Pictures Tell The Story

Chris and Marnie taking a selfie

Newlyweds Chris and Marnie take a selfie post-ceremony.

While we weren’t able to invite all of you to our wedding, we hope you can all share in our magical day through the lens of a camera (or the few we shared through Twitter and Facebook already – like we were doing above).

Check out our official photo gallery page to see more!

P.S. – isn’t my wife beautiful?

Day One – Acclimation, Accommodation and Airlines

Our first full day here in Maui is in the bag and I still can’t believe we got as much done as we did. I also can’t believe how humid it is here right now.

We started off our day coordinating with my parents on who was meeting friends and family that were flying in – fortunately for us, my Dad stepped up to be chauffeur (three trips to the airport).

Once that was taken care of, Marnie and I went up to Makawao to meet our wedding planner, Lori Lawrence. While we’ve worked with Lori for over a year now, yesterday was the first time we had met her in person – what a lovely and bubbly woman she is! Definitely reinforced to us that we made the right choice.

Kukahiko Estate

Grounds at Kukahiko Estate – Our Venue

Spending some of the early afternoon with her, we sorted out some of the logistical details on Friday and shared some ideas with her. We also took a trip out to Kukahiko Estate to get a walk-through of our venue.


As you can see from the picture above, we’re going to have some pretty awesome sight lines. With our wedding taking place later in the afternoon, the trades will have picked up slightly to provide a cooling breeze but also to give the ocean a little character. And if Marnie has her way, humpback whales and turtles will be frolicking just offshore.

Once this trip was done, we spent the evening with family at Stella Blues for happy hour and to see Lori’s husband Jamie perform. He’s got a great voice and for those who will be attending our wedding, you’ll get a chance to see him perform live. And I would also be remiss to mention that the fish and chips at Stella Blues is top-notch – while I didn’t eat any (seafood, yuck!), half of our party did and loved it!

I wrapped up the evening accompanying my Dad to the airport to pick up some family friends who were flying in on Allegiant Air. I can’t say I’ve heard many, if any, good things about this airline beyond price and after the experience our friends went through (including waiting over an hour for luggage after the plane landed), I’d be the first person to talk anyone else out of flying with them. Sure, the price can be right, but not everything is worth the lowest common denominator!

Maui Bound

Finally, Chris and Marnie have returned to… Maui!

Well not quite, I’m actually typing this from 30000 to 40000 feet or so. And with us in the final hour of our journey to the valley isle, I thought I would use the time wisely to provide a “pre-Day 1” update.

Liam at YVR

Liam is excited to fly!

You can imagine our day was a frenetic one where we found ourselves tying up loose ends, making sure we had everything we needed packed, and had everything around the condo tended to. Even the cat knew something was up.

With everything needing doing, we ended up leaving our house an hour later than intended which doesn’t jive with slightly OCD me. While it’s obvious we made it on the plane, the time leading up to us checking our bags, getting through security and US customs pre-clearance and then to our gate had me a wee bit agitated. Fortunately Marnie is used to this by now. Suffice to say we’ve learned to work with our unique quirks.

Looking to provide ourselves something of a treat on our flight, Marnie and I decided we would try the Plus seating upgrade on WestJet which only cost $45 each at time of check-in – considerably cheaper than booking it upfront. Now before you go and roll your eyes that we spent extra cash, the additional leg room is more than worth it. And to top it off, we also received complimentary snacks, beverage (beer or spirits if we so desired) and complimentary use of the TrayVu tablet (our plane didn’t have back of seat displays). If you’re every curious on whether you should try the upgrade, I definitely feel its worth it for a longer trip.

Update: We have landed and gotten a solid night of sleep in. You can’t begin to understand how excited we are.

Packing for Hawaii

For most, packing for a trip isn’t easy. You’re always looking for items you think you might need and then discovering you don’t have enough space to pack everything. Compounding this stress even further is the ever-reducing amount of luggage you can take on a plane that doesn’t cost you money – simply for checking the bag or going overweight. So I figured I would give you some tips on what you can do to help make things work.

Luggage and Lei

Luggage and Lei – courtesy of Rice and D

Step One

When it comes to packing a suitcase, always put the things that take up the most space in first (usually shoes). But before doing so, use the space inside the shoe to stuff some rolled up socks or underwear in. And as Hawaii is about adventure, remember to bring something that you’ll be comfortable walking in as well as something light you can drag out to the beach.

Step Two

Next you’ll want to pack most of your lightweight clothing – shirts, shorts, etc. What you need to do differently at this step is more rolling, less folding (cotton t-shirts and other materials that don’t wrinkle easy). You’ll find there will be more clothing fitting into less space this way. Once this is done, you can then place collared shirts and pants half in and out of the suitcase layer over layer and when finished, fold the portion outside the suitcase in layer over layer. Remember to pack your beachwear too!

If you plan on staying at the beach, you’ll probably be okay skipping anything heavier than a cotton or linen shirt. If you plan on travelling beyond the sand, you’ll encounter rain and if you go high enough, single digit temperatures (even frost and ice on Haleakala).

Step Three

Now that all your clothes are packed in nice and neat, it’s now time for you to pack your odds and ends, toiletries (remember your sunscreen) and what-not. And while I would recommend packing electronics and valuables in your carry-on, it is “possible” to put these items in your checked baggage if you must. You’re just playing the odds that those items will be there on the other side of the trip.

