kids went down to sleep or Kaitlin was napping - we could be on the balcony enjoying some alone time. The bathroom was very large, with a jacuzzi tub & a stand up shower.
- Food options: The buffet breakfast was $13 per person, which was an incredible way to start the day. We would wrap up half eaten muffins & take a banana for mid morning snack. The buffet was right beside the beach and therefore we took turns sitting to eat and wondering with kids & sand toys. Either way, not a bad way to enjoy your morning coffee. For lunch we would eat from the pool bar & for lunch we explored local restaurants.
- Convenience: On day two, Cam got an ear infection. Within minutes, we were across the street at the urgent care & were thankful we were in Hawaii - using our health insurance & without a language barrier at the doctor's! Out of earshot & eyesight, but only a quick walk is a wonderful shopping center where you can load up on groceries & convenience items - as well as a wonderful ice cream shop, the urgent care & other niceties.
- Communal BBQ's : we used the communal BBQ's for a late afternoon lunch/early dinner with another couple we met on the property. It was so fun for the kids to get to know other kids that they could play with. This is a nice way to save a bit of money while on holiday with kids - it was great to have the bbq's accesable.
- Kid Fun: The property does have kid activities & while they are generally for slightly older kids it was nice to have downtime activities. We really enjoyed checking out the mini golf sets & playing on the roof top!
- Luau on the property: The Luau on the property was perfect for our kids ages. The performance was really engaging, the food was authentic & good - and it wasn't fussy at all. The kids could run around & enjoy the surroundings! Not having to get into a car was huge!
- Easy access to the south side of the island : we had a blast visiting old friends & Sensible Sitters clients at the Four Seasons Mauii. It was so fun to see kids I used to babysit playing with my kiddos!
More to come on tips navigating Mauii with kids in tow, but suffice to say we can't wait to go back!