We’ve now been in Kauai for three weeks (after being in Oahu for two weeks), and settling into our routine. We wake up, eat breakfast, go to the beach, have lunch at home, go to another beach, eat dinner, and then go to bed. We’ve been trying to do homework in the morning before the beach, but my 7-year-old son hated it. He begged to do it later in the day. So we did it before dinner, and he still hated it.
So basically my son hates doing homework on vacation. It’s probably been my biggest struggle with him. Rather than take the 30 minutes to complete it, he’ll whine and negotiate – which extends the whole thing to two hours. I’ve tried a chore chart, reward incentive, talking about it, and nothing works. I don’t blame him. I’d probably hate it too. But it’s driving me nuts.
What he does love to do is learn about the local animals and marine life. He drew pictures of cardinals and sharks. He went absolutely nuts over a Hawaiian sea life origami book I found for him at the ABC Store. He made an origami humuhumunukunukuapuaa (Hawaii’s state fish). He caught sand crabs and sea cucumbers. And he along with my 4-year-old son have been playing pirates with the brown paper bag hats I made them. They made their own compasses and swords.
So though we still have to get the homework done, I know that it’s not that he doesn’t want to learn. It’s just that he hates workbooks that have nothing to do with Hawaii. I wish I could have found some Hawaiian workbooks.
Most of this trip we’ve stayed on the north shore side of the island or made it down to Kapaa. Last Saturday we went to Poipu for the day. It’s about an hour drive from Princeville, and thank goodness my kids had their Nintendo DS. They would have been absolutely bored without it.
Poipu Beach Park was cute, but surprisingly more crowded than any of the beaches on the north shore of Kauai. There’s an area about a foot or two deep in the ocean that’s perfect for little kids, and a playground. And lots of snorkeling for kids and adults.
Though it was fun, I didn’t see much else in Poipu. So we headed to Koloa. We had lunch at Poipu Tropical Burgers, which I wouldn’t recommend. Service was so slow and the food was mediocre. The only thing I liked was that they were really laid back so my boys just ran outside to play and then came in to eat their food.
Nearby though there’s Papalani Gelato. An awesome gelato shop with classic and tropical flavors like lilikoi, coconut, pineapple, guava, and POG (passion fruit, orange, and guava).
Later in the week, we took the Kilohana train in Lihue. The train was used in the old sugar cane days, but now it’s just used for the tour. I was a bit disappointed by the tour. It was 45 minutes and the train went so slow – like 3 miles an hour. My kids were bored listening to the tour guide talk about all the fruit trees. In San Diego, there’s a train park in Poway that goes much faster and is only 10 minutes, so I think it was just way too slow paced for them. Plus, it was really expensive – $18 for adults and $14 for kids. I’d pass on this one.
Back on the north shore, we hung out at Hanalei Pier – which is now one of my favorite places in the world. The backdrop of the Na Pali coast is just amazing. Plus, it’s fun to swim and surf for beginners.
So after a week of going all over the island, we’ve decided just to stick to the north shore for the rest of our trip.