Day 1: A Land Called Hanalei

September 25, 2013

As we expected, the boys were bouncing off the walls at 3 am. We tried to settle them down, but eventually I gave in and got up to make breakfast at 4:45 am. Chelsea and Lance joined us and we decided to walk down to Hanalei Bay to watch the sunrise, leaving Sam to sleep in.

For some reason, I didn't anticipate that the kids would want to go in the water so didn't bring swimsuits or towels... so they did what little boys do best - get naked! Oh, they had so much fun splashing in the water and fortunately there weren't too many people around to offend.

I texted Sam a picture of the bare backsides and said "Come join us - bring swimsuits!" He said he'll never forget the look on Ryan's face as he barreled down the beach - was he just that excited to finally be in Hawaii? Or was it being naked that thrilled him? Or was he just glad to see his dad? We'll never know.

We splashed around for a bit longer until the rain really started to come down (it had been misting for a while) then strolled back to the house for more coffee.

We sat out on the lanai and chatted as the rain stopped, but a cement mixer arrived at the construction site across the street - not exactly a relaxing tropical soundtrack! So we packed up the rest of the beach gear and swimsuits, grabbed the beach chairs (really nice Tommy Bahama backpack-style) and boogie boards provided by the house, and the bucket-o-sand-toys I picked up at Costco and walked back to Hanalei Bay to enjoy the water properly.

None of us had ever boogie boarded before so it was quite comical at first, but the waves were pretty tame so eventually we all figured it out.

The waves broke just far enough off shore that I wasn't too worried about the boys getting pounded by the surf. I had picked up two kickboards for them at the thrift store and they had great fun alternating between that and building sand castles. Ryan really started to understand the idea behind boogie boarding, though he didn't go out very far.

Lance and Chelsea were having a great time playing with them in the waves and the sand, so Sam and I decided to walk down to the pier to get lunch at Pat's Taqueria.

We got a carne asada, fish and kalua pork taco and a cheese quesadilla for the kids. We had also brought the two boxes of pokes I picked up at Costco yesterday - kajiki (blue marlin) and ahi - so we had quite the beach picnic.

The boys were starting to get pink so we moved our mats up into the shady lawn in front of the pavilion to eat. The kalua pork taco was too salty (even for kalua pork) and the carne asade was crazy spicy, but the fish taco was just right.

Then we took the sandy, tired kiddos back to the house and hosed them off in the outdoor shower (such a great idea!). Jack fell asleep almost immediately but Ryan resisted taking a nap, even though he probably would have fallen asleep on the beach if we had left him there!

We spent the first of many afternoons out on the lanai, reading or surfing on our phones. Chelsea and Lance strolled into town to get some groceries and to poke into the little shops.

Once Jack woke up, the four of us walked down Aku and Weke roads to the western end of Hanalei Bay to find a geocache hidden in an ironwood tree, which the boys thought was really neat.

The geocache was tucked inside a hollowed out coconut shell, which inspired the boys to ask to drink "water out of a coconut!" when we spotted the Aloha Juice Bar next to the Big Save.

She was closing up but was happy to present the boys with a chilled coconut (with two umbrella picks) and talk story about our shared love of gardening.

It had been at least twenty minutes since the boys last ate, so of course they claimed they were now starving. We crossed the street to Bubba's and ordered some burgers (they still don't hold a candle to the Princeville Chevron burgers, but it did in a pinch).

I texted Chelsea and invited them to join us, but she replied that they were engaged in a heated ping-pong bout at the house. After eating we wandered back to the house and hung out for a bit, but quickly started to feel the effects of the early morning wake-up and headed to bed.

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