Friday, March 29, 2019

Second Trimester Essentials

I'm taking a break from my Maui recaps this week to share my second trimester essentials now that I've made it all the way through that portion of my pregnancy and am now into the third trimester!  If you missed my first trimester essentials, you can find them linked here.  I would absolutely say that I am still using everything from that first list, and these products are all additions to my current favorites.
Hot water bottle - I was really lucky in that my first trimester was pretty much smooth sailing.  Don't get me wrong, I feel super fortunate to feel as great as I do and to have this sweet little dude growing, but the back pain in the second trimester definitely came on strong.  For me, at least, Tylenol is a joke (aka doesn't even work as a placebo effect haha), and I miss Advil so much!  I used a lot of heat and ice, and I love that this pack has its own sleeve - totally beats the dish towels and random wraps to keep it from burning my skin.

Tums - Acid reflux has also appeared during my second trimester, and boy, did it come on strong one night.  I watch what I eat and try not to eat too late at night, but sometimes you just want that extra spicy salsa with your Mexican food or some chocolate.

Happiest Baby on the Block - A friend shared this book with me, and it was one of our first registry gifts.  I'm a few chapters in

Leggings - I've learned that maternity leggings are definitely a trimester by trimester purchase.  I love that they're snug, but they don't fit for more than a couple of months before buying new ones.  These were my top choice for trimester #2, and THEY HAVE POCKETS.  They actually remind me more of those stretch pants we all wore as kids in the 90s because they're a little on the thick side, but they're amazing.  As I get into my 3rd trimester, though, they don't go all the way up my belly anymore, so these are definitely getting replaced asap.

Fitted maternity dresses - I have to admit, I loved the way that little bump looked through my second trimester, so I was absolutely taking advantage by wearing way more fitted things that I even would have pre-pregnancy.  Old Navy has the best selection, and I even wore the dress linked to my baby shower in Connecticut.

Decaffeinated tea - YES, I drink caffeine during my pregnancy, but I am trying to keep it to a cup a day, and during the afternoons, while I'm sitting at work, I just need something warm to wake me up.  This tea is delicious, and if you happen to be in your first trimester, it's great, too, because it has ginger to help with nausea.

Compression socks - One of my amazing mama friends sent me a whole package of goodies when she found out I was pregnant, and these have definitely been my most-used item.  I wore them on our flights to and from Maui for our babymoon, every week to kickball, and when I know I'll be doing more vigorous exercise. 

Body pillow - This thing is amazing.  Yes, it takes up half of the bed (luckily we have a king), but it is so worth it.  Sleeping on my side is definitely not something I used to do (hello, fellow belly sleepers out there!), so it keeps me in the right position without too much pain in my hips and legs.  Plus, I can almost feel like I'm still sleeping on my belly by leaning into it.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Exploring Kula and Haleakala

Welcome back to my Maui recaps!  One of the first recommendations I received when asking for advice in Maui was to go to Surfing Goat Dairy.  I had no idea what it was, but it sounded cool!  We ended up building a whole day out of Surfing Goat and the surrounding areas as well as a trip up nearby Haleakala to see the crater.

