Saturday, 15 March 2014

Pineapple Express

I'm a bit of a weather geek.  An amateur weather geek.  I couldn't explain the actual geographical and meteorological forces at play behind a weather system, but I am one of these people that always knows what tomorrow's forecast is and am uncommonly excited over weather records (most number of sunny days in a row, most rainfall in one day, hottest place in BC [almost always Osoyoos.])  Despite this, when I went on a date with a meteorologist about 8 or 9 years ago, I couldn't have been more bored.  Go figure.

Anyway, last weekend we were visited by a weather system known was a "Pineapple Express".  In fact, we came home from Maui on the Pineapple Express.  In my amateurish understanding, it's a system of heavy moisture and warm air that blows up the coast from Hawaii and dumps and ton of rain (and snow) along the Pacific Coast.  Our flight home from Maui was 1 hour shorter than usual as this mass of warm Hawaii air pushed our little plane northbound.

Now that we are home, the Pineapple Express means lots of rain in town, but lots of snow in Whistler.  Yay!  Last weekend I was up at the hill with some friends enjoying all the  new snow.  It was a bit on the warm side, so the snow was soggy as we came down the hill, but higher up we found some really nice stashes of powder.

In Maui, we had nearly perfect weather for our first vacation with Finley.  We learned quickly that traveling with a 9 month old requires a slightly different approach than normal vacations.

First lesson: your flight will feel much longer than it normally does.  When boarding a plan with a baby, forget about packing your bags with books, trashy magazines or iPads;  instead better have a ready supply of fresh new toys, snacks, diapers and a change of clothes.  Finley actually did remarkably well on both flights.  There were lots of babies & kids on our flight, so Finley's small fusses were barely noticeable among the din.

Looking sad as we leave Maui
A short (but sweet) sleep

Once we arrived in Maui, we were lucky to be picked up at the airport by Grandpa Phil.  Second lesson when travelling with a baby - bring help!  Grandpa Phil & Grandma Janet (aka Yo-yo) went to Maui a day early and rented the car, did a huge Costco & grocery run and checked into the condo.  So all we had to do was roll into town like a bunch of celebrities!  (Celebrities that get picked up at the airport in a Dodge Avenger have my sympathies.)  We had an awesome time together & it was a huge help to have  them with us.  Derek & I even escaped for a night dive & for a romantic dinner at Roy's while Grandma & Grandpa babysat.

First things first, lets get shed our winter layers!

Third lesson: you will probably spend more time at your condo that you normally would, so rent a nice place.  That we did!  We frequently stay at the same condo complex when we go to Maui - the Palms of Wailea.  The units are nice, the grounds are gorgeous, the pool is great & it is walking distance to Keawakapu, an amazing beach.  We had a great 2 bedroom place (three if you count the mini bedroom we created for Finley) with an ocean view.  Finley enjoyed most of his meals from the lenai watching the humpback whales swim past.

We visited the pool almost every day:

We went for walks down to the beach, around the neighbourhood & in the garden.

And we spent some time just hanging out at the condo.

 Forth lesson: forget about traveling light, but with research you can travel lighter!  Gone are the days of travelling carry-on.  Finley's gear took up one giant duffle bag!  But it could have been worse, had I not discovered a company called Akamai Mothers that rents baby gear.  We arrived at the condo to find a high chair, a baby bathtub, a beach cabana and a HUGE bag of toys waiting for us!  They rent almost any baby item you could think of.  It was so convenient!

Fifth and most important lesson: slow down, this ain't the mainland!  This should pretty much always be the motto of a Hawaiian vacation, but it's tempting to stuff in a ton of adventure.  There is so much to do in Maui, & I love to windsurf, run, dive, explore.  This time, I chose to limit my adventures: I did 2 dives and I joined my parents in learning to do Stand-Up Paddle-board.  But otherwise, our days our relaxed & unstructured.  We planned trips to the beach, lunches out and most activities around Finley's naps & his disposition.  It worked well & everyone had an awesome time.

Just hangin' loose with Grandpa
At the beach with his new scrunchy face
Keawakapu - our "local" beach
Mmmm… eating sand!
At the beach with Grandpa & Yoyo
Adventurous Grandma!
Look at these two Kamaainas!

For me, the most memorable parts of the trip were:
  • Playing in the pool with Finley
  • Watching Finley stuff his mouth with sand and going into the waves with his daddy
  • The whales.  Not only could you see them all the time, jumping and splashing, but all you had to do was stick your head underwater to hear them singing.  On my dive at Molokini it sounded as though there were whales right behind me.  It was amazing
  • Relaxed lunches with Mom, Dad & Derek
  • SUP boarding with Mom & Dad
  • My special morning treat at Honolua Coffee: Iced Nutty Hawaiian Latte and Lemon-Ginger Scone as I walked home along the beach
I can't wait for our next family adventure!  Thanks Mom & Dad for coming with us!


  1. You neglected to mention that I was the stand up paddle boarder that is in the distance and do not take a photo of the back of my upper legs again!

  2. It's the only shot I have of you STANDING on the STAND UP paddle board! It's exciting!