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Monday, July 9, 2012

Finally, the long awaited....HAWAII post! {10 YR Anniversary to Kauai}

UPdate:  I have added a bit more about the details of our trip after the video.

Oh my heavens! This video has given me more grief than I care to think about during a time that I was SO busy...I also don't care to think about it!  But it's done, and for all those who have been dying to see and hear about our trip, this is what I've got for now. I wanted to share more stories, but ...well...I just don't have any excuses other than I didn't have time to mess with what it took to ever get this much to you, so if you have specific questions, feel free to email or comment!

OH, and it is about 10 minutes long...just so ya know.

Okay, so I wanted to be able to share more stories of our trip and not just the pictures!  Although pictures are worth 1,000 words right?  Well, either way I’ll tell ya a bit what we did.

We got into Kauai Wednesday afternoon. After getting our car, we drove around, explored and checked into our hotel.  We drove around looking for where we wanted to go to dinner and settled on the restaurant in the Hotel right next to us, the Hukilau Lanai.  Perfect for our first night dinner, our on the patio, watching and listening to the ocean and feeling the ocean breeze.  I decided to try something totally different for dinner and ordered their tasting menu.  It included, Sweet Potato Ravioli, Swiss Chard & Hamakua Mushroom Tart, Sausage and Warabi, The fresh catch  which was sword fish and then for dessert I opted for thei crème brulee which I didn’t care for.  Duck’s dessert on the other hand was a sorbet and the flavor that day was Lychee, a local fruit. It was delish!

Thursday morning I woke up super early and couldn't go back to sleep so I went out for a walk.  I was able to enjoy a quiet and beautiful sunrise.  I took a ton of pictures and took advantage of this time of day and the amazing light.

Our first activity, to start our week of adventures of surfing!  Thiswas what i wanted to do most, so I was surprised to find myself a bit nervous as we got into the water! But as we got gowin, any jittery feelings were totally from excitement, not nervousness!~

After just a few tries I was able to get up and only fell a couple more times.  I totally craved surfing all weekend we spent on the Oregon coast recently….but after dipping my toes in the water I changed my mind.

That afternoon Duck golfed while I watched from the cart!  I would have loved to golf, but was not about to pay $150!!  Yes, the Prince course is NOT cheap.  But I enjoyed watching my hot hubby, and taking a ton of pictures of him, the view, flowers, birds and anything else that would hold still enough to snatch a picture of it!  I did get sunburned on the one arm that was hanging out the side of the golf cart. So much for all my pre-trip tanning to even out my farmers tan.

We were on the other side of the island now, so we ventured around checking out what shops were still open and enjoying some yummy food.  We were on our quest for presents to bring back to the kids and it was tricky to find what each child would love. 

Friday morning we headed out super early (not a problem since we were pretty much in bed by …dang time difference), to go fishing!  We didn’t catch a thing.  In fact sounds like hardly anybody on any boats did that morning, but we enjoyed a boat ride, visiting with the others on the boat, and doing my best to not puke.  Yes…got a little seasick.  But not so sick that I couldn’t take a lot of pictures! ;)

On our way North we stopped by a craft fair.  Actually it was like three booths that were just leftover from the morning market, but they still had a fruit stand and I wanted to find some Lychee and see what it really looked like!  Sure enough he had some. It’s small….smaller than a kiwi, fruit with a semi hard and bumpy almost spiky shell.  You break the shell and inside is a fruit with a grape like consistency but a flavor that you really can’t explain.  Maybe a mix between honeydew and green grapes?  But sweeter?  Anyway there is also a pit in the middle, but they are yummy.  We tried a few other local fruits and headed out.

Friday afternoon was Duck’s much anticipated activity…ziplines!  I have to admit…I never thought it was a bad idea, just not my first pick.  And it was fun!  It was a little slow moving as you ride your zip for the 20-30 seconds and then have to stand and wait awhile, for all the other 11 in the group to take their turn, but we made the most of the wait, got to know the others in the group and enjoyed visiting with them.  We went through Princeville Ranch Adventures and went on the Zip Express. It was 9 zips back to back.  The final one was 1200 feet long and you get to zip alongside someone else…of course in this case It was Duck!  That was pretty fun.

I would like to say we had some pretty exciting Friday night adventure…but we were still trying to get used to the time difference and I think we were in bed by 9!

Saturday morning we were heading out to go to see Waimea Canyon, but the night before I had seen in the paper….a park clean up and I wanted to go help for just a ½ hour or so.  It was a park near our Hotel, Lydgate park, and they were cleaning out a pond in one section of the beach that had just been overrun by branches, rocks and debris washed and blown in from all over.  I was so impressed with all these people there, giving up their Saturday morning to clean the beach for everybody else. I hadn’t really thought about that before….that these beautiful beaches weren’t just naturally clean and perfectly sandy.  Needless to say we ended up making friends and staying a lot longer than ½ hour.  ;)  We didn’t have time for our hiking at Waimea, but we did make sure to go drive up and see it.

