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
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
Beautiful Hideaways Beach
Wiffle ball on the lawn after dinner
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!
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.