One Night in AirBnb’s Number One Listing

I stumbled upon AirBnb’s number one listing while looking up places for a weekend trip with my family. Lo and behold! It was only an hour from my home! There was one night open in a sea of months booked solid! I had to book it.

Kudos to me for making a semi-spontaneous plan…just three weeks in advance. It’s progress. I was pretty proud.

Kitty and Michael, builders of the Mushroom Dome, are pretty awesome. They built their entire house, the Mushroom Dome and the Hummingbird Haven. They gave us goat milk. They’ve let several people build tiny homes on their land to prevent homelessness. There seem to be hundreds of hummingbirds swooping around their home. Kitty is a social activist with inspiring stories. The morning we were there, she saved a grove of redwood trees from being chopped down by PG&E, then offered us a free night in their Hummingbird Haven because of the chainsaw noise. Rad.

After a peaceful evening, we relaxed all morning then hit up the beach after lunch. Cheers to amazing people, beautiful weather, and semi-spontaneity!

The Mushroom Dome Cabin
Morning nap in the loft bed
Carter the walrus
Fun times at the beach
No trip to Santa Cruz is complete with a stop at Marianne’s!




I’ve Decided I’m Moving To Kauai

At least, I will one day. I guess I could settle for Hawaii in general, though twist my arm, I guess I better visit the other islands just to make sure I would like them.

Our five year anniversary celebration trip – four months late and in the next calendar year – was amazing! Our trip mantra became We are Boss Hogs. Because we are. Or, at least we try really really hard.

I was reminded how happy I can be. This timely and much needed reminder may have sped up the whole quitting my job thing. I’m so grateful.

My top five favorite photos from the trip:

Day 1:
Boss Hog of the Day: Divine intervention. We made it on the plane. We almost missed the it (shocking) and got asked for Carter’s birth certificate for the first time ever; naturally, it was the one time we didn’t bring it. Luckily, we were so late I think the man took pity and just printed our boarding passes for us. That is privilege, ladies and gentlemen. We only made it on the plane because a nice lady at the front of a very long security line told us to come stand with her after we got rejected by three other people in line. No shame. Our luggage miraculously made it on the plane, but not the car seat we checked three hours ahead of our flight during our layover in Maui.

Lesson Learned: Don’t get to the airport less than an hour before our flight if we are planning to check bags. It is very very stressful, and not fair to everyone who actually got there when they were supposed to. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Me, happily E.Coli free this time, and Boogs, sleeping like a Boog.

Day 2:
Boss Hog of the Day: Andy. He had a poomergency on the way to our first Kauai beach of the trip, Moloa’a Bay. But, he walked all the way to the beach, dropped off everything he was carrying, helped us set up and then sprinted (waddled?) back to our AirBnb to handle business. If you’ve ever had a poomergency, you will know why this wins Boss Hog of the Day.

Lesson Learned: Don’t forget to eat when you’re at the beach. Yeah, I know. Meeeeeeeeeee? Forgetting to eat? That’s absurd. But, the beach was so beautiful. And Carter was having so much fun. And then Andy got a bad migraine that afternoon and we had to hole up in our room. So. Lesson learned.


Day 3:
Boss Hog of the Day: North Shore high surf. Andy and I went beach hopping from Secret Beach to Larsen’s Beach to watch the 45 foot swells. We met a honeymooning couple who got caught up by a rogue wave and lost their clothes, car keys, and shoes. Good thing we met them or I would have been that stupid tourist climbing on the rocks trying to get a good shot and then getting eaten by a wave. They were mesmerizing. And they made me want to wet my pants.

Lesson Learned: Hee Fat Shave Ice is the BEST. SHAVE. ICE. EVER. Real fruit juice and macnut ice cream. This was day one in what eventually became four straight days of eating shave ice here. This was also the only day that we did not knock over our shave ice.


