July 11, 2015 Day One

We arrived at the airport about 45 minutes early because the trade winds blew just right. On the way to our house in Haena (near Tunnel's Beach) we stopped in Ka'paa for lunch at a kinda dive-y Hawaiian joint. We were all starving so it didn't matter. Anxious to get to our new home for week we arrived a bit too early and met Mahana and her mother still cleaning the house. Since it was too early to check we went straight down to the beach. After a little beach and then settling into the house we headed back into Hanalei Bay to rent proper snorkel gear, pick up a few groceries had dinner at Tahiti Nui and ate our first shave ice of the trip. Leaving town we caught the last of the sunset on the bay. 

 

July 12, 2015 Day two

Every morning, starting this morning, the typical routine was coffee and fresh fruit on the lanai, then maybe a bit of oatmeal or pancakes with coconut syrup. This first morning the kids were fascinated with the lizards, snails and birds and spend a good amount of time checking those out. After breakfast we drove up to Ke'e beach. On the way we found a little fruit stand and bought pineapple, papaya and sugar cane. The kids loved the sugar cane and ate the whole container before we even got home. It was raining quite a bit that first morning but the air was warm and humid. Kate insisted on only a suit instead of a rain jacket. After walking around on the dirty road it was funny to watch the kids rinse themselves in the shower with it raining at the same time. We headed back to the house and decided to snorkel a bit. The rain broke enough for us to have lunch on the beach and then after we snorkeled some more. This is when, for the second application of sun block for the day, Ron decided to put it on himself and ended up with a red striped back the next day. The sun came out enough that we all got kinda burned. Ben decided to head back to the house after lunch and the rest of us hit the water again. This time we found gobs of turtles and fish. It was a good afternoon. We ate dinner right up the street at a Mediterranean restaurant on the beach and met a local dog waiting for her owner. She was a little uncertain of us. After dinner we headed in to town for groceries and our second shave ice. Along the way stopped at a look out over the taro fields. Joe posed. 

 

July 13, 2013 Day Three

Day 3 started out a lot like day 2. The rain seemed to send us back in to town for what I can't quite remember. We found this great little food truck that sold taro everything and discovered we all really liked pork cooked in the leaves. That in combination with some sticky rice and we knew we'd be eating lunch here again another day. After lunch we stopped by a somewhat hidden beach named Kahalahala (that I learned about from a friend). The kids instantly fell in love. It was a water play ground. Big waves that they could play in for hours. After a few, we headed home for an early dinner and then out to the bay for sunset. The first real sunset of the trip. 

 

July 14, 2015 Day four

More of the same with a snorkel in the morning, lunch at home and then a ride into town to the local farmers market. We bought all kinds of stuff from $10 juice in a jar, to more pineapple and papaya and vegan coconut ice cream that was the best we'd ever tasted. Ben fell in love with local photography and started begging for a piece for his room. The kids could not stop talking about about the big wave beach (Kahalahala) and wanted to go back. So we took our fruit and veggies home and headed back to their favorite spot. We had eyed some people jumping off rocks at the first visit and thought they were crazy. But this second time Ben got it in his mind he really wanted to try it. Ron checked it out and it actually seemed fine, so he jumped and jumped and go pro'd himself while Kate and Joe played in the waves. We drove into town for a drink and music at Tahiti Nui before heading home for a meal and a few games of gin rummy. 

 

July 15, 2015 day 5

Up and out bright and early this morning to make our 1 1/2 hour trek to south island for zip lining. Ron and I didn't really want to leave our beautiful bit of paradise but the kids really wanted to zip line and south was the only location that would tandem the two little ones. The course was a total of 8 zip lines and took us about over 3 hours. The location for the course was a spot they used for Jurassic park (Joe sitting on bumper of truck they used in movie) and Avatar, among other movies. The kids though that was pretty cool. The guides were nice and entertaining and overall I know the kids had a good time. We found the Kauai food truck up the street which had surprisingly good food. Then to Poipu after to check out the beach and snorkel (which did not compare to our little beach were we were staying) but it was nice to visit and confirm we were staying in the right location on the island. Twenty years ago Ron and I spent time at this beach quite a bit...it was fun to bring back the memories. We ate dinner there at a restaurant called Brenneche's and sat right by open air windows. As everyone was using the restroom I spied an image of a young family taken in the 50's that caught my attention. It was such a lovely image of family that felt very familiar in many ways. I had to ask about the family and ended up picking the son-in-law to the small boy in the image. We ended up with a very nice conversation and learned all about the family and a little local history at the same time. As we left the restaurant to go home we spied the sun getting ready to set. A nice way to close the day before the start of our 1 1/2 hour drive home.

