July 20-31, 2105
7/20 – Monday
After almost a year of planning our big summer vacation to Hawaii with our good friends the Losher’s, it almost didn’t happen. The night before we were supposed to go, Susan’s Mom, Nancy checked in the hospital with a life threatening issue. She is currently battling cancer and the chemo was causing fluid to build around her heart. Susan rushed to Tyler in the middle of the night and the kids and I followed in the morning. After spending the day in the hospital, it appeared Nancy would be OK. It was still tough to leave, but she and Mitch encouraged us to go. We left the hospital with just enough time to go home, grab our bags and head to the airport. At the airport, the plane was oversold. We were offered what amounted to $2,000 in vouchers to fly out the next morning. It was hard to turn down, but since we were bringing bags, it would have been a tight connection to make our flight in Vegas. We opted to keep our original plans. In Las Vegas, we taxi’d to the Venetian. I got this room on points when they were running a 1/2 price deal. Susan and the kids went to bed. I went out and played some slots and poker for a few hours.
7/21 – Tuesday
The next morning, Susan and Trey went to a Minute Clinic because they were both sick. Natalie wanted to sleep. I went to the pools and tested out every pool and hot tub. We later did some walking and met up at Serendipity for breakfast. We then had just enough time to go back to the hotel and take a taxi to the airport. We flew to Seattle and when we got off the plane, the Losher family was waiting for us. We all went to eat at the main food court area at the airport. We then went to board our plan to Kauai. Greg was in first class and the rest of us were bunched together in coach. The flight was around 6 hours. We landed in Kauai at 9pm, it was a long day, and not over yet. At the plane, I had arranged for leis for all the ladies. This was the Loshers first trip to Hawaii, so we had to do leis. The girls gathered all the bags and the men went to get rental cars. Since I am Executive with National, we got to pick our cars. We got matching Ford Escape SUVS. When we picked the girls and kids up, the bags barely fit. We had some adrenaline, so we stopped at Walmart dropped $400 on groceries, boogie boards, chairs and beach toys. Next, we drove to Princeville to our rental house. Upon arrival, we carried in all the bags and groceries and crashed for the night after our long day.
7/22 – Wednesday
We all got up early because of the 5 hour time difference. Greg, Maddox, Trey and I took a bike ride around our neighborhood and parts of the golf course. It was overcast and cool and beautiful. I’d forgotten how much I love Kauai, but would be reminded daily. When we returned, the ladies were ready for a walk. Susan, Stacey, Greg and I walked to the St. Regis and took in the views and hung out a while. It rained pretty hard while we were there. We let the rain die down and then went back to the house. We go ready and and loaded up in the cars to do some exploring. We stopped at the Kilahue Lighthouse, the fruit stand for pineapple, Duanes Ono Charburger for lunch and the Ono Shave Ice for our first shave ice of the trip. The traffic in Kapaa was horrible. We ended up at Lydgate park for our first beach and it was horrible too. The beaches were closed due to debris and waves. Even the protected swimming area at Lygate was muddy and had lots of debris. We stayed less than an hour and drove back to the North Shore. We drove past Annini beach, but decided to go to Hanalie. That was a good call because Hanelie was great and the Loshers said, why would we got to any other beach. I think they were hooked like we are. We stayed for a few hours and got some good boogie boarding in. At home that night, Susan made chicken squares (blobs). We made time to go see the sunset at the overlook and we went to bed early. We never really fully adjusted to the timezone.
7/23 – Thursday
We woke up slowly and loaded up to spend the morning at Hanalie. We were there for a little over an hour and then the boys left to play golf. The girls stayed at the beach. We played Kauai Lagoons in Lihue. We didn’t have time to stop to eat, so we grabbed hot dogs at the course. The course was nice with some beautiful holes. It also had some holes right along the airport runway, which was cool to see planes landing. The Losher’s beat the Newhouse’s by a few strokes, but we still had fun. I did have to make a quick run to Walmart to buy some golfballs. The girls left Hanalie and did some shopping, ate at Paco’s Tacos, and went to Hilo Hatties. We all met at the airport to meet Madison. I’m so glad she was able to join us. We gave her a happy welcome and then went to at Dukes. Dukes is on the beach close to the cruise port and some resorts. They have a more expensive upstairs and a burger type restaurant at the bottom. We ate at the more upscale place. They had a really good salad bar and we all got steak or fish. We finished it off with some Hula Pie. It was as good as we remembered. After dinner, we lounged around at the Marriot beach as it turned dark.
We had breakfast at Village Bakery in Hanalie. This is my spot where I took Trey for breakfast every morning on our first trip when he was a baby. We had called ahead and ordered malasadas. We also got a Musubi (spam and rice wrapped in seaweed) to try. We then drove to the end of the road to hike the Napali Coast. We stopped at the dry cave at walked on Tunnels beach before driving on. It was a hike just to get to the trail after we finally found parking. We were there later than I wanted. The hike was gorgeous and strenuous. We had a nice rest stop for snack at the beach. Trey, Greg and Maddox went for a swim, then we turned around to head back. Everyone made it just fine, but we were are pretty tired. The adults would be sore for next few days, but we were so glad we did it. We drove straight back to Hanalie and had a late lunch at Tropical Taco. Then we went to Hanalie beach for some R & R. The kids played in the sand and buried Trey and made Mary Cate a mermaid. We topped it off with our first stop, of many, at Shave Ice Paradice. That night, we watched the sunset, from the Princeville Golf Course. After the sunset, we got kicked off by a worker telling us that people have to pay to be at that spot for the sunset.
