My brother Jonah and his family live on Maui.
And I adore that little brother of mine (and his family too).
We've always had a little "club" because we were the #2's of the family: the second girl and the second boy, and he's the best at staying in touch and also marching to the beat of his own drum, along with his great wife and five kids.
After some adventures in Las Vegas and New Zealand they settled on Maui a few years ago and travel as much as they can on the side, renting out their place there and showing their kids the world. Dave and I have visited there before, and Grace went for spring break a couple years ago (she and their oldest Ana are BFF cousins), and Elle and her roommates visited there in between semesters a couple weeks ago so we decided we better get Lu and Claire over there too.
They have some BFF cousins over there too, after all...
We planned out this trip before we realized Grace's BFF Ana and her mom weren't going to be there...they were at a swim competition on the mainland (boo, but hooray too because man alive, that Ana is speedy and we're so proud of her). But never you fear, because Grace still felt loved just the same:)
Oh man, that cousin reuniting was pretty grand.
...which Grace made some pretty great contact with from the ripstick.
We took off for a little bit to go to a resort together as a family to soak up that Elle girl of ours for a little bit extra before she had to leave.
We were extra excited because we got a big car to drive around, which felt quite luxurious after our teeny car on Oahu...can you feel the excitement here?
...and wouldn't you know it: we ran into some friends from home on the beach.
So grateful to have almost the whole crew back together for a quick over-nighter.
These girls make my heart happy.
And some pretty great card games.
This picture is to help me remember our family meeting that filled my heart right up to the very brim with love for my family, love for the gospel, love that these girls of ours are starting to feel so much guidance from above in their lives:
We soaked in the glorious nature that abounded...
We had to take Elle back to the airport to get back for school after that...
...and more time with my brother and his fam.
Our last morning it was time for a stop for "stick donuts" en route to...
Now it's in guide books and lots of people know about the "secret" but it is still pretty magical.
On the last one you have to swim through this little river to get there:
Sentimentality always wins out...great memories at that place over the years. And the coconut shrimp never disappoints :)
Then it was a mad dash to get back to Jonah's, get rinsed off, packed up, loaded out and say our goodbyes to these good people we adore and also get to be related to.
...and off to the red-eye to have real life smack us right in the face the next day.
On the way to the airport we reminisced and dissected all our favorite parts and ended with a jumble that we could hardly separate out because we sure love that place and everything it holds.
Especially the girl who lives over there we had to leave behind.