 

July 16, 2015 day 6

We work to rain this day and it rained all day. A lot. So much that by the end of the day water was gushing from our waterfall. Kate still insisted on her swim suit instead of rain jacket. She was set in her newly found Hawaiian ways. We made the best of the rain. First stop was the botanical garden up the street. I am sure it is much more lovely when there was sun but we still enjoyed it in the rain. We learned all about how the land is changing, how invasive plants are pushing out the native plants. With the land changing the ocean changes. We saw plant that were nearly extinct...like the flower shown. There are only a few of those plants left in the world. Hiking around the gardens made us hungry for some more pork and taro, finishing lunch with our best shave ice of the trip. After lunch we went over to the Hanalei pier and the kids jumped and jumped and jumped some more. Then they swam to shore. Sadly Ben had a head ache and passed on the jumping. Back home we were bound and determined to snorkel some more despite the rain and snorkeled until the clouds broke. We ate dinner at home this night and played gin rummy until late...

 

July 17, 2015 day 7

We woke to sunshine this morning and it was one of the most beautiful days. We spend the entire day down at Tunnel's Beach. Snorkeling in the morning, lunch on the sand and playing in the water in the afternoon. We blew up the tubes and just floated. I floated with them a long time too and this is when I got my best sunburn of the trip. Kate and Ben played in the water which always makes my heart happy. But he kept throwing her off into the deeper water, and when that happened we all had a hard time getting back to the sandbank with the tide. We met a really nice lady named Diane. Diane decided to move to Kauai last year and has a condo in Princeville. She has scouted out every beach in the vicinity and she says that Tunnel's beach is by far her favorite. She comes to this beach every single day. Sits and reads, and swims a bit for exercise and to cool off. She inspired Kate to start looking for shells. She spoke of the "sunrise shell" and put Kate on the search for one. We were very happy to have this beautiful day where we didn't get in the car once except to go to dinner. We had a pretty long wait at The Dolphin, but it was a lovely place to wait. 

 

July 18, 2015 day 8

With Kate on the hunt for a sunrise shell, this morning we got up close to sunrise to search. On the way to the beach we found a dead centipede on the road, that was fun. This was the most beautiful day of the trip. When walking on the beach first thing in the morning with our cups of coffee, we looked at each other and said "why didn't we do this every morning?" And then remembered it rained every other morning. That's why. But we had this morning and it was lovely. We might not have found a sunrise shell, but we did find many other really fun shells. After lunch we hiked up out of Ke'e beach to see a hint of the Nepali Coastline and then waded in the water out in it's bay. Home for lunch and then out to spend the afternoon at the kid's favorite beach--Kahalahala. This time even Kate and Joe jumped, we floated and played. Without showers we headed to town for our last dinner at Tahiti Nui (cuz it was easy) and caught sunset in Hanalei Bay. This nice stranger took our photo.  We walked back to town to shop a bit and eat shaved ice. Kate uncertain she will find her sunrise shell wanted to buy one. We found a little store that had one on a necklace. We learned more about this special shell. The shop owner says that the shells are a blessing. That you don't find them, but they find you. We will continue to to be found. 

 

July 19, 2015 Day 9

In our hopes to be found, we rise again at sunset. This time to find a rainbow on the beach and a seal taking a rest. Ben was the first to happen upon the seal on the beach. We learned so much from the Botanical Gardens, from Mahana (our neighbor for the week) and from Diane about the importance of the plants, the reef, the animals and the environment--he knew just what to do. He placed the signs a safe distance from our friend so he could rest on the beach without being bothered. Beyond the fun times we had on this trip, I hope my kids learned a little about how precious this world is, how we need to protect it and be mindful of how we interact in it, live in it. We made our last walk to the place we called home for the week. Made our last drive down the beautiful road to Hanalei. On our drive to the airport I snapped images of the beautiful countryside...happening upon a stand of five palm trees. Let's just pretend that's us. Hanging out till the next time we return to be found by a sunrise shell.