We Ran Away From the Kids (for a week)

When Scott is away for work I try not to complain (too much). I know there are military families who go much, much longer without seeing their loved ones, and that helps put 60 days in to perspective. But, that doesn't make any amount of time apart easier. And, this year has been particularly heavy on his travel and time away from home.

That said, after Scott's last lengthy trip I mentioned that he and I needed to get away - no kids allowed. I needed it for my sanity, and we needed it to reconnect and just be Scott and Desiree, not Mom and Dad.

A little discussion, a bit of research, a bat signal to our families for help with kids, and the next thing I know we're booked and set for a week-long trip to Kauai. Tickle me pink.

I know vacation recaps aren't typically the highlight of posts for readers, and I can't promise this will be short (so.many.photos), but I'll do my best to keep the "fluff" out, because I want/need to document this trip.

Our stay was heavy on the hiking, tossed in with some relaxation, a splash of touristy stuff, meals we could actually sit and enjoy with adult conversation, and seven glorious nights of uninterrupted sleep. Oh, and, there might have been a few wall stops along the way, obviously (but, that's another post for another day).

Right off the plane... Are you kidding me? This trip was bound to be the best.

First things first. We drove right up to two waterfalls to check that off the bucket list. You can't go to Hawaii and not see a waterfall or two, or three, or 20.
Wailua Falls
Opaekaa Falls
Hiked Sleeping Giant (4 miles - difficulty: moderate).
Named Sleeping Giant because the shape of the mountain is a giant's profile lying down.
About half way up.

Lava tube cutting through the mountain at the top.
At. The. Top.

Hiked Kuilau Ridge Trail (2 miles - difficulty: easy to moderate).
It felt a lot like we were walking down a Jurassic Park trail. I was expecting a Velociraptor to jump out at us any minute.
Spot Scott?

Hiked Mahaulepu Beach Trail (3 miles - difficulty: easy).
Can you see me?
After we wrapped up our hike we watched local kids jump off cliffs similar to the one I was standing on. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Caught some stellar sunrises while drinking, and finishing, hot cups of coffee.
Just steps from our VBRO.

Jumped in Hawaii's state bird - also known as The Helicopter - to take a tour of parts of the island that are only accessible by chopper.
I wish the photos and video we took did even a fraction of justice the landscape we saw deserves. It doesn't, not at all, but I'll drop these few pics here, to at least remind us of what we experienced.
The grandeur of these falls is totally lost in the photo. Hundreds (possibly thousands?) of feet, and breathtaking.
See the boat along the coast? Kind of puts into perspective how high we were.
Throwing shockas like we know what we're doing.

Hiked Pihea Trail
(3-ish miles - difficulty: moderate to strenuous).

Hiked Honopu Ridge Trail (6 miles - difficulty: difficult, one of the roughest on Kauai). In order to make sure we were on the trail we were constantly looking for little pieces of tape or yarn tied to trees and branches left by hikers before us (God bless them). We hiked, and hiked, and hiked, only to be socked in by clouds and miss out on a killer view of Kauai's North Shore. This was easily the most challenging hike we did the entire week. The jungle seemingly tried to eat us - the ferns were absolutely brutal - staying along a razor-back ridge, and views that we ended up missing. Physically and mentally challenging, and a bit of a letdown at the end.
Left: A RIBBON!! Amen for those tiny little markers to keep us on the trail.
Right: All those damn clouds.
The trial was literally trying to eat us alive. I swear it.

Hiked Cliff Trail to Waipoo Falls
(4 miles - difficulty: moderate).

I stuffed shave ice into my face as often as I could. Scott took a few bites, and watched as I ravenously consumed the rest.

Boated up and down the Na Pali Coast to check out the sea caves, and then swam with turtles and fish.

Hiked the first two (of 11) miles of the Kalalau Trial (Total miles, 4 - difficulty: moderate)
Hiking the whole 11 miles (22 miles round trip) is now officially on my Life Bucket List. That also consists of a full day of non-stop hiking, followed by camping on a beach, and then hiking 11 miles back. Sounds fun... except the camping part.

Amazing. Epic. Once-in-a-life-time. Our week in Kauai was all of those things, and so, so much more. We were rejuvenated, restored, re-set, rested, and relaxed.

