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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Aloha

Aloha from Kauai!

We are on a red-eye back to Utah tonight. Our flight isn’t till 9:30 Hawaii time and since our rental car had to be back by 7 we are kicking it in the airport waiting area. 2 weeks to catch up on. This blog might sound a bit travel-logy but I wanted to share our fabulous time with you!

Week before we left seemed a little packed. Had those few nights of waking up at 2 am thinking of things I needed to do before we left. Kids had a bunch of make-up classes to compensate for missing things while we would be gone. Did a bunch of laundry, writing lists, thanking friends ec. Allison was very excited that she had a loose tooth – her first! She said she wouldn’t let me know if it came out while we were gone so it would be a surprise when we came back. She was wiggling pretty furiously all night Thursday. Spencer finished up his stuff for his bear patch for cubs and for a bunch of beads. While we were gone Meredith took all the kids over for a blue and gold dinner and Spencer got all his awards.

Jeremy has been working hard on the photo camp he is heading up. While we were in Hawaii they ended up selling out at 200 people. He was able to add 75 more people and then that sold out within hours. He is very excited at all the enthusiasm that is being generated for this project!

Friday we left at 8:30 for Hawaii. I didn’t want to be running from security to the gate hoping to make our flight as has happened in the past. So I left a healthy time allowance and of course we sailed through security to arrive at the gate way early with Jeremy chuckling about my paranoia. Flight to Hawaii had me sitting next to a very, very large man. Did you know they make belt extenders on airplanes for people too big for the normal seatbelt? Read a good book and dozed and arrived in Kauai feeling very out of it and tired. A little food and sleep had us with the time change waking up before the sun ready to go.

A fact about Kauai that I didn’t know is that they have a LARGE wild chicken population as they have no predators on the island. And the roosters do not just crow at 7 in the morning but sing from 3 a.m. till 8 and then randomly throughout the day. The sound of roosters crowing and the sight of chickens scrambling around followed us everywhere we went. One rooster like to let loose right outside our condo until Jeremy would chase him away. But for our whole stay, with the 3 hour time difference if we slept in till 7 or 8 we felt extremely self-indulgent and lazy. The days of activity and sun and water tired us out so we hit the sheets early most nights.

I will post some of Jeremy’s pictures but wanted to tell you the highlights of our trip. Saturday we drove through the south part of the island and through Waimea Canyon (called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific). Stopped at many overlooks to walk around and stand in awe at the beauty we saw. Then we went to the annual Waimea town festival to sample pancit and kaloha pork and listen to a ukulele competition. The ukulele playing was very impressive. And then we stocked up on groceries for the week and hung out on Poipu beach where we stayed. Jeremy took pictures, I laid on the sand with my book and we watched the monk seals tanning on the beach and stayed till the sun set.

Sunday we found a local church which brought back memories for Jeremy. Then we took off to explore. We went to Wailua falls (the waterfall from Fantasy Island). After oohing and ahing from the overlook we hiked down a very steep and slippery trail (grabbing roots and helpful ropes placed there) and then along a slippery, rocky river (“hug the rock, Heather” a non-comforting encouragement by Jeremy). It felt like the true jungle experience. And then we emerged at the base of the waterfall to eat lunch and swim in the fall. Hung out for a while and then hiked back out and drove up to the North Shore to relax at Hanalei Beach. This time of year the north shore is too rough to snorkel or even really swim although there were a few brave surfers. I walked the length of the beach and pier singing the music from South Pacific (that is the beach where is was filmed). I think I got a little loud at times singing Bali Hi as I got a few strange looks!

Monday Jeremy was off doing his doors off photography helicopter tour while I rented snorkel equipment and headed for Poipu Beach to snorkel and enjoy the sand and a book. It was more than a fair trade. The fish we saw were amazing. I had fish food the first time I went out and was just swarmed. You would not believe the amount and type and quantity of fish we saw. It was hard to believe we were really there. You had to try hard not to touch any of the fish as they just swam with you in their midst. I loved swimming in Hawaii too and would just swim up and down the beaches we would visit loving the semi-warm water and the buoyancy. When Jeremy came back pumped up about his flight we headed off to another beach to spend the day snorkeling. Then of course we had to try out Lamperts ice cream. A local ice cream store that is SO good. Calories do not count on a vacation!

Tuesday we snorkeled in the morning (hard to get enough of it!). Then we headed off to rent a kayak and spent the day on the Wailua River. We stopped to hike to a “secret” waterfall and had fun in the middle of nowhere with just us and a muddy trail! And we stopped again at a swim spot where they had a rope swing. Jeremy filmed my disastrous attempt at that which hopefully NO ONE will ever see! We had a lot of fun.

