Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 16, 2014

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.


  • 1.
    Michelle t. said…

    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

  • 2.
    P.J. said…

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

  • 3.
    Debbie said…

    Looks absolutely beautiful

  • 4.
    Cathy Zielske said…

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

  • 5.
    laura g. said…

    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!

  • 6.
    Megan said…

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

  • 7.
    Ann E. Ford said…

    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. ;) @*

  • 8.
    Denise said…

    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.

  • 9.
    Jenny A said…

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

  • 10.
    J3SS1C4 said…

    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! :)

  • 11.
    Susan Ringler said…

    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.

  • 12.
    Karina K said…

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

  • 13.
    J Allen said…

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

  • 14.
    Marge G. said…

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

  • 15.
    Maggie said…

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

  • 16.
    Nadine said…

    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!

  • 17.
    Patti L said…

    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.

  • 18.
    Cynthia H said…

    Cute bathing suit!

  • 19.
    young said…

    Love Hawaii! So glad you had a relaxing break.

  • 20.
    SarahJane said…

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

  • 21.
    Leslie S. said…

    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.

  • 22.
    Amberca said…

    Totally Awesome!

  • 23.
    Aline said…

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

  • 24.
    Tara Elias said…

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  • 25.
    amy s said…

    thanks for sharing. :)

  • 26.
    Kim B. said…

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

  • 27.
    Betsy said…

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

  • 28.
    Brooke said…

    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).

    • ….
      Ali said…

      My Grandparents originally purchased 6 weeks of time. When they passed away they transferred two weeks to each of their sons (my Dad and his two brothers). All my uncles and their families have visited over the years – not very often at the same time. My Aunt & Uncle don’t live there – they just happened to be vacationing there at the same time. There’s a fee they all paid each year and could also then buy more time from the other owner’s (or from each other as well) if they didn’t plan to use their time for a particular year.

    • ….
      Brooke said…


  • 29.
    Darcie said…

    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!

  • 30.
    Leanne in CA said…

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

  • 31.
    Krista said…

    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!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks Krista!

  • 32.
    Anthea said…

    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.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks for still coming back!

  • 33.
    Brenda said…

    Congrats looks like an amazing place!

  • 34.
    Angela Daly said…

    You two are a good looking couple !

  • 35.
    cindy b said…

    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. :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I like that about him too. He took about twice as many as I did on this trip.

    • ….
      dawny dee said…

      in the picture of you and aaron your hair is swirling on top of your head in the form of a halo. how lovely.

  • 36.
    Sue Smith said…

    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.

  • 37.
    Desiree said…

    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!

  • 38.
    Kathleen M Smith said…

    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.

  • 39.
    Laura said…

    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.

  • 40.
    {vicki} said…

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

    That last picture of you is my fave!

  • 41.
    Mary R said…

    you said “to honeymoon” – did I miss something? lovely photos as always Ali.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      It’s where Chris and I honeymooned. No new honeymoon to talk about :) .

  • 42.
    Carrie said…

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

  • 43.
    Pam Abbott said…

    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.

  • 44.
    Lisa W. said…

    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!

  • 45.
    Cheryl SD said…

    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!

  • 46.
    Michelle said…

    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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