Posts in Travel
Babymooning in Maui and Our Must Visit Spots

Babymooning might be a fairly new concept but I'm all for it. Going on one last epic trip before the baby comes was a great way for Mr. A and I to celebrate us and our family of two. We know the big adventure is yet to come when we welcome our little one in July but we also realize life will change for a bit and it won't be as easy to just jet set to Hawaii for a romantic getaway.  It was tough to choose one island to visit but ultimately we chose Maui for its mix of paradise and resort amenities. Our trip was 5 days and it was the perfect amount of time for us to connect, enjoy one another and experience new things with each other. Together, Mr. A and I compiled our list of must have spots to visit while on the island whether you're there babymooning or not. 

COCKTAILS & MOCKTAILS AT MAMA'S FISH HOUSE 

Everyone told us Mama's Fish House is a must visit.  So we went directly from the airport to the famous restaurant for lunch.  The place faces the water with breathtaking views and a refreshing ocean breeze. Tiny little birds fly in and out of the restaurant and the intoxicating smell of gardenia flowers is everywhere. Decked out with bamboo chairs and Hawaiian decor, it's the epitome of tropical.  And while the food was good and completely authentic (fresh seafood and traditional Hawaiian sides), it was really expensive and we ended up having plenty of dishes on our trip that were more delicious elsewhere on the island. So for us, we would suggest going there for a cocktail (or a mocktail)... and if you dine there, go for a sunset dinner on one of your last nights to really make it special.

  Mai Tai for Mr. A and a Virgin Lava Flow for his Baby Mama

Mai Tai for Mr. A and a Virgin Lava Flow for his Baby Mama

 The view as your walking down to Mama's Fish House

The view as your walking down to Mama's Fish House

MAUI'S HEART ROCK AND NAKALELE BLOWHOLE

Despite being almost 7 months pregnant with cankles that wouldn't quit, I had no intention of just spending our babymoon hanging at the resort all day sipping virgin pina coladas with my feet up! I wanted to explore Maui as much as possible! We walked, hiked and climbed our way around the island and during a day trip to Kapalua we made our way to find the Heart Rock and Nakalele Blowhole.  There's a trail at mile marker 38.5 where you scale rocks and sandy dirt down to the famous spot. Round trip it's about a mile hike with a couple steeps spots so I would recommend wearing tennis shoes or secure sandals.  Once you get to the bottom, you'll see the blow hole to your left and if you turn around and look to the right along the water, you'll see the heart shaped rock!  The blowhole is quite impressive, powerfully shooting water over 100ft in the air. But beware, signs along the trail warn visitors that the blowhole is dangerous so it's best to stay at a safe distance when visiting.  

 Heart Rock with my loves!

Heart Rock with my loves!

BREAKFAST AT GAZEBO RESTAURANT

Our wedding photographers, Brandon & Kristin Kidd suggested this spot as an absolute must eat. Maui is one of their favorite places to visit and they frequent there pretty often to shoot weddings making them practically locals plus they are foodies just like us, so we knew it would not disappoint.  The Gazebo is located in Lahaina on the property of an apartment complex by the pool.  The casual restaurant is on a gazebo (this is probably obvious) with limited seating and a wait time averaging an hour.  But trust me, the wait is worth it! The portions are large and meant to be enjoyed family style.  Once you're seated, the service is quick and the food is hot! I enjoyed a glass of POG (pineapple orange guava juice) with Hawaiian fried rice and pineapple mango pancakes. Mr. A ordered the Portuguese Sausage Platter. Despite being super hungry and eating a ton, we still had leftovers! 

 Traditional Hawaiian Fried Rice

Traditional Hawaiian Fried Rice

 Pineapple Mango Pancakes with Coconut Syrup

Pineapple Mango Pancakes with Coconut Syrup

 Portuguese Sausage Breakfast Platter

Portuguese Sausage Breakfast Platter

MAUI'S SUNFLOWER FIELD

it's hard not to stop at the Sunflower Field in central Maui and snap a pic. As far as the eye can see the land is speckled with bright yellow flowers.  It's absolutely gorgeous! The Biodiesel Sunflower Project offers tours for visitors but keep in mind the field is on private property and a working farm so respect the land and please don't pick the flowers! 

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ROAD SIDE SMOOTHES

While Shave Ice will always be my first love, you rarely marry your first love (although I adore a good high school/college sweetheart story and admire those couples who find each other early on in life)! And while I had plenty of shave ice while we were in Maui, the sugary snow just didn't compare to the fresh fruit smoothies we enjoyed during our babymoon. Our favorites were found on the side of the road on our way around the north part of the island.  Family owned and made in a small truck, we placed our order with one of their young daughters.  I ordered pineapple mango and Mr. A got guava peach. When they came out you could just see they were the perfect consistency.  Thick ribbons of frozen fruit with the most intoxicating smell.  Oh my goodness they were the best things I had ever had! I guzzled mine so quickly I almost forgot to snap a pic! 

 Paradise in a cup!

Paradise in a cup!

 Road side food trucks are the best!

Road side food trucks are the best!

