Sunday, September 24, 2017

Gemma turns SEVEN!

Because going to Kauai for your birthday isn't enough we returned home at midnight just before Gemma's birthday. Jet lag stops for no birthday so up early we were ready to celebrate.
She wanted to cut to the chase and open her gifts of course. There were packages from Granny & Grampy...emoji pajamas all the way from England!
Auntie Boo sent her a Beauty and the Beat lego castle!
There was also a pink band fit bit bracelet she wanted so bad from Charlotte and Elias and cool mermaid blanket, sequin pillow and book from Kat, Natty and Danny!
Moving right along to breakfast, pancakes with M&M's of course and bacon and sausages.

Then it was right into decorating the cake for her Emoji birthday party. Luckily I made the cake before vacation and froze it. Emoji decorating was a breeze.
Thank goodness Goppy let us have the party at her house so the kids could swim.
All decorated and ready to go with our emoji photo booth.

It was a little too much fun. The poop emoji was the fave by far.




The band performed too.
More presents? You've got to be kidding me!
There was jacuzzi time, and cold pool time.

The sequin switching gear is big this year. Two pillows and a t-shirt! 


There is time for dinner after presents. Pizza and pasta and salad for all!
Then there was the custom pinata made by Uncle E!
Watch out for Tarzan!

Everyone got several hits in and a few pieces of candy were set loose.
It was up to Daddy to finish it off so we could just get our candy already!!
Now it's CAKE TIME! 
I think Lily was serenading her sweet little sister.
Hey wait! Whose turn is it to blow out the candles. Don't worry Gemma already had, Lily was a little late on the blowing.
Happy birthday little Gems! You sure keep us laughing and keep us all on our toes!💗💋🙆😋😍😍

Saturday, September 23, 2017

It's always a good time for Kauai

We were thinking of taking a late summer trip to Hawaii before school started but airfare was sky high. Going at the holidays is not an option for me to get time off work so we decided to take a week off school and do "Hawaii school". Is that a thing? I think it should be.
We took an early flight out of LA and with the time difference we landed in Kauai in time for lunch. We have got the travel system down. Everyone has their own carry on bag and when we land Alex made a dash for the rental car company. As soon as we were on the road we headed to LavaLava in Kapa'a just north of the airport.
The tables are set out right on the sand of the beach. It has a cool vibe and good food. 
Since we were in the neighborhood we had to stop for shave ice. Our memory served us well, it was just as good as we remembered.

Then it was time to grab a few provisions and head to our time share for check in. Our room wasn't ready quite yet, but happy hour was!
Time for a Mai Tai at the pool. I could get used to this life!

We always wake up bright and early in Hawaii due to the time difference. I guess we'll do a little...homework. Gemma had math sheets and had to keep a journal. Let's write about the flight and then get to the beach!
There is plenty of time for a walk on the rocks by the sea. We looked for Honu's riding the waves but it was pretty rough in the sea due to wind so we didn't see any.

Plenty of sea creatures in the tide pools though.
About 1 second after this picture Alex slipped into the very tide pool he was trying to convince the girls to climb out to.


Ok, forget the rocks let's head down the road to Poipu beach.
That's where are the turtles are!! Three big boys were sun bathing on the sand. Just around the corner there was a Hawaiian Monk Seal as well.
The girls weren't convinced it wasn't just a rock.
The water could not have felt better. We did some swimming and Lily could not believe the number of fish in the water. I guess in past years she didn't use goggles and look. 
While we were swimming around one of the sea turtle "rocks" decided to get back in the water. His round shadow is right there next to Alex and the girls.
After a long day at the beach and dunk in the pool we went back to the room to get grilling for dinner. Right around the corner by our room was a giant double rainbow! Good Luck!
After getting sight of the fish in Poipu we went to the surf shop and rented some snorkel gear for the week. Lily couldn't get enough of it. We went to Salt Pond beach which is one of our favorites. 
There are plenty of shallows and deeps to swim and explore. 



On the way home from Salt Pond we stopped in the little town of Hanapepe.
After a long day at the beach we went back home to the pool and rest. Up again early the next morning I was rewarded with beautiful skies at the beach.

We had made plans the day before for the girls to take a surf lesson. They have been wanting to do this for a long time and the waves were never quite right for us in Carp. There are always good waves in Hawaii. 
We met our local surf instructor Kelley at Poipu and carried the boards over towards the Sheraton.
It was a great day and hardly anyone was out there. No crowds to fight for our little wahine waves.
Alex got in the water to help the girls turn around and paddle back to Kelley after they caught a wave.
They spent an hour and a half catching wave after wave. 