7/25 – Saturday
Our first stop of the day was a visit to the Hanalie Farmers Market. We got to sample lots of fruit and ended up buys some pineapple, mango and avocados. We also purchased tickets to a luau later that night. After the market, we went to Hanalie bay for some good boogie boarding and beach time. I talked to a guy who let us borrow a surfboard. Some of the kids tried it without a lot of success. Susan had a nice wipeout just sitting on the board. When we’d had enough sun and surfing injuries, we left the beach and ate at Bubbas burgers. We washed that down with some Shave Ice Paradise. That night, we went to a luau put on by the locals to benefit the Hanalie Canoe Club. The food was OK, and the show was good. They did a lot of the traditional dances and had a fire dancer. We got eaten up with mosquitoes.
7/26 – Sunday
Sunday morning we went to church at the beautiful little green church in Hanalie. They sang Hawaiian and traditional church songs. The church was 75% visitors. It lasted about an hour and was a neat experience. After church, we bought some snacks at Big Save and then drove to Ke’e beach. This was our best snorkeling of the trip. We saw lots of colorful fish and everyone had a turn. I love this beach for the snorkeling and the views of the Napoli coast. We went for a walk on the beach and it started pouring. We decided to pick up and leave. Back to Hanalie, we split up for lunch. I ate at L&L Hawaiian BBQ (not great), the moms and kids at at Pinks for grilled cheese and Greg and Madison ate at somewhere I don’t remember. We browsed some of the shops and then shave ice at Wishing Well. That night, Susan and I went to the store and then stopped for the sunset. It was the best one yet.
7/27 – Monday
We got a late start to the day then hiked down to Queensbath. The start of the hike was just 2-3 houses down from our place. Trey stayed at the house because he still wasn’t feeling well. We had a great time at Queensbath and saw lots of sea turtles. We all went for a swim and snorkel. Greg, Maddox and even Mary Cate jumped from a high rock into the bath. We returned and got cleaned up. The boys played golf at Princeville and the girls went shopping in Kapaa. The Princeville course is beautiful with lot’s of ocean holes. The wind was stiff. Trey didn’t feel good at all, but hung with us. The girls saw us on their way back from shopping and stopped to watch us tee off on the turn. The Newhouse’s blew a 2 stroke lead on the final hole and the game ended in a tie. After golf, we went to the Princeville shopping center for Lapperts Ice Cream and some pizza from the gas station. That night, Susan, Natalie and I walked to the overlook for the sunset.
We spent the morning at Hanalie. The bay was really calm. We played lots of ball in the water. For lunch, we had Tropical Tacos again. We then had to settle something once and for all, which was the best Shave Ice on the island. We bought Shave Ice Paradise and a JoJo’s shave ice and we all compared. Shave Ice Paradise was the clear winner. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a dummy. That night, we dressed for pictures at Hanalie Pier. We didn’t hire a professional, but used Susan’s nice camera. The evening was perfect. There is something about Hanalie at dusk. We finished the night off with dinner at Hanalie Gourmet for some good burgers.
7/29 – Wednesday
We had been monitoring the situation with Nanny all day, every day. We awoke with news that made Susan want to come home, so we changed her flight to go home that night. The boys played golf at Poipu Bay. Another beautiful course. This time the Newhouse’s were victorious. I played on, courageously, after a pulled muscle in my arm. Trey was finally starting to feel better and he is starting to play really well. The girls stayed back and packed and met us at Dukes again. This time we ate at the lower restaurant. The perfect send off for Susan was some more Hula Pie. Susan said goodbye to the Losher family. We had a little time to kill before Susan’s late flight out so we went to Walmart and bought a few souvenirs. Susan was flying first class, via LA, so I didn’t feel too bad about the long trip she had ahead of her.
7/30 – Thursday
This was our last day in Hawaii. We’d be flying out late that night, so we wanted to make the most of it. Trey and I went to Queen’s Bath, early, since he missed it the first time. The only other time he was here, he was a baby. We were some of the only ones there. He and I both jumped off the rock so he could tell Greg. After swimming for about an hour, we walked around exploring the rocky area, then back to the house. We cleaned the house, packed and loaded the cars, then I made everyone get one last look at the bluff. We could see lots of sea turtles and all the people at Queen’s Bath. Greg kicked our cheap football off the cliff and we left. We loaded the cars and drove down to Hanalie for lunch. I had Tropical Taco, again, and some of the group got Bubba’s. I was able to Facetime with Susan as she had made it to Nanny’s house. The Losher’s bought one last shave ice from Shave Ice Paradice to payoff the golf bet that Trey and I won. We left Hanalie and drove to Waimea Canyon, stopping along the way to see waterfalls. The drive was much better than I remembered and so was the canyon. I had Trey, Natalie, McKenzie and Mary Cate, in my car. We had lots of fun singing and talking. Greg hit a golf ball into the canyon, after a few tries. After the canyon, we drove to Poipu, so I could show the Losher’s that area. On the way, we drove through the tree canopy. At Poipu beach, we saw a sea turtle and the sunset. It really was beatiful, but very crowded. It was getting close to time to leave, so we stopped in one of the Poipu shopping center and had some dinner at a place called Tropical Burger. It wasn’t that great. I did buy some Bannana bread in one of the stores to take back to Susan and Nanny. After that, we went to the airport. Greg and Madison were flying home together via LAX. Stacey and I and the kids flew together via Seattle. I was in first class and Stacey sat in the back with the kids. I had an mentaly unstable guy sitting by me, so it made the overnight flight very interesting. In Seattle, we said goodbye to the Losher’s as they had more time between flights and went into Seattle. The kids and I went to the Alaska Boardroom and got pancakes from the machine and then went to the Centurian Lounge. The flight home was smooth. Natalie was in First Class and I enjoyed hearing about her experience. Back in Dallas, Susan picked us up at the airport.