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My favorite part of the trip to Maui -- though there were many favorite parts -- was the hike Heather and I did to the Olivine Pools. It looks pretty daunting from the top, a serious descent of a few hundred yards down steep rocky terrain, but it's actually a fun rock-hop down to the bottom and an easy climb back up. Once at the bottom you can wade in the tidepools... and swim in the deepest one, which is easily deep enough for people to dive into from the surrounding rock cliffs. Heather and I spent a fair bit of time there, bobbing around, looking into the crystal-clear seawater at the fish below, and chatting with other visitors. At one point a huge wave broke over the rocks and showered everyone in the pool, which was awesome and terrifying. Really quite magical. If I get to write the sixth Marla book -- where, for reasons I won't reveal, Marla is miserably stuck in tropical paradise -- I'll definitely set a scene at the pools. We'll have to go back when River's old enough to join us (he had fun with his babysitter that day, though.)

Other highlights include a very decadent lunch at Mama's Fish House, where River charmed the waitresses and ate fish, avocado, rice, bread (so much bread!), bananas, and anything else we'd slip him off our plates. I had macadamia nut-encrusted mahi-mahi stuffed with crab and lobster. Also had lobster guacamole, and crab cakes, and an awesome chowder, and homemade macadamia nut brittle ice cream, and delicious booze... Probably the most I've ever spent on a meal in my life. Probably the best meal I've ever had, too. I'm not inherently a huge seafood fan, but: yum.

River had a great time playing in the fountains, and boating around in his little toddler raft in the lavish hotel pool. I drank at least one lava flow every single day. We ate at Aloha Mixed Plate twice, had a crazy delicious breakfast buffet a couple of times, went to the beach (where River ate vast quantities of sand), snorkeled a couple of times, did some shopping... it was glorious.

We're readjusting to life on the mainland. It's not so bad. Everything's easier to cope with now that we've had some rest.

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