Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kauai

After the big Thanksgiving feast we hopped on a plane to spend a week in Kauai for a little R & R. It's funny flying to the other islands because you wait longer in the terminal than on the plane.

Pearce is big enough to take his own luggage. For the picture, anyway. Once he realizes doing so hinders his ability to kill bad guys, he lets one of the adults take his burden.

The flight to Kauai is about a 25-minute flight. Somehow, they still find a way to serve you a beverage.

Loading up the rental.

The next day was a beach day.

Connor played with this dog for hours. No idea whose dog it was.



Pearce found a friend to play with. This is one of his strengths...finding a stranger and integrating himself into whatever activity they're into.

Later we met up with David's cousin, Shawny and her family (the Vilas) at their daughter Lexi's play. Left to right: Shawny, Bobby, Jane, David, Wendi, Connor, Eric, Blake. In the front is Lexi and Pearce.

At dinner. Shawny and Wendi.



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Later in the week, Shawny took us Zip Lining to a ranch near the one she works at as a horseback trail guide. Shawny and David.

Connor looking a little nervous.

Wendi and Eric.

David.

Eric.

Connor going.

Connor coming.

We crossed a couple ravines to get to our next zip line.

One at a time. Eric couldn't help but shake the suspension bridge while poor Connor was in the middle. Nobody fell, luckily.

video

We walked down to a watering hole with a waterfall and lunched there. Here's a video of Eric showing off.

Shawny with form.

Wendi coming across a huge gap.

Wendi flashing the shaka...or something close to it.

Shawny doing the same.

The whole gang, readying for our final big zip.

Eric, Wendi, Connor, Shawny and David.

video
This is a fun video of Eric and David racing on one of the final zip lines

Pearce and Tutu, meanwhile, spent the day playing Candyland and swimming in the pool and spa.

Connor's pet lizard. Those who know Connor know that, since he was a little boy, he's always collected pets wherever we were. He's like a foster parent for pets.


Connor swinging around a beach near where the Vilas live on the Northeast Shore of Kauai.

Shawny and David.

Connor playing with Shawny's dog.



Pearce and Eric dueling it out. This went on for at least half an hour.

Jane and David.

Pearce and Eric after the duel, snack and lounge on the beach. It was too cold and the water too rough to go swimming. We have become beach premadonas.

Connor found another pet, this time large, nasty sea slug.


Pearce flashing his cheesy smile. He developed this look sometime after 3 and has kept it going strong.

His sword magically turned into a rifle. This happens often.

Connor with his rent-a-pet

Later in the week we did a trip to Kauai's south-side, stopping at this beach for some snorkeling.

Unfortunately, Daddy David was the only one "man" enough to snorkel that day. Apparently, it wasn't that good anyway.

Connor put hermit crabs on Eric's back to stay entertained.

And then, on Pearce's back.

Jane getting some sun.

We continued down the south side of the Island to what Mark Twain famously dubbed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific...Waimea Canyon.





David, Wendi, Connor, Pearce, Eric and Jane at the Kalalau Lookout near the top of Mt. Wai'ale'ale (purported to be the wettest spot on earth). Kelsey had gone back to Cali for school by now. The clouds rolled in shortly after this shot was taken.

And gave us this remarkable in-the-cloud scene. It's surreal at the top of Wai'ale'ale. It's so wet that the foliage is stunted. There's a nice boardwalk throughout the swamps atop Wai'ale'ale, but we decided with the clouds, the late hour, and a three-year-old, to save it for another time.

We finished the day, and pretty much the whole trip, with a visit to the end of the road on the West side of Kauai at Barking Sands Beach. It's about a three-hour drive from the North Shore of Kauai where we were staying, but only about 15 miles away as the crow flies. But the crow would be flying over some of the most rugged landscape in the world--the Na Pali Coast. In the distance (to the left) you can see Ni'ihau, one of two islands we've never been to (the other is Lanai). Ni'ihau is private, owned by an old sugar baron family. Apparently, they only speak Hawaiian there. This beach was totally deserted for miles and miles. Overall, another awesome trip to Kauai. Still our favorite island.