Day 2: Let's Go, Beaches!

September 26, 2013

Another day dawned awfully early at Papio Place, thanks to our little monsters - not to mention the
neighborhood roosters. This time Sam was up and ready to hit the beach at dawn with us after a quick breakfast; we left Chelsea and Lance sleeping. We also dressed the boys in their swimsuits (but didn't put ours on - how long will it take us to figure out this island lifestyle?!).

The beach was again fairly deserted - the boys played in the surf with Sam while I did a few sun salutations up on shore.

The sky couldn't seem to make up its mind - light rain one minute followed by parting clouds, then we received the best reward for getting up so early: a double rainbow!

Finally the sky darkened for real and we walked back to the house in a downpour. Chelsea and Lance were up so I informed them that it was malasada time and we walked over to the Village Snack Shop and Bakery. The doughnuts were not fresh from the fryer but were still delicious - I think Jack was pretty pleased!

Next up - snorkeling! Ryan taught himself how to snorkel in our hot tub this summer, so I was really looking forward to seeing how he did in the actual ocean with real fishies (as opposed to the "friendly sharks" who supposedly reside in our little four person spa). We picked up snorkel sets at Pedal N Paddle, packed a lunch and beach gear, and headed west.

Since everyone else had arrived on island so late, this was the first opportunity Chelsea and Lance had to see the North Shore of Kauai in the daylight and the first time Ryan and Jack had been that far (north) west. The drive out to Ke'e beach (the "end of the road" on the North Shore) was beautiful - all the recent rain made for gorgeous waterfalls and everything was so green and lush.

Our idyll was shattered when confronted with the reality of parking at Ke'e. I drove down to the beach to drop off Sam and the boys and all our gear, then wasted (what felt like) a few hours in paradise trying to find a parking space. Finally I made it back to the beach where the boys were splashing in the little waves and Chelsea was getting really nervous about the idea of snorkeling.

Fortunately she had a great teacher.

I put on my gear and swam out to the reef, but the waves were surging and the partly cloudy conditions made for crummy visibility.

Ryan didn't snorkel too much as he and Jack were having too much fun playing "canoe" with the pool noodles from the house. Honestly, those kids could have fun with a bag of flour and a ball of aluminum foil... and what a mess THAT would be!

The clouds followed us to this beach too, as it started drizzling on us while we ate lunch.  The ever-optimistic Jack (and ever-naked Ryan, who asked me to take off his wet swimsuit at lunch and then refused to put it back on) kept digging in the sand and splashing in the waves, but it soon became clear that the rain was here to stay.

Lance and I made the long soggy trek back to get the cars and loaded everyone up, at which point Sam mentioned the lifeguard told him we needed to get a move on to make it back to Hanalei as the river threatened to overflow the bridges, so we did.

Chelsea would like to point out that she had been reading a real book
and only picked up her phone moments before I took this picture.
Jack fell asleep in the car and took a long, sandy nap at the house while the rest of us grabbed our various books and devices and headed out to the lanai to relax to the sound of the rain (and it meant the construction stopped!).

Sam and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary earlier this month, so we decided to make reservations at Kauai Ono for a date night. It's a new "pop-up" restaurant in Hanalei that only serves dinner on Wednesday and Thursday nights for a maximum of 20 people - out of a food truck, no less.

We picked up a bottle of wine at Big Save and then walked purposefully in the wrong direction (damn you, Apple maps!). Once we finally arrived the hostess seated us at a picnic table with seven other folks (the rest of the spaces were reserved for a private local party) and we all started chatting. We had so much fun! It turns out every single person at the table except my husband had been on the SFO-LIH flight Tuesday morning - what are the odds?

It was really an incredible experience - and that's not even mentioning the food, which was divine. No, sitting on a wooden bench for two hours is not exactly luxurious, but the setting was otherwise perfect (oh, yeah, the 20 enormous welts that developed from mosquito bites I got were less-than-welcome mementos, too).

Of course Ryan and Jack were perfect little angels for Chelsea and Lance, taking a bath and going to bed without a peep (I do believe they may have conned Aunt Chelsea into reading 8-10 bedtime stories, some of them twice). We raved about our meal and made a mental note to pick up anti-itch cream the next day, and then went to bed.

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