Paradise Eco Adventures was a fun-filled day for the entire family. They are located on a Dragonfruit farm on the Lahaina hillside. When we got there, the first thing out of my mom’s mouth was “Look at all those pineapples!”. My parents are really into fruit and it was hard to miss since it surrounds the parking lot. We walked over to the main hut to check in. The kids went crazy over the two resident cats Taco, and Ono, who were mingling with the guests. Fresh cut dragon fruit and pineapple were on the table for us to nibble on while we filled out the short forms. Once that was out of the way, we were given a tour of the farm on our way to the zip-line tower. Our guides told us about the various types of organic fruit grown there. I was most intrigued with the dragon fruit because I’ve never seen them grown in person before.
It took our guides about 15 minutes to get my parents and kids (ages 2&4) suited up and given safety instructions. While my kids have zip-lined at indoor play places before, this was a serious step up. It was my parents’ first time zip-lining and boy were they nervous, especially my dad, since gardening is his favorite extreme sport. They actually both had a blast! Roman and Rhys each took 3 turns and kept asking to go some more. Everyone was SO IMPRESSED that a 2.5 year old had zero fear! They obviously haven’t seen his Youtube videos.
After we were done ziplining, we took a two minute walk over to the aqua ball. After a quick change in the bathroom, my kids were ready to jump in. The nice thing about this activity is that they had fun in AND out of the aqua ball. When it wasn’t their turn to go, they helped the guides fill the ball with water and helped push the ball down the hill. Once you’re in the aqua ball, it’s not scary, nor does it go rolling down the hill very fast. It’s actually kind of a slow, cushioned roll down to the bottom.
I seriously don’t know which they enjoyed more, the zipling or the aqua ball. Both activities were perfect for their age group. Enjoy the rest of the photos!
Stand up paddle (SUP) boarding in Hawaii has been on my must do list for many, many years. Even though I can’t swim, am scared of being in the ocean, and know I’ll fall many times during the lesson, I still wanted to scratch it off my bucket list. We decided to do private lessons with Hawaiian Paddle Sports because of my fear and felt like I needed that one-on-one extra attention versus getting lessons in a group setting and be lost in the crowd.
When we met with our guide, Laurie, she first talked about the company and their environmental responsibility. She talked about how everyone in the company has a responsibility (kuleana) to keep the marine life safe and clean for the beautiful sea creatures. I love how they love their island so much they make financial contributions to non-profit groups and organizations. Not only do they make financial donations, every team member volunteers their time monthly to organizations in Maui as well. What a team!
After a few pictures taken by Laurie with her GoPro camera, we were off for our lesson at sea. I fell almost immediately. I thought for sure I was doomed for failure after that. Laurie was very patient and was always near to guide us back on our paddle board. Surprisingly, I only fell a total of four times! Same with the Giant. I kinda felt like once you got those initial falls out of the way, you’re all good and will be paddling like a pro. At one point I got too close to the lava rocks and thought for sure I was going to crash into it. Shockingly, I remained calm and floated away by pushing onto the rocks with my paddle. I was so proud of myself for that!
The water is a little more calm on that side of Maui during the morning hours. With minimal swell, and mostly sunny skies, we were able to see several feet down in the crystal blue water. Laurie guided us to an area where turtles tend to hang out. Sure enough, several large green sea turtles playfully swam beneath our boards! When we were ready to head back in, Laurie also assisted with getting us OUT of the water, and carrying our boards back up the beach so we didn’t have to contend with the waves. That was a huge help for a non-swimmer.
If you’re an inexperienced swimmer like me and you’re not comfortable in the ocean, having private lessons is a definite MUST. Laurie made this nerve wracking day so much more fun and relaxing.
I’ve been wanting to swim with green sea turtles while in Maui since this is our first turtle sighting of these pretty sea creatures. Originally it was supposed to be me and the Giant but at the last minute after some coercion, my mom agreed to go. I’m soooooooo happy she did. The boat ride alone was enjoyable to her. Once we were on board the Quicksilver charter, we filled our hungry tummies at their breakfast buffet. After that, we sat back to take in the views on our way to Molokini Crater. It was a very choppy day at sea. I was a little nervous snorkeling in choppy waters because 1. I can’t swim 2. I’m very inexperienced with snorkeling and 3. my mom can’t swim or snorkel either. One cool trip add-on is a personal photographer you can hire to take pictures of you during the experience. I jumped at that chance immediately. In fact, he was still talking when I walked up to him to book in fear he’d fill up. Lol. Our underwater photographer’s name was Ian and he was the best.money.spent (additional $70). Ian wasn’t just there to photograph our adventure, he was more like a personal underwater guide because he knew where the fish and turtle were so we didn’t have to go swimming around looking for them. And it turns out, we were the only ones that booked him so we had him to ourselves.
When we got to Molokini, he took us away from the other snorkelers to where we can find more fish. My mom was having a hard time and she kept swallowing salt water but Ian was so patient and helpful. Unfortunately, since it was so choppy and the swell was so high, the Molokini visit was cut short. So we took off to Turtle Town to swim with green sea turtles. When we got to Turtle Town, Ian again took us away from the other snorkelers to the turtle cleansing station so we could get good pictures. You’re supposed to give the turtles plenty of space when you see them. (Harassing green sea turtles is considered illegal and you can be fined $10,000 if you do). I saw one swimming my way and freaked out!. I’m still scared of being in the ocean and when I spotted this ginormous turtle swimming my direction that I’m supposed to avoid or I’ll get fined, I couldn’t help but panic. I panicked some more when he nearly brushed up against my leg when I was trying to swim away! I guess Mr. Turtle didn’t get the memo about him staying away from us humans. Lol. Ian was able to spot an octopus that he brought over for me to hold! I’ve NEVER held a live octopus before and boy was this guy sticking onto to my hand like suction cups! It was incredible! He later found a baby octopus for me to hold as well. Overall, it was the most memorable experience for me and my mom, even though she had a hard time getting used to the snorkeling. It was so nice seeing my mom relaxed and enjoying herself during this excursion. I know this is something we will never, ever forget. Big thanks to Ohana Fun, Maui Activities, Ian, and QuickSilver for making this happen. You all made it so much more enjoyable!
Drums Of the Pacific was our first family outing since the arrival of my in-laws. What a way to celebrate this reunion! When my parents walked into the Hyatt, they were in absolute awe with the ancient Asian art and decor on display throughout the hotel. So they took their time walking to the luau because my dad stopped to check out each artifact along the way. Once we arrived at the outdoor stage, it was quite busy and the line stretched far down the beach walkway. Since seating was first come, first served, we got a little nervous about where we’d be seated. Once we got to the front of the line, we were told that since we had a party of nine, we’d have reserved seating. Whew. This was my parent’s first luau, as well as mine. Everything from the food to the entertainment was fun and top notch. The traditional Hawaiian buffet had something for everyone. For families out there that may be nervous about what to feed their kids, no worries. They have a kids buffet that served chicken nuggets and pasta. So even though we had to wait for our server to give us the green light to eat at the buffet, it was nice that the kids didn’t have to wait and were able to eat first. It also worked out perfectly since they were nice and full by the time it was our turn to eat, so we could eat in peace! Double plus for parents with young kids.
Show time! I looked across the table to see my parent’s eyes were lit up. A few times during the show, my dad was so into the entertainment, he completely forgot he was there with other guests and stood up from his seat to watch the dancers with fascination. The kids liked it too as they got a chance to go on stage and try the hula in front of the audience. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or my parents! Lol. The final number was a fire dance, and it is not to be missed. Once the show was over, the entire cast met everyone by the exit for a photo op.