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Spring Break 2014 | Kauai Photos & Words

AE_Kauai_Moki

Written at 8:48am on a Saturday morning (3/22/14) on the island of Kauai:

We arrived on Friday afternoon and were greeted by my Aunt Gaye and my Uncle Bill in a traditional lei greeting at the airport. They wanted to do what my Grandma Marie had always done when family was arriving on the island.

My family has been coming to Kauai on and off for four generations stretching from my grandparents Marie and Neil to my children Anna and Simon.

We come to relax. To warm up. To soak it in. To honeymoon. To be alone. To recover. To forgive. To renew. To be together. To celebrate.

My grandparents acquired a timeshare at the Mokihana of Kauai over 40 years ago. I first came here with my Mom and Grandma when I was a child probably around age 8-10 (need to look that up). Since then I’ve returned five more times (again with my Mom and Grandma when I was in high school, on my honeymoon with Chris, with a group of friends, with my kids and my parents after Christmas in December 2012/January 2013).

And now with Aaron.

This will be the last visit to the Mokihana as it’s been sold to new owners and the timeshare my Grandparents first started is ending. It probably won't be my last trip to Kauai.

I feel very much at home here. For the last few years my parents have come for multiple weeks (usually a month or so I think). They lounge and drive around and go to farmer's markets and make friends with their neighbors and make delicious fruity drinks.

It’s a modest little place. Single room. Two twin beds that lovers push together to make one larger bed. Small kitchenette. No tv (except in a community room or if you bring one along – my parents ending up purchasing one on their longer stays and stored it in a storage locker). Minimal internet access. Small dining table with three chairs. Two plastic chairs and a small plastic table on the balcony. There’s a drawer unit and shelf for your clothes and other essentials.

Our shelf is currently holding my camera and a bottle of rum and a bottle of vodka, two boxes of cereal, a container of salted peanuts, a bag of tortilla chips, and a loaf of Dave’s bread.

Everyday at 5pm someone in the complex blows into a conch shell to announce the beginning of happy hour.

We sleep with the sliding door open and are lulled to sleep by the sound of the ever-present trade winds in Kapaa. Morning is signaled by the really, really loud roosters. It’s not always sunny here and rain is usually a part of the day. The rain makes it very lush and green and most days feature a mix of sun and rain. Always partly cloudy or partly sunny, depending on your perspective.

This island is etched into so many crevices of my mind and heart.

I remember going on a whale watching boat trip along the NaPali coast when I came with my Mom one time. I sat near the front of the boat and experienced that really expressive laughter and joy explode out of me as we rode the waves and the boat crashed down on top of them.

On my last trip here, with my kids, I won’t ever forget watching Simon’s determination to body board. He had joy spilling out of him when he was able to ride a wave.

This time the trip was really about relaxation and being on our own together. The pace was wonderfully slow. I loved being able to have drinks and dinner with my Aunt and Uncle and toast my Grandparents and this wonderful gift they passed on to our family. I loved driving around the island and listening to music and eating at little roadside places and talking and listening and growing.

Here's a look at our adventure in photos:

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Thanks Grandma & Grandpa for picking this place and for sharing it with your family.

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55 thoughts

  1. Michelle t. says…
    04/16/2014

    It's a beautiful legacy. I'm sure you'll carry that with you always. It's wonderful to have a little place that stays with you. Beautiful writing and lovely photos. Enjoyed your reflections. Michelle t

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. P.J. says…
    04/16/2014

    Beautiful place with beautiful memories. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Debbie says…
    04/16/2014

    Looks absolutely beautiful

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Cathy Zielske says…
    04/16/2014

    Man, there is some adventure that runs through your genes. Really lovely writing, Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. laura g. says…
    04/16/2014

    thanks for sharing!! I was in Hawaii for about a week my junior year in high school, with my Mom, and this brings back lots of memories...it's been a 'few' years...my older brother was R&R from Vietnam and couldn't leave the island to come to the states...my Mom was more excited about seeing my brother than seeing Honolulu...and it was the other way around for me!! (he came home safely from Vietnam a few months later) your kids are so lucky to be able to go there with family and experience the beauty of Hawaii!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Megan says…
    04/16/2014

    What an awesome thing to experience! I hope I can travel to Hawaii some time soon!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Ann E. Ford says…
    04/16/2014

    When you mentioned that your grandparents had acquired the timeshare 40 years ago, it go me thinking about life 40 years ago--I was 9. Thanks for that. ;) @*

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Denise says…
    04/16/2014

    i love Hawaii and love that you have had so many great adventures there. so happy that you have found aaron...can i just say he is super hot!!! lol you make such a beautiful couple.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Jenny A says…
    04/16/2014

    Beautiful! Love your pictures - you look so happy :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. J3SS1C4 says…
    04/16/2014

    This is so awesome that you've had your own little holiday getaway in the family for so long! You're trip looks amazing! I would love to go to Hawaii! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Susan Ringler says…
    04/16/2014

    You and Stacy Julian remain at the top of the storytelling goddess list. You both just know how to share life so well. Your gifts are going to be such "Gifts" for generations of your families. Always a pleasure.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Karina K says…
    04/16/2014

    Such a great read!! And it makes me miss hawaii even more!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. J Allen says…
    04/16/2014

    Ali, I must say on the totally superficial side, you can really pick a good looking man!!!!!! lol

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Marge G. says…
    04/16/2014

    How lovely for you - I'm SO jealous!!! BTW, loved The Paris Wife. Enjoy!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Maggie says…
    04/16/2014

    LOVE this intimate peek into such a special tradition. I love reading everything you write, but this really moved me.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Nadine says…
    04/16/2014

    Beautiful account of your vacation, Ali. So happy you and Aaron had time to relax and be together. Loved the simplicity and peacefulness you guys enjoyed.

    My husband and I purchased time shares in Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach 12 years. I was kicking and screaming and didn't want to do it! We now go on two great vacations a year with our three girls and have created tons of memories. They've been to HHI, MB, Williamsburg, Orlando, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, New Jersey, Las Vegas, Savannah, Charleston, and more.

    We're going on a big 3 week vacation this summer and will be spending a week in Park City, Utah. I am promising myself I am going to scrapbook this trip as we go!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Patti L says…
    04/16/2014

    Great photos...I love Hawaii. I love the mix of sun & rain bcz it's not like rain anywhere else. It's refreshing rain.

    Totally can relate in looking back on things in life that you do with different people...makes for quite the reflection. Always learning & growing. Good good.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Cynthia H says…
    04/16/2014

    Cute bathing suit!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. young says…
    04/16/2014

    Love Hawaii! So glad you had a relaxing break.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. SarahJane says…
    04/16/2014

    Ali, you make me want to take up ADVENTURE as a hobby! Looks INCREDIBLE! It's on my Bucket List... for someday!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Leslie S. says…
    04/16/2014

    My parents lived on Maui for 20 years before they passed away. I have been there at least 15 times and I have never found a more relaxing place on earth than Hawaii. It is where I truly unwind and disconnect from my normal busy life. Glad you had a great time.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Amberca says…
    04/16/2014

    Totally Awesome!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Aline says…
    04/16/2014

    Ali i am a Great Fan...i just read your Book Artist Life and i am very much inspired! Greetings from Germany

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Tara Elias says…
    04/16/2014

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. amy s says…
    04/16/2014

    thanks for sharing. :)

    Reply 0 Replies

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