That One Time We Escaped to Kauai

Once upon a time, two young parents (who still like to call themselves young parents even though now they are just regular aged parents) made a really smart decision and escaped to Kauai without children for an entire week.

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I can’t even explain to you guys the treat this was. When Danny and I got married, we were barely 20, had no money (we were both students and he was a merchandiser) and had a baby. Our honeymoon was a long weekend trip to Portland a few months after the wedding and consisted of the zoo and friend visits with baby Maria in tow. After that we added to the family every 2 years and didn’t have time to take a week away from any of them because of school or work or other things. But we both knew that with baby Franci coming in a couple months, it was now or never. Maybe not never, but now or what will seem like forever.

We chose ‘now.’

And it just so happened that our friends Christian

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and Tara

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were taking a little vacay to the same exact place at the same exact time. Wow, what a strange coincidence. Just kidding, we are total copy cats.

We stayed at the St. Regis which will most likely be the swankiest place I will ever stay for the remainder of my life on this earth. I couldn’t believe the view we woke up to each morning.

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(that’s our room view…”mountain view” because we didn’t want to pay an ungodly amount for an ocean view. Oops, we totally saw the ocean, too. those suckers.)

On the beach in front of the hotel, looking out into the ocean.

On the beach in front of the hotel, looking out into the ocean.

Looking from the hotel beach back at the hotel.

Looking from the hotel beach back at the hotel.

Looking out from the back of the pool area towards the ocean.

Looking out from the back of the pool area towards the ocean.

Dan and I did some fun things — things we wouldn’t be able to do if the kittens were with us.

We kayaked.

Dan surfed.

We explored caves.

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We checked out beaches on the side of the road that would have required lots of life jackets and bags and towels if kids were with us. But it was just Franci, so it was incredibly easy.

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This is my 28 week picture. She is growing like crazy.

This is my 28 week picture. She is growing like crazy.

And, you guys, we hiked.

Hike might be a little bit of a strong word for Queen’s Bath, but to a girl who isn’t a hiker and who is 7 months pregnant, it was definitely a hike. If you are ever in Kauai, you have to check this spot out. It was absolutely incredible.

The entrance to Queen's Bath is in Princeville, off a residential area. I didn't expect it.

The entrance to Queen’s Bath is in Princeville, off a residential area. I didn’t expect it.

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There was a stream running down with random waterfalls here and there.

There was a stream running down with random waterfalls here and there.

This waterfall was just on the side of the trail about 1/2 way down. No big deal.

This waterfall was just on the side of the trail about 1/2 way down. No big deal.

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Did you guys know Dan is sponsored by Quiksilver?...

Did you guys know Dan is sponsored by Quiksilver?…

Who doesn't love a good ocean belly pic?

Who doesn’t love a good ocean belly pic?

To get to the actual pool, you had to walk across some sketchy rocks. Sketchy for me at least.

To get to the actual pool, you had to walk across some sketchy rocks. Sketchy for me at least.

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We ate some really good food at some really grown up places.

Best waffle ever at Hanalei Roasters…a cafe in town.

Best waffle ever at Hanalei Roasters…a cafe in town.

You can't beat Puka Dog

You can’t beat Puka Dog

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No, but honestly, we ate some realllllly good food.

The Tavern served this delicious burger with deep fried bacon on it. Tara and I couldn’t resist.

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Baracuda is a tapas restaurant and had some of the best food of the trip.

Kauai Grill I’d rank as the best meal…because I’m basically a food critic — we had the tasting menu and each and every course was amazing. Oh, and this view didn’t suck:

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The Beach House had a ridiculous view with okay food…but worth it 100% for the view.

Dan ate so much sushi and poke…

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and drank so much booze.

we had a legit liquor cabinet in our hotel room. So many mai tais.

we had a legit liquor cabinet in our hotel room. So many mai tais.

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Foodland booze run.

Foodland booze run.

Just a little cheers with our pals.

Just a little cheers with our pals.

But most of our time was spent poolside/oceanside. Relaxing. When was the last time we were able to sit for longer than 30 minutes?! I don’t even know.

Aside from the pals, I knew no one in Kauai. Which means I wore a bikini. What a sight.

Aside from the pals, I knew no one in Kauai. Which means I wore a bikini. What a sight.

Fruit skewers.

Fruit skewers.

My new pal that dropped from the umbrella.

My new pal that dropped from the umbrella.

Oh, we went to a luau, too, of course.

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And my Aunt who has spent some time on the island thought I should maybe get some spa time in. And she treated me to the most relaxing day I’ve ever had.

Anara Spa in the Grand Hyatt…wow.

Anara Spa in the Grand Hyatt…wow.

Fun fact about Kauai — there are a million wild chickens.

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If I took a picture of every chicken we saw, I wouldn’t have enough room on my camera for other pictures. Honestly. The girl at the surf shop told us it was because

(a) a hurricane a few years back destroyed all the coops on the island so they got out and just started breeding like crazy (okay, believable)

and

(b) there aren’t a lot of streets there for cars to kill them off (we both laughed at that one)

But then a more reliable source told us that they all now have worms so no one wants to hunt and catch them because they’d be good for nothing, so they just leave them be. I’m not going to lie, it is kinda of awesome. There are some really beautiful chickens.

At the end of our week, we were ready to come home.

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My parents were troopers with the kids (they unexpectedly got the kids a little earlier than they had expected, which was Friday…they got them Tuesday…so they had the most unrelaxing week of their lives) and they even did our laundry. NO KID LAUNDRY TO DO!!! My friend Liz had Maria over every single week day and even for a dinner one night. Life saver. Dawn had every single one of my kids except for Jamie at different times during the week and never once indicated things were any less than perfect. Who is she?!

We missed the kids like crazy. I’m with them every single day. Every morning, every night. To go a whole week without seeing them was so hard!

Jamie does not appreciate being photographed.

Jamie does not appreciate being photographed.

But I see why couples get away. I understand how and why they leave their kids for a relaxing vacation. I forgot what it was like to just be me and Danny. To only be concerned about the other person and whether they are having fun, doing okay, need anything, etc. It’s good to spend time just with each other…and with friends. It definitely won’t be a yearly thing (unless you’re interested in donating to a “Go Fund Me” vacation fund…..) but I can see us getting away every few years or so.

Oh, and I’ve also promised myself that I will not take my kids to a very nice hotel or resort that doesn’t advertise being a kid-friendly or family one. Why? Because I now understand how badly some parents need to just be away from tiny voices. I used to never think this way. I was the one who thought those adults were just snooty and rude. But nope, now I know.

Aloha!

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2 thoughts on “That One Time We Escaped to Kauai

  1. Marlene Stellmon

    We walkled around your hotel and imagined what it would be like to stay there. Of course , John and Donna did once. It is nott only good for you to get away from the children on occasion but good for your marriage as well Good job

    Reply

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