In this day and time, it’s almost insane for a family of EIGHT to think they can take a family vacation and Hawaii has to be out of the question!!!
But our story began in February/March of 2017 when Dan and I finally were scheduled to go to Hawaii for my 50th birthday! We were only two and half years behind schedule! LOL!
A lot of planning and finally just booking everything, we were on our way to our first “real” vacation. Seven days in paradise! Bags packed, everything organized and off to LAX to catch our plane 🙂 We were flying Virgin American for the first time and didn’t know if this was going to be good or bad. As we were sitting around waiting for our section to be called to board the plan, people started suddenly coming off of the plane!! After a few minutes, they let all the passengers know that they were overweight and needed for 20 passengers to opt for a different flight… LOL!
Well, we sat there not offering to give up our seats just yet. Waiting to see how high they would go and what “our” seats were worth, we finally decided that if they got up to $1500 we would go for it and take the later flight. So, guess what, we took the $3000 in flight credits and boarded a later flight.
We did lose our first day in Maui, butttt we made the most of this amazing trip. It had been at least 15 years since I was in Maui and it was a well-deserved trip (or at least I felt it was)!!
This was the very start of a crazy idea that popped into my head… Why not try and bring all the kids for a trip to Maui later in the year?? A family vacation for this blended family of eight! We actually do have the “Brady Bunch”, three boys and three girls 🙂 and we are very blessed that they all get along! I have to say that Dan was not on-board with this family vacation. He wasn’t sure why he and I were not going back alone!! LOL!!
As I started to plan this adventure, I was looking for every way to make it work. We had $3,000 in flight credits but at $600 a pop that was eaten up fast. So I checked with Dan’s kids on using their flight benefits through their mom (this was tricky and I will just leave it at that)!! But, if the kids could use their flight benefits and my $3000 in credits, I would have everyone’s airline tickets covered!! WooHoo!!
Now for accommodations… Yup, we needed a place to stay for 7 days and that is pretty dang tricky with eight people. I checked into just about everything, but they weren’t big enough for eight people and I wanted everyone together. YES, all of us in one condo! So I finally checked with a friend and she was willing to let me purchase her Time Share at the Westin Condos… You don’t know how excited I was!! They had condos large enough for all of us and it was affordable 🙂 We only had one hiccup, we could only get the place for 6 days and I already had booked some of the plane tickets. We all decided to fly in together and just make due with whatever I could find for one night. And yes, we all did match and wear Hawaiian shirts on the flight there 🙂
It was pretty funny, eight people trying to sleep in a condo for maybe five people was definitely pushing it! But the location was fabulous and the kids had the most amazing morning swimming in the ocean with a bunch of sea turtles. What a great experience we had in Kihei, Maui!
Finally, we were off to our place at the Westin. I knew it was going to be nice, but (WOW!!) I was blown away by how fabulous this place was! We were staying in a three-bedroom condo with an incredible ocean view! This place was fantastic and enough space for everyone. The master bedroom and bathroom was my fantasy suite… I could have moved in forever!
One of the things that we agreed upon (with such a large group) was the fact that we were going to be cooking 90% of our meals. Feeding this group of eight at a restaurant for a cheap meal would be no less than $200. This meant a trip to Costco with eight people when we got to the island! Trying to get through Costco with eight people is a really crazy experience and the most I have ever spent at Costco in one trip. But, we still had another trip to the grocery store, again with all eight of us 🙂 Never again, too many people with too many opinions shopping together. Tyler, my son, took on the task of head chef with the assistance of Hunter, Dan’s oldest son. They are pretty great in the kitchen together and made some amazing meals for us!! Meals were planned, shopping was done and it was time to enjoy this trip…
The only thing that I wished had been a little better was the weather. I would have loved to see a little more sun but we can’t complain too much, Maui is Maui and we were blessed to all be together on this fabulous island for 7 days.
I even rented two vehicles for the purpose of not wanting everyone to feel like that had to do everything together. This was their trip and we wanted them to do whatever they wanted to do. Butttt we pretty much did everything together. Family meals, trips to the beach, other areas of the island, it was an extremely tall large group of people!!
Never let anyone tell you, you can’t do something! Because if I can pull this off, anything can be done! I personally have some the best memories of this group together and having our first family trip with everyone! Feeling very blessed to have had the chance to take all 6 of our kids on a great trip and the total cost was around $5000 (not including the flight credits).