We had to hurry back from the Canyon to make it in time for our Snorkle/sunset cruise.  We were supposed to scuba dive, but when filling out medical paperwork, they informed me I would need a Dr permission due to my Heart Surgery.  I haven’t even seen a cardiologist in five years so that wasn’t going to happen.  I was a little bummed at first, but it turned out to be in our favor.  It was too windy, and the water too murky to scuba dive.  Because we didn’t do it due to my medical form, we were refunded our money, the other couples were not.  We almost weren’t able to snorkel either because the water was so murky, but we went out for about ½ hour.  Honestly, compared to snorkeling in Maui….it was quite a disappointment.  And someone later told me that Kauai just doesn’t have great snorkeling….so if you go to Kauai…you may not want to waste your money on a snorkel cruise. BUT…..beside that, we had a crazy, wild…like a roller coaster boat ride along the Napali Coast!!  I took meds so was not sick and totally enjoyed it. I felt bad though for those that were sick. There were only about 6 people (including us) that dared be out in the front of the boat during that crazy ride, we were soaked! But it was super fun. The cruise included a super yummy dinner, and a much more calm ride back to the Harbor.  The sunset was pretty. Not the Hawaiian sunset I was hoping for…but again something I heard later, that Kauai doesn’t have the best sunsets as the horizon is often cloudy/hazy.    Didn’t stop me from taking a ton of pictures though!

Sunday.  Fathers Day.  Church was great!  The building was so unique and Hawaiian!  And old.  The chapel was small and filled.  The Relief Society sang in Sacrament meeting and a sister dragged me up there with her. That was totally cool to be able to sing with those Hawaiian sisters.  Church overall was great. So sit through all my classes, not worrying about teaching, preparing, following up, getting babies to sleep….picking up kids after.  It was so odd!  But I loved being able to sit in on the lessons and really just soak them up!  The Relief Society has crocheted Lei’s that they give the visitors! I have never seen that before…what a fun idea!

I had been working on a little Fathers Day surprise for Duck.  We had been having our breakfast and lunches in our hotel room, or packed lunches…but had a fridge and micro…so tried to eat a little healthier by doing so.  Sunday I wanted to avoid having to eat out on the Sabbath, but I wanted to be able to have a little bit nicer Fathers Day Dinner for Duck than something I could make it just a microwave, so I invited myself to dinner. Actually I had the bishop find someone that might be willing to have us over.  I would bring groceries or watch kids, or even cook!  Sure enough it worked out and we enjoyed a wonderful meal and evening with not just one, but three families all gathered together for Fathers Day.  One of the families was the bishop and his wife, then their daughter and granddaughter that were visiting.  It was such a fun evening, and our host family had 4 fun and handsome boys! We even ran into two of them 4 days later in Oahu at the PCC!

Monday morning we headed out early (again….so much for sleeping in on our vacation), to hike the Kalalau Trail.  It’s a pretty good hike and although we only went to the 2mile spot (4 miles round trip)….we were pretty spent!  Some area’s you literally are rock climing and it goes up, and down most of the way.  The first ½ mile was definitely the hardest, but it certainly didn’t get easier.  It was so worth it though, the views were amazing, just the hike was so beautiful…yup you guessed it…I took a ton of pictures!  I couldn’t help myself! I wanted to capture every moment…even my sweaty panting self!  The 2 mile spot takes you back down to a beach where you could hike 2 more miles in to a waterfall, but with ‘newer’ shoes and us not being big hikers….we figured we better keep it safe and just enjoy our shorter 4 mile hike.  I think it was a good choice as we were pretty sore the next few days!

Finally we had an afternoon without plans and were able to go do a bit of shopping.  I found a great ukulele and signed up for a lesson.  We got most of our gifts for the kids, but Ky threw a curveball at me.  He’s usually a pretty easy kid to please so I hadn’t worried too much about what to get him, but just in case I still called to see if what I had found for him would be okay.  He said no.  Lol, I was shocked. And guess what he wanted?  Like really wanted? Like was thinking about it before I even called and had hoped I would bring home for him?  A transformer.  I laughed so hard when I got off the phone.  So later we headed out to walmart and got him a transformer. Silly kid!

