Spring Break 2014 | Kauai Photos & Words


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:




























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

48 thoughts

  1. Tara Elias

    2014-04-16 14:35:02 -0400

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  2. amy s

    2014-04-16 15:08:56 -0400

    thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Kim B.

    2014-04-16 15:33:50 -0400

    Seriously . . . . So magical. Thanks for sharing that beauty.

  4. Betsy

    2014-04-16 16:06:49 -0400

    So glad you enjoy our lovely island. Aloha from Hanalei!

  5. Brooke

    2014-04-16 17:02:59 -0400

    Such a lovely gift. You have spoken about your family timeshare before and I remember thinking then what an amazing gift it is. So much so that it's the kind of thing I'd like to leave for my family (hopefully I've got a while to go, I'm 33).

    My parents had a farm when I was in uni, it was about 1.5 hours drive away from their house in the city. One of those stressful times when I needed a break I ventured there all by myself. It was scary because it was isolated and I was very probably sharing the house with a snake but it was an amazing place to just be, and so very refreshing and recharging.

    Does the timeshare work for your family so far away from home because your Aunt and Uncle live there? Was it left to several people? (after a few hints on how to make it happen).

  6. Darcie

    2014-04-16 17:25:30 -0400

    I've never been to Hawaii, but have always wanted to go. Your story and the pictures make me want to go sooner rather than later. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Leanne in CA

    2014-04-16 17:51:39 -0400

    Absolutely love this! Looks so nice and relaxing. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Krista

    2014-04-16 17:55:51 -0400

    It sounds like you've found a wonderful person to share your adventures with and share special places like this one. I am so happy for you. Congrats on making memories in a special place with a new, special person. Also, girl, you are smokin! Just had to be said!

  9. Anthea

    2014-04-16 20:01:52 -0400

    Hi Ali,
    Haven't commented for a while. I guess I'been following other people etc but still come back to my first inspiration.
    Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this. I have a small piece of bliss owned by my family in the hills of the Sunshine Coast here in Australia where my family finds their piece and which I share with my children. We are also close to the sea but value our rain forest surroundings and are awaken by rosters and cows. It's where my family is grounded. Thanks for awakening the gratitude within me for these special places.

  10. Brenda

    2014-04-16 20:17:34 -0400

    Congrats looks like an amazing place!

  11. Angela Daly

    2014-04-16 21:47:53 -0400

    You two are a good looking couple !

  12. cindy b

    2014-04-16 21:50:31 -0400

    Thanks so much for sharing Ali! I love the picture where your hair is sticking up.. LOL! Also, the fact that your sweetie takes lots of pictures of you is very, very cool. :)

  13. Sue Smith

    2014-04-16 21:57:57 -0400

    What a wonderful story. Hawaii is my favourite place, the smell of flowers when you step off the plane, the moisture in the air softening your skin, the friendly people...hard not to like.

  14. Desiree

    2014-04-16 22:48:08 -0400

    You are truly blessed. What a wonderful gift from your family. I also want to mention as a side note, I have really found comfort in reading about your divorce and the emotions you have experienced. Like you, I have a son and daughter and am currently going through a divorce. I'm so glad to see that you have "survived" it and seemingly a stronger individual. How fantastic that you have found someone to share your wonderful experiences and memories with. Gives me hope!

  15. Kathleen M Smith

    2014-04-17 00:56:51 -0400

    What a wonderful experience! The one thing out of all those gorgeous photos that stood out is the white coffee cup. It's a Corelle original from the 60's. Looks like it has the gold flowers on the side. My parents had that exact set at their vacation home in Florida. Funny little detail I rarely see any more.

  16. Laura

    2014-04-17 07:20:48 -0400

    My husband planned a wonderful 2 week trip to Maui, Kauai and Oahu 10 years ago (YIKES) with our then 13, 16 & 19 year old kids. Such an amazing place, so magical and diverse. The very best was snorkeling and out of some silent, mystical place giant sea turtles, honus, gliding past us. So spiritual. I felt immediately blessed with the experience. My son brought his wife back for their honeymoon 3 years ago so he could share it with her. Must go back.

  17. {vicki}

    2014-04-17 10:37:31 -0400

    Sounds like a wonderful trip. Maybe someday I'll get to go to Hawaii???

    That last picture of you is my fave!

  18. Mary R

    2014-04-17 10:38:00 -0400

    you said "to honeymoon" - did I miss something? lovely photos as always Ali.

  19. Carrie

    2014-04-17 11:56:02 -0400

    What a special place indeed. I am thankful to be a part of one of your memories there.

  20. Pam Abbott

    2014-04-17 12:43:22 -0400

    Love this post! So happy you are able to enjoy Kauai. Such a wonderfully slow island. On our trip home I told Todd one of the reasons why I love Kauai the best is that it has the right balance of everything. Looks like you were able to relax and enjoy the entire island.

  21. Lisa W.

    2014-04-17 22:48:56 -0400

    This IS awesome...ahhhhhhhhhh...I can feel the love. This had to of been a GREAT trip. I'm sad that it's sold, just a magical place!

  22. Cheryl SD

    2014-04-18 02:51:57 -0400

    What a wonderful family legacy and family memories! Kauai is such a beautiful island. I really enjoy how you share the meaningful (and everyday) events of your life. Great pictures!

  23. Michelle

    2014-04-18 09:53:23 -0400

    Oh gosh 'end of eras' make me tear up....thank you always for sharing personal insights and the emotions you experience telling your stories.... and awesome photography by both of you.

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