Kauai With Kids
By Susan R Norton
Family vacations with small children are a challenge at
best to both parents and youngsters. The problem is that there are special needs
of all families. The answer is not a 5 star hotel but a separate house to rent
where food is available 24 hours a day and an exhausted baby can take a nap in
his own room.
I recently took a trip with my son, his wife, my 4-year-old
granddaughter and 18-month-old grandson. Traveling with
small children is always challenging, but memories of tropical breezes, warm,
translucent water and the giggles of little ones are here to stay.
There are all sorts of ways to find homes to rent all over
the world. Two stand out VACATION RENTALS and VRBO (which stands for VACATION
RENTALS BY OWNER). Some properties have their own web sites so you can use a
search engine to find them.
The most outstanding feature of the 3 bedrooms, 3 baths,
living, dining room and kitchen was a separate family room downstairs where the
kids could be kids. Also, everything you might need for fun in and out of the
sun was there from beach chairs to high chairs to boogie boards.
We chose Poipu Beach on Kauai for several reasons. First of all, Kauai isn’t named the “garden isle” for nothing. It is
definitely the most lush and tropical of all the Hawaiian Islands, and the Poipu
Beach area has the least amount of rainfall of anywhere on Kauai.
Within our family, the applause for Poipu Beach was
unanimous. The beach outside our rental house was incredible. A jetty makes a
kid friendly lagoon with depths of 2 – 3 feet, and was only a 3 minute walk from
the house. The water even laps up against the sand in 2 to 3 inch wavelets that
are perfect for the smallest babies. They can even lie
on their tummies in warm millimeters of water and play with brightly colored
fish that seem to have been ordered just for them and their personal enjoyment.
Just what the pediatrician ordered.
We had to forcibly coerce the children from the water to
take them off on family field trips. First, we drove to Waimea Canyon, Hawaii’s
answer to the Grand Canyon. One night we went to the Smith Family
Luau, which was exceptional. Another day we went up
the Waihua River to the Fern Grotto where we serenaded with the
Hawaiian Wedding Song at the caves entrance. After each outing, we
always hurried back to our secluded beach or comfortable bed. Naps became a
priority for us all.
One late afternoon on our way out for dinner, we stopped by
the National Tropical Botanical Gardens then on to a blowhole just up the road.
The flowers of Kauai are quite magnificent and some even are associated with
ancient Hawaiian myths and legends from the days of old Hawaii.
For almost all the fun things you could ever dream of
doing, I would contact Outfitters Kauai. Here’s just a few things you can
explore: Wailua River, Kipu Falla, tree-top ziplines, rope swing into mountain
pools, sea kayaks, whale-watches, and bicycle rides down Waimea Canyon. The list
goes on and on.
Our favorite meal out was at the Grand Hyatt Resort. We did
have an incredible dinner at the resort’s restaurant, Tidepools. We sat
overlooking a pond with the largest and most beautiful carp I had ever seen.
They brought us fish food and the little ones fed these magnificent creatures.
The food was wonderful but the kids liked the fish in the pool best. After
dinner, we followed a windy trail lit by tiki torches over a bridge and out to
the beach. There we bonded together on a wooden swing right at the sand’s edge.
Back and forth we went in gentle rhythm to the waves.
Our second favorite dinner restaurant was The Beach House,
featuring tantalizing Pacific Rim cuisine and right on the water. Here wedding
couples flock for their to last a lifetime and everyone in the know comes
just to watch the sunset and listen to the “shush” of the waves and the
appreciative groans of the crowd gathered nightly to experience the best sunset
in Kauai. That is how we spent our last night but only till the next time when
the kids begin begging us to return to magical Kauai. After all, it’s the
perfect place to “fall in love.”
WWW.NTBG.ORG (NATIONAL TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDENS)
WWW.OUTFITTERSKAUAI.COM) (FOR THINGS TO DO)