August 24, 2017: Hawaii Adventure!

I was kind of awake this morning when Robby thought that he heard a knock on the door. I jumped up and looked but no one was there. After checking my phone, we discovered that it was a tad too early for knockers since it was still 6:45. We had a few more minutes to rest before it was time to wake up and get Keaton ready for breakfast.

She had opted to go with Nonna and Pops to breakfast at the nicer dining room. Everyone, but Campbell, went with them. They had to leave a bit before we did so after getting her ready, Robby and I got ourselves ready and then I did a bit of organizing for our day trip and started to stuff one suitcase full of dirty clothes. I was so organized getting here-all 7 of the suitcases that I packed-but coming home will be a different story. I will end up just shoving stuff in the suitcases.

Campbell, Whitman, Robby and I went to breakfast at the buffet. We found enough to eat though It think that I am getting a bit sour with the breakfast buffet. I have enjoyed the eggs benedict though tomorrow I might just try an omelet (I don’t think I have ever had one.)

Robby and Pops left to get the cars before 9 and at 9, I led the group off the boat to the terminal to wait on the cars. They soon arrived and we all climbed in and headed towards Waimea Canyon.

Our first stop along the way was the Kauai Coffee Plantation. There were plenty of samples for Nonna, Pops and Jason to try out. The kids depleted Jason and Pops of all of their change when they found a coin smasher. Everyone left with smashed coins that said Aloha or Kauai. Then we walked along the self guided tour. It was pretty interesting-the coffee beans grow inside of a cluster of fruit that they call cherries. They are ready when they are red. I picked one and most of the fruit is filled with the bean. I assumed that the cherry would smell coffee-ish but instead it smelled sweet like fruit. It was also very sticky and when I licked my fingers it tasted delicious (not like coffee at all.)

After the coffee plantation, we headed up the hill to Waimea Canyon. It wasn’t too long of a drive until we reached the top of the canyon. Waimea Canyon is often called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Anderson said that it was prettier than the Grand Canyon because instead of all of the browns, it is full of bright red dirt along with lush green plants.
On the way to the top of the Canyon, we stopped at one place. Out of the red dirt came a waterfall flowing. It was pretty steep but the kids enjoyed climbing on it. The only problem about this was the red dirt was everywhere. I am sure that it will prove difficult to wash out of their clothes but surely it is nothing that some oxyclean can’t handle!

We stopped at two different overlooks when we were on the top of the Canyon. You could see helicopters inside of the canyon flying folks around for a close up view. There was also a beautiful waterfall that you could see in the distance.

There was a booth at the top of the overlook set up. We did buy some sugar cane and pineapple. Robby tried to get all of the kids to try the sugar cane before handing them the pineapple. My little two rarely will try anything new. I have tried sugar cane now and I can say that I don’t have to try it again. I am just not really big on sucking on a piece of wood.

On the way back down the canyon, Graham got a bit carsick and had to stop briefly. He was in Pops’ car and we weren’t too sure when we had lost them. They eventually showed back up and we found a spot to pull over. As in true Hawaii fashion, the spot that we parked was on the ocean and it was absolutely breathtaking. Soon he was feeling better so I shoved him in my car and we were off.

From that stop, we just had a bit longer until I jumped out of the car. We had spotted the Kauai Kookie company so I ran in to pick up a snack for the cars. It was really just a warehouse with a back-room gift shop. They had some pretty fancy cookies but I did find some for both cars. I passed them out and soon we were all back in the road.

We didn’t have too far to go until our next stop. It was a swinging bridge over a river. Graham was a bit skittish of it but it was fun and the long old bridge didn’t collapse. After our walk across the bridge, we went through another gift shop-this time is a was the Aloha Spice Company. We didn’t buy anything there even though Whitman quickly walked me to the ice cream freezer.

Our drive took us through a beautiful tree tunnel on our way to see Spouting Horn. This blow hole was much more impressive than the one we had seen on Oahu. I tell you Kauai is my favorite island. It has the beautiful beaches along with the lush green mountains right nearby. So if my family picks up a moves, it will probably be to Kauai.

