Kauai Day 1 – Exploring our Neighbourhood
March 19, 2016, 2:31 pm
Filed under: family fun, travel | Tags: , , , , ,

So what do you do at 6:30am as the adrenaline rush wears off and you’re jet-lagged with two kids? You go out for a walk, of course. Armed with hoodies against the morning chill and coffee (tea for me), we strolled out of our condo and followed the path toward the ocean.

Along the way, we passed the pool (you need a key to get in, but our climber found a way around that, of course!). We were impressed by the variety of tropical flowers. After following the boardwalk along Shipwreck Beach, we strolled down and put our feet in the sand as the sun came up and peeked out from behind some clouds.

With a taste of the ocean waves, we strolled past the Hyatt’s lovely lagoon and gardens, back to our condo to get our swimmers on and went for a dip in the pool. We had the place to ourselves and enjoyed the cool water, warm sun and some trees to climb (of course!).

The call of the ocean was strong so we wandered back to the beach to jump waves and play in the water. The red flags were flying high at Shipwreck Beach; did you know that red flags “warn swimmers of serious hazards in the water… means that the surf is high or there are dangerous currents, or both”? We stayed safely at the edge in the sandy surf and then explored the Hyatt’s saltwater lagoon before indulging in some afternoon snacks.

Then it was happy hour, so I put the cameras away!


Family Fun in Kauai, Hawaii – Arrival
March 18, 2016, 10:53 pm
Filed under: family fun, kids, life, travel | Tags: , , , , ,

After our successful family trip to Belize last year, my husband went ahead and booked our family for two weeks in Hawaii.  I must admit, two weeks away was a daunting idea … I love to travel and enjoy new adventures, but the thought of being cooped up with the boys in a small condo without any friends to play with (for the kids or us!) was a little less than appealing.  But everyone assured me that we would have a great time and I figured I could squeeze in a little running and swimming, maybe some tennis and hopefully find some time to do some watercolour painting.  Plus, I have only been to Hawaii once so why not?

I packed our bags (too many bags) and we departed for Kauai late Saturday afternoon.  (Thanks Bubby, for giving us a lift).  Our direct flight was on time and, in spite of the airline’s wifi system being out of commission, the boys were entertained with books, a downloaded movie, snacks and a little bit of video game time.

I even managed to read a magazine, but as I pulled out my laptop to sort through my photos, the little guy complained that he felt dizzy.  “No, no, you’re just tired because it’s past bedtime,” I assure him.  He tried to get comfortable and I hoped he would nap, but then he sat up and coughed.  Quickly, I grabbed the little white, waxy bag in the seat back pocket in front of me; desperately hoping he wasn’t going to puke.

And he did.

Three times.

Thank you to my husband for clearing the aisle so we could get to the bathroom for the second round.  And thank you to the mom of two teenage boys in the row ahead of us for passing me another bag for the third round at our seats.  Once the excitement passed, my little guy finally fell asleep with his head in my hand.  Who knew that a 7 yIMG_3447ear old boy’s head could weigh so much?

(Not to be outdone by his brother, my older son got in on the action and complained profusely that his legs hurt and he couldn’t get comfortable.  Thankfully his discomfort was short-lived.)  We finally arrived at our destination in Lihue on the island of Kauai, collected our luggage, shuttled to the rental car, drove to our accommodations and settled down to sleep sometime after midnight.

The real excitement began at 5:30am when my husband woke me up and told me to get the kids dressed because there was a fire outside our condo!   Flames were reaching high enough to see from our second floor bedroom and the toxic stench of burning plastic and metal wafted through our open windows.

All of those school fire drills paid off; the boys were all business.  They got dressed, grabbed their stuffies and calmly walked outside.  We hopped in our rental car and drove a short distance away from the fire that was burning below their bedroom window!  The local fire department showed up and doused the flames of what was once a golf cart.

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You can see from the photos how much damage this small vehicle fire caused; singed foliage, burned and cracked pavement.  We were thankful that it wasn’t our rental car damaged by the fire.  Unfortunately, the rush of adrenaline prevented us from going back to sleep so our first day started off very early!

Stay tuned for photos taken while exploring our neighbourhood…


Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

While on vacation with my family last weekend, I managed to take another 200+ photos over four days.  Most of them are of my kids & husband, but many are photos of nature, animals, the sky, and other shots that I like to have as reminders of what we saw and did while away at the Ranch.

This weekly challenge was a perfect theme as I was trying to capture the various colors in the stormy skies.

Caught it before the rain began to fall!

Daily Prompt: The Natural World

I was inspired by todays daily prompt: The Natural World.

It was easy to find photos I had taken that show nature in its various forms: beaches, trees, sunrise and sunset, but I was most excited to see so many photos that include my boys exploring nature.

Although they are “city kids”, we do plenty of  beach combing, hiking, and paddling to discover treasures.  My favorite excursions are the pajama walks we take early in the morning while on vacation.

Where are your favorite places to explore nature?

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

I love these weekly photo challenges.  Have a look at the world through my eyes.  Where does your eye go?


My personal Tour de France 2011
July 19, 2011, 2:29 pm
Filed under: cycling, family, fitness, ideas, life, running, travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

I love watching “The Tour” (as we refer to it in our house).  The excitement, the competition, the scenery, and the tension.  Before my husband and I were married, I knew little about the Tour de France – it’s a bike race in France, right?  But in 2004, while eloping in Italy, I was stuck in a road block caused by the Giro D’Italia passing through a quaint hillside Tuscan village.  And a Tour de France fan was born.  

This is the 98th year of the Tour and over a 3 week period the best road cyclists in the world will cover a total distance of 3,430.5 kms (roughly 2132 miles).  Can you think of any physical activity that you could maintain day after day for 3 weeks?  You can actually watch them get leaner as the weeks go on.   Having run several marathons, I cannot imagine going out again the next day, and the next again to do it all over again!  

So, you’re asking yourself now, what kind of personal Tour de France have I embarked on?  No, I’m not getting keen in to road cycling – in fact, I was on my mountain bike last week with my 4 1/2-year-old son for the first time since he was in my belly!

I have decided to celebrate the Tour by sampling French wines!  Yes, while they race toward Paris enduring blood, sweat, and tears, I am going to sip French wine with my husband while watching the most recent PVR’d stage. 

It’s not easy staying on top of this race.  Each day there are at least 4 hours of footage to get through and I have two kids and a limited ability to stay awake past 9pm. But I’m addicted.  And I’m trying some new wines.  Does it get any better? 

Sadly, I didn’t make any tasting notes on the bottles we’ve tried (that would distract me from watching the race), but I did jot down their names and can say that I enjoyed each one. 

Paul Mas Estate, Syrah Viognier, Nicole Vineyard 2008

Croix du Mayne Cahors, Eleve en fut de chene, 2008

Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Cuvee les deux Papis, 2006, Alex Gambal

Les Costes, Nobles Terres, Cotes Du Rhone, 2008

By the way, here’s the link to the Tour website in case you are interested:

There is a lot to learn and I’m still pausing the race to ask questions (or top up  my glass), but I highly recommend recording the early morning version with Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen as commentators – they are great!


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