Welp, Kauai is awesome. We departed a little over a week ago for 8 days of sun, sand and fun and we got all that and more besides. This was my first time to this island and I honestly didn’t want to leave. Not just because of the island and all her treasures, but because there’s something about vacationing that is such a special treat. But before I get into that, here’s some of my favorite things about this magical place:
The humidity, once you submit to it, keeps you literally at ease. If you try to hustle or get annoyed, it gets annoyed back. Relax, and it’s a nice, warm sauna. Try to fight it and it’s like you’re living in a cat’s mouth. There were short bursts of rain showers just about every day we were there, but honestly once you got used to the fact that you were always going to be sticky and sweaty - a little rain wasn’t the worst thing.
The beaches are beautiful. Where we were staying you couldn’t play in the shore, but up at the top of the island we visited Anini Beach (I’ll take the $34 million beach house that’s for sale on that road please), down south we went to Poipu Beach (the boogie boarders had all of the adults delightfully entertained) and right near us we had Lydgate Beach (full on rock wall built so that the babes can wade out on their own AND snorkel in a man-made lagoon). I felt like every time I glanced anywhere the exact image could be taken and put on the front of a postcard. Absolutely surreal.
Ryan, Iz, Chris and Rally building rock towers at Anini Beach
The garden island - fo real. If you consider Oregon to be a green place, then Kauai basically makes it seem like a desert. It’s like 90 shades of green there. Driving north or south on the highway takes you through coverings of trees that look like they were models for the movie Ferngully. Fat, wide, leaves that are the size of a skateboard, and then right after that banzai trees that look like God needed to adjust their ego by squashing them down with His hand. It’s lush upon jungle upon majestic greenery that’s so beautiful it seems fake. I fully understand why they filmed Jurassic Park and so many other movies there (sidenote: fully hummed the theme song when we were flying in over the island to land).
The food - okay, this is always one thing that I like to center any vacation or short getaway around. I love food and I love trying new restaurants. Down on the south end we went to a fish restaurant called Merriman’s and there was some kind of macadamia nut crusted fish that was honestly one of the best dinner dishes I’ve ever had. And their white chocolate filled malasadas rolled in cinnamon sugar with a coffee caramel dipping sauce weren’t bad either. The first couple days there I was pretty good with my food choices, ordering black americanos, eating salads and chicken, etc. But then I was introduced to the Thai Coffee. The town we stayed in has a coffeehouse called Java Kai and it was legit. The Thai Coffee is a whole milk latte (nom nom nom) that has a little sweetened condensed milk added. 😳 Umm, hi. Welcome. Get in my belly. But the highlight of the trip as far as food goes was the shaved ice. It’s like icy feathers. There was an old Winnebago fixed up that sold shaved ice with few flavors, but all were native to the island - coconut, pineapple, lilikoi, strawberry, guava - it was beyond. Thank you, Wailea Shaved Ice, for existing. Xoxo
But my favorite thing about this trip was what it did to my mind. I don’t have a paying job outside of my home, but my days aren’t exactly calm. There’s activities, sports, playdates, worship meetings, band practices, friends, working out, church commitments, family time - it’s crazy how much get-up-and-go is the norm. And on our first day there I found myself feeling anxious sitting on the beach and later on laying down in our hotel room thinking that I needed to wrap up what I was doing and move on to the next thing. But I didn’t. I calmed myself down, reminded my mind that there was zero rush, and allowed myself to sit and be. And I swear, vacations in a place like that welcome you to do and be just that - exactly you, exactly now. Yes, there are a bunch of things to do at home, but there, you can go everywhere as is. I love that in all the restaurants and shops we went into every single person was in flip-flops. I didn’t wear makeup or do my hair for a week straight and it was a damn delight. I left my phone in the hotel room and instead had conversations about stopping the glorification of being busy and how to forge your own path as a family. It was a breath of fresh air - okay, fresh, thick, warm air.
And it wasn’t all sunshine and smiles. If you want to know the worst possible sentence you can hear as you’re guesting at the lazy river, salt water lagoon, waterslide laden, 2 acre large water park of the swankiest 5 star resort on the island it’s: “Charlie pooped in the pool”. 😑 Yep. That happened. And having a 9 month old with such crazy FOMO on 5 hour flights is not awesome. And now back on the mainland my black coffee tastes like hot garbage. However, the good far outweighed the difficult.
Gigi and Charlie Kate before Poopgate
So thank you, Kauai. You treated this lady really well, and I can’t wait to return.
Charlie, Magnolia and Iz checking out the waves at Poipu Beach
*The credit for this particular spelling of vacation goes to my friend, Amber Salhus. I remember reading it on a blog of hers once and it stuck with me. 😉