Our fun surprise activity was TUBING! It was at an old sugar plantation and the waterway was formerly used to help harvest the crop. Now it's a fun tubing river of sorts. Interestingly, most of the route is in tunnels so we had to wear helmets with lights on them. I soooo wish I could have gotten pictures, but I couldn't take my camera for fear of it getting wet. The kids looked so adorable in their life jackets and helmets. Jeff and I....not so much. (although thankfully, we didn't have to wear life jackets)
The kids quickly forgot being awakened at 6AM once they were in their tubes and having fun. They pronounced it "super fun" and "that was awesome" when we were done.
It was only noon, so we still had plenty of daylight to play. There was a waterfall nearby that I had been dying to see, so we drove to see it. It's the waterfall that was pictured in every opening scene from Fantasy Island for those of you old enough to remember that show.
Since it was sunny (yay!) we all wanted to go to the beach. We decided to look for one on our way back toward our villas. First stop was this beach...
And much easier than surfing.
After awhile, I wanted to wander up the beach a bit and take some photos. It was so incredibly beautiful. The waves were majestic and I was soon wishing I could sit and watch them for the rest of the day.
Before we realized it, two and a half hours had passed. The kids wanted to go back to the pool at the villa's, so off we went.
On the way back, I wanted to stop at a nearby lighthouse that we had seen a few days ago--when it was cloudy and drizzling. Jeff took the older kids to get some snacks and the little kids and I went to the lighthouse.
Is this not breathtaking?!
The odd mix of rain and sun was evident when standing in the same spot but turning to the north or south produced this...
To the north, clouds and rain (this is where we were staying...ha!).
To the south, beautiful sunshine.
We were all out there enjoying the sunshine (because we weren't already sunburned enough--ugh). Jeff and I had brought our computers to the pool to try to catch up with life on the Mainland, when we suddenly started to get wet.
What in the world?!
The sun was shining and there weren't any noticeable rain clouds so at first I thought the wind was just blowing some spray from the waterfall.
Then I looked up and realized that it was RAINING!
It was so funny.
We moved all of our stuff under the pavilion and watched the rain come down while the sun continued to shine brightly.
Then we cracked up to watch the mass exodus of people fleeing to their rooms.
I tried to take a picture of the rain--which was coming down in sheets, but it's pretty hard to see. You can see the wet pavement, though.
It eventually stopped so that we could get our computers and camera back to the room safely.
After cleaning up, we went into Hanalei for dinner. Hanalei has become our favorite place. It's a tiny little town with a great personality. We ate dinner at a Mexican place which had outdoor seating and this view....
I'm writing this post from our covered porch, enjoying my last morning sipping coffee with a view of the mountains and listening to the birds.
We are going into Hanalei today to go surfing. The kids are stoked. Well...some of them, anyway.
My sunscreen wore off long before it was supposed to yesterday and now my back and shoulders are fried. I guess that's what I get for hogging the tube. I'm not exposing my shoulders to the sun today so if I am going to surf, I'm going to have to buy a rash guard. (awww....too bad! hee!)
Our flight leaves tonight at 10PM so we have the whole day to play and then hopefully the kids will sleep on the flights home?!
We are all very sad that this is our last day but we are so thrilled to have had the opportunity to make this trip. It has been a dream come true--not just for Katie--but for all of us. Who would have thought when watching her tiny body hooked up to all those wires and struggling to survive, that we would have ended up here?
Last but not least....HAPPY 14th BIRTHDAY to Jillian!!! She is the lucky kid who gets a birthday in paradise! :)
PS: The rain here has made every hair on my head swell to twice it's normal size. Just thought you would want to know that. Gah!