The week in Hawaii was great. We had torrential downpours for the first two days, which was less than ideal, but we made the best of it (hot tubbing in the rain is a nice way to pass the time—even the kids loved it), and we were repaid for our positive outlooks with nice weather for the rest of the trip.
The kids, of course, loved the pools and hot tubs at the condo complex where we were staying, and the beach, as always, was a big hit. My father is a long-time train aficionado, and he found a 40-minute train ride through an old plantation. Half-way through the ride, the train stops next to an enclosure of Hawaiian boars. Initially they captured four of the wild pigs, but now there are 50, just a few short years later. Who knew pigs bred like rabbits? They handed out cups of dog food for us to feed the pigs, and Peanut thought that was the most fun she’d ever had. String Bean wasn’t so sure. The pigs were noisy, squealing and butting each other aside to get to the food we threw in handfuls over the fence, and the ground was a muddy mess from the heavy rains, so the scrambling pigs splashed all of us with mud. Peanut found all of this to be hysterically funny and exciting, even as we wiped her down in the bathroom afterward, laughing and saying “Look, pig mud!” at the splatter we wiped from her legs.
It was great to spend a full week with my father, extending beyond the initial catch-up phase and into a comfortable zone of just hanging out and relaxing together. And it was terrific to spend a week with my sister and her 7-month-old daughter, two people I never quite get to see enough of anymore. The girls loved having their cousin around so much, and I can see String Bean’s future as a great babysitter, from her attentive care of her little cousin.
It was hard to leave, which is the way you want to end any vacation. I realized that in her 4 years, String Bean has been to Oahu, The Big Island, and now Kauai. So, Maui must be next.