Al and I have been talking a lot about budgeting lately. Since getting married, we’ve been combining accounts and looking for ways to save or better spend our income. And it’s funny – it being tax season and all – but you look at all the money you’ve earned over the year and you think, “where the heck did all this go?!” Rent, bills, vet expenses, nights out to eat, traveling, etc…
I was looking at my pi chart of expenses and the biggest category – aside from the obvious expenses like rent and healthcare – was travel. Because we’ve reached that age where everyone we know is getting married and/or having kids, and you want to be there. You need to be there. And all of the weddings I got to be apart of, and Bachelorette parties I got to help plan – I wouldn’t change them for the world. I look back on 2017 and besides marrying my own hunk of a husband, those are my fondest memories. The times when my heart felt it’s fullest.
And so when some of my favorite West Coast Nurse friends approached me in November and asked if I wanted to join them in Hawaii for a couple of days, I hesitated. Because “travel expenses” and “time off work” and “I’m really gonna need some time off in July…” etc, etc. But Al told me to go. And so the more I thought about it, I realized, “I don’t take real vacations.” Like, ever.
Sure, we go to a lot of places throughout the year – mostly sticking nearby so that we can drive, or flying back to PA to visit friends and family for holidays or big celebrations. But other than our MiniMoon to Santa Barbara last May, I realized, “man I need to take a vacation just for me.” And so, on Black Friday, we booked our flights and we booked our resort, and we got some steals and deals, and the trip was planned. I was going to Maui for an extended weekend. Oh the perks of living in Southern California 😉 …
I’m usually a pretty active vacation-goer, for the most part. I like to be out and about exploring and checking out the scene, but with work being as crazy as it’s been, I had nothing on my mind but relaxing and soaking in the sun. And that’s exactly what we did.
The five of us stayed on the West Side of the island at the Napili Kai Beach Resort. It was fantastic. We had both a pool view and an ocean view, and I woke up every morning before sunrise to grab some delicious Maui coffee and walk along the beach as the island woke up and the sun rose. We cooked our own meals each morning, afternoon, and evening almost every day, and then we’d stake out our spot on the beach and spend the entire day reading, snorkeling, and swimming with sea turtles and brightly-colored tropical fish. We ate more spam masubi than I care to admit, and popped a beer open before noon a time or two. But man, did it feel good to just chill. I read an entire book in those 3-and-a-half days. At night, we grilled steaks on the grill outside while the sun went down, spent time in the hot tub, and then we watched the Olympics until we all fell asleep, one by one. If that’s not a vacation, I don’t know what is!
But maybe the best part about where we were staying, were all of the older folk there. The regulars. The groups that stay through the winter months. They organize the bocce ball tournaments, the golf putting competitions, and even the Valentines Day dance. Looking at them enjoying each other’s company, and living it up on the island, made all that “money talk” earlier make more sense to me — made it seem worth it. This is why you budget. Why you put money away and save. So that one day you can be as cool as these old timers, drinking wine on a beach in Maui, enjoying the company of good friends and kicking their butts in a game of bocce ball. But hey, I’m sure that even they took vacations for themselves once in a while. 😉
and so here are a few photos from my trip to Maui — I arrived on a Friday at 1pm, and we left to come back to LA on a Tuesday afternoon.