Monday, April 30, 2012

Kauai: Part Four (the grand finale!)

Somehow I got my days mixed up. The following Pirates montage actually happened on our second trip to the North Shore, day nine of our vacation. Repeat ahead:

Sam made himself a sword out a stick and Maddie had the awesome idea of adding a leaf as the knuckleguard (yeah, I had to google that term). In these photos, Sam was spinning and dropping to the ground, lunging and parrying like nobody's business. It was quite a sight. No eyes were injured in the process, thankfully, though at some point Sam did pick up the phrase, "Poke your eyeball out!" Clear as day. Hmm...

After a morning on the beach and a delicious lunch from Hanalei, we headed to the bay to check out the boats. It was only $25 to rent a kayak for the afternoon, so the four of us hopped in and headed out on a grand adventure. Considering we'd never taken the kids in a boat before, we decided to leave our phones and cameras onshore. How I wish we'd taken at least one shot! We took the boat way out in the bay, caught some waves, landed on a sand bar, played pirates, and rode the tiny waves as they crashed on the sand. The kids LOVED the kayak trip and it was the happiest we'd all been, in the same place, at the same time, on vacation. Everyone was happy. It was awesome. But we have no pictures to share. Boo-hoo.

On our way home from the North Shore we stopped in Kapa'a for a delicious dinner at the Mermaids Cafe and a papaya-date-coconut shake (oh my, the goodness) from Java Kai. We spent dinnertime wondering how we could open a Java Kai franchise in Danville. Honestly, why don't we have a full-service, brewed to order Hawaiian coffee bar with made to order fresh juices and fruit smoothies? Something for everyone, grain free, sugar free, delicious, ono.

I started day nine by spending a little time on my own. Went shopping at a local Kauai craft fair and SCORED two new pairs of earrings and a new necklace for awesome prices from two cute jewelry designers. Then I also picked up a cute bag. The fibers are hand-picked, dried, and woven or braided together before being woven into the bag. So cute. I'll post pics eventually. :)

The four of us hit the Lihue Farmer's Market for lunch. Here the family samples some dried squid (which we also purchased and they all ate):

After lunch (an assortment of dried squid, thai steamed curry fish--amazing, and a seven-fruit juice), the kids played on a little covered stage and found this "REAL," amazing sword. They both know all the appropriate sword-slashing and -presenting moves. Their lips are bright orange from the squid.

We had an early dinner, meeting up with our friends Ben, Emily, Asa and Nora on the great lawn for some running around, frisbee, and jump rocket time. Asa and Maddie really enjoyed each other's company:

Sam, when feeling spunky/feisty, has this little phrase, "Poo Poo Paw." This is the face he makes after saying it. When I was editing photos, I said to Ben, "What do you think is going on in this picture?" His answer: "Poo Poo Paw!" Sam just kills me with his cuteness. God totally knew what he was doing in making three year-old boys so darn cute (because they sure are naughty!)

I mean, honestly, could he get any cuter? Consider the following:

Profile shot:

Before hitting one last hula show at the Hyatt, we grabbed some shave ice with the kiddos. At the shopping center across the street is this amazing shade tree. I'd love to take it home with me.

We took about 50 photos and 10 videos of Sam eating his shave ice. It was so incredibly funny. He was eating it so fast and getting a headache plus coughing and shivering. But he refused to slow down or stop eating! So his little hands quivered as he spooned bit after bit of shave ice into his mouth. "Cold! Cold! Cold!" he would yell. "Slow down," he admonished himself, all the while shivering, shaking, coughing, drooling, laughing. It was awesome. Then Maddie copied everything Sam was doing so we would look at her. That wasn't as awesome. 

 Our friends met us at the Keiki hula and we danced the night away. It was so much fun.

On our last full day of vacation, we made the most of it. We were on the beach at 8 in the morning, playing in the shallow waves and feeding the fish. Maddie saw a few saddleback fish and some pencil fish as well. (At night she would look through pictures and pictures of Hawaiian fish and ask about all their names. She has an incredible memory.) Still no snorkeling, though.

