traveling with toddler kauai day 4 – 8: it’s over already?

Whooosh! And then we flew home.

Live blogging the vay-kay stalled mid-trip due to my trying to upgrade the platform of this blog and thereby breaking it. The lovely hosts at blue host had a backup they could revert to but by then I was ready to give the internet a rest and just get some rest.

There are highlights worth noting, especially for those people hitting this post for ideas while traveling in Kauai, and for myself to remember next time we go…

Day 4:

The train at Kilohana Plantation was a big hit with the whole family.  A slow lazy loop around the property, the tour featured fascinating facts about the plants, vegetables, and fruits that grow there, and a mid-trip stop, just about the time that Jonah was getting antsy, to feed the provided slices of white bread to the farm’s pet goats and pigs.

After the ride, we stopped in the gift shop where Nana bought Jonah a WONDERFUL TRAIN that makes NOISE and flashes its RED LIGHT when you press a button on top. Jonah loves this BIG BLACK ENGINE. I also picked up some organic grilling spices for less than they cost at the hoity toity (not such a fan now, am I?) organic grocery that I eventually made it to later that day.

Next we wandered around the shops inside the giant historic house on the property. These used to be actual rooms and such, so one store was partly in an old bathroom, with the tub filled with sand for the various toys and seashells to be displayed at a reasonable height. In another shop, I took a beautiful baritone ukulele off a shelf and played the few chords I know. The sound was transcendent (and NOT because I can play). So, how much? I asked. Like, $300?

$2000, she said. It’s made from Koa wood (a nearly extinct local hardwood).

I put the uke back on the shelf. Carefully.

Then lunch at the restaurant, Gaylord’s, also in the house and on the back patio, with large grassy area, good for running around and chasing chickens as needed before and between courses. Absolutely crazy delicious burgers, made with locally-grown beef. Other dishes were top notch too. Apparently the dinner menu includes lobster. Lunch options were less fancy, but probably one of the best meals out of this trip.

After the meal, I made a bold move and snuck off with my parents to go shopping in Kapa’a (where fancy organic grocery is) while Scott dropped my sister off at a spa and took Jonah back to the condo for his nap.

We were headed to my mom’s favorite store, Mineral Amorphia. They don’t have a website yet but they may at some point. She bought a moonstone ring and a big palm-sized glowy something or other and quartz and moonstone pendulum. I also bought a pendulum, rose quartz with garnets. I teased her that she would never use a pendulum but she doesn’t care. It’s pretty. I may never use mine, not because I don’t know how, but because I might just ask the wrong yes/no question and freak myself out with the answer.

Also in Kapa’a, we picked up a couple of loaves of fresh organic bread from Country Moon Rising Bakery. Yum.

Uninspiring and overpriced trip to Papaya’s Natural Foods taught me that while selection may be much much much smaller at the Big Save, for organic basics, the Big Save offers a much better deal. I wonder now what the Safeway in the same mall in Kapa’a might have yielded. However, we did pick up some nice organic roma tomatoes and zucchini, so that was worthwhile. Still wish I’d gotten to a Farmers’ Market. But the thing about being on vacation is that the inclination is to not have to work for anything and somehow getting to and through an FM sounded like work.

On the way back to Poipu Beach, we stopped in Lihue at the Kalena Fish Market — LOVE LOVE LOVE this place! — for the most gorgeous Opah (moonfish) steaks and fresh Ahi tuna poke (a kind of sashimi salad) for dinner. The meal that night was probably the best of the trip. Had Opa at other restaurants after that (Brenneke’s, Poipu Beach Broiler) and my conclusion is that unless you are at a SERIOUSLY high end restaurant and willing to shell out big bucks, in Kauai, while dining out, it’s better to order the beef. For fish, if you have the tools to perform the feat, go to Kalena, get it raw, and cook it yourself.

Day 5

On this day, mama worked. I had an article to finish for a client. So I stayed in most of the day. Far as I can remember. I’m sure I managed to get a bathing suit on and get wet at some point. The resort had several kiddie-depth pools, all with varying degrees of pleasantly cool or warm saltwater. Plus the crazy gorgeous crescent of beach, featuring warm clear soft salty water and the kind of rolling waves that lift you up and down but almost never curl or crash.

Day 6

On this day, my parents and sister went for a drive up around the west side of the island, towards Wimea canyon, with a lunch stop at the lovely and delicious Shrimp Station. Scott and I, still in post-trauma from our drive to Wimea last year, opted to stay back, walking from our condo to the next beach over, which features a perfect PERFECT little cove of knee-deep nearly wave-less clear warm water for the keiki (kids) to waddle in. We could look down and see schools of silvery fish swimming around us. A perfect way to lure our somewhat water-shy boy in. Of course he wanted us to catch them. Scott tried.

Scott took top superdad honors on this day by building not a sand castle. No. A SAND TRAIN.


And to demonstrate just how much our Jonah loved this sand train, a video:

Day 7

So sad that the trip is almost over. So happy to have one full day left. The troop of us rented three umbrellas and made camp on the beach, rather than on a cluster of poolside loungers. We swam, played in sand, enjoyed grilled burgers from the resort’s bar, got a little sunburned (at least I did). Jonah did some water’s edge frolicking.

Day 8

This is the end. Packed up. Checked out. Fed the Koi in the condo pond. Went over to the keiki beach again where on the grassy area above, Jonah played with Aunt Michelle on the playground structures and chased chickens while Scott and I stood in the cove, water up to our ankles, and said goodbye to the island.

(On a future trip, if we’re up to driving to it, we’d heard this Keiki Cove is really worthwhile too. But, it’s amazing how little motivation we actually have, once we are there, to go anywhere not walking distance.)

And then we flew home. Notably, none of the sleep consultants dire prognostications came to pass. He was a fine air traveler, as he’s always been so far in his life. His naps and nighttime sleep were maintained while we were on vacation. He’s even doing a better job of adjusting to the time change than I am, now that we’re back. (Knock wood).

Oh, and I forgot to mention. Of course, we bought a ukulele. Not the fancy koa one. Not one that stays in tune so much. But a lovely one, all the same.

1 comment for “traveling with toddler kauai day 4 – 8: it’s over already?

  1. Laura
    September 14, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    OMG, Jonah’s sandy little butt. I am in love.

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