Archive for the 'Travel' Category
This beach area is on the map of Kauai, but we’d never ventured there before. The last time my husband and I were on the island, back in 2010, we did a lot of exploring for a week, but for some reason, we never checked out this part of the south shore.
It was fantastic!
The roads to get there were a bit tricky, but nothing we were nervous about…especially in a rental car.
The sand on this beach felt like silk. Seriously…it was incredible. We had fun renaming various beaches around Kauai. This one was Silky Beach (with the Roaring Trail), and another was Brown Sugar Beach. You get the picture.
Wait. There was a roaring trail? Yes, there was, and it scared us half to death!
We followed the well-worn hiking trail along the coast line, and the views were just incredible.
In one part, you can take in all the colors of the ocean, and as you’re gazing breathlessly out to sea, little do you know there is a blowhole of sorts behind you, off the trail on the opposite side. It would scream with a hissing roar at intervals. It was so shocking!
As I mentioned, the sand was the softest we’ve ever felt (hence our nickname for it being silky), yet the rocks were sharp and craggy.
It was such a contrast of soft and jagged, dangerous and beautiful.
We spent hours exploring here, playing in the sand with our shadows while hiking the dunes…
…frolicking in the pools left by the lowering tide and then watching the waves rise to reclaim our playground.
…and taking it all in, the peace of the island seeping into every pore.
It was hard to leave.*
*Needless to say, that was a recurring theme of our Kauai Vacation.
The mornings on Kauai are magical. I’m not a morning person on the mainland. I could see that changing if I lived on an island paradise…maybe, just maybe.
I look at this photo my hubby took, and my heart is happy. Our shadows play with the wind, waves, mountains, sea.
We’re back from a week in Kauai!
I thought it was hard to leave the island last time, and this time is proving to be even worse.
We took an overnight flight last night, and after what seems like days of traveling, we stopped at a restaurant on the way home. I wasn’t offered a flower for my hair. The view of ocean was completely obstructed. I’m wearing pants.
This version of reality is just awful!
Needless to say, this was one of the most fantastic vacations we’ve had, and in true Casual Perfectionist style, it was a fun mix of relaxation and awesome adventures. I’ll be reporting back on all of those and more in the coming days.
In the meantime, Aloha!
My husband and I were watching TV last night. I was zipping through the commercials, and we saw an ad for the Sleep Number Bed whiz by on the screen.
The inside joke we’d shared over a Sleep Number Bed popped into our heads simultaneously, and immediately, we both started laughing.
When we were on our Great Roadtrip of July 2012, we had the opportunity to stay with friends in Utah. Their house is gorgeous, and their guest facilities top-notch. Our friend was giving us a tour and showed us the bed in the guest room. It was a Sleep Number Bed, and we’d always wanted to try one of those. (Someone told us a while ago that there is a strange “hump” in the middle of a Sleep Number Bed. We both sleep in the middle, so I was curious to see if that was true.)
She told us that it was still functional, but that the display on the controls no longer lit up. You had to just push the buttons and see what happened. We wouldn’t be able to see what our number was, but that’s okay. No worries. Beggars can’t be choosers. I was just happy to be sleeping somewhere that wasn’t a sleeping bag, and I was sure it would be fine.
We went about our evening.
As things turned out, I went to bed before my husband did. Claire was already asleep in the room on an air mattress on the floor. I didn’t evaluate the firmness of my side of the bed any more than, “That feels okay. I have no problems with this,” and that was that. I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
Later that night, I had the strangest dream. I felt like I was sinking in quicksand! I could hear a slight hissing noise as my limbs sunk deeper and deeper. As the Pssssshhhhhhh whispers through the room, I’m sinking, sinking, sinking. Then, just as quickly as it had started, the noise stopped and I was suspended on a cloud. Then, the leaf blower started blasting.
I shot straight up.
“What the…what!?” I yelled. My husband can’t hear me over the roaring noise coming from our bed.
“Sorry! Sorry!” he hubby says, frantically pushing buttons on the control. “I can’t see what I’m doing!”
“Well, why are you doing anything at all!?” I whisper-screamed at him, as the noise finally stops.
“It has buttons! How am I not supposed to touch the buttons!?”
Luckily we have a child who can sleep through anything, and she didn’t even wiggle. We decided to sleep on whatever number was already set for fear of pushing that luck too far, and we discovered that it does indeed have a distinct ridge in the middle of the bed.
I have yet to see an infomercial depicting the true nature of a Sleep Number Bed. No one is frantic as they try to work the controls. There is no yelling. There are no whisper-screams.
I don’t know what my Sleep Number is, but I can tell you this: It’s somewhere between Quicksand and Leaf Blower.