A long morning surfing calls for lunch at Brenneke's. The views and good food cannot be missed. Then since we were already there we spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach.
We did make time to go to a local shave ice spot we missed last time. The fresh shave! Lily had the fu manchu- Strawberries, banana and cream.
Gemma had the Caterpillar- Orange creamsicle.
Alex had the whiskers- sweet lime, and mint. I had some of all three!
Then it was back home for the evening. Lily's highlight of the trip besides "everything" because she can never decide, was the kitty's. The island has ferral cats that roam free and there was a litter of kittens and the mom living somewhere near our resort. They met us one night by the BBQ and they were shy but persistent. Well, one saucer of milk later and they were our best friends. They hung out by our patio door in the morning and night. Lily was in heaven.


What would "Hawaii school" be without PE class? For the land portion of PE we went on a hike we loved from last trip. It was pretty steamy and humid that AM and it was rainy as we got started. 
The hike is pretty quick to the first waterfall. It is lush and beautiful. Last year there were lots of people jumping in from the rocks. We had come prepared in swimsuits but we weren't sure if maybe the water level was low after the dry summer.
We carried along the path to the second waterfall.

It's pretty wild in the jungle!
The waterfall here was pretty low, more of a trickle.

Since we got an early start on our hike we finished right about lunch time. We headed to Kapa'a to get lunch and shop around a bit. 
Who needs surf lessons with experts like these?
There is always room for one more shave ice.

It was getting hot in town so we found a new beach to cool off. Lydgate beach is on the east side by Kapa'a and has a nice cove for swimming and snorkeling. Beautiful views too!


Lily pointed out all the fish we had identified while snorkeling. She loved it. We had gotten some fish food from the surf shop and tried to feed the fish. They sort of swarmed us though and freaked her out.
After such a busy day we decided to take it easy the next day. We started out with breakfast at Anuenue cafe. No mac nut pancakes for Gemma but regular ones will do. I had the coconut french toast. Heaven. We walked around the shopping center and found one of my favorite plumeria trees. We had to take one for our ears.
Back to Poipu for some more snorkeling. Gemma and I walked to Brenneke's beach where the boogie boarders and body surfers go. It was just stunning. Beauty as far as the eye can see. I'm pretty certain my future home sits somewhere on that hill there.
Gemma is always willing to pose and shaka for me.
We did put her life in danger with the shore breaks.
Luckily for us there is a little market across the beach and they have ice cold local brews. 
Just like the locals do it. 
We were surrounded by locals.

Our last full day had come much to our dismay. Against the younger portion of the family's wishes we went on another hike. This one was past Shipwrecks beach. It started up the big huge rock where brave/crazy souls jump into the ocean. 
It was a long way down, plus then you have to swim in the big waves to get back to the beach.
The hike was actually pretty fun and not too difficult but the girls had the grouches.
Come on! With views like this!

We managed to survive the hike and make it back for a day at the pool. They were having crafts at the Aloha hut by the pool so the girls each painted a wood sign. They turned out really cute.
We recreated a pose from our last trip. They still agree to matching swim suits every once in a while.
Boy did we spoil ourselves. Lunch by the pool! They didn't know that they served food at the pool, we saved the best for last. Nachos and green quesadillas! Plus a couple lava flows for the grown ups.
Our last night we went out to Keoki's for dinner for Gemma's birthday. Her birthday was not until the day after we left Kauai but Gemma needed to celebrate on the island.  It is always fun to get our cute sundresses on.



They had live music and a hula dancer. What more could you ask for? They even sang happy birthday and brought Gemma a hula pie for dessert!


We tried to squeeze every ounce into our last day. We got up early to pack up and get to the beach for one more swim before heading to the airport. It was so gorgeous at the beach at 9am and the water felt great. It wasn't crowded and we had a monk seal swimming in the water right by us. It was eventually time to go. We grabbed a few last minute souvenirs and headed to the beach by the airport for a little picnic. The girls chose appropriate shirts for their souvenir. Gemma "You drive me coconuts" and Lily "Cat-napple" sleeping on a pineapple. 
It's just too hard to say goodbye to Hawaii. We prefer to say see you next summer!