Just a mile or two down the road through the resort area was a beach called Shipwreck Beach. It was an absolutely beautiful beach with huge crashing blue waves. We let everyone put their feet in and of course my boys left with wet shorts. But who could blame them from wanting to get in that gorgeous water?

As we were washing off our feet, Whitman was quick to turn on the top shower sprayer and take a shower so he also joined the boys in being soaking for the ride back to the boat. It was just about 15 minutes back to the boat and we drove back through the tree tunnel again.

Now on the way through the tree tunnel, we saw a hat laying on the road. We could even tell that the hat said Kauai. The kids begged us to stop but there was no way to turn around on the crazy road. Now this time on the way back through the tree tunnel that silly hat was still there. We made a u-turn and Robby drove slowly as I jumped out of the car and grabbed the hat. Anderson was quick to suggest different people that we could give the hat to as a souvenir but currently it is sitting atop my head.

It was just a short haul back to the boat. I parked Pops’ car while he went inside with the rest of the crew. By the time that Robby and I were back to our room, Reagan had already dressed Whitman in his nice clothes and was heading back to get herself ready (Sometimes they just amaze me.) Pops took one load of kids upstairs to grab a bite to eat since we hadn’t had lunch. A bit later, Robby took another group. Graham has been a bit funny today because every time he leaves us to take a shower, run to get some cereal, drop something off in his room, etc. he shouts, “Don’t leave me.” He is kidding but I am afraid that the boy has a complex!

We loaded up and pulled out again around 4:45. We drove a bit and stopped at a waterfall that is famous for being on Treasure Island. Afterwards, we hightailed it to the luau. We didn’t do the luau from the boat but did Smith Family Luau. We had lots of fun and would highly recommend it.

The grounds were absolutely gorgeous and as we arrived we were given shell leis. Then we walked towards the imu pit. The kids had a perfect spot as they uncovered the pig. I wasn’t able to get a picture of Keaton’s disgusted looking face when she realized that they were digging up our supper. I am pretty sure that she did not have any of the pork tonight. Then we headed on to the dining area.

They had plenty of drinks and the kids quickly found area to get cokes-they have been a bit deprived this week. As Graham was going to get his second drink, I told him to pick up a fruit punch on the way back. They had fruit punch just sitting out. Graham looked at me and asked, “does it have alcohol in it?” I guess the boy thinks I would tell him to grab an alcoholic drink!

Soon the luau food was ready-they had a wide assortment of food. Whitman’s favorite was the fried rice. It was very good but most of his rice ended up on top of him and on the floor. As I was walking with him later in the night, I put my hand in my pocket and told him that I had rice in my pocket from him. He was quick to tell me that he also had rice in his pockets and it was yummy.

Everyone ate until they were stuffed and then we headed to the luau ceremony. It was bleacher type seating but Graham and Campbell found a spot on the grass. Soon I joined them with Whitman. I had been trying to get Keaton to sit with them but she did not want to sit on the grass. Once I was over there, she hopped in my lap. After a while with her and Whitman on my lap, I just stretched my dress out as far as I could so she would have something to sit on.

Our favorite part of the luau were parts where there was fire. Whitman was about to go to sleep but he quickly stirred when the fire throwing and swinging happened. When the luau was over, we walked down the beautiful sidewalk towards our cars. They had lanterns lit and it was perfect weather.

The ride back to the boat wasn’t long so we dropped everyone off and Robby and I went to look for parking spots. There weren’t too many but we did find some. We had walked about a block or two when Robby remembered that his wallet was in the car. He thought about leaving it in there but decided that we should go back and get it.

By the time we made it back to the room, the boys were already in their beds with their pajamas on (someone listened to me!) The girls were showering and when we made it to the room, we threw on Keaton and Whitman’s pajamas and they were soon sound asleep even though Robby and I were still talking.
Tomorrow is our last full day on the boat but it will be an early morning!

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