Friday, September 04, 2009

summer summary, parte dos

since i am one of those terrible people that tends to skip through the recaps of other people's vacations, i will spare you all the details. no travelogue here! not only do i not have the energy (as sorting through the 1200+ pictures was draining enough), but i just don't care (which means you care even less!) what day we did what. all i care about is that this was absolutely one of the best trips i've ever been on.

and so, that is what i care to record.
KAUAI 2009, mendioroz family vacation
i love to travel. everything about it. from anticipating and packing to the hustle and bustle of the airport - the hotels, the food, i love it all. there is something so rich and liberating about immersing yourself in another world, even if for a short time. i feel very blessed that my parents have always seen the value in a good family vacation. i think some of my most vivid memories of my family are set in a cramped little car in some foreign country or playing cards until the late hours of the night on a cruise ship. it seems like through these trips we get the opportunity to get to know one another as friends instead of just family. and i love that.
sure, family trips aren't always perfect. there is sure to be some drama - someone is cranky, someone is sunburnt, someone wants to relax while someone else wants to be adventurous. but in the end, the smiles and laughter always outweigh any grumbles along the way.
when my parents set out to plan another trip, i was both really excited and really reluctant at the same time. sure, we want to go to Hawaii! but, with 2 little kids? that makes things a little more complicated. would i still love traveling as much as i had before i had to bring along diapers and bottles and toys and had to worry about naptimes and snacks and diaper rashes? but, having every intention of someday being able to show my kids the world like my parents have shown me , we jumped at the opportunity to spend a week in paradise with my family.
and. it.was.heaven.
here is why:

1) can you say g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s??!?!!
i have been to oahu and maui before, but kauai is a different world. i was absolutely smitten from day one and i fell more and more in love with th e island each day. there was something beautifully breathtaking around every corner and we could not get enough of it.
since clint just finished a nature photography cours e and had borrowed his dad's amazing camera for the trip, he was on cloud 9 with some of the most picturesque spots in the world. clint had never been to hawaii, and i pretty much told him he hit the jackpot on the first shot. kauai is completely stunning.

2) the island life
one of my favorite things about this trip was that we never really felt like tourists. sometimes you go on trips and there are a million people everywhere y ou go and swarms of cameras, and it just takes away the charm a little bit. but in princeville it just felt like i was one of the islanders. it is such a quaint town with the real old hawaii feel that made me want to never leave. really, i think i said a hundred times "let's just stay" or "can we live here?"
add to that the awesome time share location with the perfect amenities for our bunch and we really felt at home.

3) the company
though we've been married 4 1/2 years, clint and i have not been able to travel much. between penny pinching, school, and babies- we just don't get out much. so, it was a real treat to be in such an amazing place with my amazing man. i was excited to see his reaction to this side of the world and was even more excited that he was as taken with it as i was. that means we'll be back. right, babe?

i loved even more to be able to have my little ones there with me. sure, a vacation with kids isn't exactly a vacation. there are still diapers to change and mouths to feed, tantrums and middle of the night wake-ups and laundry, etc. but these little boys were in heaven.
owen could have been a local. the boy was black after the first day and i don't know if he ever really dried off the whole time. he just wanted water, water, sand, water, and more sand and water 24 hours a day. and lucky us, there was plenty of it to go around.
henry, good little henry, was a dream. always happy and smiley, content to be wherever we decided to venture- and so excited to spend time with my family - he was just so easy. and really, could he get any cuter?

and the rest of the fam? the cherry on top.
i almost get sick when i think of how much i miss being so close to them all. (don't get me started!) so, it was so much fun to watch them with my kids and to have some much needed family bonding time. i absolutely loved watching owen run to my parents squealing with delight every time he spotted them like he was seeing them for the first time in years. i loved watching miq's kids with mine and wished the cousins lived closer. i loved seeing owen get attached to my brother and realize that "unk t" and "auntie e" are pretty cool. i am so grateful we had this time to spend together!

ok. can we go back now?

if you ever go to kauai, be sure not to miss:
puka dogs (yummy, yummy island style hotdogs)
the na pali coast (by zodiac boat - bring your dramamine!)
ke e beach (great snorkeling)
hanalei bay and pier (beautiful views, kayaking and paddleboarding)
lappert's ice cream (the best in the world. i'm not joking.)
the lighthouse bistro (mmm... macadamian crusted chicken and bananas foster. need i say more?)
*** post edit*** Jessy reminded me... Bubba's burgers (must try the teryaki burger with pineapple. mmmm...)


Mique (as in Mickey) said...

After reading and looking at the pics, I take Amy's stance-
I'm sad and a little pissed off that you don't live closer. I wish wish wish I could be the auntie that was fun and could spoil and love on your boys. But it's hard from far away. And I want/need my sister.
Love you.

Melissa said...

Ha, ha. Does that mean you haven't read my blog this summer?? It was a total travel-blog! :D Love your pics. We loved Kauai although there was extreme cloud cover the day we went to the Na'pali coast. Bummer. So glad you had fun! Beautiful place + family = heaven. ;)

PDCScarbroughpage said...

Kauai??? Seriously jealous. I have never even been to Hawaii, but I've been planning my trip to Kauai for years! We will definately be going sometime in the next...errr 5 years? Glad you had fun - ABSOUTELY BEAUTIFUL- the place and your kids!

Mom said...

I think it's unanimous- we had a great trip! For many reasons! Thanks for indulging Dad and I. Should we plan on a repeat in say 5 years?

Madsen Family said...

Kauai is my favorite place EVER. It is gorgeous, but I can't believe you never ate at "Bubba's" where they "relish your buns". That was my favorite little dive. And I ate so much I got sick. Oh, just seeing your pictures makes me JEALOUS! I'm glad you had such a good time.

jess said...

I did eat at Bubba's!! Their teryaki burger is the best. mmmm. I forgot to add that one... thanks!:)

Emily said...

Jealous! Yes, very jealous!