Our first full day on Kauai! We woke up early to the most beautiful view! We are staying in a condo on the North side of the island at a place called Hanalei Bay Resort in Princeville. It overlooks Hanalei Bay which must be a famous view; it is truly breathtaking. Chickens were crowing (they are EVERYWHERE on the island) so they helped us rise early. Michael had some conference calls to take this morning so while he was working (boo) Dan and I walked down past the St. Regis Hotel toward the beach. We had it all to ourselves except for an adorable family of four having their pictures taken in the exceptional morning sun. It was nice take a leisurely walk with my son. No cell phones, no agenda, no worries, no school, no place to be, no need to rush. It’s not like we talked about anything serious; we literally just chatted about the scenery and walked along the shore while he dipped his toes in the water and searched for crabs along the way. I did my best to savor this time with him.
I anticipate having a few more opportunities to connect with both of my kids individually during the month. That is because we recognized long ago that we have to do things a bit differently on our family vacations. While Casey is really an amazing traveler for someone with Down Syndrome, she still can’t quite do all the things a typical 13 year old can do. She gets motion sick pretty easily and can’t seem to handle walking long distances. (We even had her hip checked out earlier this year at Scottish Rite because she would complain of pain after walking about a mile or two. Her hip was fine but her IT Bands were very tight so we spent a few months doing exercises and stretches to get her loosened up.) Of course, when you travel to Hawaii, half of all the fun things to do involve driving around on two lane windy roads and water. Some things Casey just can’t (or won’t) do. So, in order to make sure we all get a chance to do the things we want to do, we knew would have to split up the family once in a while. But so far, that has worked out great. I think everyone has had a great time so far. It has allowed us to go a bit of a slower pace as well (which suits me just fine!) And our times together as a family of four have been just wonderful.
Like today, after a leisurely morning, the four of us drove through Hanalei and had some delicious baja tacos at the Tropical Taco on our way to Ke’e Beach; the farthest point on the North side of the island. It was full of windy roads and even several one lane bridges. (Casey has found that special bracelets for motion-sickness really help on drives like this one.) But we made it to the end and found a beautiful beach with fabulous snorkeling. It was worth the drive. Additionally, the Manini-Holo Dry Cave, with a Shave Ice stand conveniently placed across the street, was also a fabulous place to stop. We were gone for about 4 hours total and by the time we got back, I’ll just say that Casey was ready for some down time (aka iPad time!)
We did get back out one more time for dinner tonight to a great Italian spot here in the Princeville resort area. Hideaways had delicious pizza and pasta. I thought at one point our waitress Andrea was going to sit down at the table with us. She was adorable and couldn’t stop asking us about our extended trip. Meanwhile, we wondered if Andrea had spiked Casey’s drink because she was ON FIRE tonight. Lots of dance moves and quotes from a few of the dozens of movies she has memorized, this girl was especially funny this evening. Her best line tonight? “Hey guys, the Down Syndrome kid has an idea!” Yes, she does. She always does!