Vacation. We all need it. A chance to recharge, reconnect and realize. My little family of three (soon to be four) has spent the past week vacationing on the beautiful island of Kauai. In a condo that sits right over the ocean, we hear the sounds of waves crashing day and night. Constant. The endless motion of the tide mimicking our usual day to day life: non-stop, always moving. A week away from the hustle and bustle of life in Los Angeles couldn't have come at a better time.
For my TV/film editor husband who works more hours than I even want to think about, and for myself - now 28 weeks pregnant, running a new design company, blog, online store and oh yeah, being home full-time with my 16 month old daughter, Reese - this vacation is just what we needed. A chance to slow down and realize just how damn lucky we are. Lucky to be alive. Lucky to have each other and this beautiful family of ours. Lucky to be exhausted, from our jobs (which by the way we're lucky to have) and from our daily routines. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Dishes, laundry, grocery shopping. Doctors appointments, hair cuts, oil changes, diaper changes. Bills. It's exhausting. But how fortunate we are, to feel the things we feel and to live the lives we live.
We've been to Kauai once before, nearly three years ago. We stayed in the same condo (it belongs to a family friend), enjoyed the same view, visited some of the same beaches and ate some of the same foods. This time, though, is different. Funny how you can live life a little more when you're doing it for someone else. No longer are we focused on what we can experience, but what experiences we can give to our little girl.
We're soaking up every bit of Kauai that we can and having more fun than we ever thought possible. The last time we made a trip to the island we slept in as long as we wanted, sipped piña coladas as if the world were coming to an end and spent our days lazy on the beach. While all of that sounds quite nice actually, this time we wanted to really immerse ourselves in all that Kauai has to offer. We wake up as early as we can. Of course we have our built-in alarm clock (baby) but besides that, the windows are open and we're up each morning to the sound of birds singing songs of Hawaii.
Between the beaches and hiking, we've stayed active. One of our favorite hikes was when we hit the "end of the road" as they call it, a dead end past Hanalei at Ke'e Beach. It's a beautiful stretch of sand just south of the revered Na Pali Coast, with the Kalalau Trailhead at its tip. The Kalalau Trail itself is 11 miles one way and is known as one of the most beautiful yet rigorous hikes on the island. While 11 miles was a little too much for this pregnant lady (and my husband carrying the baby), we decided to take the 4-mile roundtrip hike to Hanakapiai Beach, reachable only via the Kalalau Trail. With the breathtaking views it was definitely one for the books. After 2 miles of hiking, we ditched our shoes and waded through a stream to reach the beach, stacked with thousands upon thousands of river rocks in zen-like fashion. It was simply, beautiful.
Thankfully, I found a yoga studio where I can continue my practice, keeping my mind and pregnant body strong and feeling good. Kalaheo Yoga is the spot and it's about a fifteen minute drive (of nothing but beauty) from our condo in Koloa to the studio in Kalaheo. The studio is bright and clean with windows that are opened, allowing sunlight to pour in and a breeze that I particularly enjoy during shavasna. The hubby drops me off for the first class of the morning and while I find my chi, he spends an hour and half with Reese - mostly chasing chickens and roosters (#fundad). This has become our new daily routine and one I find myself fantasizing about as a new normal.
After yoga we like to treat ourselves to an iced-coffee and go over our plans for the day. A few days into our trip we stumbled upon the "biggest, littlest" coffee shop you've ever seen. Nestled inside an old warehouse sits Dark Roost and its owner, Jon who serves coffee from the cutest tiny trailer. The warehouse, known simply as Warehouse 3540, is minimal but chic. The metal interior is juxtaposed by the use of wood, plants and lighting, giving it a truly organic-modern feel. Other small businesses have set up shop inside the warehouse including Cru, a children's, home and gift boutique. Cru carries local artists' work (including some beautiful watercolor pieces and journals by the owner herself), children's clothing, stationary and other adorable finds that are completely in line with Scouted Home's style. It's safe to say I was totally in my element. As if this space wasn't already amazing, we had unknowingly shown up just in time for kid's storytime! Since our discovery, this is our daily go-to spot.
Filling our home with tidbits from our travels is always important to me and an easy way to truly personalize a space. Also, who are we kidding... I just love to shop. Lucky for me, I have a husband who gives minimal shopping complaints and a baby girl who might be more into it than even I am. Most of our shopping was done within the Shops at Kukui'ula, an outdoor center with stores and restaurants and art galleries. We picked up a few souvenirs from vendors with their shops under tents near Spouted Horn, a natural geyser on the South Shore. Bobble-head turtles, one to represent each of our babes and hand carved serving utensils were easy picks. A stand filled with handwoven baskets and bags soon caught my eye and I was reeled in like a fish. Made from orchid stems and sugar cane, they were gorgeous and inspiring. I knew I had to have one of the bags, not just for me, but I thought of how great it would be to pass along to Reese sometime later in life. They are referred to as the "100 Year Baskets" thanks to their craftsmanship and durability and made by the aboriginal people of Bali. Some were simple and classic, letting the woven design speak for itself. Some were adorned with hand-carved monkey pod and mother of pearl inlay. They were all beautiful and unique and I was blown away by the artisanal quality, knowing the time that went into making each one must be enormous. Unable to make a decision, I left with the intention of sleeping on it and returning the next day. However; the next morning my husband picked me up from yoga and as I opened the car door, there was my bag: simple and classic. He just gets me.
With our time here in Kauai drawing to an end, we'll be sad to go but so happy to have had this experience. For us this trip has been about unwinding and enjoying these last couple months that we have together as a family of three. This time spent showering our girl with love and attention from morning to night has been irreplaceable. Life will surely go back to crazy. Things will become hectic and maybe even feel like the wheels are falling off from time to time - but we'll always have this as a reminder to slow down and take things in a little bit more. To live and to love. The past 16 months of our lives have been amazing but they've flown by in what seems like a tiny blip in time. This chapter is coming to an end and we will soon be four, adding another personality, another beautiful soul into our lives and our routine. All we can do now is savor these moments as three and anxiously await the arrival of our baby boy, Wilder. Until next time!
Peace & aloha from Kauai--