In November, Mike received the Peak Achievement award from T-Mobile. It is one of their highest honors, and the award is an all expense paid trip for two to Maui, Hawaii. We decided to make it a family affair, as many other T-Mobile employees did, and added Brennan to our itinerary.
We left January 19th. After an EXTREMELY long day filled with a motion sick toddler, puke covered momma, and lost luggage (at the hotel) we fell into bed and slept wonderfully. We all woke up well rested and ready to go at the nice time of 7 a.m. Maui time, which felt like 11 a.m. to us, a nice little treat. Our days all started with a buffet breakfast on one of the lanais at the resort. The weather was amazing! Especially since we were leaving winter behind. Highs were in the 80s and lows were the 60s or 70s. We spent most of our days by the pool or at the beach. There was a scheduled lunch one day, and a trip to the Maui Ocean Center and the town of Old Lahania another. The pool was designed as a lagoon, with a water slide built in and a wading area for the children. The beach was beautiful with smooth sand a little darker than the gulf. It was hard to clean off, even with baby powder. The ocean was a gorgeous crystal blue. Whales swam all along the coast. We saw them jumping and blowing daily. We were comfortable in shorts and such throughout our trip, it never seemed too hot or too cold. The water was chilly, but was pretty comfortable by the afternoon.
Star fish at the Ocean Center
Most nights we had fun events to attend. Thankfully, our first night was a come and go buffet dinner as we arrived at the hotel. We were able to eat and run, since we were exhausted and no one could find our luggage for me to get clean clothes. Finally, around 1 a.m. central time another T-Mobile employee called to say that our luggage had been delivered to their room. They had arrived late and just found it. There last name was Brenner, so I guess the bellhops mixed the names up. Our second night was the awards dinner. The dinner was very casual and we all attended. Mike had his picture made with the company CEO and COO. They had a nice kid friendly buffet of pizza and such, and then an adult buffet of steak and lobster. The dinner was on a lawn by the ocean, decorated with Chinese lanterns and Hawaiian tablescapes.
The third night was an even more laid back beach party on the same lawn. We had our pictures made with parrots. A fun band played and there were beach balls and toys for the kids. Mike and I ended up refereeing a beach ball game played by 2,3, and 4 year olds. Brennan had no problem finding friends to play with everywhere we were.
The fourth night we all attended an authentic Luau. Our seats were pillows on the ground at a low table. After a buffet of roasted pig straight from the ground, fried rice, banana bread (B's favorite), and a few other traditional foods, we enjoyed a show of hula dancers.
Our fifth and last night we were on our own. We decided to go back to Old Lahania and ended up eating at Bubba Gump's. I guess I've unofficially begun a tour of Bubba's since this is my third or fourth. The areas we had access to were very commercialized and touristy. We thought there would be a lot of seafood, but actually found mostly burgers. We did get great gelato and Hawaiian shaved ice though.
Every night when we returned to our room, there would be a gift waiting for Mike. He received: sunscreen, a bamboo cutting board, a watercolor print, a Samsung tablet, and accessories. We both got to pick out Maui Jim sunglasses and T-mobile shirts and hats. Yep, we were a little spoiled.
We left Tuesday at 6 p.m. and were back in Huntsville about 12 p.m. Wednesday. The flights back were much easier, although we had a roller coaster ride of turbulence before we reached Dallas.
Overall, our trip was amazing. I don't know if I've ever enjoyed warm weather so much as I did with this little escape from winter (if you can call it winter here this year). It truly felt like paradise! We are still trying to adjust back to our normal routine, and not having the little pink card to pay for everything. I'm now even more ready for spring, and a return trip to Hawaii!