I haven’t mentioned a lot about the places we have eaten. Sadly I can’t remember everything and I’m too tired to think about it all!  We did eat at Gaylords …some plantation. That was really cool…but I think at that point I was kinda getting sick of the fancy dishes. I just wanted my good old teriyaki meat, rice, and the other stuff you get in the little carts on the side of the road!  WE tried a place called the lemon grass Grill. Although the food was great, and I enjoyed sitting out on the patio, it was spendy for what you get.  Let me clarify….ALL sit down places were spendy.  It seemed there wasn’t a good inbetweener, like applebee’s type place. There is either your $8.00 meal at L&L Barbeque or other sidewalk café’s and carts….or there are places with $30.00 dishes, that are created I swear more to please the eye.  Don’t get me wrong the food was good, but sometimes the flavors they would mix together were just interesting and after a few of those meals I was done with them. 

Tuesday morning was our last adventure on Kauai.  ATV tour of Kipu Ranch.  This was cool.  After making sure all riders were capable on their machines we headed out!  Occasionally we would stop and learn about the history or uses of Kipu Ranch.  I love history and the story behind this Ranch was really interesting. It’s also been used for filming LOTS of movies…most common to me were Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park and Buddy.  We stopped at the river where they filmed Indi rope swinging into a river.  They of course conveniently placed a rope swing there which we all got to partake in!

We kept riding to a waterfall where we had lunch, the rode on to another waterfall which was our last desination and swimming spot.  It wasn’t that hot of a day, it had been rainy, but the water still felt great!  We have some pictures with our water camera, but I haven’t developed those yet and I probably won’t be scanning them into the computer forever. Sorry. 

We had a bit more time to shop, and find those perfect gifts for the kids, take my ukulele lesson(totally wet and covered in dirt from the ATV tour!) and shower before getting ready to go get our pictures taken. I had been so anxious and excited about actually hiring someone to take our pictures!  We NEVER have pictures of us together, so to have some good ones of us was going to be great!  Well…it was pouring.  Like….not normal Hawaii rain for 5 minutes then go away….it rained that side of the island most all day.  We still met up with our photographer and just waited out moments when it wasn’t pouring. Needless to say, within 3 minutes we were wet….and so was my hair.  We waited out a bit more, let the rain die down and then went out for a few more minutes.  It was a beautiful beach and Kasey our Photographer was very great to still come out and do this in the rain.  Unfortunately I think the weather put a little damper on things, but at least we have a few photo’s together.

Wednesday morning we took an early flight to Oahu.  The good thing about getting there so early, is that we had the entire day still! The PCC didn’t open until , so we spend the morning checking into our rental, driving around and finding the Hukilau Café!  And true to our experience so far…some of the best food we’d had!

We decided to do the Ambassador tour at the PCC.  Last time we went there we had two really small kids and couldn’t afford much.  Now having done the tour I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with little ones anyway.  But with just the two of us it was perfect!  You can’t see it all in a day, but luckily your ticket gets you back in free for up to two weeks, so we went back the next day to fit in what we couldn’t the first. It was perfect!

The show they have right now at the PCC is absolutely amazing. And when I say amazing I’m not talking about wow lots of talent and fire throwing and dancing kind of amazing (although all of that was really cool)…but like goosebumps and inspiring story kind of amazing.  We were sitting on the 3rd row and I enjoyed every minute of it.  We ended up buying the DVD because I wanted the kids to see it.  If anybody wants to borrow it….come on over!  I wish I could just post it on here! 

Thursday morning, our last day in Hawaii, we spend doing the best thing we could do ever.  We went to the temple.  When we were planning this trip, I told Duck that if we were going to be somewhere, together without kids for 10 days, we were going to take advantage of that and go to the temple.  Luckily it didn’t even cost us anything to route our trip home through Oahu.  Never have I been able to spend 4 hours at the temple without a reason to hurry home.  It was wonderful.  After our time in the temple, I spend MORE time taking pictures of it!   What a special morning that was.

We spent the afternoon at the PCC….tried out a new place on the North Shore for dinner and headed back to pack up.  I definitely felt we were able to do all we wanted, see what we wanted and now it was time to go home. Leaving a trip like that I’m sure is always bittersweet.  There’s something special about being able to spend so much time with your spouse, but at the same time I was so missing my kids!  I was aching to hold and kiss on my baby.

Our trip home took a full day, and this time it wasn’t first class L but It was good to be home, the kids were so happy to see us, and us them.  It was hard that Emma was already in bed, so later when everybody was in bed and asleep I went in and just held her.  10 days is a long time without my baby.

Thanks ever so much to my mom and sister for taking such great care of my children. I know it wasn’t easy.  But to know that they were safe and with people that loved them meant a lot to me.  Thanks!

1 comment:

McAllister said...

That was AMAZING!
1. I am glad you got the music to work
2. Did you edit all those pictures? The colors are so rich.
3. I now want to go there for my 10 year anniversary!
4. My all time favorite picture is at 6:17. I laughed out loud.
5. How is it that you make so many friends where ever you go:)