Family Vacation to Kauai: North Shore

Mommy, toddler & a bun in the oven on the beach in Princeville, Kauai
Right before Will’s second birthday, we snuck in a family vacation to Kauai. As other parents can probably guess, we were capitalizing on Will’s final free flight. We also wanted to take a trip while baby number two requires no additional luggage. I wouldn't exactly call it a babymoon (is it a babymoon when you're changing diapers?), but it was hands-down my favorite vacation ever. Getting to spend so much time with Will was incredibly special. Nick and I felt like we saw him learn and grow so much on this trip. We loved seeing him experience so many new things, from his first waves to his first shaved ice, and listening to him talk nonstop.

We spent half of our time on Kauai's lush north shore in Princeville, and the other half in the south's sunny Poipu. Here are the highlights from our time up north.

St. Regis, Princeville, Kauai

We stayed at the St. Regis, which is home to a postcard-perfect beach surrounded by green mountains. We definitely played the Jurassic Park soundtrack and told Will to look for dinosaurs as we made our way from the airport to the resort.

Perfect toddler beach at the St. Regis Kauai

Family vacation to Kauai: St. Regis, Princeville
Experiencing the ocean in Princeville, Kauai

It was Will's first time up close with the ocean. We were so surprised when he sat right down in the water on our first day.

Toddler experiencing the ocean for the first time
Here comes a wave...
Toddler experiencing waves for the first time
Waves are fun!
Toddler's first reaction to waves: all smiles!
This is my favorite series from the whole trip. When the (tiny) waves started to roll in, Will couldn't get enough. He kept asking for "more big ones!"

Asking for more waves already
That face!

Flying high at the pool at the St. Regis Princeville, Kauai
Family pool time at the St. Regis Princeville, Kauai

The pool was big hit, too. Will loved being thrown "way up high!" and thought my cannonballs were hilarious.

Beautiful sunset in the north shore of Kauai

This was a pull-over-on-the-side-of-the-road kind of sunset.

Baby bump at the beach

Baby bump at 24 weeks.

Toddler digging the sand

Baby and baby brother on the way

mother-son giggles

Mommy and toddler comparing baby bellies
Comparing our baby bellies.

View of the sunset from the St. Regis Princeville, Kauai
The view at sunset from the hotel bar.

Floating around the pool at the St. Regis Princeville, Kauai

Pineapple pool float (sunnylife)
Our pineapple float was super popular with the pool crowd—everyone wanted to know where we got it (answer: Nordstrom).

Wishing Well Shave Ice in Hanalei, Kauai

Shaved ice break at Wishing Well Shave Ice in Hanalei

This vacation was also filled with daily trips for ice cream and shaved ice. Wishing Well Shave Ice in nearby Hanalei had amazing combos, like this bowl of pineapple and mango shaved ice over vanilla ice cream. It was love at first bite for this sweaty little kid.

Sunset on the beach at the St. Regis Princeville, Kauai

Building sand castles on the beach at sunset

Pastel sunset at the St. Regis Princeville, Kauai

mother-son selfie at sunset during our family vacation to Kauai

Another spectacular sunset—plus a sunset selfie.

After hours swimming at the St. Regis Princeville

mother-son smooch

When your mom didn't bring your swimsuit because it was way past everyone's bedtime but you want to go in the pool anyway, you go skinny dipping (shhhh).

Hiking the Na Pali coast, Kauai

Na Pali coast hike with a toddler in an Osprey pack

Beautiful views along the Na Pali coast hike

Hiking the Na Pali Coast was insanely beautiful. Will let everyone on the trail know when a helicopter was in sight (which was basically every two minutes given how popular helicopter tours are in these parts) and stayed on the lookout for a T-Rex.

Another stop at Wishing Well Shave Ice in Hanalei, Kauai

Favorite north shore spot for shaved ice: Wishing Well Shave Ice in Hanalei

And lastly, one more stop at our favorite shaved ice joint before heading south.

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