Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Back to School

Gemma was the big trooper of the family this year. She rallied for her first day of school the morning after we arrived back from vacation. The timing was not ideal but we had to book our vacation over a year ago from our 2020 vacation that was cancelled due to covid. The last week of summer vacation was all we could get. 
After arriving home at midnight Gemma was up bright and early for day one of FIFTH GRADE! 
Her last year of elementary school at MATES. We are so glad they are back in person learning full time. The students all have to wear masks to reduce the spread of covid although they are allowed to work together in groups again and don't have to distance as long as they wear masks. 
Best Friends Forever Liv & Gemma reunite for their last year at MATES in Mrs Tuchman's class.
Lily got to sleep in because her school doesn't start for another week. She is back at Bethany Christian School for 8th grade, also her last year at this school as they don't offer High School.
She was excited to be back and see her friends. They are down to 9 students ~ 4 girls and 5 boys. They also wear masks in class but are able to work together and don't have to distance as much. 


Friday, August 20, 2021

Kauai - Paddle Boarding and Beach Fun

Our friends are pros at stand up paddle boarding -SUP- we had never done it before (except Gemma while on vacation in SanDiego with Liv) but we agreed to give it a try. 
Have you ever seen a taller stack of boards?
We were so confident heading out.

We started off pretty well. We had rented boards for everyone and it was pretty easy to balance. It helped that on the way up the river the current was in our favor. This is the same river we did a kayak tour and waterfall hike with our friends the Justice family several years ago. 
Just as we were getting the hang of things we got stuck in a tropical downpour!! It was warm out but we literally got soaked. Good thing we were all in swim gear and had our phones in waterproof pouches. 
We hung out in a little cove for a bit after the rain and took a break. We knew the paddle back would be a lot harder fighting against the current so we didn't want to get too far.
We all managed to make it back down river to return the boards. It was tough going against the wind and Alex and I ended up towing our kids on their board for a good part of the way back. 
We definitely deserved a break at the beach after our morning. We parked up at a beach on the East shore that we have been to before. It is a good snorkel cove but it was a bit choppy from the winds. 
After a couple hours at the beach we headed back to the condo for some pool time. To be honest I think the kids could just have spent a week at this pool with friends and would have been happy. 
The best thing about the kids getting older is we can leave them back at the condo alone and go to dinner by ourselves! We had a great night at Brenneckes in Poipu. 

Day 9

We started most mornings off out at the shore looking for sea turtles in the waves. 
Then we progress to the pool for a couple hours. Is it really a vacation if you don't get smoothies and nachos from the pool bar?

Of course I'm always the one trying to drag everyone to the beach. I just love the waves and the salty air. 
I brought my new trusty beach shade that I got for Christmas. I was determined to have shade in Hawaii and found a packable solution. 
The kids ended up having a sand castle building contest. They all get along so well and Danny is the token little brother. 
You can't leave without a photo at the Poipu beach Kauai sign.

We've unanimously decided vacation is 100% better with friends. 

Day 10

We managed to go all week without heading out to Salt Pond beach so our last full day we packed a picnic and headed there. It is an awesome beach and not at all crowded. Poipu beach was very crowded this trip and while it was a great beach it is not so fun when it is packed. Salt Pond was perfect. 
You can roll around on the waves all day. It is a cove as well but still has a few waves, it has lifeguards and even some snorkeling. 
We couldn't not go back to the pool for one last happy hour!
The morning we left there was a giant rainbow from the parking lot. A little Aloha for the trip home. 
So sad to leave. No matter how long we stay it is really never long enough.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Kauai - Friends Arrive & Snorkel Boat

Day 6
The real vacation began when our FRIENDS arrived!!!
We decided to go to the pool the next day we had so much fun. We were at the pool almost all day!
Then we took a break from the pool and went to play some games.
Later that day we went to the beach. There were really big waves that day.
We always love going to Poipu beach but this time it was really crowded.
But we still had fun!

This was our setup with the ninja tent.
So glad we had shade to bring with us at all the beaches. It is just too hot in the sun and that way we could sit away on our own and still have shade.

It was such a beautiful day!

Day 7

The next day was our snorkel trip, sadly out friends did not come. They decided that boat trips were not for them. We were a little worried it would be rough seas because there had been some high waves recently. Lucky for us it was perfect! 
The early bird catches the worm. The ride up to the north shore was beautiful with dolphins in the water. 
It was so cool on the way out we say dolphins!
When we got t the snorkeling point we hopped in the water and had some fun.

There was even a slide on the back of the boat.

There was also a jumping spot.
We had a lot of fun!

There were good drinks too. Lily chose this excursion as her birthday present from June so we were all glad it turned out to be such a fun day. 
We even got to go under a mini water fall it got us really wet though.
But it was so pretty.
In all we had tons of fun on the snorkel trip

When we got back we went to the pool and found our friends!