We’ve traveled before with Julie and Albert, but never for a week. I don’t know why because our kids (and the adults) always have such a good time with our BFFs. We haven’t been to Hawaii in 8 years, mostly because they were usually Grace’s work boondoggles. The kids were too young to have any memory of it, so this was all new to them.
Going to Kapalua on Maui is a little bit of a golf bucket-list destination, so I was excited … until we got the news that the Plantation course was closed for renovations for a year. No worries, we were really just chaperoning these five kids so they could be on their devices in one of the most beautiful places and in close proximity to the ocean. Our au pair, Ala, also came along. Hawaii was a first for her, so she went to Oahu right after we arrived to explore by herself for a couple days.
Albert’s cousin lives on the island, so they spent a few days with us as well at the resort with their daughter and brand new baby. The kids had endless ours of fun at the pool and down at the beach. We went and explored Lahaina and Kaanapali and had a lot of great meals throughout the week. On April 9th, Julie and Albert joined me and Grace in celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary at Merriman’s. Julie and Albert could write the Lonely Planet guide to Luaus and took all of us to one at the Westin in Kaanapali on our last night there. One of those fire-spinning dudes was not like the others.
By the end of the week, everyone had their fill of Spam musubi. Everyone was ready to get home to their pets (Max and Luna). It was a sign of a relaxing and restorative vacation. Our families are often like one, and we hope the kids will always feel that way about Olivia, Ellie and Theo. Looking forward to our next big adventure together.
Grace and I went to college with Ryan. We met Beth when she was living with my old roommate, Ky, and our friend, Bendee. A few years ago, I heard Ryan had been dating someone and I asked him about her. He said that we already knew her! What are the chances that two of the nicest people we know would meet each other serendipitously at work?
Beth and Ryan rented a cute house in Hanalei, right on the beach. The wedding an intimate affair of family and friends and we were honored to share their big day with them. Beth was simply a stunning bride and both she and Ryan were beaming throughout the weekend and especially as they made their vows.
We couldn’t be happier for this perfect couple and wish them the best in their new life together.
On our Honeymoon, we played one round in Princeville at the Prince course, which is the signature course in the area. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to open until March, so we planned to play at the Makai course, which was right near/outside our hotel. On Friday, we were paired with a nice couple from Alaska who had played the course before. They blew past what I thought was the first tee, so I waited. They waved us up to where they were, so I figured they knew what was going on. We separated after a few holes and after finishing the first 9, I asked the started how many holes they had and he explained that they have a 9-hole course, which is obviously what we played. He felt badly, so he told us to start over on the first hole of the Makai course, which was a welcome relief. Much of the course is along the ocean, where the views are stunning.
We finished 27 holes in pretty good time and headed back to the hotel to swim and relax. After a luxurious afternoon nap, we headed back over to the St. Regis and ate at Kauai Grill again. Between the two of us and the two evenings, we were able to try most of the things on the menu. The food was amazing.
On Saturday morning, we went back to the Makai course and were joined by Grady and Ryan. We just had to make sure we didn’t hit Ryan with any golf balls and also make sure to get him to his wedding on time. He was safe on both accounts. It was a great way to start the day and we enjoyed spending time with the groom on his wedding day.
On Thursday, February 16th, Grace and I headed to Kauai for Beth and Ryan’s wedding. Kate stayed at home with the kids, so we planned a short, but relaxing weekend with our friends. Grace and I spent the first half of our honeymoon on Kauai at the Princeville. It has since been updated and rebranded as a St. Regis. Call me crazy, but I really wanted to go back and check it out. Grace insisted that we stay at the Westin instead, which she heard was nice and very kid friendly, which was ironic because we were traveling WITHOUT the kids! Oy.
Upon arrival, Grace was duped into upgrading to some SUV, which might as well just have been a Jeep given how filthy it was inside and out. The second trip to the counter, she spared no expense and scored the Escalade I’ve been threatening to rent for years. Checked that off the bucket list.
