We were all about adventure on Kauai, and one of The-Most-Awesome-Experiences-Ever (emphasis belonging to BrightSide alone) is a helicopter tour of the island.  It’s incredible.  Amazing views. Fantastic fun.  The only way to see the entire island in an hour.

Helicopter outings have been part of a long running discussion between us and, due to a massive error in judgement, this was the only exception ever made to my One-and-Done List.


The One-and-Done List came into being a number of years ago during our trips.  It seemed like there was always something new and exciting to experience on vacation, and (generally speaking) I like to live by the adage that you should try something at least once before writing it off.  Are there exceptions to this philosophy?  Sure. Running with the bulls won’t be happening, and I’m not a “let’s climb Mount Everest” kind of girl.  But I do make an effort to push out of my comfort zone.

Living this philosophy led to my running One-and-Done List.  Activities that have qualified after I’ve tried them: scuba diving, deep sea fishing, mopeds (and, by extension, motorcycles), speedboat-towed inflatables, parasailing, and (you guessed it) helicopters.  BrightSide and I took our first helicopter tour on Maui with less than stellar results, so onto The List it went.  But then we went to Kauai with some friends a few years later, and BS was all “but Kauai is the perfect island for this, the land is incredible, and the only way to even SEE the Na Pali coast is by helicopter!”  This is how I ended up making my only exception ever to the One-and-Done List. Bad decision.  Very bad decision.  Let’s just say I wasn’t the passenger who actually USED the puke bag, but I sure wanted to.

The One-and-Done List is now my final word on such subjects.

I’m all about individual interests, though, and just because something lands on The List that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.  It just means it won’t be happening for me.

So when BrightSide was psyched to take the kids on a helicopter tour in Kauai I was all, “Go for it! They’ll love it!”  (Probably.)  Far be it for me to kill the fun.  Did I have just a teensy bit of freak out about my entire family going up in an aircraft that, let’s face it, doesn’t give you great survival odds if you crash?  Yes.  Yes, I did.  But the company we used had a great safety record and, frankly, I just did a whole lot of praying for that hour.  Because I’m trying hard not to pass on scaredy-cat genes to the kids.

We booked a tour back in January but their flight was rained out, so we were all thrilled when the weather actually cooperated this month.  We had breakfast together and then I sent them off to the airport to enjoy the (roller coaster-y, nausea-inducing, swooping and swaying) ride.  I then deposited myself on the balcony with my own fun-day supplies: my iPad, two books, my journal, and the Mandala coloring book I’m obsessed with these days.

BrightSide got some incredible pictures from the helicopter, which is no easy feat when you’re shooting past kids and through glass while flying, but he nailed it.  (Whoop, whoop!)





I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when they returned but I had my game face ready to go.  When they came through the door Bear was all smiles and declared that the next time she and BrightSide would be flying in the helicopter without doors.  (Yes, that IS actually an option.  I was in charge of booking the flight, though, and kind of figured it would be good not to completely freak the kids out on their first time up.)  T-man gave it a lukewarm review that increased in enthusiasm as time passed. I think he may have needed a little time to process the experience (though I still don’t think he’s on board with the “no doors” concept right now).

All in all, an awesome morning for the kids.  And they even had an adult on board use the puke bag, so I’d say they got the full experience.