It is entirely impossible to sum up this incredible week with just pictures and words. Maui was an unforgettable trip full of ups and downs (and a few self discoveries even) all set with the backdrop of the Pacific and the gorgeous island itself. Throughout this week I kept a journal on the notes app of my phone (because I left my hard copy at home whoops) but I decided to just copy and paste all of those words directly on here. So skim or dive right in to our family vacation from my little point of view. No matter how much or how little of this mini novel you decide to read I hope I can somewhat eloquently put into words the high highs of my time in Maui.
 Day 1: August 1
Hawaii is amazing. Even the flight there was incredible. The whole 5 hours we were going over just blue and then all of a sudden we went through a clutter of clouds and there it was. We also had the chance to meet up with the leavitts for a quick ten minutes at the airport. They've been in Maui for the past two weeks and were taking their flight home today right as our flight arrived. The chances of us seeing them like that were so slim but somehow we pulled it off and it was so fun. After that we started out a little rough as we for the rental car and went to Costco to get food for the week. It was miserable taking the hour drive to the hotel in the crowded car full of all the food. We were all so tired and cranky but dad started to cheer up the car by telling stories from when he was in the military. He told one about when he was in training that stimulated torture camp and they asked all the men in their cells to strip down for the fake inspection. He said that the guy in the cell next to him crawled up the wall somehow so that when the guard walked in, his naked butt was in his face. Dad was more delirious than I've ever seen him and was laughing so hard he was crying. We all were. It was definitely a high point of today.
I think on this trip we realized how hard it was to smile with a snorkel on...
 Day 2: August 2
Today was the first real day of Hawaii. We started off the day by going to kahana beach and snorkeling. It was so cool to see all the fish and we even saw a turtle. One of today's traumatic moments was when we all swam out as a family to the sea and the waves carried us out to these rocks covered in sea urchins where the water was super shallow. It was too rocky & sea urchiny to stand up and too shallow to swim and the waves were pushing me up on to it so that was a little scary but I'm alive and not harmed so it's all good. One of my favorite parts of the day was watching the Hawaiian sunset for the first time. It was so so pretty there are hardly even words to describe it. Slight tear jerker (just kidding)
 Day 3: August 3
Today dad woke us up early and we had a whole plan of what we were going to do and see. On the way there we ended up stopping at a random little beach just to check it out. One section had big waves for boogie boarding and another was almost completely calm and had a cliff you could jump off of. The water was so clear and blue and the sand was practically as fine as powdered sugar. We ended up just ditching our plans and staying there for the entire day. I fell asleep on the beach chairs and it was one of the most content moments of my entire life. After we were done there we went and got showered off and all cleaned up then went out to dinner at the cool cat cafe. It was a local place that the Leavitts told us was super yummy. It was such a great moment when dad ordered the Hawaiian barbecue chicken and pineapple for an appetizer and it was gone in like 2 seconds we all loved it so much. On our way home from dinner we passed by a restaurant called cheeseburger in paradise and mom and dad started belting out the song. It was one of those rare family moments when everything is good. When I'm not fightingwith my siblings and my parents are goofing off in the front seat with each other and the windows are rolled down letting the Hawaiian air in. Those moments are rare and most often I overlook them but on the occasion that I don't I feel so happy and blessed.
Day 4: August 4
Today we spent another day on the beach. It was an hour away so the drives were a little rough (especially the one back with sand all up my swimsuit) but I think in the end it was worth it. One of the funniest things that happened today was when we were in the water and it started pouring. The waves became huge and it was just me and Gabrielle in the water and for a second I lost her. And the waves were coming up and down and I couldn't see her or the shore and was freaking out. Then I realized I could touch the bottom and then realized how pathetic I was.  And right as I calmed down a huge wave came and took me out. My face was buried in the sand and I'm 90% sure a live fish got stuck in my swimsuit too. That was only one of many wipeouts that occurred on today's beach day. It was so funny to watch the waves from the shore- since the water is so clear you can see people getting tossed and turned within the giant waves. 
Honestly one of my favorite parts of the trip was just making leis.  
 out of all the pictures we took I'm pretty sure this was one of the only ones with the whole gang there
 no, we didn't photoshop this view.
 if you ever find yourself in Maui, do yourself a favor and stop at the little green banana bread shop. It's worth every penny. 
