Our Hawaii Vacation – Part One

Palm Tree

Seth and I took a quick trip in December — our first real adult romantic vacation (ahem — no kids) since before toddler Kate was conceived. We went to Maui, Hawaii for 4 nights.

It was lovely. And I mean fabulously, decadently lovely. You know how when you really neeeeed a vacation, it's so much better?

But Hawaii is wonderful and fabulous no matter what. This was only my second time to visit, but both times were absolutely amazing.

I know you want to hear about the food and I promise, it's coming. I have a luscious post coming any day now that is ALL about the food! With lots of pictures!

But first I gotta give you the background (I couldn't fit it all in one post so I broke it into part one and part two).

Maui in Winter

Going to Hawaii in December is the perfect time (if you manage to miss the rain, which we did). The weather is idyllic. And this is coming from someone from Los Angeles, where the weather is already pretty darn idyllic.

The first day of whale watching is December 15, so if you go to Hawaii in wintertime, you're more likely to see whales. We didn't see any but we did not actually go whale watching. I talked to some people who did out whale watching go and they said they saw lots of whales.

The Four Seasons Maui

We stayed at the Four Seasons in Maui. I loved this hotel. It was so nice to be pampered after practically three years of child rearing.

Here's the pool (can you say SALT WATER POOL?):

The Pool at the Four Seasons in Maui

Here are the cabanas where we lounged, read (I was finishing Nina Planck's new book, Real Food for Mother & Baby), drank Mai Tais, and played word games on our iPhones:

The Pool at the Four Seasons in Maui

And here's the beach, just steps away from the pool:

The Beach at The Four Seasons in Maui

Here I am eating breakfast. Look how happy I am! A resort in Hawaii will do that to you. Not to mention the FOOD (you'll see it in my next post).

Ann Marie at Breakfast at the Four Seasons in Maui


The first day we were there, we just sat around by the pool. So relaxing! The second day, we decided to get out and do something fun (since we only had 4 nights in Hawaii). So we went snorkeling.

Seth Snorkeling

The water was warm and the sun was shining. It was gorgeous out!

We rented a camera to take pictures of the fish. I had barely gotten my flippers and mask on and gotten in the water. I was just testing out the camera when I took this photo:

Is This a Shark?!

Um, that's a shark, right? Look at the dorsal fin! It's gotta be!

Perhaps a baby shark — but a shark nonetheless… I'm pretty sure anyway. I kind of denied it at the time. I was scared out of my mind but I didn't want to admit it. If I admitted that there were sharks in the water — I would have had to get out immediately.

I ended up snorkeling for 3 hours or so. I couldn't believe how fast the time flew. It was so beautiful, just looking at all the fish. Thankfully, I didn't see any more sharks.

Here I am driving the boat:

Me Driving the Boat!

No Sunscreen — Just Cod Liver Oil

The next day, we drove in our rented convertible from Wailea all the way around the island. It took all day. We listened to local Hawaiian music on the radio the whole time. Hawaiian radio is not all corporate — so you hear all these independent musicians playing local Hawaiian music — it's really neat.

Our Rented Convertible on the Road to Hana

We stopped along the way to feed some birds and look at the scenery:

Feeding the Birds on the Road to Hana

I had on a tank top and I didn't wear a hat or a jacket — or any sunscreen — on our drive. I did make sure to take my cod liver oil. In fact, my in-laws were reminding us as we were packing our suitcases — “Don't forget the cod liver oil!”

My in-laws became true believers in cod liver oil last year. They went to Costa Rica and said they didn't burn at all — said the only change they had made in their diet was taking cod liver oil.

I don't know why this works, taking cod liver oil, but it really does. I got sun, a nice pink rosy glow — but I did not burn at all. It's so wonderful not to have to slather on sunscreen!

A Beach on the Road to Hana

Hawaii & Seafood

Hawaiians eat more fish than any other state in the nation. At least that's what they claim in their promotional travel brochures. I can believe it though. Seafood dominated every menu at every restaurant.

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I am a big fan of eating fish. It was Dr. Weston Price and Sally Fallon who first clued me in to how important seafood is for good health. Nina Planck drove it home with her book Real Food.

I've always loved seafood — but only after I found out how good it is for me did I start working to incorporate it in my daily diet. And in Hawaii, it's so easy. We ate fish twice, sometimes three times a day.

I have so much more to say about the food in Hawaii. A whole post's worth.

Stay tuned — the next post about the fabulous food we ate is coming any day now!

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday on Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

33 thoughts on “Our Hawaii Vacation – Part One

  1. Oh I loooooooved reading about your trip Ann Marie, especially since we haven’t had time for a long chat since then so you could tell me about it!

    The picture of the beach *especially* got me…it is FRIGID here in Michigan lately and it’s my turn to pick up milk for our cow-pool…5 coolers, freezing cold, in and out…yep, that beach looks reeeeally good!

    .-= Kelly the Kitchen Kop´s last blog ..Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms Provides Pork for Chipotle Restaurants (Real Food Wednesday) =-.

  2. OH, I envy you being there in the sun and soaking up the rays. The weather report here in New Hampshire is cold with a chance of colder. I’m interested in wht you said about cod liver oil making the skin less likely to char. My daughter who lives in Wisconsin is heading to Costa Rica in February–I’ll tell her to take the cod liver oil with her.

  3. My husband and I got married on a beach in Maui on December 30, 2007. Maui is paradise, in the winter especially! We rented a condo on the beach, and it had a full kitchen. We did enjoy the local food, but it was fun to purchase and cook our own food too. Our building had 4 grills oceanside, and on New Years Eve we were by the ocean grilling lobster tail and beef tenderloin, while sipping wine.

