February on Kauai

Twenty years after touching down in Hawaii for the first time, I got to go back again last month with the same girlfriend I’d traveled with when we were teens. Unlike that time though — landing in Maui penniless, hung over and (probably still) high from the warehouse rave we’d partied at the night before (SF in the 90s!) — we had our kids in tow and somewhat of a proper agenda. Look what growing up does, guys.

This time was also Kauai, not Maui, and I’d say the Garden Island lived up to its name and winter “reputation.” Read: rain, rain, rain. It torrentially downpoured the entire day we attemped to explore Waimea Canyon, clearing for just the minute it took to snap the few pics of it you’ll see partway down this post. Our luau was also held indoors due to rain, but I’d say the bottomless mai tais made up for it.

Fortunately, the kids didn’t care and the South Shore where we stayed was the driest and sunniest part of the island overall. At the end of our trip, it lent us a number of perfect, sunny weather days that have left me with memories of blended pina coladas, pool time, shave ice, sea turtles, wispy palms, snorkel spots, rainbow-colored coral, sand that felt like powder, the lushest hiking trails and the water you’d expect. And the only foot sunburn I’ve ever had . . .