We spent last week in Kauai doing pretty much the exact same things we did last year, except this time I insisted we visit the puka dog stand, and my GOD. Have you had one of these things? Think gooey, soft, sweet and spicy wad of greasy, sausagey heaven — only even better than that.

Vacation highlights:

The helicopter tour we took around the island. Taking off was so overwhelmingly thrilling and beautiful I got weepy when my senses went into a sort of TILT state, and the entire hourlong flight was gorgeous. My favorite part was when Riley (somewhat nervously) pointed out another helicopter that was flying nearby, and the pilot, without missing a beat, said, “Yup, too close for missiles … we’ll have to switch to guns.” I mean, come on. I could try my whole life and never say anything that cool, ever.

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riley copter

as if the view wasn't awesome enough, BAM: rainbow

Swimming with turtles. I call this a highlight only because it was so memorable but truth be told every time I found myself inches from a turtle in the water I about had a heart attack. It’s not that I was scared they were going to go rogue and flipper-slap me to death, it’s that surprise-touching a massive living underwater thing is the actual worst.

I know I'm technically invading your living room but let's just keep a two-foot personal space rule mmmkay

Boogie boarding. There’s a little beach close to where we stay that’s perfect for boogie boarding, and this year we spent a lot of time there. The kids had a lot of fun (after some initial freaking out when they got REKT BRO by an ill-timed wave) and I really enjoyed sitting on the sidelines watching the action.

later they delighted in all the sand they found in their butt cracks

I did try the board myself a few times but quickly learned that I brought either the wrong kind of swimsuit or the wrong kind of breasts for that particular activity.

Food, delicious food. Poke. Puka. Shave ice. Pineapple. Macadamia nut everything. Bubba Burgers where John accidentally asked for the “cowie burger” and the rest of us were like BAHAHAHAAAAA YOU MEAN KAUAI BURGER and we haven’t let it go since and probably never will. (John, 20 years from now: “Please pass the salt.” Me, snickering: “Sure you don’t want a COWIE BURGER?”)

that cowie joint

ice cream literally every night? yes please

this was the SMALL size

he ordered the mac and cheese, natch

Family time. Let’s be real, a week of solid family togetherness is going to have its ups and downs, but overall it was just such a great vacation. I’m super grateful for another chance to visit this beautiful island and spend time with my three favorite people.

holy crap we got so sunburnt



I have just returned from the grocery store, and I need to get something off my chest. When did “Got any big plans for the rest of the day?” become the default small talk prompt from checkout cashiers?

I’m just saying, of all the bored commentary issued in a robotic tone by clock-watching millennials when you’re waiting for the chip card thing to make that obnoxious error-sounding beep, this is the worst. First of all, the entire tone of the question is more than a little condescending. Like, “Did you use the potty like a big girl?”

Secondly, no, I do not in fact have big plans for the rest of the day. Jesus. Do I look like I have big plans? I’m wearing ratty workout pants and I’m buying fruit snacks, toilet paper, frozen pizza bagels, Diet Coke, and cat food. This is it, Junior. You’re looking at my entire life here.

Finally, can we not create a situation in which I instantly become an awkward conversational dead end when I didn’t even want to have a conversation in the first place? If I answer truthfully, it goes like this:

Cashier: Got any big plans for the rest of the day?
Me: *flatly* No.

Or if I try and muster up the energy to engage in light banter:

Cashier: Got any big plans for the rest of the day?
Me: I guess that depends on how exciting four loads of laundry sounds to you! Ha ha!

The thing is, if by some weird happenstance I did actually have big plans and I was really super excited to be asked and began describing my agenda in great detail while the line piled up behind me, you know the cashier would be like:

There’s no way out of this that doesn’t suck, and as a “make a human connection that is pleasant for both participants but extremely brief” strategy it fails on all fronts. In conclusion: STAAHHHHHHHHP.


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