Day 4:
Boss Hog of the Day: Andy. This is the day that “Boss Hog” became our trip theme. He drove our wimpy 2WD economy rental car over some crazy pot-holed and rocky dirt roads. People in 4WD SUVs were turning around. But not my Boss Hog husband. We made it up to the crazy river valley-ditch thing and then hiked two and a half more miles into our trailhead. Also, he carried Carter on our crazy hike. Second place goes to the couple we met on the trail that waited at the trailhead to give us a lift back to our car. They were life savers.

Lesson Learned: Listen to the Spirit when we are hiking. We attempted a very untraveled jungle hike to get to a double waterfall on the way to the Blue Hole. The “trail” when visible was maybe a few inches wide, but more often consisted of rock scrambling in the river, climbing over and under trees, and making our way through the jungle by following orange marking tape. With a baby. We finally stopped about 2/3 of the way in when we got to a small cliff with an unstable tree root hanging over it. I hate not making it to the destination on a hike and I was actively ignoring promptings to turn around. Thankfully Andy, who knows me best and felt the Spirit telling him to stop too. He convinced me to turn back. We’d like to go back and do the hike again, maybe when Carter can hold his own; it was a really incredible trail. I stopped taking pictures part way in, because I was trying not to die.


Day 5:
Boss Hog of the Day: Our helicopter pilot. Andy is a close second place. We went on an AH-MAY-ZING open-door helicopter tour of Kauai. It was like being in a Planet Earth IMax, but for real. Andy “Terrified of Heights” Bradshaw got assigned to sit by the open door and he made it through the whole ride without having a heart attack. I wanted Andy’s seat, but got squished in between him and pilot (hence the iffy pictures). While we were flying, a helicopter from another company had engine failure and made a hard emergency landing on Kalalau Beach, the last beach on the Napali Coast trail. We didn’t know it at the time, but four people were injured and eventually taken to a hospital in Oahu. Because the mountains block the airwave signals, our pilot hovered in circles over the downed helicopter for fifteen minutes, transmitting messages from the downed pilot to emergency help. We didn’t realize how serious the situation was until we looked it up in the news the next day.

Lesson Learned: Remember to get the keys to our AirBnb room back from the babysitter when she leaves. Otherwise, you spend your entire night hunting through grass trying to find a key only to realize that the babysitter had it the whole time.


Day 6:
Boss Hog of the Day: Tied between me and Andy. We hiked the Kalalau Trail up to the Hanakapi’ai Falls. It is a beautiful and sometimes strenuous trail with several water crossings and lots of slippery cliffs. Andy started to get a migraine just as we were beginning to descend, but he pushed through and kept hiking. For the first time ever, it actually went away! But, we discovered that Carter drank all Andy’s water, so then Andy drank all my water and then I got super dehydrated and wobbly on the way back while carrying Carter. We made it safely back and watched a beautiful sunset on Ke’e Beach!

Lesson Learned: Carter is a water guzzling hog monster. Pack a bladder for him. I am getting too old for this. Two weeks later, my knees are still shot from this trail. I need to brace my knees and bring trekking poles on long hikes. Bring a first aid kit. Also, I am coming back to backpack this whole trail. It is unreal.


Day 7:
Boss Hog of the Day: Our AirBnb host in Waimea. We were so pooped by the time we got to his home that we almost didn’t drive up to see Waimea Canyon, but he convinced us to go. We saw it just as the sun was setting. Soooo puuurrrrrr-taaayyyy.

Lesson Learned: WE ARE OLD. My knees! Our bodies! We still plan things like we’re 24 and sometimes we forget having a baby makes everything take ten times longer. We need a rest and relaxation day between all the hiking. We were supposed to hike the Alaka’i Swamp trail, but we were tooooo pooooped. So we ate shave ice, played at Po’ipu Beach Park with Carter and drove the Canyon instead of hiked. Adding this hike to the list of things to come back and do later.


Day 8: 
Boss Hog of the Day: Carter. Car dancing and cool guy posing on the plane.

Lesson Learned: Move to Hawaii one day.