06.10.2016

Kauai Recap

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

Hawaii has always been a special place for me. I was fortunate enough to spend many family vacations there growing up, and celebrated my one year wedding anniversary with TJ in the islands as well. It only made sense that Harper’s first “big” trip would be there as well. This trip was actually conceived before Harper was even born. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon by my parent’s pool and we were all chatting about how much fun our last trip, as a family, was to Oahu. By the end of the day, a date had been picked, a hotel booked, and plane flights on hold. The thought of having a little one in tow, and the impact that might have, was only a small little thought in my mind.

Seven months later, it was time to get ready to go…. and those small little thoughts I had months ago, were now at the forefront of my mind. How was I going to work in naps and feedings and enjoyment and relaxation? How different would this trip be from trips past? 6 hours, on a flight with a 5 month old?… how the heck was that going to look? I knew I couldn’t really prepare for those variables, as the only way to get the answers would be to go through with it all, and learn as we go. I promised myself I would be flexible, and take it all as it came. With the exception of a small rough 40 minutes on the flight, Harper did amazing. She slept, nursed, played (well laughed in our laps and smiled at anyone and everyone who walked up to her), and bounced back between me, TJ, my sister, mom, and dad.

For me, the most challenging part was the napping and nursing. I spoke about it briefly here, but it took some adjusting. I learned to be flexible and got better about asking for help. I was with a village of people, so the responsibility did not rest solely with me. The thing is though, everyone wanted to help. From taking Harper up for her evening catnap so TJ and I could enjoy some time by ourselves, to taking her for a morning walk so Allison and I could get in a workout on the beach… everyone contributed. Would I say it was as relaxing as trips past? No. Was that okay, to be expected? Of course. It’s how our life is changing, it’s how it is evolving, and to move with it, instead of against it, actually creates a more fulfilling life. I can’t wait to show Harper these photos some day… as it was a trip I will never forget, and one she will never remember (and I mean that in the most loving way!).

I’ve been asked about a few of my favorite spots, so I’ll share some here. When we go to Hawaii, we typically stay at a Marriott time share in Poipu (that is, when we go to Kauai) so that we have access to larger rooms, kitchens, and bar-b-ques. We make a Costco run for the week, and pick up items for eating and drinking (you know… wine, champagne, beer… oh, and water too) and spend most of the evenings not rushing around to get ready, but relaxing and bbqing. We take the mentality that tropical vacations have “NA” days- No Agenda. It’s what we have found works for us! We stayed in Poipu, and if the weather had been a little sunnier would have ventured over to Princeville for the day. So, all my recommendations are Poipu based.

That being said, we for sure had our favorites from this trip:

Pizzetta: I was craving pizza for some reason, and this pizza was delicious. They have gluten free options, and a relatively robust menu. I highly recommend it.

Dolphin Sushi: What better place to have fresh sushi than in Hawaii, right? They weren’t the friendliest people, but the sushi was amazing. So many different rolls to choose from and it was all incredibly fresh and tasty.

Brennecke’s: This was within walking distance of our hotel, so it was a great option for lunch, and cocktails. They also have a deli downstairs if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, and the beach across from it has beautiful views. The kalua pork tacos are absolutely delicious.

Kalapaki Joe’s: Another delicious taco spot… not the most glamorous, but for good tacos, I don’t mind at all. I opted for the fresh fish tacos and they were spot on.

Living Foods Market: We went here daily. Either for breakfast, or for a poke bowl at lunch. See more below.

The Fresh Shave: You. Must. Go. Here. The best fresh shave ice and the cutest concept. See all my photos below.

Kauai Grand Hyatt: The best Mai Tai. If you like that kind of thing.

The Beach House: Excellent views for catching a sunset!

Koloa Fish Market: The last couple of times we have been to Hawaii we have purchased all of our fresh fish to BBQ here. The fish is whatever they catch that morning, so you can rest assured it is incredibly fresh (they also have poke). They open at 10am, and if you want the best selection you should be there at 9:55am. They also only take cash, just an FYI.

