Tuesday, September 4, 2012


A month ago, Chris and I were lucky enough to be in Hawaii staying at a condo on the north shore of Kauai without our children (Thanks Dixie and James!) We were celebrating our victory over cancer and our 8th anniversary. Chris brother, Thom and his wife, Brittany joined us for 7 of the 8 days. 

A couple of days before we left we finally had finished up all the other trips and get-togethers of our big month long vacation that we could really anticipate and prepare for our time away. We even managed to get ready little surprises for the kids to open each day we were gone.

The flights were fine (no kids...how could it NOT be fine?). We shared a rental car with Thom and Brittany and since all their normal cars were packed in tight in the back lot they decided to upgrade us for free:

We felt pretty special until we passed about 10 other convertibles just like ours within the first 10 min of our hour drive up to the North Shore; however, we still enjoyed having. I loved the warm wind and being able to look up into the stars at night while we drove (it got dark so early!... by 8:00pm).

We stayed at a place called The Cliffs in Princeville and thoroughly enjoyed their hot tub and pools, tennis courts (I totally beat Chris!), grassy cliffs over the ocean, and really nice condo.

We woke up around 5 pretty consistently due to the time change and got out early to try and spot some sunrises the first two mornings.  We snorkeled a bit too in the calm early waters. 



We did some fun hikes. Our first full day we found lots of energy to do a fairly difficult 5 mile hike along the Na Pali coast. Around 80% of Kauai is inaccessible by roads and that 5 mile hike took us to a beach you can only hike or boat to.


On Saturday we rented body boards and visited beaches including this one where there was an annual Tahitian Dance Festival so for $5 we got to see local kids (from 2-18yrs) perform and a professional exhibition group. It was awesome! Plus they had local vendors selling food and we ate some of the best kalua pork I've ever had.

Sunday we attended a local branch and enjoyed Fast and Testimony meeting. There was this cool biker guy that bore his testimony and we saw him riding around on his high handlebar bike throughout the week. Brittany and I got to sit together in Relief Society and were asked to say the opening and closing prayers. We had joked earlier about playing it cool about our names being the same and we had the best conversation with a member of the Relief Society Presidency:

Lady - "What are your names? Sister..."
Me - "Archibald"
Brittany - "I'm also Sister Archibald"
Lady - "Well, how about that!"
Me - "yeah, we married brothers..."
Lady - "Oh, really? *laugh laugh laugh* that is wonderful... You know, they did that all the time in the scriptures...Well, I better get your first names so I don't mix you up."
Brittany - "My name is Brittany"
Me to Brittany - "Maybe we should spell that for her"
Lady - "oh I'm sure I got it wrong, but its ok, I'll be able to know.....and yours?"
Me - "My name is also Brittney."
Lady - *big eyes* "What? really? *laugh laugh laugh* Well, they really did that in the scriptures, sisters marrying brothers and all that."
Me - "no, we're not sisters by blood, we just married brothers..."
Lady - *still laughing and writing something down on her paper* "yeah, it happened all the time in the scriptures, you know Nephi and his brothers married Ishmael's daughters."

And she walked away. I'm still not exactly sure what she was thinking.

We went for separate walks after naps and making dinner, taking pictures of the flowers and sunset while we walked. Chris and I ran into Ben Stiller. Literally. We saw him and a couple of other people on some paddle boards and then they beached their boards and walked RIGHT by us on the pathway. Ben didn't look up or anything but everyone else in his party smiled and one of them said, "Hi."  True story.


Monday we woke up super early to drive the 90 minutes around the island to meet our boat Captain and group for a 5 hour boat tour along the Na Pali Coast. We had to hang on for dear life as the little pontoon raft flew over the rough waves. As we were the youngest of the group, he put us in the front where we were literally 10-15 feet above the water at times.  The boat was small enough to go in sea caves and enclosures and then anchored for a bit for us to snorkel in the reef before eating lunch and hanging on for dear life on the way back to port.  We saw spinner dolphins and sea turtles. The dolphins were SOO close and loved swimming by the boat and the baby ones were just bigger than footballs, jumping over the water.

 We were too tired after the boat tour to do some of the hikes I wanted to do in the "Little Grand Canyon"  part of the Island. But the road goes right up to some really good lookouts. It was crazy to see beaches from an aerial view that we, just a few hours previous, had seen from water level.


We did find more energy (maybe from the deliciously sweet Shave Ice) to visit Po'ipu and some cool things there like these interesting blow holes called Spouting Horn (one made some low whistling noise) and an awesome back-to-back beach.  We snorkeled on both sides of the beach and thought it would be easiest to crawl across the spit of sand separating them instead of walk all weird with flippers on. I'm not sure it was easier but it was pretty fun.


Another hike we did on Brittany and Thom's last day and it was inland in the jungle. It took us to a waterfall that some local kids were jumping into.


We also drove to some more look out points where you could see some waterfalls.

 On our last day, Chris and I rented a double kayak and paddled up the Hanalei River. 

 Then we had lunch at a Taco Truck, (SOOO YUMMY) and made our way down to the south coast again for dinner at a nice restaurant. Without Thom and Brittany there, we didn't end up getting a picture but here are some of the other restaurant we ate at during our trip.  One thing I didn't expect was how much I'd love the food. I'm usually not a big sea food person, at all, but I LOVED all the fish I ate: Opah, Mahi Mahi, and I can't remember the others. 

We had such a nice time. We loved snorkeling together - staying close in the water to keep warm and share fish encounters.  We loved making meals at the condo and eating them on the lanai, and waking up on our own, NOT by our kids. We loved being with family who are also such good friends! We loved new adventures and being submersed in so much gorgeous nature. We just loved being together, healthy and happy. Thanks go to Grandma and Grandpa Dixie who made this allllllllllll possible.



Nicole Smith said...

This makes me sooooo happy! Many more happy anniverseries to come!

dixie said...

This makes me sooooo happy too! And I love thinking about all the wonderful times we had with your three yummy kids. I'm so glad we could do this.

MandaMommy said...

You guys look SOOOOOO happy!! (Okay, reading at those previous comments, I'm seeing some sort of theme here...) And that looks likes a LOT LOT LOT of fun. I'm so glad you guys got to do that!

MandaMommy said...

um...I mean looking at not reading at

Katie B. said...

Ok - that all sounds fun and I want to do it and the pictures are gorgeous, but mostly:

BABY dolphins?! That's the cutest thing I've ever heard!!!

LML said...

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-):-)
I love that you had such a wonderful time....makes me happy for you....!


Anonymous said...

Looks like a wonderful time! <3