What did we do the weekend before school started? (And was this really just last weekend?) We spent the day in Estes! Friends from out-of-state were visiting Colorado, and we decided to meet them in Estes Park.
We love Estes. One of my favorite attractions is The Stanley Hotel. It’s fun to have lunch there, and if you do, the $5 you pay for parking gets taken off your lunch tab! (If you spend at least $25, and you will.)
We’ve been to Estes many times over the years, but this time was a little different. Because we were going to be showing our friends the Letterboxing Ropes, I’d discovered some parts of Estes that we didn’t even know existed.
Did you know that you can hike the trails behind The Stanley?
…and climb a mountain? (The dads climbed the mountain by going around the long way. The teenager climbed pretty much straight up from here. One of the dads is pictured at the top!)
After we hiked around out back and had lunch, we took pictures of the front.
…and in front of the front.
After a few hours, it was time to say goodbye to our friends. They ventured off on a ghost tour, and we ventured off to explore the Birch House Ruins of Estes Park before heading home. Ruins? What ruins?
It’s true. We’ve been to Estes I don’t know how many times, and we had no idea these ruins existed.
There is a tiny gravel turn-off just west of the The Stanley. If you park in the lot and hike up the hill, the view of The Stanley is amazing!! (Click photos for more detail.)
It was fun hiking all over the trails and checking out the ruins.
All in all, it was a fantastic Send Off for our Summer Break!
Well, we’ve reached the last recap of our Great Roadtrip of July 2012!
It seems a disservice to Montana and Wyoming to condense that portion of the trip into a couple sentences, but that’s what happens when you reach the end of a roadtrip.
Plus, the hours (and hours and hours and hours) of our lives that we devoted to Montana and Wyoming should be payment enough.
At one point, one of us (or all of us) said, “Montana takes a long time.”
Ain’t that the truth!
We stayed one night in Bozeman, Montana before continuing our journey to Casper, Wyoming.
With adventures in our rearview and our own beds waiting for us up ahead, the end of our trip was bittersweet.
And, then, just like that, we were home.
We had such a great trip, with memories of adventures that will last us a lifetime.
…and it was time to clean-up.
When we left off in our recapping of our Great Roadtrip of July 2012, we were camping in Coeur d’Alene!
We camped for two nights in Bell Bay, on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene. After enjoying our first night, we had the entire day to explore!
Yes, the lighting is all wrong in this photo, but I love it! Plus, it adheres to my husband’s Internet Photo Contract that he signed regarding the use of his image on my website. Heh.
Also? Notice the pants? Because I nearly froze to death in Seattle, I wore my pants. Guess who nearly overheated in Coeur d’Alene because of her stupid pants and therefore may never wear stupid pants ever, ever again? Seriously.
(No, you’re being overly dramatic.)
Anyway, on to the fun stuff!
One of the activities we did in Coeur d’Alene was paddle-boating! We rented a paddle-boat for half an hour and had a blast tooling around the lake.
I’ve been on a paddle-boat before and had a great time, but I’m not going to lie. This time, I got a bit nervous, but it all worked out okay. (Click the following photos to see more detail.)
All in all, we had a great time paddle-boating! Claire was excited to check a new adventure off her list.
That afternoon, we wanted to go on a hike. You know what that means… Letterboxing!
In the above photo, I’m hiking up to where Daddy and Claire are on the trail. I’ve just stealthily re-hidden a treasure. You know, a typical day for us.
We loved Coeur d’Alene. It was’t too crowded, even during this “busy” time. The views were incredible. We’d love to explore some more if we ever get the chance.
Next update? We make the trek home!
Shortly after our odometer flipped over 2000 miles, the road that was hugging the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene meandered across a meadow before joining up with the shore again. This provided us with views fit for a calendar.
There are many campgrounds and bays along Lake Coeur d’Alene, and the one we ended up booking was in Bell Bay. Our campsite was right along the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, and the views were spectacular. We were very happy with our choice!
These photos are deceptive. It looks like you can walk right out to the shore from our tent, but in reality, there is a slope and then a steep path down to the rocky shore. This was actually the best of both worlds. I didn’t want to be right up on the water, but I wanted to see it from our site. Perfect!
It was fun exploring the trails all over this campground, down to the shore and a dock not too far from our tent.
Because the weather was totally different here than our stay in Oregon, we didn’t put the rainfly on the tent. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The entire top of our tent is mesh and provided an awe-inspiring view of the night sky.
As we drifted off to sleep to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, we saw FIVE shooting stars right above our tent.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Next update? Exploring Coeur d’Alene!
As we were driving along a winding road from Seattle to our campsite on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, we captured this odometer reading.
(I took this photo while my husband was driving. No safety protocols were breached in getting this shot.)
Stay tuned for more updates next week! Have a great weekend!