We are back on the mainland! Annabel was soooo unhappy about leaving. She kept saying, “I want to live here! I don’t want to leave!” Even the promise of Rigby kisses and pumpkin patches couldn’t cheer her up. I think a huge part of why she didn’t want to leave is because of where we stayed. When my family has traveled to Hawaii in the past, we piled into hotel rooms or condos. That always worked well, but now that there are so many of us (with different bedtimes and sleeping habits) jamming into small quarters wasn’t ideal. The original plan was to get everyone their own hotel rooms, but then my dad (Mr. Vacation Planner) discovered that, thanks to a special deal, we could rent a house for the same amount as four hotel rooms (or two condos).

Through VRBO.com (this isn’t sponsored, we just had great luck with them) we found the most bananas house. I mean that both figuratively and literally, as the house had banana trees on the property.

bananas or plantains?

It also was right on the ocean, and at the end of the property the sand stretched down into the water. It felt like a private beach because it was tucked in between private residences. We each had our own room (the kids stayed with Mike and me), there was a large yard to play in, and a pool for swimming and cooling off. My brother said he felt like Jennifer Aniston with the house on the water and “private” beach.

the house
The house

the beach
The practically private beach.

the view
The view from my bedroom window.

Being in a house like that was a total treat. First, it was 1,000 times more relaxing for me because I didn’t stress about the kids making too much noise. Obviously I didn’t want them to disturb the family, but knowing that we weren’t surrounded by strangers on all sides made me feel a lot better about the occasional cry or shriek. Also, having a full kitchen was sooooo great. We were able to stock the fridge with snacks, and we made delicious dinners a few nights. Annabel is a bottomless pit of hunger, and you know Mike needs his Diet Cokes!

Nine people in one house could have been a recipe for disaster, but we all got along splendidly. It helped that we had our own spaces to retreat to, but I think not having a million people milling about helped keep us all relaxed. A lot of the usual vacation stressors were gone – we had a place to eat if we wanted, there was always a place to park the car, and there was always something to do, even if that something was doing nothing in the hammock.

hammock life