I can't thank my mother-in-law and father-in-law enough for watching Marcus and Julia while Scott and I checked off one bucket list item after the next.

Now, on to things, like actually camping (because my idea of camping is a Holiday Inn...) so we can attempt the entire 22 miles of Kalalau Trail. And maybe go back for a few more of those shave ices.


Wall Crawl {{Kansas City}}

I've been meaning to get our Midwest Summer tour up and posted for, oh, I don't know, almost two months? But, life. And blogging took a serious back seat as we wrapped up Summer, celebrated a second birthday, and prepped and started Kindergarten.

Now that we're back into a pretty solidified routine I feel I can take a deep breath and spend a little more time with this space.

All that said, I didn't want to forget all the fabulous facades we scouted out while we visited the Midwest.

Let's start with Kansas City. The series of walls we found are from two different trips to KC. So, this maybe (probably) should be a couple of different posts, but I'm a rebel and said screw it, it's going in one.

I'll be the first to admit, I wasn't expecting much in the way of walls. But, wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. I was totally and completely blown away by the number of murals and wall art found all throughout the city. We found SO many, with so many left to explore and capture.

1919 Baltimore Avenue, KC, MO
Kansas City, we really are so in love.
These two murals can be found on the same wall.
I'd love to shake the hand of the person who thought to put up that sign about blocking the mural. Every mural needs a tow away zone in front of it!

1720 Main Street, KC, MO
This one is atop a parking structure, and it's massive. You can't miss this one.
Though I don't have an exact address, this one was in the general vicinity of the KC I'm So In Love wall.
If you've found the wall directly above this one, you've found this one, too. These two murals share a wall.
This mural was phenomenal, and collectively, took up three walls. I didn't have the best light, so there are sun flares a plenty, as well as shadows that I'm not particularly loving.
This wall series is found at
421 Southwest Blvd, KC, MO
Props to Marcus for spotting this one! It's the exterior of a parking garage.
The corner of 10th and Baltimore, KC, MO.
This mural is HUGE. I didn't even capture a quarter of it. And it's apparently titled, "Town of Kansas."
222 West 3rd Street, KC, MO
This has been on my wall bucket list for ages. To finally get to it had me as giddy as a kid in a candy shop. The entire exterior of this Kansas City Community Bookshelf looks like, well, a bookshelf!
14 W. 10th Street, KC, MO
Found outside the infamous (if you live in KC) American Royal. This is two parallel steel panels, spanning 120 feet, with 15 cut outs of running bulls. The kids had an exceptionally fun time climbing in and out of the cut outs.
1701 American Royal Court, KC, MO
We just happened to find this random, abandon, colorful building while out and about.
I can't pin point where we found this, but it's somewhere in the Crossroads district.
The Royals have a series of murals painted around town, and I was on a quest to get to as many as possible. This was one of them, and it was massive. I couldn't get the whole mural and the kids, and not get run over by a car (because I would have had to have stood in the middle of a very busy street).

Found across the street from Boulevard Brewing Company
2501 Southwest Blvd, KC, MO
The second Raised Royal Mural. 
This is located on the back of 421 Southwest Blvd, KC, MO
We happened upon this one.
It's in the Crossroads district, around 17 Street and Oak, KC, MO

18th (ish) and Oak (ish).
When blogging friends become real life friends. And they can be persuaded to join in crazy wall posing antics.
This one is found inside Kauffman Stadium. On the main concourse behind left field.
The next series of walls/murals are all found on the side of one building, which made it oh-so convenient to capture several in a quick amount of time.
Oak and 17th Street, KC, MO
This was a fun find!
Roughly located at 1701 Oak Street, KC, MO
Donuts? A wall with a donut? Of COURSE we had to make a stop.
1009 Westport Road, KC, MO
At Broadway and Westport
I'm not picky, I love all of Kansas City.
3945 Main Street, KC, MO
This city will forever have a huge piece of my heart.
1814 Oak Street.
I know we didn't find them all, but we sure tried! And I already have a running list of other phenomenal art and walls that we need to track down on our next trip back, let's just hope I have two willing kids (and a willing husband) to entertain my crazy wall-loving ways.