Filed under: family fun, travel | Tags: beach, family adventures, Hawaii, Kauai, Shipwreck Beach, swimming pool
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!
Filed under: family fun, kids, life, travel | Tags: family adventures, family fun, fire drill, Hawaii, Kauai, travel
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.
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 year 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.
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…
Filed under: family fun | Tags: adventure, explore, family, family adventures, family fun, family hikes, Geocaching, geochaching, get outside, GPS coordinates, hidden treasures, ideas, kids, nature walks
As a family, we often get out and explore nature: family hikes, biking the trails, beach-combing, or, my personal favourite, our vacation pyjama walks.
Now we can add geocaching to our list of family adventures.
Yesterday, we set off for the first time and found several hidden treasures close to home. The boys were keen – even in the rain. Normally if we walk to the park and there aren’t any friends around to play with or it starts to rain, they would complain! Or if I say, “lets go for a walk” they ask “where?” But not this time.
What is Geocaching?
According to Geocaching.com “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.”
How to get started?
This is the best part. All you need is your GPS-enabled cell phone* and a free membership plus the free app! Start with the map, follow the GPS plus any clues and search until you find the hidden item. We found 4 that were within a 5 block radius of our house!
What will you find?
This is the fun part! With a little effort, you should find a hidden or camouflaged, waterproof container known as the “cache.” Inside you will find a “log” or notepad/piece of paper and (hopefully) a pen or pencil to record your name and the date.
Sometimes, you’ll come across little treasures; you can trade these, so be sure to pack a few small items with you that you can leave behind for the next person to discover (good etiquette suggests they be of equal or greater value). Some great ideas for the kids are mini erasers, small toys, glowsticks, bouncy balls etc. (Avoid non-perishables that might get slimy or rotten if they get wet.)
- wear comfortable shoes
- bring a pen, just in case
- pack a snack & water
- take a camera
If you’re super keen, you could also pack a plastic bag and some tongs to clean up any litter you find en route!
Have a look at the map and see what’s nearby. My boys and I were thrilled to see lots in our immediate area, but even more excited to see that they are EVERYWHERE! Any time we go camping, skiing, hiking or even just visiting friends and family, we now have another reason to get out and explore.