    Our life goal is to live there someday, even if it doesn’t happen until retirement. It is so fabulous, you can’t adequately describe it. It’s a whole different, stress free, laid back world. I’m so happy you were able to have a wonderful, winter vacation there! Our son just turned 2, and we are definitely due for one soon!!!

    I can’t wait to read your post about the food. 🙂

  4. Hi Anne, it’s nice to hear that you had such a great trip! My wife and I were married in Maui in 2005 and we stayed at the 4 Seasons for part of our trip.

    I can’t believe you saw a shark that close!! I know reef sharks are common there and that they generally don’t bother humans, but I don’t see a black tip on that shark’s dorsal fin! I wonder what species it is.

    I didn’t know about cod liver oil protecting against sun burn. How much of it do you take to have this effect? Any more than your normal amount?
    .-= Vin – NaturalBias´s last blog ..Will These 6 Foods Make or Break Your Performance? =-.

  5. What fun! Looking forward to part two. I didn’t realize that about the CLO keeping you from burning. I’ll have to make sure we take it along on our next cruise. I’ve left it home because I thought it had to stay in the fridge.

  6. AnneMarie

    Wonderful posts as always.Am hooked onto your gardening Posts for today and as mentioned in one of your posts..Which brand og Organic Coffee,Org Ketchup you buy?Also where to start looking for Org Wines?We live in suburban Phily and thanks will be small words to describe your blog and your passionate writing.Love wehn you quote your mom.Have made many changes in my diet as per NT traditions customizing it as per my South Indian flavours in many recipes.

    Enjoy your vacation.


  7. Interesting about the seafood. We were lucky enough last winter to have my parents take us to Mexico. My then 13-month old dd ate fish 2-3 times a day and by the end of the trip, her skin was absolutely glowing. I think all she ate on that trip was fish and guacamole.

  8. How do you travel with clo? Do you put the glass bottle in a zip lock or 10…and then pack it with bubble wrap?

  9. Hi cheeseslave-

    I was just grinning the whole time I read your post-my husband and I just went to Maui in late October for his birthday (I was so sad that we missed the whales! just a little too early for them…). Anyway, YES, definitely a shark,but don’t worry-it looks like it’s just a nurse shark-perfectly harmless! In fact, I was scuba diving in Florida this summer and actually touched one-they are very docile, kinda feel like sandpaper. However, even though we did lots of snorkeling and diving on our Hawaii trip, I never actually saw a shark there, just lots of turtles and cool fish!

    One of my favorite days there was the day we drove around the whole island, going around the north side to Hana and then kept on going around the south side, also in our blue Ford mustang convertible!! LOL, see why I was laughing at your post! I even have a similar pic of the black rocks from the black sand beach-so stunningly gorgeous-I’ve never seen anything like it!

    Anyway, can’t wait to hear about the food-I feel like we ate our way thru Hawaii, and our food bill showed it, but it was so amazing. I especially remember getting a fresh pineapple smoothie at a stand on the way to Hana-the girl actually split the sugarcane and ran it thru an extractor to press out the sugar to which she added fresh pineapple…mmm…

  10. Looks like you had an amazing trip! My husband and I honeymooned in Maui 5 years ago and stayed at the Grand Wailea next door to the 4 seasons. Lovely resorts! Can’t wait to see your next post!

  11. Oh, that looks like a wonderful vacation! So relaxing and fun. Hawaii is beautiful. My husband and I spent almost a week on the Big Island when I did a marathon with Train to End Stroke. We had a blast.

    I’m another with good experience with CLO and sun exposure. We went to FL last March and I’m not sure I even packed sunscreen, but I know I didn’t use it and I was fine. Mind you, as a fair-skinned redhead I don’t bake on the beach, but still. 🙂

  12. I was in Hawaiii MAAAAANy many years ago as a youngster. Something very powerful happened there . I know, and have been advised that i must return someday for spiritual reasons.
    I have often hoped to find an inexpensive place to stay there so I could make this journey. It is such a breathtaking area of the world.

    I am very interested to know more about skin care minus the sunscreeens.
    PLEASE see the video called THE COVE https://www.thecovemovie.com/
    There are many warnings about eating seafood. It is quite shocking. Im very interest in your feedback!

  13. AM – just recently i told my younger sister (who lives in San Diego by the way) about fermented CLO and she actually bought some from green pastures – so excited for her b/c now I’m not the only one in the family changing ways of eating.

    Anyway I told her about how you went to Hawaii and didnt wear sunscreen b/c you had taken your CLO. She recently asked me though if there is any research/articles about not having to wear sunscreen. Or where did you find this information out about the CLO and not having to wear sunscreen?

    Thanks! 🙂

  14. Hi, Alexis

    At first, we didn’t find any research — we just started having the experience that we didn’t need sunscreen and we were not getting sunburn — and then we started wondering if it was the cod liver oil.

    So I looked around online and found some articles about seafood, fish oil and omega 3s and how they protect against sunburn.

    Here are some articles I found:



    Ann Marie

  15. Wow, a pleasant surprise to see your website in my referral list. I referred to your blog recently when I was making lacto-fermented mayonnaise.

    I made mine with EV olive oil and macadamia nut oil. Here it is in the fridge!


    Thanks for the great posts! 🙂

  16. I want to go to Hawaii but I need to take all the address of placed to eat so I don’t get stuck eating industrial cap!

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