Our first stop of the day was Surfing Goat Dairy, which was about an hour from our hotel in Kapalua.  We pulled up and parked besides some baby goats and started walking the grounds.  They have a gift shop, a small kitchen, and a few picnic tables in the guest area.  We signed up for the first tour of the day and met the resident cat, Emma!  Yes, that's her on top of the pergola in the photo below.  On the tour, we learned all about the history of the dairy's name, the goats, the milking process, and even got to feed them.  The tour ended with samples of a few of their goat cheese, and luckily, Hawaii is a full-pasteurization state, so I could try everything!
Our next stop of the day was right down the road at Ocean Organic Vodka.  We toured their grounds and learned all about how they make their vodka from sugar cane on their plantation and water from thousands of miles down in the Pacific Ocean.  Unfortunately, I couldn't try the vodka and rum (Mike said it was good!), but I did get a sample a bunch of the fresh sugar cane.
After our first two tours, we were ready for lunch and drove a couple of miles to the middle of the town of Kula to try Kula Bistro.  They had everything from Italian to Hawaiian to seafood, so we tried a little bit of everything: Kula pork eggrolls, mac and cheese with shrimp, and penne alla vodka with shrimp and scallops.  Everything was absolutely amazing!
Next on the list was Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, just up the mountain in Kula.  We honestly didn't spend a lot of time there, as we were already a little "toured-out" after the goat farm and distillery, but we walked the gardens and through the gift shop for a $3 per person admission at the gate.  It was really pretty and definitely worth a short stop if you happen to be in the area.
And our last adventure was to drive up to 10,023 feet through Haleakala National Park.  We did have a pay a $25 admission fee per car, but it was so worth it.  The switchbacks all the way up the mountain were amazing, and we only got a little nervous right at the top when our Jeep started to overheat.  We think it was just the depleted oxygen levels, and luckily, it was fine all the way back down.  We seriously went on one of the coldest days of the year.  There were 50-60mph sustained winds at the top and with the wind chill, it was hovering around 20 degrees.  We walked around for a few minutes at the top and honestly tried not to blow away or get wind burn!  It was such an amazing view, and you could see all the way over to the Big Island.
This was a perfect day trip to make the most of the central part of Maui.  What was crazy is that the following day, snow covered all of Haleakala, almost all the way down to the lavender farm.  It had never snowed that low in elevation before, but don't worry, we were still loving the mid-70s weather at sea level!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Road to Hana

I'm so excited to share one of our favorite days in Maui with y'all today!  The afternoon we landed in Hawaii, we took a scenic drive up to our hotel and went to bed early so that we could be up before the sun to start the Road to Hana.  For those who might not know, the Road to Hana is a 50ish-mile road along the northeast side of Maui with winding roads, amazing views, and tons of banana bread (clearly my priorities are in order).  It takes almost a full-day to drive to Hana and back, especially because you will definitely want to stop at every lookout you see!  

When I asked for Maui recommendations, Road to Hana was definitely the adventure I received the most recommendations for: where to stop for the best views, where to eat, where to swim, and how to make the most of the day.  The tip we received most often was to start early, and with jet lag, waking up at 6:00am to start our drive felt like we were sleeping in!  If you're from the mainland, I would definitely suggest Road to Hana as an early trip day to take advantage of that jet lag!

The Hana Highway technically begins near the airport in Kahului but really starts to get scenic about 8 miles up the road in Paia.  From our hotel in Kapalua, it took just over an hour to get to Paia.  For the most part, places open on the Hana Highway no earlier than 8:00am.  I plotted out the opening times of each place we wanted to go to along with how many miles each spot was from the previous since I had heard that cell service can be spotty on that side of the island.  You can scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to see a full list of the places we stopped, along with a list of how far they are from one another in case you're headed on a trip to Maui and want to replicate our journey!

