Saturday, December 06, 2008

Denver to Kauai

We woke up on Thursday at 3 am. That's right. 3 am. I took a 2 minute shower just to wake up, threw on some clothes, and tossed the luggage in the car. Check flight status: United says our flight at 6 am is on time. It's snowing outside. We grabbed the kids out of bed. Andrew was so excited about going to Hawaii that he was already awake. We strapped him and Liz into their car seats and backed out into the snow, heading to my parents house. Dean and Linda are joining us on our Kauai trip, and we don't want to pay to park 2 cars for 10 days. Yep, we're cheapskates.

We arrived at DIA a little before 5 am, and we're fumbling with the self-check-in kiosks, wondering why it keeps telling us to talk to an attendant. Finally, we give up and follow it's instructions, and learn that our plane has mechanical problems. The 6 am flight is canceled, so we'll be departing at 10:30 instead. 10:30? I got up at frickin' 3 am!!!

At least they gave us each $15 meal vouchers for our trouble I wanted to explain that my hourly rate is much higher than that, but I refrained. Of course the only place open that early is McD's, so we got some coffee and a burrito, hashbrows for the kids, all just appetizers for the big breakfast at Pour La France - whenever it finally opens. You gotta keep the kids entertained, and we figured if we stuffed ourselves now we wouldn't need to pay $10 for crappy airline food. If there was a silver lining to all this, on our new flight from LA to Kauai, Amy and I and the kids had a whole row of 6 seats to ourselves, so we could at least stretch out a bit.

At any rate, we arrived on the garden isle at 6 pm. 5 hours later than planned. Got to our condo in Poi Pu and crashed for the night. Good thing we went to bed early, because the kids woke up at 4 am. If you have kids, then you know that we also, therefore, got up at 4 am. The good thing about getting up at 4 am is you can have a lazy morning and still beat the crowds to the beach. Poi Pu beach state park is a short walk from our condo, and a great spot for the kids, with a breakwater creating a calm area for the kids. Pretty decent snorkelling, to. We spotted banner fish, unicorn fish, trumpet fish, and many others. Humuhumnukunukuapua'a - the Hawaii state fish - a type of trigger fish with pattern so geometric you can't believe it's natural. Oh yeah, and 3 monk seals were snoozing on beach, oblivious to the hordes of gawking tourists.

80 degrees and sunny, with a nice breeze. Perfect temp. Back in Denver we heard the overnight low temp was 5 below zero (F). Brrrrrr. Low temp here was about 75 (above zero). Nice.

Saturday. Up early again. About 5 am today. I went for a shoreline run in the dark while the kids watched TV. After a big breakfast, we headed to the north side. Stopped at some roadside stands to buy some freshly picked grapefruit, bananas, tangerines, and limes. Yummy. Next stop was Hanalei (inspiration for Puff the Magic Dragon, and still crawling with hippies). Bought some fresh fish at the Dolphin fish market. Took our chances with 2 pounds of Walu, which we've never tried before, and were richly rewarded with one of the best fish meals I've ever had, thanks to Dean's grilling skills.

Back to Hanalei. The north shore is famous for surf, especially in the winter, and today we saw why at the mile-long crescent shaped Hanalei beach bay. I'm not a surfer, but after watching dozens of people ride the great waves here today, I think I gotta spend a day and try it my self. At least I got in some body surfing in. I held Andrew's hand for about an hour as we both played in the edge of the surf. He absolutely loved the waves.

Next stop - the pools of Mokolea, some small tide pool and one lava tube perfectly situated so the waves come shooting up out of it. Pretty neat. No one else is around.

After an hour-long drive back around the island while Andrew slept, we enjoyed the grilled walu, along with a stir fry of bok choy, onion, and mushroom, plus Dean's specialty baked potato recipe. A fabulous meal that would have cost $40 per person at a restaurant.

I'm pooped. Time for bed!

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