Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hamoa Beach

We spent several lovely hours at Hamoa Beach today, where the boys had a ball on the boogie boards and in the sand, and Jeff and I relaxed under the shade of the giant sea almond trees.

Hamoa Beach

Excited to try out the boogie board


Once Weston got the hang of it, he didn't want to stop!

There were lots of smiles at the beach today!

When Clay tired of the boogie board,
he decided to become one with the sand.

It would take a lot of this to kill a person!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Road to Hana

We arrived in Maui this morning and soon began making our way down the Road to Hana, one of the most famous and beautiful drives in the world. We took our time and had plenty of stops along the way to allow ourselves the opportunity to take in more of the loveliness around us. We did a short, very muddy hike through a small bit of the jungle, and we stopped at the Garden of Eden botanical garden to stretch our legs and enjoy the sights. The pictures definitely don't do the drive justice, as it was infinitely more beautiful than what a camera could ever capture!

The Road to Hana

We really love the rainbow eucalyptus trees!

Garden of Eden, featuring a view of  Keopuka Rock (top, far right),
used in the opening scene of Jurassic Park; 
a 100-year-old mango tree (bottom, far left);
and countless beautiful plants and amazing views.

Gorgeous waterfalls dotted the Road to Hana. 

Fern Grotto

The last couple of days we've been hanging around the pool and playground, and not doing a whole heck of a lot, though we did manage to work in two trips to Walmart. Because we're living the fancy island life. We did get out for some sightseeing today, with a river cruise on the Wailua River, which culminated in a visit to a beautiful fern grotto. And, we still managed to snag some pool and playground time. There are a ton of little boys staying here, so our boys have been having a ball with all their new friends.

River Boat

Wailua River

Rollin' on the River 

Pretty river debris

Beautiful fern grotto

Missing our girl, but enjoying our day

This house was used in the John Wayne movie, Donovan's Reef,
which we just watched in honor of our visit to Kauai.
It used to be on the beach but was later moved up on a hill overlooking the river.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

So many things

First: As you can see, I'm experimenting with a new look and name for the blog. I would really love your feedback! Feel free to tell me what you like as well as what you don't like.

Second: A huge piece of my heart just walked out the door to catch a plane to New York. I'm so proud of my girl and excited for the opportunity she has to attend a special camp at Skidmore College during the next three weeks, but the letting-gos are always a little hard on a momma's heart.

Third: Yesterday morning, I published the third Geography Explorer book, Explore Thailand. If you have a kid in your life who might be interested in that part of the world, check it out.

Fourth: Yesterday afternoon, we continued our explorations of the island. We visited the Hanapepe swinging bridge and Glass Beach, which is partly made up of a huge deposit of sea glass. We also popped into the Kauai Chocolate shop, before boarding our Napali Coast tour boat. We spent several lovely hours cruising around the island and taking in the stunning scenery of the Napali Coast. We also had appetizers, drinks, and dinner aboard the boat, and ended our tour with an amazing Kauai sunset.

Hanapepe Bridge

Glass Beach

The less glassy side of Glass Beach

Kauai Chocolate

Napali Coast Cruise

Sneaky Rainbow

Can you guess why they call this Kong Point?

Find the owl hidden in the rocks.

The lovely Napali Coast

There are two sea caves at the base of the brown mountain in the center.
These were created by lava tubes, and they are constantly growing.

The entrance to an awesome sea cave that has no ceiling

Another beautiful rainbow

A mother monk seal and her pup catch some rays on the beach

Sunset at sea

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The North Side of the Island

Today, we visited the north side of Kauai and were so privileged to see Hanalei, The Queen's Bath, and Kilauea Lighthouse. Each spot was so lovely, and we made fantastic memories! Of all the Hawaiian islands I've visited, I think Kauai is truly the most beautiful.

Hanalei Valley

I fell instantly in love with this little church in Hanalei!

The charming Hanalei chocolate store was just barely
big enough for the six of us to squeeze into!

Queen's Bath

A handsome guy in a beautiful place!

Swimming in the frigid Queen's Bath

Following his sister's lead

A conversation about who should jump first

Leap of faith

Racking up some extra style points

We were thrilled to see one of Hawaii's monk seals
frolicking in the waves just beyond the pool!

Queen's Bath was a little rough and deep for the younger guys,
but they still enjoyed the little tidal pools...

And climbing all over the huge rocks!

Kilauea Point

Kilauea Lighthouse

Matchy-matchy at Sam's Oceanview Restaurant for dinner

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


We arrived on Kauai yesterday and got settled into our home for the week. And today, it was time for some fun. We drove over to Waimea Canyon ("The Grand Canyon of Hawaii") and took in the beautiful sights. After that, we made our way to the Kauai Coffee plantation, where we enjoyed a nice tour, a ton of samples, and a light lunch. Then, we headed over to Spouting Horn, where the rock formations are just right to cause geyser-like spews when the big waves roll in. We oohed and ahhed every time the water shot into the sky, because it was truly amazing every single time. While we were there, we caught a green sea turtle playing in the waves, which was an added bonus. Eventually, we made our way back to our condo for a brief rest, before going out to see the musical South Pacific this evening. It was a fun day in a beautiful place!

The Watts at Waimea Canyon

Kauai Coffee Plantation

Spouting Horn

Playing in the waves

Clay found a friend in Koloa Town