Sam enjoyed quite a long morning of boogie boarding with Daddy:

There was some SERIOUS sand wrestling to be done:

This is when Dads come in really handy. Mama likes to sit on a towel and read. Daddy doesn't seem to mind getting every inch of his body covered in coarse, dry sand. Nor do the munchkins, obviously:

I think they're playing sand monsters in these photos.

After a long, restful nap, we hired a local nanny and Ben and I went out on a four-hour date. YAY and DOUBLE YAY for date night. First we had drinks and a ceviche appetizer at the Beach House. The sun was starting to set and it was bee-yoo-tee-ful:

After looking at the dinner menu ($30 for a piece of grilled fish, which we'd been making and eating all week), we ditched the beach house for a little place called the Shrimp Shack. We grabbed two plates of curried shrimp to go and took it back to the Kiahuna Beach to watch the sun go down. There we sat, our paper plates on our laps, as the sun went behind some rain clouds. Then it poured for about ten minutes. We took our plates "to go" under the awning of a beach hut. When it cleared, we paused for some pics:

Ben gives the old shaka brah

Kiahuna Beach

Me, post-cocktails, posing up a storm

We walked down the beach to the Sheraton where the sunset was growing increasingly colorful. We caught the sliver of a moon:

We chatted with a sweet couple on their honeymoon, and they snapped our picture: 

 When it came time to return the favor, I seriously could NOT figure out their point-and-shoot. It would only focus in the middle, the flash kept throwing the lighting off, I couldn't get a decent background color and it was embarrassing. I offered to take one with my camera and email it, but they were happy with the few I snapped.

Last day on Kauai. Le sigh. Fresh sunrise or strawberry papaya for breakfast. The little fruits are a cross between oranges and limes and you squeeze them right on the papaya to enhance the flavor. So good.

Before heading down the beach (bright and early again), we saw a little friend hanging out on the tree outside our condo:

We grabbed some sand toys from the beach hut and Sam proceeded to entertain the sunbathers with his robot routine:

Maddie was content to play in the sand all morning. I probably asked ten times, "Last chance to go in the water! Are you sure you don't want to snorkel or boogie board before we go home?" More eye-rolling. 

Sam, on the other hand, couldn't get enough of the water. After all the boogie boarding the previous day, he was eager to try out body surfing. He caught so many little shorebreak waves. I'm not sure who was having more fun, Ben or Sam.

After one last ride on the boogie board, and a little tumble in the shallows, he was finally ready for a break:

 One last sibling shot on the beach!

 Maddie thought she was just going in to play in the waves. Ben thought she wanted to body surf. Her face shows clearly how that turned out:

 Our sweet, adventurous girl was having pretty much NONE of it in Kauai. But it was fine. She was happy to do her "own thing." All the time. She's growing up so fast! Hard to believe this is our last trip to Kauai before she starts school. Won't be going for twelve days in April next year!

After a long nap and a shower and packing the car, we walked around the Kiahuna gardens for a bit. Maddie demonstrated her tadpole-catching skills learned from the nanny the previous night:

Success! She loved those little tadpoles!

And then a nice man from Orinda offered to snap one more family shot. Now we have family photo bookends, one from the start of the trip and one from the end! Hooray!!

(by the way, the guy from Orinda has 19 grandchildren and had all sorts of tricks for getting our kids to smile and open their eyes. As you can see, some of the tricks were more successful than others).

We enjoyed one last chichi and pupu hour at Duke's while the kids played in the grass and on the beach, just yards away from our table. Then we watched the stand-up paddlers until it was time to go.

One last trip: Wailua Falls at dusk. It was beautiful!

And that concludes our Kauai trip! Aloha and Mahalo, beautiful Kauai!


rodya said...

what an incredible time of fun. The photos are beautiful and I love every word and every single shot you have shown.
much love...

Becky said...

Thanks, R!! Xoxo