Its been 4 years since we embarked on a 'proper' overseas holiday, and this time, our times have changed. No longer sipping an Aperol aperitif , quietly watching the passing foot traffic before a 4 course meal and about the same amount of wine rolling us into the am hours of the morning... Nope, this time pregnant with a toddler, enough said.

Hawaii drew the most "for" cards due to the one overnight flight, easy time difference, ease of language, food and general comforts, and we have been before but not for more than a few days. We wanted to relax and not over complicate things. In saying that our 2.5 yr old was a little travel machine, I highly recommend travelling with someone of that age over a pregnant lady...I had waaaaaay more meltdowns than she did.

The extra year on a 1.5 yr old makes a HUGE difference travelling, way less luggage, toilet trained, will now eat most things and generally just adapted to holiday life. Her first sentence on arriving while I was melting down about our room not being ready and needing a nap was "guys, can you just get me to a pool already" , I should have taken a leaf.

Anyway, as expected, Hawaii delivered.

There is a little bit of something for everyone, this time round we did a week in Maui, a week in Kauai, and a few days in Honolulu.

Maui - first up, the whole family shebang, waterslides, crazy pools and the no need to leave the hotel aspect at The Grand Wailea. I was skeptical but I have to say the hotel itself runs like a machine, the buildings, grounds and rooms are immaculate, not old or dated as I somewhat expected, the food was expensive but good, the HUMU restaurant food was really good, and we really got used to resort life, so unlike my old self.

Second up in upcountry we hired a stunning cottage, right near a little surf town I could happily live in called Paia. White panelled walls, and glass panelling in the exposed rafters that looked out onto a tropical green backdrop, all the design details where exceptionally well thought out.

Try the Fish market or Cafe Des Amis for food. And the gift/homewares stores ( Love heart eyes) I did our entire huge month of family birthdays shopping in one hour.... Biasa Rose, Sea La Vie, Paia mercantile.

Onto Kauai, They don't kid around about the green Isle, each of Islands have something so different to offer. Kauai is more untouched, luscious, raw.

We stayed North shore ( in another cute Hawaiian-esk condo) to experience more of the aforementioned, but on a rainy day headed south to find some sunshine! both have something to offer. You beach, walk, eat ( the BBQ chicken and homemade chilli) and relax, repeat.

Stop in Kapaa, for the best coffee in America (haha) at Java Kai, and Shipwrecked lifestyle store right next door.

Waikiki, its busy, built up, but it has a vibe, one I still really enjoy.

The Modern Honolulu, is a great choice, its a beautiful hotel, little lack lustre in the service department but the hotel itself is impressive, Bookshelf, turned bar by night, super modern (go figure) guest rooms, great pool and dining area... also could have happily stayed just a little longer.

Theres a lot to love, it was a holiday that turned out exactly as anticipated for us, easy -tick, relaxing- tick. I mean do you ever meet anybody who doesn't like Hawaii?

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