Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Kauai Day #3: Snorkeling, Swimming, and I am a Terrible Spy

The kids had been VERY patient about not being able to get right into the ocean with all their gear the second we arrived, so this day was dedicated to all things snorkeling and swimming and boogie boarding!

And chickens, because of course.

Would it surprise you very much to learn that before stepping off of the plane onto Kauai, I had a list prepared of the "best" beaches, categorized by location, kid-friendliness, access, and what they're known for. I had them all tagged on a Google Map--

--and bookmarked in both my physical copy of The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook and their app that was kind of pricey but man, I used the snot out of that thing.

It was made a little more complicated because many of the beaches to the west of our resort, on the Na Pali Coast, were closed because of a storm last year that caused extreme flooding and ruined much of the infrastructure of the area. Many of the beaches that we might have visited were off-limits while the communities recovered, but fortunately there were, of course, plenty of beautiful areas left to explore.

Such as Anini Beach! This was a great snorkeling spot, and Syd did snorkel a little, but her favorite thing was to paddle around with her boogie board and the goggles and flippers that came with her snorkel set. This, by the way, was something that Snorkel Bob specifically warned against because it's so easy to loose your goggles that way, so you'll be simply shocked to learn that Syd now owes her grandfather 40 bucks for that exact thing that will happen in a few days. Sigh...

She may, indeed, have gotten her forty bucks' worth on those goggles, though. The kid was barely out of the water during our entire vacation.

Will also snorkeled some, but HER favorite activity is to grub around in the sand:

Matt snorkeled plenty!

These good snorkel spots are made so by coral reefs that protect them from the biggest waves, and Will loved picking up every piece of coral that washed ashore, examining it, and holding it out for approval:

A longing for shave ice is the only thing that eventually drove us away from Anini Beach. We wanted to explore the beaches at Hanelei Bay, and fortunately, it turns out that's where the best shave ice on Kauai lives!

It's also the most expensive shave ice on Kauai, but hey, the organic combos are totally worth a few meals of Pizza Rolls when you're back in Indiana.

This one is the Sunset:

And this is my glorious Caffeine Monkey!

And this is our glorious view while we ate:

Tummies comfy with shave ice, we spent the rest of the afternoon at Waioli Beach Park on Hanalei Bay. This place was made for the kids' boogie boards!

Look at that kid's face. I think she likes her boogie board!

Here's the kind of activity that you probably shouldn't be doing in a pair of expensive goggles rented from Snorkel Bob, sigh...

It's barely even a spoiler alert to tell you that she is for SURE going to lose those goggles in about three days:

But what a lovely view for it!

Will, again, found a favorite spot to grub:

I love catching that look on her face, the smile that she always has when she's hoping that whatever she's doing is mischievous and you'll hate it. Yes, Child, I'm soooooo irritated that you're sitting next to me in paradise, hanging out with me and burying my legs in comfy, warm sand:

Yeah, I think both kids were big fans of this beach:

Back at the resort late that afternoon, everyone all rinsed off and dried and napped out for a bit, I convinced the kids to take another walk with me. We walked around the resort a bit--check out the magical rainbow eucalyptus!--

--but primarily I'd had my eye on a trail marked in my guidebooks, and one that I could see the trailhead for from our balcony: Turtle Cave. The guidebooks claimed it was pretty rugged, but it was the only way down from the cliffs to the ocean, so I just wanted to check it out.

And by check it out, I mean that I sent Syd down it--and I mean DOWN, because the trail was basically a straight climb down from the trailhead, clinging to any roots one could find. Syd traversed it pretty well, but reported that she eventually came to another sheer cliff and so turned around and hauled herself back up to us.

But I still wanted a better view--and, you know, turtles!--so I forced the kids to instead hike along a trail that continued along the top of the cliffs and went onto the property of the next resort over. Other people were occasionally walking along it, and I wanted to see what the view was like from next door!

The verdict? Gorgeous!

At the point where I took this photo, the kids and I were standing on a bluff in the middle of the other resort, next to a sign that warned us that the couple of lovely lounge chairs that were sitting there looking out onto the ocean were ONLY for the residents of Buildings #1-#7.

I mean, dang, resort next door! Do you tell people before they register that if they stay in the wrong building that they won't be allowed to sit in some of the chairs?

So the kids and I are standing there, Syd covered in red dirt, sightseeing/trespassing, when all of a sudden a total strange woman, drink in her hand, totally accosts me! And not just in a "Hey, how are you?" kind of way, but she was totally like, "Did you just get here? What building are you staying in?"

I was all, um, sure, we just got here. When asked what building I was staying in, I sort of pointed, sort of in the direction of other buildings in their resort/some buildings in my actual resort.

Then she asked, "What room number are you?"


I should have told her that I wasn't comfortable giving out my room number, because I mean who DOES that?!?, but also I was like what is going on, is this old lady the police, does she know that I'm trespassing, oh my gawd me and the kids are going to jail, so I was just, like, "322."

And THEN she said, I kid you not, "322? That doesn't sound right. What building did you say you're in?"

Honestly, if I hadn't had the kids with me I would have just bolted at that point, but instead I did my pointy thing again, and this time the lady was all, "Over there?" and pointed at my actual resort, and I was all, "Hmm, yeah, that one looks right," and she was all, "Oh, that's another resort, that's not this property at all," and I was all, "Oh, hmm, really? How strange that I didn't notice, jet lag, out for a lovely walk, just got here, isn't it lovely?"

I guess the lady didn't care a ton that we were trespassing, but the inquisition continued, and you guys, I COULD NOT ESCAPE. Like, every excuse I tried to make, the conversation just would not end! She wanted to know what I had planned to do, I sort of non-answered, she judged me for not planning anything so then I had to say something so I mentioned the Na Pali Coast boat tour we were doing the next day, she grilled me about what company we were using, I didn't know because the grandparents booked it but I was sure as hell not mentioning anyone else in this conversation so I said I didn't know and she judged me and told me that the tour was going to be terrible because we were departing from the south side of the island and not the north, then she told me a bunch of other things we had to go see, then she asked me what else we were going to do and I was all, "Um, snorkeling?" and THEN SHE TOLD ME THAT HER PARENTS' ASHES ARE IN TURTLE CAVE.

Fun fact: Syd had not wanted to go on this hike into the neighboring resort at all. She'd tired herself out all over again on that Turtle Cave climb, and gotten absolutely covered in red dirt, to boot, so she needed another shower, and the last thing she'd wanted to do was go trespass around. So as we were finally booking it back to our own resort, after the lady finally left us to go refill her drink or something and we escaped, hissing at each other to "walk faster!" and "don't look back!", I remembered that if Syd had had her way, we wouldn't have come at all, and what had instead transpired had been one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. I mentioned this to Will, and she, too, could think of instances in which she'd gone against Syd's wishes and sometime later found life, itself, conspiring against her happiness and well-being.

And that's how we discovered that if you cross Syd, she will get fate, itself, to revenge her.

Kauai Day #1: Kilauea Lighthouse, 'Anini Beach, and a Spectacular Sunset
Kauai Day #2: Shave Ice, Sugarcane Ditches, and Strangers Dispensing Good Advice about Rum

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