Our first stop of the day was Ho'okipa Beach Park to watch the surfers, kite boarders, and try to spot sea turtles.  There weren't any turtles, but the view was amazing!
Since we had been awake for a couple hours already without coffee, and we knew our next stop would be a hike at Twin Falls, we popped into Jaws Country Store for a quick coffee and pastry.  The passion fruit danish was amazing!
At the trailhead of Twin Falls was the best fruit stand truck.  Not only did I get a bunch of candied coconut and pineapple, but you could also pick your own pineapple and have them cut it to drink from.  The coconut water was delicious and the perfect snack for our walk to the falls.  Keep in mind (since I was 25 weeks pregnant), any walks/hikes you see listed here are something that anyone could do.  I definitely didn't venture too far from my comfort zone, though I definitely did a ton of research before the trip to see which sites would be the best payoff for the littlest effort - haha!
Back in the car, our next memorable stop was Kenae Road, down a hill to amazing lava beaches and the most well-known banana bread stand.  Over the trip, we taste-tested 5 different banana breads, and this one was definitely the winner.  You got a whole mini loaf, and it was still warm.  The views on Kenae Road from the beaches were amazing, too.
Zigging and zagging on Hana Highway, most bridges were one lane with awesome views in either direction.  Though, please, don't be that person who blocks the entire road to stop and take a photo as you're driving.  The photo below was taken as we were driving, so, I promise, it is possible!
Seriously, so much of this drive included food, and I loved every minute of it.  Coconut Glen's was at the top of my list because they make an assortment of coconut milk ice creams with no dairy.  The lemongrass and ginger one that I had was so delicious!
One of my absolute favorite stops of the day was our next one to the Waianapanapa picnic grounds and state beach.  Seriously, it was amazing for so many reasons!  There were adorably sweet feral cats all over the picnic area, and it was just a short walk down the hill to the black sand beach.  I really wish the photos did it just justice!  The sand was so smooth, and it was a great place to swim.
By this point, we were getting pretty hungry, so we took the suggestion of a friend to go to Bradduh Hutts BBQ, right in Hana - yes, we had made it!!  The lunch spot was basically a food truck and tent set up in someone's front lawn, and obviously, there was a cat there, too.  We ordered a couple different things to try: barbecue chicken plate lunch and shrimp pasta - both were delicious. 
We decided to keep driving through Hana, all the way around the island, instead of backtracking to Paia.  From our experience talking to people there, it seems like people are evenly split, whether they choose to drive back the way they came or continue on.  We wanted to keep seeing new sites, and even though the area south of Hana was much less populated (and the roads aren't paved as well), it's definitely worth it, especially if you're in a Jeep or larger vehicle.  We didn't need to use four wheel drive once, just FYI. 
One of our final stops was at Palapala Ho’omau Church where Charles Lindbergh's grave was.  The views at the overlook were amazing, too. 
You can definitely tell that the terrain is much different south of Hana, but we enjoyed the drive and are glad we did it this way.  From what we've heard, the roads around Hana can become pretty crowded as the day goes on, and continuing on, instead of backtracking, we barely saw another car.  The one piece of driving advice I can give you on Road to Hana is if someone is clearly driving faster than you and catches up to you, just let them pass.  You'll be less stressed, and the person behind you will be less frustrated!  Also, beware of tour buses - they drive crazy!!
Stops on the Road to Hana (mileage in parentheses denote distance from previous location):

  • Ho'okipa Beach Park and Lookout (1.5 mi from Paia)
  • Jaws Country Store (6.3 mi, opens at 7:00am)
  • Twin Falls fruit stand, waterfall, and trails (3.7 mi, opens at 8:00am)
  • Ka Haku Smoke Shack chicken and banana bread (8.2 mi, chicken ready at 10:00am)
  • Garden of Eden Arboretum - $15 per person (0.3 mi, 8:00am-4:00pm)
  • Kenae Road for lava beaches and Aunt Sandy's banana bread (6 mi)
  • Swimming at Ching's Pond (0.5 mi)
  • Halfway to Hana store (0.5 mi)
  • Wailua Valley State Wayside stairs (1.5 mi)
  • Coconut Glen's coconut milk ice cream (8.7 mi)
  • Waianapanapa black sand beach (5 mi)
  • Hana Tropicals flower shop - they'll ship their orchids back to the mainland! (1.6 mi)
  • Kaihalulu red sand beach (1.7 mi)
  • Bradduh Hutts BBQ (0.6 mi)
  • Hamoa Beach (2.7 mi)
  • Ohe’o Gulch Seven Sacred Pools (7.3 mi)
  • Charles Lindbergh's grave at Palapala Ho’omau Church (1.4 mi)
  • Drive back to the airport along Route 37 (52 mi)

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