School's out and we traveled to Hawaii last week to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary for my in-laws and do some serious relaxing. We also surfed, snorkeled, hiked, swam, kayaked, and played endless rounds of Go Fish, on top of some long, uninterrupted nights of sleep. Below are a few pics and highlights. All in all, it was a wonderful family gathering and a slice of thank-my-lucky-stars-heaven!
Here are our kids and their cousins racing/chasing their grandparents (in the distance) to their favorite swimming spot on the North Shore of Oahu. Every afternoon several huge green sea turtles would beach themselves here for their late day nap, while others swam around us in the surf. The beaches on this stretch of coastline also have some of the biggest and most famous (and scary) waves in the world during the winter, but in the summer they are a placid swimmer's paradise.
The mountain landscapes on the rainy side of the island are Amazonian in their lushness. But Hawaii is so "new" and remote, the jungle is almost totally devoid of many of the animals and insects you typically find in the tropics. I am not a fan of snakes or biting insects, so I like this.
This Clare Vivier canvas tote summed up my mood over vacation and happily accommodated all our gear, from sunscreen to sarongs to a growing shell and rock collection carefully curated by my kids.
We reigned over the deserted beach in our backyard from dawn to dusk.
We also hiked up to Waimea Falls for a dip in its pool. If it looks like the set of Lost (to which I was addicted), it's because it is--the show was shot here. Fortunately, we had more food than the Survivors, but we also struggled in vain to crack and eat/drink a coconut until our friendly neighbor, a local, taught us how.
Speaking of food, the best meal of the trip took place at Cafe Hale'iwa, where this painted fish welcomed us. The kale salad is off the charts, and though they don't sell wine, you can buy yours in the adjoining Bonzer Front, the only wine store I have ever been too that also sells surfboards. And the wine is good. And they sell clothes. I was both thrilled (as the retail establishment that can please both me and my husband is a rare find) and puzzled, until my husband explained that behind the Bonzer Front, is the Campbell family whose various entrepreneurial achievements include the invention 40 years ago of the Bonzer (surfboard), viewed by surf aficionados as one of the greatest design breakthroughs in the history of the sport.
We spent one night in Waikiki (above), so my kids and I could surf the beginner-friendly seemingly endless waves. It was barrels of fun, since I actually do enjoy surfing, just not shopping for surfboards, in case there was any confusion.
Me in my vacation uniform. In this case, it's a Turkish-inspired kaftan that I gave to my best friend and decided to take back. She was OK with it...