Rum Fire: Another great spot for a Mai Tai (again, if that’s your thing) and spectacular sunset views.

poipu beach, itsy bitsy indulgences

poipu guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {Poncho, Hat, Harper’s Coverup, Harper’s Suit, Harper’s Sunnies}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {Love this little sign}

itsy bitsy indulgences {She loved falling asleep on Nana after splashing in the pool}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {Happy hour mai tais, blue hawaiis, pina coladas….}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {Shorts | Suit | Sandals | Tote}

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kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {We loved walking to pick up fish tacos (or kalua pork tacos) almost daily}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {We walked to Living Foods Market almost daily for breakfast and sometimes lunch. They have an amazing juice bar with acai bowls, as well as mouthwatering lemon ricotta pancakes… and a breakfast pizza (oh, and they have french toast too….). Their poke bowls are incredibly fresh, and we opted for those a couple days of the week for lunch. They also carried the Kauai Juice Co. Kombucha. It was some of the best I have ever tasted (literally). I’m hoping they can ship me some! My favorite flavor was the blood orange.}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {Hawaii is known for its shave ice… and The Fresh Shave is shave ice elevated. It’s this small food truck that moves between several different spots on Kauai (check out their locations). They have gourmet flavor options… think chai tea, cookies and cream, acai. It’s some serious deliciousness and I wished we had been able to go back another time!}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {On my list was catching a sunrise. We drove out to some rocks that overlook Shipwreck Beach in Poipu and it did not disappoint. We saw a gorgeous sunrise, a whale that was breeching, and enjoyed just being together. If you get the chance, do this! We left Harper in my parent’s room so that we could sneak out at 5:15am. Coverup}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

itsy bitsy indulgences, kauai guide

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

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kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {One of my favorite evenings was when TJ and I took a bottle of champagne down to the beach to watch the sunset (Harper stayed up a little past her bedtime here)… it was a tradition we used to do when it was just the two of us and we couldn’t let it pass this time around. This particular evening’s sunset was absolutely spectacular and it was a moment I will always remember. For me, it was the moment when I realized our previous life together can fit with this current life, albeit slightly different. I also think this is one of the prettiest spots to catch a sunset. It is a small strand of beach nestled between the Marriott Hotel + The Sheraton Hotel. The sand is soft and the views are amazing. Outfit Detail: Top | Shorts | Sandals}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {We opted for a morning walk to Spouting Horn (and got majorly rained on… but it was kinda fun). It was a 6 mile roundtrip walk, and the sights were gorgeous. From brightly colored foliage to gorgeous beaches and small falls, it was well worth it. Spouting horn isn’t necessarily somewhere you are going to spend hours, but catching a few spouts of water is pretty cool. There are some botanical gardens on the way, and if we had planned things out more, it would have been fun to check it out.}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {So, I first went to Hawaii with my family when I was 12 years old. We took a family photo in this exact same spot. When we returned to Kauai many years later (12 years later to be exact, when I was 24) we took another family photo in this exact same spot. Both of those photos are in picture frames at my parent’s house… so it was only natural that we returned to this same spot to snap another one with two new additions to our family. We had planned to take this photo on Thursday evening the entire week (you know, we’d be tanner then…) and as we were walking to the location it started to pour rain, so we hid under an awning at a park. The minute it let up we quickly hurried to the spot and found the first couple that walked by and asked them to snap our photo (hence the semi disjointed look of the picture). The minute after the photo was taken, it started to rain again… which is never good when you’re wearing all white. Needless to say, it was meaningful to my parents, and hopefully we will snap a few photos there again as Harper and our family continues to grow.}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {The fresh fruit on the island is unbelievable!}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {Allison and I enjoyed a morning run with gorgeous views}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {Another gorgeous evening watching a sunset. Off the shoulder top}

itsy bitsy indulgences, kauai guide{Suit, Pants, Sandals, Harper’s Suit}

itsy bitsy indulgences, kauai guide

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {Dress | Harper’s Romper}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {Top | Hat | Harper’s Suit}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {Snuggles with Grand-daddy}

kauai guide, itsy bitsy indulgences {We spent the last evening enjoying happy hour and watching the sunset on our favorite beach… then headed back up to the room for one last family BBQ. It was a wonderful close to a wonderful trip.}