Here's what I want to do, because this is what I believe:
I was never one of those people who always wanted to become a mom, but once I met my hubs, both of us agreed that there was an undeniable force that wanted to come through. 9 months later, we introduced Wilder Love Fox to the world!
Still, being that we were in our mid-30s, both my hubs and I wanted to keep doing what we loved and maintain the lifestyle we so enjoyed before baby. Even though virtually everyone we encountered would predict, "Your whole lives are going to change!" we wanted this to be for the better and not in the sense of foreboding the comment seemed hint at.
Yes, our whole lives have changed, but we're glad for it and we believe that you can still pursue your dreams and go on adventures around the world, bringing baby along. We feel this'll make a more well-rounded and resilient individual who's simply awesome to know.
We'll start on Kauai, because that's where we live, and really, this is often referred to as the ultimate dream destination! We'll go play somewhere amazing once a week to start and then share what we learned as a family, so other career-minded, entrepreneurial, independent, and thoughtful parents can use our experiences as a launching pad for their own ways to explore.
Jules thought of the term, "globetotting" the other day, and turns out, that term is already being used! Still, that's our goal. To bring Wilder on globetotting adventures and for us to learn how to maintain our independence with a dependent.
Limahuli Garden & Preserve, north shore of Kauai
- Saturdays are kama'aina (locals) days, so anyone who lives on island gets in free. TIP: Even if you go as a party of multiples, only one person needs to be a local and everyone can get in for free.
- It's an easy walk through beautifully landscaped terraced hills that reveal all sorts of local plants. My hubs' friend manages the property and works to preserve indigenous species, sometimes knowing that he'll likely be the last human on earth to see a specific plant.
After walking through 2/3s of the preserve, you'll be met with epic views of the Pacific ocean (in winter months, check for whales on the horizon!).
As you can see on the website, Limahuli means "turning hands" in reference to the way ancient Hawaiians built agricultural terraces out of lava rock and planted cultivars of the ever important kalo (taro). I also learned that baby taro leaves are called keiki which means "kids" in Hawaiian, because the Hawaiians saw that when you cut the stem, it bleeds a reddish color, just like people do.
You can hear Limahuli Stream coursing through the preserve, "one of the last pristine waterways left in the islands" that provides a habitat for indigenous aquatic life. If you were to drive just past the entrance of the preserve right beside the bridge, you'd likely see folks jumping into the chilly water and splashing around. You're more than welcome to do this, too.
It was rainy when we went, typical for Kauai weather. My bestie once, who spent a lot of time on the islands, once told me, "If you don't like the weather in Hawaii, just give it 15 minutes — it'll change." For us, it continued to drizzle on and by the time we got to the car, it was pouring. Thankfully, Wilder was a champ the whole way through, only waking up at the end, because she was hungry. I'm sure the mana (spiritual energy) of the land was communicating with her in ways we couldn't see. The great thing about rain? Keeps the mosquitoes at bay, which indeed is an issue when traipsing through the paths here.
- On the way back, we stopped by Sushi Girl in Wainiha, a teeny little shack in between a convenience store and an art collective. We had no idea it would be so ono (delicious)! The sushi burrito was amazing, wrapped in soy paper and wakame (seaweed) though we opted for just the seaweed. The owner of Sushi Girl also paints amazing portraits of fish that are displayed in the shop next door and exhibited on the bottom half of the stand's door. I love little details and they serve the dipping sauce for the "burritos" with a little Sriracha heart decorated in the middle of it. We would totally drive all the way here from Kilauea to chow.
- Did I mention that we call Wilder our little "nugget"? She's such a gem and to that end, here's an extra tidbit from our adventure: go with good friends. They make such a difference. We went with our doula and a friend who just moved here on the mainland specifically to help with preserving indigenous species — even despite the rainy weather and not doing anything crazy, we had so much fun just being around each other and sharing our plant knowledge. It truly felt like we were one big happy ohana (family)!