Day 7: I Don't Wanna Leave You Now

October 1, 2013

After a restless night (how did I end up in one bed with both boys while Sam had the other all to himself?!) I was wide awake bright and early - but everyone else was still sleeping soundly. I would have liked to run out for coffee, but I didn't want to bang around finding shoes, etc. so I just slipped out the lanai door to do some sunrise yoga.

Before long, little faces were pressed up against the glass and I had company for my downward dog. There was little doubt where we were going to spend our final morning so we finished up the last of the oatmeal and fruit to build energy for the pool.

I called down to the front desk to request a late check out and, "Due to your Platinum status, Mrs. Fleming," we were allowed to stay until 2 pm. We could have stayed in our room until our 7 pm interisland flight for "just" $150 or used a free hospitality room to freshen up before heading to the airport, but we had other plans for the afternoon.

The Hyatt has free washers and dryers for the guests to use which were right down the hall from our room, so what the hey, I threw in some laundry (a shocking turn of events, I know) before going out to the lagoon. 

There weren't many people at the lagoon at 8 am so we had it all to ourselves. I sat poolside for a while admiring my new iKoa phone case that Sam had bought from the Martin & MacArthur shop in the hotel. It's a beautiful piece of koa wood shaped into an iPhone case - slippery as heck and will do nothing to protect the phone if you drop it, but just gorgeous, and a far more useful Hawaii souvenir than jewelry or a T-shirt.

At 9 am we went over to the koi pool so the boys could feed the fish - it was pretty wild watching the fish practically climb out of the water to get the food. The boys really liked watching the swan, too.

Then it was time for more swimming! Chelsea and Lance had gone out for breakfast (they ended up at Poipu Tropical Burgers of all places!) but they returned bearing Starbucks coffee and scones and we repeated the two previous days' poolside activities. At one point Jack wanted to go to the beach, so he and Sam and Ryan took the sand toys out to Shipwreck. When I joined them a half hour later, they had dug an enormous hole in the VERY hot sand and were starting to get sunburned. 

Even with the late checkout our goal was to get on the road by 1 pm so the boys could nap in the car. I really don't mind driving around during naptime - Jack is pretty good at settling down to sleep but I'd rather be out and about than stuck in a hotel room, and Ryan won't nap unless he just happens to fall asleep in the car. Since our Honolulu-Denver flight didn't leave until 10 pm, it was important to make sure we didn't have overly tired, cranky kids on our hands.

At noon Sam and I left the boys with Chelsea and Lance at the pool and went back to the room to shower and pack up. Finally we had everything stashed, sorted, tucked in and zipped up. A quick shower for the boys and we were on our way out.

My second favorite photo of the trip, even though it's fuzzy:
 Great travelers aren't born, they're made. No reason a 3 year old can't pull his own luggage (yes, one of us ended up carrying the backpack through the airports, but he insisted on pulling his suitcase by himself!). 
Sam and the boys loaded up the car while I trekked to the lobby to check out and settle the bill. I was a little worried about the final tab as I had gotten awfully fond of saying "charge it to the room!" to the poolside servers and bartenders, but it really wasn't too bad. The rest of the family joined me and we loitered in the lobby savoring our last few moments.

At long last we climbed into the car and headed north. We didn't have to be at the airport until 6 to check into our inter-island flight, so we had a few hours to kill. There was a geocache at Kamalani playground I had been trying to get to all week, so we set our course for Kapa'a. I left Sam and the sleeping boys in the car while I hunted down the cache (I say I do this for the boys but really they could care less - I'm just geeked about my app).

We had picked up a travel bug while visiting South Dakota in August and I was trying to find the perfect cache to drop it in. This one was not perfect, so I returned to the car.

I knew there was a "travel bug exchange" at the Kapa'a Public Library so we headed there. It felt a little like cheating - there was no real "hunting" involved, but at least I was able to drop the bug and swap it for another one to take back to Colorado.

Finally it was time to head towards the airport, though we still had time to stop at Costco to fuel up the car and find a place to eat dinner. We texted Chelsea to say we were headed to the Feral Pig and did they want to meet us; she replied that they were upstairs at Kalapaki Joe's for the happy hour. We met them there and ordered a variety of appetizers to tide us over (the boys loved the coconut shrimp and edamame).

Sadly, our 2013 Kauai vacation drew to a close. Our LIH airport experience was not too bad (leaving on a Tuesday instead of a Saturday made a big difference!) and we made it to HNL just a short while before boarding the red-eye to Denver. That flight was not very enjoyable - Ryan and I both had a hard time getting comfortable enough to sleep (even though our row, supposedly the first in the coach section, was actually an Economy Plus seat with extra leg room that I did not have to pay extra for - woohoo!).

We landed in Denver at 8:30 Wednesday morning; we hugged Chelsea and Lance and sent them on to their flight to Kansas City (with a two hour drive after that to central MO!).

Brutal red-eye notwithstanding, Sam and I both agreed that this was our best trip yet and are looking forward to #7. I definitely do not want to wait another 2 1/2 years so I'm lobbying hard for October or early December 2014 (for at least 10 days - a week-long vacation is distinctly unsatisfying!).

See all photos from today.