 Day 5: August 5
Today we did a lot of driving and hiking and getting dirty (a lot of melt downs on my part were involved too). We drove to this place where we could hike down and see a huge blow hole. The waves were huge and crashing against it and it was actually really cool- it'll be great in the Hawaii video I'll make. But on the way back up I had a meltdown because there was sand in the water shoes dad made us all wear and I was hot and sweaty and dirty and we still had a long drive ahead of us. So I just came to the conclusion that I don't hate nature, I just hate being dirty and unfortunately they usually are a package deal. Everything was better though when we made it a little further up and dad bought us a coconut so that we could try the water. It honestly tasted like watered down warm milk and was not good at all but it was still a fun experience (bucket list check... Drink from a coconut in HAWAII) we also had the best banana bread and pineapple lemonade at another little stop on the road. It was so funny- Drake loved the lemonade so much he hogged it the whole time and would barely let me take a sip for myself. After a few other little excursions and photo moments we snuck into the Hyatt pool (supposedly the best on the island) and I didn't swim but the sunset I watched instead couldn't be beat. I think that's my favorite part about it here. Just in the evening everything feels most calm and peaceful and the sunsets are like nothing I've ever seen before. 
 there were a total of four waterfalls on this hike and we made it to the first one #goodenough
 Day 6: August 6
Today was the real driving day. We took our little rental car a few hours to the other side of the island and started driving up the road to Hana. There were supposed to be some really cool hikes to waterfalls up there. The first one we tried doing we only made it a little ways before we wandered off the trail and had to follow our way back from the "sounds of the waterfalls". It was actually a super cool hike. There was mud underneath your feet (we all slipped multiple times) and bamboo everywhere. We drove a couple more miles up the road and saw some more waterfalls and took some more hikes and got some more sand in the backseat. Eventually we headed back and went out to eat and I felt like I had just been on a road trip. We were driving for a total of 7 hours.
 my eyes fell out of my head when they saw this view. Like legitimately it's a miracle I'm typing this with no eyes.
 the sunsets sure do make up for all the sunburns here
Day 7: August 7
Today was our last "beach" day because our checkout of the hotel for tomorrow is early and we don't want to deal with sandy buns on a redeye flight home. We went to the same beach as day 3 and hung out there for a while. We did get the chance to rent a paddle board and it was one of the FUNNEST things I did this entire trip. I thought it would be so hard but me and Gabrielle axtually did pretty good taking turns standing up and paddling. Me and Gabrielle pool hopped around the nearby resorts and got a kick out of not getting caught. We went out to dinner for the last time and watched the sunset on the beach. One of the hilights of today was on the way back to the hotel we decided to stop at Java Jazz for shaved ice. It was hands down the best thing I tried on the island this week. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 
 we made it to the top where all this commotion began. Gabrielle admitted she was disappointed to look down into the crater and not see actual red hot flowing lava. Also, mom was not happy about the wind and the cold (look at that face)
 & I had more fun taking pictures of the flowers at the lavender farms than I did on any beach but what else is new?
Day 8: August 8
Last night after we all went to sleep was rough because In the middle of the night I woke up in a delirious frenzy because my 26 mosquito bites were itching and I couldn't find my backpack with the Benadryl in it (it was in my parents room because my dad was having that same itchy problems). I ended up overdosing on Benadryl then falling asleep (update: the bug bites are still very present and very red and very itchy) we checked out of the hotel early and got gas. While we were there in the car waiting for my dad to get gas and out of nowhere Gabrielle starts screaming at the top of her lungs and freaking out and I look over and the HUGEST beetle I've ever seen in my life was crawling up her shirt and she started holding it over to me like I was going to do something and I was like no stop get that away from me and I tried to get out of the car but the door just hit my dads butt so I was trapped and Gabs was still just sitting there screaming and I was like get out of the car and get it off!!! And so she opened the door and tried to get out (while her seatbelt was still on) and the bug wouldn't come off still so she full on took her shirt off and was waving it around then threw it back into the car at me and I threw it back at her and then she threw it back at me (and sometime in that process the bug fell off) and everyone was looking at our screaming family and a shirtless Gabrielle and I was crying I was laughing so hard. It was seriously one of the funniest things Gabrielle has ever done. After that commotion was all settled we took a drive up to the lavender farms. They were gorgeous and arguably the best part of the entire trip. Something about being in little gardens like that just makes me so happy. After we went to the gardens we took a drive a little further up the mountain and got to see the volcano that started this whole Hawaii commotion. We all laughed when Gabrielle said that she was disappointed to look down and not see a pool of lava below her. It was really cool to be above the clouds though. It felt like being in heaven or something. The only downside of it was that we had to hurry up and get to the airport and also it was FREEZING up there. Like below zero with 30 mph winds and we were all wearing shorts and beach clothes. I'll sure miss it here in Hawaii. This vacation has had its ups and downs and more often than not it's stressful and bitter trying to get us all on a standby flight and eating overpriced food all while I'm complaining about being clausterphobic and car sick but these types of vacations give me the moments that I know I'll run out of soon. Moments everybody is laughing and happy like when Gabrielle licks the barbecue chicken plate at dinner and when I get my head buried in sand because dad convinced me to make an attempt at the boogie board and when my parents are singing cheeseburger in paradise on our way home and when me and Gabs are skinny dipping in the ocean trying to get all the sand out of our swimsuits and laughing at the top of our lungs because nobody has any idea about it and when Gabrielle stands naked on top of rocks and we ALL laugh about it (and so many more). I know I'll look back on these moments for a long time. 

*video can now be seen here!*

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