Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bali Hai

We went to Kauai for New Years!

(The kids were completely uninterested in the fact that South Pacific was filmed on the island.  However, we found out a day before we left that the island was also the backdrop for one of the most culturally significant movies ever: Jurassic Park!  It's not quite as amazing as if we'd vacationed in the Tatooine desert, but it was still pretty cool.)

I will try to keep the complaints about the travel itself to a minimum: suffice it to say, separating families with young kids is not cool, United.  And Thank you! to the guy who was willing to move from an aisle to a middle seat on the red-eye home from LA - I'm sorry I had to offer you the choice of a middle seat or two four-year-olds.  My current plan is to never fly anywhere again, or at least not until the kids can legally buy alcohol on the flight.

As for the vacation itself!  Much nicer!  The island was lovely, and our two rentals were both quite nice.

The first one was a lovely private house with the key to the kids' hearts: our own pool and lanai.  We pretty much just spent a day swimming.


Non-swimming activities:

The kids were quite excited to see a cactus (growing out of the rocks, down by Lizzie's legs):

And there might have been a hula dance session or two:


This is Breakers Beach, near our place in Poipu (we thought the surf was a bit rough for the little ones, so we only chased the waves here.)


A Hawaiian monk seal was lazing on the beach (initially I thought he was dead, actually... I was quite startled when he flopped over to the other side):


And up on the north side of the island in Hanalea (where the beach in The Descendents was shot):

The second condo had a pool too, but we had to (gasp!) share it with other people.  Sheesh.  Talk about a tough life.


The beach we settled on for proper swimming was a protected part of Poipu beach - it was knee-height all the way out to the rock barrier, with gentle waves suitable for kids who are still finding their sea legs.


We found some non-beach time for excursions, too - we made our way to Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific":


On the way back we stopped off at a a coffee plantation (the Kauai Coffee Company), where several young folk hammed it up for photos:


Another day we made our way to the Kauai Plantation Railway on the outskirts of Lihue - I believe this used to be a sugar plantation, but now has all sorts of examples of the different plants grown in Hawaii, and the little train line runs through:

They also keep animals - pigs and goats and horses, plus the ubiquitous chickens - and the train stops for a bit to let us feed them stale bread:

We went to the Spouting Horn near Poipu - we almost decided against this side-trip because Teddy had fallen asleep in the car - but decided to take turns waiting with him instead.  I didn't get a picture of the sea turtles hanging out, but the rocks and water were lovely:


And up the shore a little bit - whales!  We had heard it was the season, but only Grandma & Grandpa had seen any whales.  But this time we all got to see them, and Grandpa got a picture:

More miscellaneous:

Cards at the condo:

Shopping at Koloa town (well, posing with a creepy statue):

Surfer girl:


Lizzie & Grandma from the balcony:

More excursions to Poipu beach - here's the path from our condo down to the shore:


And rainbows!