Wednesday we spent the morning walking around the coast by us seeing the Hyatt’s gardens, the sea turtles “surfing”. Then we packed a lunch to spend the day at the Salt Ponds Beach. We swam, ate mangos and papayas and Jeremy got a creative sunburn on his back. You can see the waves where I sprayed the sunblock that stayed white and then everything else turned red. Good thing he loves me so much! Wednesday night we went to a luau. Ate a ton and enjoyed the show. Jeremy said that now I have the café rio style pork down I need to try figuring out how to cook teriyaki beef. We got our protein for the week that night!! I did try poi and now don’t have to ever again ☺ I was amazed at how fast those girls can move their hips – they truly must have abs of steel.

Thursday we spent the morning snorkeling. When we went in to rent snorkels the guy asked if we had ever tried scuba diving and gave me a long pep talk about my fears. So I set it up for Friday morning. Spent the morning snorkeling at the Beachhouse beach. Seals came up to sun feet away from us and the fish were so thick it was hard to move! Wonderful. Then we went off on this dirt road by Poipu to find the Makahuena beach. It ended up being this long deserted beach. Spent the day just laying together on the sand and so glad to be there. Had to leave in the late afternoon when the wind started blowing sand and giving us a nice exfoliation treatment.

Friday we arose at an unearthly hour although I had kept waking up and checking the clock for a few hours. Had a few nerves going! Met up at 7 am at this small dock where they taught me the basics of scuba diving and then we were off. It was extremely cool once I got used to the feeling and kept my breathing slow and regular. We were down with the sea turtles and saw tons of them swimming with us, sleeping on the floor. Saw a bunch of moray eels checking us out. The time flew by! Didn’t think it was much effort at all until I got back to the condo and Jeremy convinced me to lie down for a moment. An hour and a half later he woke me up!! Guess it took more effort than I thought. Found this amazing fish place for lunch and took it to the beach to watch a guy kite surfing and for me to savor every mouthful of macadamia nut encrusted mahi-mahi. (Almost every night we grilled fish and pineapple – so good). Then we headed up to explore the north coast. Saw the wet and dry caves on the north shore. Went for a hike off of Ke’e beach along the Napali Coast. We only went a half mile in but it was a half mile of scrambling over rocks, holding on to roots for support and bracing against winds. But the views were amazing. Ended the day trying out some Hawaiian ice and watching hula dancers.

Today, Saturday was our last day. We spent the morning lying on the beach and swimming. Then the clouds and rain moved in. We checked out and spent the afternoon buying trinkets for the kids and exploring beaches looking for the Lihue lighthouse. Stuffed ourselves at Bubba’s burgers in preparation for the flight. It seems like we did so much this vacation but it seemed so laid back and relaxing at the same time. Most nights we hit the hot tub to warm up. Meals were simple and we would throw some sandwiches and fruit in a bag and be set for the day. I wore a swimsuit and ponytail and sunblock almost every day. It was just a very laid back, very fun vacation and best part was just laying on the beach with Jeremy’s arms around me realizing that we could stay there as long as we wanted.

I haven’t spoken to the kids all week so I am assuming that no news is good news. Had a bit of panic Friday when the schools called to say that all parents had to pick up their kids in person as there had been a shooting in a nearby neighborhood. They were pretty sure they got the shooter but until they were positive they didn’t want to take chances. Luckily Meredith was out of school and was able to go get Taylor and friends got Spencer and Allison. I honestly didn’t worry about our kids at all and was grateful for everyone who made this trip possible. It was wonderful just to remember how much fun it is to be with just Jeremy. The first day we were here I felt almost twitchy. After 20 minutes of sitting on the beach I felt like I needed to do something. I always feel that I take life pretty easy, perhaps too easy sometimes but it took me a day to switch to vacation mode of just relaxing. It was a wonderful trip! Photos to follow soon.

Love Heather

2 comments:

Skeeutopia said...

Dave said to me a while back that you like to schedule your vacations and have LOTS to do, but you did a CRAZY amount of stuff!!! I can't believe how much you did and yet you still say that it was relaxing. Awesome, Heather. I don't think I want to see what you do day to day, though, if that was "laid back."

Poipu Beach is my VERY FAVORITE place in the whole wide world. I do have a wonderful scar from wiping out (on coral) on a surfboard when I was sixteen to remember it forever, which I think of because it seems especially itchy this pregnancy. I hope to one day redeem myself out there :)

So glad that you had such a marvelous time...eagerly waiting your photos!

Dan, Mimi and Claire said...

Oh Heather, we are thrilled you had such a FANTASTIC time! We've been thinking about you all week. We love that you were able to do so much - it truly is a place for adventures!!! Can't wait to hear more about it and see pictures :)

And oh, Dan is very glad you both came back safely ;)