Step Four – the carryon

So you’re skipping the checked bag? Good on ya! To help you out, here some further tips:

  • Packing liquids? Remember the 3-1-1 rule when travelling to the US. Simply put, you can have liquids in 3.4oz (100ml) bottles, in one 1qt sized plastic bag (go ziplock), at one bag per person. Make sure you have this item ready when you go through security – not hidden in your bag!
  • Leave your snorkel gear at home and rent some when you arrive. Rentals are quiet inexpensive and the gear is just space and weight you could otherwise re-purpose.
  • Before you pack your clothes, lay it all out and eliminate a third. You’ll never need as much as you think and if you do, clothing can be easily found in Hawaii! Or if you’d rather not buy more clothing, just find a laundromat if you’re not lucky enough to have a washing machine in your unit.
  • Wear your heavy and bulky stuff on to the plane. I’m going to assume you’re probably coming from somewhere colder than Hawaii and you can always change either on the plane or when you land.

There you have it. I’d be curious if any of you found any of the above tips handy and even better yet, would love to hear if you have any further suggestions we could add to the list.

Got Advice?

Marriage Advice

Marriage Advice – courtesy of pudgeefeet

I’m telling you – it’s crazy that exactly one week from now Marnie and I will be saying “I do.” But as some of you have mentioned to me, there’s more to it than just a few words.

And while Marnie and I have been together for nearly 14 years and engaged for nearly 5, it makes sense that we extend the offer to you to provide us some sage words of advice on how to make the marriage work. Not that we think we need that much help, but you can never have too much insight, right?

Maui Revealed – Snorkeling

Chris goes Snorkeling

Chris goes Snorkeling

By far the most popular activity for those who travel to Maui is snorkeling. Yet, it was only on our third trip there that Marnie and I ventured into the water to see what was actually underneath.

When we ventured into the water, we chose to keep things simple and head in at Kamaole Beach III (just across the street from Kamaole Sands). Sure we’d been in the water at the beach, but never before had we thought to look under the waves. Suffice to say, we were blown away at how many fish were likely swimming all around us the whole time that we’d been oblivious to.

So now you’re interested, right?

While nearly every beach has solid snorkeling opportunities, we’ve been told that taking a snorkel tour out to the Molokini Crater is all that and a bag of chips. There are options a plenty if such a trip suits your fancy, though we’d recommend taking a sail on the Ali’i Nui – we haven’t made a snorkel trip on this charter, but just loved the trade winds sail we took a few years back.

And if you’re in need of gear, pretty much every block has a snorkel or dive shop on the corner. We’ve heard good things about the Maui Dive Shop, while Marnie and I used Snorkel Bob’s when we last went. The great thing about both is that you can get full kits for an affordable price that you don’t need to truck back home when you leave. And if you’re in need of optical lenses (like Marnie), both outfits can hook you up so you can actually see what you’ll be looking at.

But instead of taking my advice, what tips do you have for us and our guests? Please share below in the comments.

This post is part of our Maui Revealed series to help our wedding guests and others explore the island. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Maui Revealed – Haleakala

In the three trips that Marnie and I have made to Maui together, we’ve never gone up to the top of Haleakala. We plan on remedying this in March.

Sunrise on Haleakala

Sunrise on Haleakala – courtesy of Miss604

Standing at just over 10000 feet above sea level, Haleakala towers over the Valley Isle. And having such a height advantage, those who make the trip up to the top are treated to some fantastic sunrises (and sunsets on a good day)! In fact, if the skies are clear you’ll have a great vantage point to see five other Hawaiian islands.

While not entirely tough, getting up to the summit is not the easiest of tasks. With no public transportation, most people tend to get up early and drive up to the summit by car. This route isn’t too challenging as the highway to the top is paved, though you will find a number of switchbacks. Oh… and cattle apparently. Watch out for the cows.

Another option is to book one of the many tours that head up for sunrise. Sure you’ll spend a few bucks to do so, but most tour outfits will pick you up at your condo/hotel and also usually provide a continental breakfast. And for those looking for an exciting way to get back down, some tours provide bikes – you just pedal once or twice and then coast all the way down. That’s right… all the way down.

If you’re interested in going up to the top, let us know as we plan on going up ourselves and it would be cool to share the experience with you! And don’t sweat the volcano part – the last time Haleakala “belched” was approximately 1790. We should be good.

This post is part of our Maui Revealed series to help our wedding guests and others explore the island. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Maui Revealed

When Marnie and I travel to Maui for our wedding, I will be on journey number four to the Valley Isle, while Marnie will be on her fifth. You would think we’ve got the island memorized by now. There’s just so much to do and see that it’s really hard to get everything done without a little planning.

So that’s where a solid guidebook can come into play.

WestJet Winglet

Sky-high with WestJet – courtesy of Miss604

Looking for a guidebook to help us out, I settled on Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook.

Sure it claims to be the “ultimate” guidebook, which the skeptic in me scoffed at. Yet, it’s by far one of the best Maui guidebooks on Amazon (solid ratings), and the series itself gets accolades across the board.

Written in plain English and in a humourous tone, you get insight on what you can do while on the island, whether it be an adventurous hike through the West Maui mountains or a relaxing nap on the beaches in Makenna. You also get tips on what restaurants are good for your budget, tips on how to stay safe while visiting, and all around ways to save a few bucks where possible. How much more could you want?

The one thing I do recommend you keeping in mind is that anytime the books talks about a beach being a hidden gem or secluded, thousands of copies have sold so there’s a good chance the hidden gem is not so hidden anymore. That all said, in our experience you’re still led to the best of the best if you use it as a guide.

To further help you out, I’ll look to post a couple of activity ideas over the next couple of weeks for those so interested. Or better yet, if there’s an activity you’re interested in doing or quite possibly wanting to share with others, please leave a comment!

Maui Revealed Series

  • Haleakala – climb this dormant shield volcano on Maui to play with the Gods.

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