At home, Grace has been getting into the Kimchi Chronicles, so when I found out there was a Jean-Georges restaurant at the St. Regis, I wanted to try it. Ky and Rhonda had been in Hawaii for a couple weeks and also arrived in Kauai for the wedding. We haven’t had a chance to meet baby Malia, so all of us went to dinner together. She is so sweet and was a champ at dinner.
Afterwards, Beth and Ryan were meeting with everyone at the St. Regis bar, so we spent the rest of the evening with them. It was great to meet their friends and family. We were already having so much fun after just half a day in paradise!
On Thursday, June 16th, we headed on a charter plane from SFO to Kauai for Grace’s McK West Coast retreat. The trips are bi-annual, but they skipped a year during the downturn, so this was the first trip in 3 years. This was our first time back to Kauai since our honeymoon.
The event was held at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu. Grace was on the clock from the minute we got to the hotel, so the kids and I had fun by ourselves for the first day or so. We had a great time by the lagoon, which was zero entry and the only relatively safe place to have them play by the water. We had a nice cabana for a couple days and were out there all day with them.
On Friday, Olivia and I tried out the water slide. She just barely made the height minimum and was brave enough to go down after me so I could catch her. I wasn’t sure how fast she was going to come down so I stood back a bit and she went under briefly before I could catch her. I got an earful about it and she said she would never, ever ride the slide again.
On Saturday, I convinced her to give it another try, which was good and bad because we ended up going down it about 37 times. It did not, however, get old, even for me. We had a sitter each evening so we could attend the retreat dinner and events. After Grace being at the firm almost 7, there are a lot of familiar faces, many of whom I only see at these multi-office events. At the same time, there were so many new faces and we made a lot new acquaintances.
On Sunday, after just barely getting settled in, we were headed home. Last time, the event was held in Maui and we spent the following week at Hualalai in Kona with Olivia. This year we didn’t extend our trip because we have another big one coming up next week. The kids were amazing on the long flight home – thank goodness for iPads…
Hawaii, we’ll be back again soon.
Four Seasons Hualalai, Kona, HI
After spending 5 wonderful days in Oahu, we went over to Kona for the rest of the week to meet up with my parents. We sent them to enjoy Maui while we were in Oahu. Thanks to all of Grace’s travel, she was able to set them up in a beautiful corner suite at the Westin at Ka’anapali Beach. I think they may have been a little too spoiled because by the time they got to Hualalai, they seemed to be missing their spacious digs. In any case, we had a really wonderful time together there. We all golfed together one day (mom drove the cart and took pictures). Eemoh’s kids wanted to do something special for mom and dad’s 40th anniversary this year, so they treated them to a helicopter ride across the island to see the lava flows. Grace and I golfed together again that day.
We enjoyed Hualalai on our honeymoon. Since then, I wanted all of our parents to be able to enjoy it, too, so we were very glad to have mom and dad enjoy it with us. Hopefully, next time, mom and dad Park will join us, too. This was our last hurrah before the baby. It was a wonderful trip beginning to end.
We traveled to Oahu, Hawaii to celebrate Rhonda and Ky’s wedding with their family and friends. As this was our last trip together before the baby, we decided to stay in a hotel in Waikiki. Most of our other Kellogg friends rented houses together near the beach in Kailua. Erich was staying in the hotel next door, so we were able to do a lot together. We played golf at a beautiful (and difficult course) on Saturday. It rained a lot and was pretty muddy out there, but it was fun. Saturday night, we met everyone for dinner in Waikiki. The wedding was held on Sunday, October 22nd, at Moli’i Gardens in Kualoa. The bride and groom arrived in Hawaiian style on a boat. Our beloved Federico Papa officiated the outdoor ceremony. I must say that it was a very touching and emotional wedding and after Ky’s speech to his bride and parents, there was hardly a dry eye under the tent.
The celebration lasted well into the evening and Ky’s old Navy buddies provided much of the color. Here are our pictures from the trip. However, their wedding photographer did a much better job of capturing the beauty of both the event and the couple – check them out here.
Four Seasons Hualalai, Kona, HI