Happy New Year! If you're not in the loop already, allow me to introduce Baby Meghawache...
How blessed we are!
Let me share also some highlights from our baby-moon and family vacation...
We were fortunate to have been able to join my parents and sister and her hubby in Maui, just in time for me to develop my best "beach body"... and my best "beach buddy" too :)
Day 1: My only minuscule complaint this whole pregnancy thus far has been the shift in weight causing my spine to nudge out of alignment, making the plane ride quite uncomfortable and at times painful, but I managed alright when focusing on creating my baby's mobile from crocheted figures.
It was AMAZING to go from minus 30 C with the windchill to plus 28 with the humid air! We arrived at Kihei in time to do supper groceries at Whole Foods, at which I was delighted to find many plant-based alternatives! I saw Ripple almond yogurt for the first time, as well as a few cashew yogurt alternatives... but being mindful of the US dollar and my budget, I stuck to my basics and bought some flavoured tempeh, Beyond Meat burgers dinner, and So Delicious coconut milk (would recommend with organic pineapple juice for a healthy virgin pina colada!). Couldn't miss the sunset! Then enjoyed a meal at home this evening.
Day 2: First beach day! Sis and her hubby rented out a surf board and paddle board, and I frolicked in the water. Morning and afternoon beach time was interrupted only by a short car ride to Wailea for food.We had an impressive lunch at Monkeypod Restaurant, including gnocchi and wild mushrooms for me with a coconut-milk-based corn chowder and a refreshing green juice. Early morning yoga led by my mama and delicious coconut milk iced lattes, a long hot walk along a beach and various resorts, and seeing whales breaching from afar were some of today's highlights.
Day 3: Tried paddle boarding with the bump and caught a wave all the way to the beach! Took an afternoon drive up to Lahaina where I found a cute onesie for baby and enjoyed some frozen pineapple made into this colossal no-sugar-added, vegan, delicious treat. The machine they used to produce frozen pineapple puree was called a "Yonanas" which is on my list of "material things that would make my life more amazing (and also for baby to enjoy)" - and can be found on Amazon here.
If you are ever in Maui you've got to stop at Lahaina and see this wonder of the world, the great Banyan tree! It's all one tree - just has burrowed down roots from vines that hang from the branches!
Stopped at a fruit stand on the way back to the house for all kinds of fruit and some ice cold coconut water.
Day 4: Rose early for a walk with my honey, then were surprised by M&D with a helicopter ride around the island! Wow! So impressed by the beauty of the island, the lava fields, waterfalls, rainforest landscape, and a friendly waving humpback whale, that I almost didn't notice how woozy the turns and pressure changes made me. Sea bands would have helped here :)
Lounged in the pool the rest of the day and made enough guac for 20 people with this ONE avocado.
Day 5: Rose early with my honey - as always, again, with the roosters calling at 5 am, took myself on a sunrise beach walk with an iced coconut chai while he went for a run. Grabbed a vegan chili burrito for "second breakfast" (baby gets what baby demands). Wading and wave-jumping took up the rest of the morning, and I knit most of baby shark (do-doo-do-do... sorry if you know that song).
Followed my mom to the lavender farm in the afternoon and picked up some organic lavender products for our doggy's sitter.
Day 6: Drove up to Ioa Valley on the advice of our helicopter pilot and took a very short hike up to a viewpoint of the spire, then strolled leisurely through the lush jungle.
We spent the afternoon on Sugar Beach but the waves were too big to swim safely in, so mostly we whale watched and walked along the beach. While Nidal and my mom were wading in the water I spotted a 5- or 6-foot tiger shark - everyone jumped out of the water pretty quickly! Poor little shark almost beached itself but the larger waves cast it back into the ocean. Wow!!
Vegan poutine for supper made with extra veggies and Daiya mozzarella shreds from "Just Put In", a Quebecois-owned food truck parked one minute away from the house which also makes crepes and non-vegan poutine.
Day 7: Woke up to a pretty windy day but a beautiful sunrise with plenty of clouds to reflect the pink and yellow sunlight! Did a little work on my upcoming CTV interview by the pool (tune in 8:40 AM to CTV Breakfast Television on Wednesday January 30, Bell Let's Talk Mental Health Day!). We explored the small shops around Kihei and then spent the rest of the morning lounging in the sun. I needed a long walk so my mom and I headed out to complete our mission of trying coconut cream pie and mango-pineapple shave ice. Mission accomplished, and along the way I found a vegan-friendly food truck market to try out later! Then - salsa night! Nidal and I danced up a storm and were thankful for the live salsa music at an upscale restaurant and bar.
Day 8: Nidal surprised me with a trip to the aquarium this morning! It reinforced my internal desire to eliminate plastic from my life. Did you know turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish? So sad! If you've read this far, please reduce or eliminate your single use plastic like straws and grocery bags, and opt for sustainable and reusable, biodegradable alternatives.
We headed back to the food truck market to try out some Phanaeng tofu curry - so amazing! Spent the rest of the day on the beach with a quieter ocean tide and lots of swimming and snorkelling to prepare for our expedition the next day.
Day 9: Woke early to drive to Mile 14 for our guided snorkelling tour. Our guide was excellent and got us in and out of the sand channels between massive corals. We swam with sea turtles and spotted hundreds of colourful Hawaiian fish.
Our second trip to the food truck market landed me some delicious vegan tacos from Aloha Joy, a 100% vegan and sustainable food truck with delicious plant-based bubble tea.
Napped off the exhaustion from snorkelling for an hour and 45 minutes, then prepared for our dinner out to a Chef's Table event at the Maui Plantation. What a treat - a special interactive experience with the chefs preparing and plating food right in front of you! We gave them advance notice of my dietary preferences, and they made my entire five courses vegan! I don't think I'll ever have another more complex, beautifully prepared vegan dinner out.
Day 10: What a beautiful last day in Kihei! We had gorgeous weather with a high of 31 Celsius which was perfect for swimming in the ocean. Nidal and I spent the morning on the beach paddle boarding and snorkelling, and he saw an eel and I saw another turtle! We walked lazily around the shops for some last minute gifts and then prepared a barbecue in the evening and dined outside under a blood moon eclipse.
Day 11: Just jokes! After WestJet required we jump on a plane that left 12 hours later than our previously scheduled 12 noon flight (malfunction with the bigger plane = split us all into two smaller planes), we extended the rental car time and took a trip up to yogi town Paia to explore the sights and later watch surfers and spear fishers just north of the town. Our brother-in-law was also staying in Maui, so we lounged about in their pool and shared dinner at Monkey Pod again until it was time to leave. We caught the red eye home, and despite not sleeping arrived home with a happy heart and feeling blessed to arrive home safe with so many great memories.
I think baby enjoyed floating in the waves the most, and the constant inflow of food was probably not so bad for growing either. I can't wait to take him or her on adventures of our own someday!