Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kauai trip recap

Here are some photos and a summary of our trip to Kauai with the kids and my parents, Dean and Linda.
I already wrote about our first 3 days in a previous post.
Friday Dec. 5
A few minute walk from our condo gets us to Poipu beach, where we do some snorkeling and the kids played in the sand. Some endangered monk seals spend their days sleeping on the beach here, and locals rope off an area of beach around them so they can rest without being bothered by people.
The sheltered swim area at Poipu beach (above) is great for kids.
Dean enjoys a crossword puzzle and the feral chickens while the rest of us play in on the beach.
A monk seal naps on the beach.

Saturday Dec. 6
I got in a coastline run before sunrise. Then we packed everyone into our 2 rental cars and headed to the north side. We spent the afternoon at Hanalei beach, shown below.

Sunday December 7 - a lazy day.

Monday December 8
I twisted my back at the tide pools at shipwreck beach in front of Hyatt. Waimea Canyon, which wreaked havoc with our scuba diving plans over the next 3 days. At any rate, we spent Monday at Waimea canyon, a 10 mile long, 3000 foot deep canyon. Quite impressive. The photos below don't really do it justice. My mom & dad went to Beach House for a fancy dinner while Amy and I entertained the kids at the condo.
Amy and Elizabeth at the top of Kalalau valley.
Tuesday December 9
Mom & dad took a helicopter tour and had the front seats. Amy and I did that last time we were here so we saved our $400 for other things, like the chiropractor I unfortunately had to visit while Amy & the kids played at shipwreck beach and made a sandcastle. Andrew collected shells and coral bits.

Shipwreck beach at sunrise

Andrew and Elizabeth in front of their sand castle.

Wednesday December 10
Amy, Linda and kids rode the train at Kilohana Plantation. Dean and I went to Poipu beach to snorkel, but dad couldn't get the hang of breathing through the snorkel and didn't like the choppy surf, so I went out briefly by myself. Amy and Linda went to botanical gardens and picked some amazing star fruit while dad and I played with the kids at the pool. Amy snorkeled at Lawai beach - best snorkelling yet, and I missed it. This was the end of the good weather - overnight and into Thursday morning we got a downpour of about 4 inches of rain.

Thursday December 11
Amy and I tried to snorkel at Lawai again after 4 inches of overnight rain and gale force winds. After 2 minutes in the water, Amy says "I can't see s**t". She was right. We gave up. Next we took the kids to Wailua falls (below) and Opaeka'a falls, not to mention their favorite spot on the island, Lydgate park, which has an amazing "play bridge"; an elaborate structure and maze with a big bridge. Mom & dad toured the coffee plantation while we were out with the kids, and we enjoyed a nice weather day in between storms. We decided to cook our own fresh fish dinner again tonight - this time grilled swordfish, wild rice and an excellent stir fry. Yummy.

My back got 90% better after diving into pool after dinner. No idea why that would fix it. Andrew is diving - head first - into the pool now, without goggles! To celebrate my ability to once again move without terrible pain, Amy and I went to the Stevenson's Library bar at the nearby swanky Grand Hyatt where I enjoyed a $16 organic margarita and $8 beer from a can. At least we got in 2 games of pool and enjoyed the live jazz band for no extra charge.

Wailua Falls (above)

Andrew dives!

Friday December 12
More rain fell overnight, but this morning we had a few hours of respite with just a few sprinkles, so we took the kids on a hike along the coastal cliffs (below). Andrew insisted on going back this afternoon to his favorite spot - the play bridge - despite the rain. Amy and I each bought $30 used wet suits, which I promptly used during my surf lesson in the rain. We had our hearts set on pizza for dinner, and checked reviews on the internet, our guide book, and by asking the locals before finally choosing Brick Oven Pizza in nearby Kalaheo town (a 15 minute drive). It was worth it. Great pizza, but pretty pricy, like most things on the island.

Hiking the south coast of Kauai

Saturday December 13

Our last day on Kauai was wet. I started the day with a run in pouring rain and wind, which was a refreshing change from the cold rain in Colorado. The rain slowed long enough for a brief walk in the tide pools again where Amy spotted a very cool sea snake slithering around in a little pool. I convinced Andrew that the rain didn't matter if you're in the pool, so enjoyed so more father-son bonding time while Elizabeth napped and I watched him repeatedly dive in to the pool. Hopefully our flight home will be on time - if so, we'll arrive at 6 am Denver time, just when the kids should be waking up.

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