Hawaii: Family Style

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Twenty-five years ago, my parents stopped giving us Christmas gifts. They decided to take the family (cousins, brothers, sisters, Aunts, Uncles) to Hawaii instead. The trip would take place the following summer, and the location would be The Grand Wailea Spa & Resort on the island of Maui. Today, my parents are in their 80’s and the trip is still an annual event.

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My parents enjoy tradition and rules, so quite a few have developed over the years. Group dinners are mandatory, lunches are optional. The annual “talent show” has been done away with, thank God! Lobby cocktail hour has been added in for the siblings (that means us), and the regular lawn casabella seating (I call them sweat lodges) has switched to some cabanas this year. And surprisingly, in my parent’s new “progressive mind state,” boyfriends and girlfriends are now also allowed to come on the trip.


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One of the highlights is the “Family Swim” through the maze of waterslides, pool rapids, and the water elevator. Some adults inevitably make a detour to the swim-up cave bar on route.

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Now that a handful of the cousins are working men and women, and no longer toddlers, they are unable to attend. As the group size dwindles, and my parents age, we all wonder how long this traditional trip will continue. For now though, most people are looking forward to another year of family chaos, characters, and some awesome sunsets in Maui 2016.

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