Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kauai 2011

Kauai 2011 was an absolute blast! I'm not exactly a world traveler, but by far Kauai is the most beautiful place I've seen. I would travel to the garden isle again and again. Here are the highlights of our recent trip:

Day One: Snorkeling, Hanging on the Beach, Playing on the Green
Maddie snorkels for the first time!

a few minutes in and already covered in sand

three little monkeys beneath a coconut tree!

Day Two: A Muddy Hike and More Snorkeling
Our adventure to Kipu Falls yielded a lot of mud, high waters due to the recent heavy rains, and an unfortunate accident for Jennie that kept her off her feet most of the trip. Boo.

But in the afternoon Maddie got to snorkel again and saw her first sea turtle!

Mama, would you take the picture already? I want to get in the water!

Sam hung out on the beach and made me smile with his cuteness

"The turtle was swimming right next to me!"

During dinner on the green

the beach showers were irresistible to these guys!

Maddie and Nicole FINALLY get their sleepover. Think they were a little excited?

Day Four: Plumeria Pickers, Pool Time, Shave Ice & Cracking Coconuts
Looking for plumeria flowers

The sweetest friends

Daddy and Sam down the slide at the Kiahuna pool

little napper poolside (at about 9am; poor little jet-lagged boy)

Sam's first time trying shave ice (he liked it!)

A serious coconut cracking experience

mmm...coconut water!

Sam tries it but isn't sure about the scratchy husk

Maddie's not afraid of the husk--she downs the cool drink!

One of my all-time favorite thing about Summer: bathing suit booty!

Nicole and Maddie at the Grand Hyatt Poipu

Kelly and Tyler

Lovely Ladies


Ben & Tyler in their matching Reyn Spooner shirts

Mama and Maddie

Sam, Daddy & Tutu listen to the music

Day Four: Hideaways, Ice Cream & Wiffle Ball
Beautiful Hideaways Beach

Serious Maddie

Splashing Sam

Wiffle ball on the lawn after dinner

curious boy

Sweet Nicole

ice cream, running, and cheering

Day Five: Beach and the Hyatt (again!)
Nicole plays in the grass

Kel and Ty

Nicoley had a new face each time I grabbed the camera. Love this girl!

Mama & Sam


Pretty into her first virgin strawberry daquiri

Day Six: North Shore, Tunnels, & Dinner on the Green
Tunnels Beach: the MOST amazing snorkeling

Lord of the Flies!

Three fellas at the end of a great day

Sunset at Kiahuna Beach

Day Seven: Just Beachy
Me & my boy

Tyler & Maddie hamming it up at dinner

Day 8: The Na Pali Expedition (aka Ben & Becky date day)

One of the best adventures of my life! A crazy, rocky, wild ride in an inflatable zodiac raft. Choppy, rough waters. Beautiful scenery. Dolphins. A hike to an ancient fishing village. Fresh coconut. Delicious lunch served right on the beach, overlooking the ocean. Sea caves. Some of the most beautiful beaches you've ever seen. Waterfalls. Crashing waves. Yeah God for creating such an amazing place for us to enjoy!!

Spinner dolphin off the Na Pali coast (Ni'ihau in background)

There was a pod of 150 dolphins swimming all around us. It was AMAZING. One of the items on my life list, now checked off! (See dolphins in their natural habitat). I didn't stop grinning (or snapping photos) for the entire 15 or so minutes in which we were stopped.

Ben and I in front of Kalalau Valley

Kalalau again (it never grows old)


Our boat docked off shore and we hiked to an ancient Hawaiian fishing village. (Checked off another life list item: walk on the Na Pali coastline.)

This "X" is formed by two cracks in the lava rock where fresh lava poured in and cooled slowly, making "blue" rock. It is very, very hard. Hawaiian legend says Pele marked Kauai with an X when she was done forming it.

One side of the beach, fringing reef right offshore

The rocks form platforms of the ancient village. They would dance hula for each other. This is how they passed on their oral traditions--through dance.

Turtles on the beach. 20 or so of them had come in to rest on the beach due to choppy waters.

Ben & I after lunch before heading back on the boat

Maddie gospels Nicole

Sam entertains us all with his crazy, funny, silly antics

Day Nine: One Last Trip to the Hyatt for Chi-Chis and Pupus
the Joyce fam

The Holbrook-Joyce fam (future in-laws, or so we pray)

One more, just because I can

Day Ten: Early Morning at the Beach
Self-portrait, Kiahuna Beach, early morning

Maddie summons up the courage to try boogie boarding on her last morning in Kauai. She LOVED it!

Matching grins!

Our last moments on the beach! Daddy, Sam & Maddie watch the waves one last time.

Aloha and Mahalo, Kauai! We miss you already and can't wait to return.