We returned from Kauai on Sunday evening well-rested, sun-kissed and happy. It was a much-needed, relaxing, utterly beautiful and fabulous vacation. We’ve been fortunate enough to have taken many vacations over the course of our marriage, and even quite a few since the kids have been born, but I honestly don’t remember another time I came home this peaceful and relaxed. I didn’t even have my post-vacation “it’s over” sadness, just utter contentment. I suppose someplace as beautiful and magical as Kauai can do that to you.
Mr. N and Miss A even fully immersed themselves in the relaxation of this trip. With the exception of a few minor meltdowns from Miss A (which frankly were nothing in the grand-scheme of things – pretty remarkable for a three-year old) and a few initial protests about an activity from Mr. N, both of the kids were absolutely in-tune with each other, us and the vacation.
Mr. N, who only six months ago didn’t know how to swim, absolutely became one with the water. I have never seen him so happy to do any one thing for hours on end – and believe me he can spend a lot of time with his Lego’s. Each day of our trip he spent at least a few hours in the pool swimming all around, playing “sea serpent” with Miss A and even learning to snorkel.
Miss A on the other hand was much more content to hang in the sand or operate from her “control room” poolside. She was the police captain telling Mr. N where to swim in order to save the animals that needed saving.
The kids also spent hours at the beach discovering interesting rocks and little shells,
and just discovering the sensation of waves on their toes.
Eventually they got a little braver, well Mr. N got a whole lot braver, and ventured a bit closer to the water. In fact, one perfect afternoon, Mr. N spent literally two hours body surfing. He’d run out into the water, wait for a wave and either swim with it or just let it carry him to shore. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him happier than he was this afternoon.
And as I lay in the sand watching my little boy utterly loving his life – splashing, laughing and rolling with the waves, I also had the absolute blessing of enjoying just over an hour of Miss A tucked in next to me with her head on my chest fast asleep. I don’t know what could possibly have been better than these few hours that lazy Friday afternoon.
We did venture away from the water and sunny shores every now and then for some other fun adventures. I spent a morning zip lining and repelling my way over waterfalls in the mountains of Kauai. Now this is not something I normally would even think about trying given my fear of heights, but it was one of those trips where I needed to do something out of my comfort zone. And let me tell you, I couldn’t be happier that I did! By the end of the tour I was even whizzing around upside down!
The kids also spent a bit of time crafting canoes out of coconut palms,
looking for Puff the Magic Dragon in Hanalei,
chasing around roosters,
performing Hawaiian dances on stage,
searching for the end of rainbows,
and watching the sun set into the ocean.
We also sampled lots and lots of local dishes from traditional luau fare
to roadside hot dog and shrimp stands.
And of course we’ll be sharing many of these recipes with you over the next few weeks. Until then, Hawaii was actually one of our very first state night picks last year, so you can enjoy this post which includes a delicious virgin lava flow. The kids could have lived off of these delights!
Now before we set about on our next cooking adventure we have a few things to wrap-up…First up, the winner of our blogiversary giveaway (set of travel plates and a photo book of year one at Eat, Play, Love) as drawn by Miss A. Congratulations to ChgoJohn from the Bartolini Kitchens!!!!
Many thanks again to all of our followers, commenters, visitors, friends and family. You’ve made our adventures this past year truly amazing. We’re very humbled and grateful.
Also, before we launch off to our next international meal destination as chosen by Mike, we’re going to round-out this week with our banana bread taste test and reveal the first recipe of this year’s “Quest for the Best.” We hope you’ll enjoy it – we know we already do!
Mahalo and a hui hou (thanks and till we meet again).
Print this recipe: Lava Flow (Non-Alcoholic)