BLACK SAND BEACH

For me, going to Black Sand Beach was worth the trip to Maui alone! From the smooth black pebbled beach to the nearby lava rock anchored by the turquoise blue water, the Black Sand Beach lives up to all of the hype I've ever read about.  If you get there early, you'll find yourself alone where you can really soak up all of nature's beauty.  Black Sand Beach is off the Road to Hana (another HUGE must do when visiting Maui-so important that it deserves its own post coming soon). The area is lush with palm trees, birds of paradise and every other hypnotic Hawaiian flower.  It's like nothing you've ever seen before!

 While some of it is black sand, it should probably be called Black Pebble Beach!

While some of it is black sand, it should probably be called Black Pebble Beach!

 Definitely bring water shoes if you're a baby like me. The rocks aren't all smooth!

Definitely bring water shoes if you're a baby like me. The rocks aren't all smooth!

Whether you go to Maui for your babymoon, honeymoon or any other special celebration my recommendation is to take advantage of the entire island! Rent a car, roll down the windows and let your heart be your guide! There is so much more to do on Maui than just hang by the pool. For more photos, go to Instagram @BrandiMilloy and search the hashtag #littleamazingmauimoon.

Bruschetta in Cinque Terre, Italy

One of our favorite spots during our honeymoon to Italy & Greece this summer was Cinque Terre, Italy.  It's an amazing group of five centuries-old villages set along the Ligurian Sea.  Everywhere you look colorful houses, vineyards, terraces, fishing boats and beaches fill the landscape. And after a long day of walking, hiking and exploring we found this amazing vantage point overlooking one of the towns. Tucked away at the top of the mountain is the most adorable cafe with just a couple things on the menu: salads, bruschetta and beer & wine. Mr. A and I decided to get a salad and traditional bruschetta. Bruschetta is one of my favorite appetizers to make for parties. You can make it ahead of time and the flavors meld together over time and get even better.  

To make my bruschetta all you need is:

  • 1 fresh French baguette
  • high quality EVOO
  • 1 carton grape tomatoes (these are my favorite because they are the sweetest)
  • fluer de sel (flaky sea salt)
  • dry Italian spices 
  • burrata, buffalo mozzarella or shaved parmesan
  • 1 bundle fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Slice the bread into 1/2" slices. Set aside.
  2. Cut tomatoes in quarters and into a bowl mix them with a couple tablespoons of EVOO, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Spoon tomato mixture onto bread and season with fluer de sel. Top with cheese and garnish with basil and enjoy!
15 things you might not KNOW about me

Whether it's on instagram, facebook, twitter or youtube, I get asked so many questions about my personal life or interests. I'm excited to share with you15 things you might now know about me inspired by some of the most asked questions I receive from my viewers and fans!

  1. My nail color is usually OPI's Funny Bunny. I love this color and have been wearing it for years.  It's a great neutral milk white pink.

  2. My favorite meal is breakfast and I love making killer big ass breakfast sandwiches packed with egg, bacon, avocado, tomato and cheese. 

  3. My husband and I wake up at 5am M-F and watch the news while drinking coffee until 6am. It's our "quiet time" together where there are no phones, no work, just cuddle coffee time.

  4. I'm the oldest of 3. I have a younger sister, Sonya who is the mother of my nephews, Maximus and Bexton. I also have a younger brother, Lucas who is nearly 10 years younger than me.

  5. Three years ago I traveled to Uganda, Africa by myself to volunteer and serve the Palliative Care Association of Uganda pcau.org. I shadowed palliative & hospice care teams and helped with communication strategy and reporting. We visited some of the most rural and primitive areas. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and the best thing I've ever done.

  6. I love the beach so much. For me, it's a way of life. I need to be by the water! I love swimming, paddle boarding and playing beach volleyball with friends.

  7. My favorite food is mashed potatoes. Actually, I love all potatoes-mashed, fried, scalloped, boiled, French (fries)!

  8. I'm a huge animal lover but allergic to cats and some dogs. I used to volunteer at the local petting zoo and help care for bunnies. Some have called me a "bunny whisperer."

  9. My nicknames are "B", "Queen B", "Mrs. A".

  10. The best gift I've ever received was my engagement ring.

  11. My must have beauty product is Argan oil. I put it on my face every night before I got to bed. 

  12. The most beautiful place I've ever traveled was to Santorini, Greece on my honeymoon. It's breathtaking!

  13. My girl crush is Taylor Swift. I love her music and style and have been a fan of hers since the beginning. My dream would be to bake with her!

  14.  I love sports. When I was  younger, I played basketball and soccer. I was a shooting guard in basketball and forward for soccer. I like to score.

  15. My favorite accessory are watches. I'm never not wearing a watch. I'm obsessed with knowing the time at all times.  LOL. And I love big, masculine styles.

Lifestyle, TravelBrandi Milloy
WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

Hi everyone! I'm Brandi. I'm a foodie, storyteller, newlywed and first time home owner with my husband of a 1930's Spanish style home in the South Bay. I wanted to create a space where I could connect with all of you and share my foodie life, travel tips, home & design and married adventures.