Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day 9- March 6, 2013

March 6, 2013

This was our last day on Kauai, and while it's always sad for us to leave, this time we were returning to our kids who we were definitely missing.  We also knew that we would return, as it's become a pretty regular vacation spot for us.

A few observations I made as I got to spend more time enjoying the island this time around.

-The sand is extremely different at every beach.
-The food we ate everywhere was very good.
-The people are friendly everywhere we went.
-North or South?  I love them both, and I like to experience all sides of the island when I visit.
-There are still so many things and places left to explore.
-I will never get tired of going to Kauai!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 8, March 5, 2013

Today we went for a run around the condo complexes that I always read about, such as the Poipu Kai development, Nihi Kai, Kiahuna Plantation and a bit along the shore by the Marriott Waiohai Club/ Kiahuna Plantation. 

We went back and had breakfast and then set out for a drive to the west.  We weren’t sure where we were going to go so we just headed out and we ended up going through Hanapepe, which we had never seen, then we stopped at Salt Pond Beach
Park, where we also haven’t been.  The beach was nice and we saw slight whale activity. 

We then headed to Waimea so we could try Jojo’s Shave Ice, which we also haven’t had.  I definitely liked Jojo’s and it rivals Paradice in quality for me. 

We then headed back south and stopped at the Poipu Shopping Village and I got a coffee at Starbucks and we did a bit of shopping. We also made reservations at Keoki’s for that evening.  Then we headed back to the Hyatt to read by the pool for the afternoon.

In the evening, I went down to the Hyatt’s torchlighting ceremony, another event I’ve never done. I enjoyed a pina colada and watched the whales in one of my very favorite spots, the seaview terrace.   Afterwards, I introduced myself to Janet, the narrator of the ceremony, who is a main contributor of the Trip Advisor forum that I read frequently.  

We then went and had dinner at Keoki’s Paradise, a restaurant that we seem to go to every time we go to Kauai.  I had mahi mahi on mashed potatoes, and of course we had another good meal.  We then went to the the gelato place in the shopping village and had another good dessert.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Day 7, March 4, 2013

Today was our Nui Nui Loa ziplining trip with Outfitters.  I did the same tour (although they’ve added some new lines) in 2011.  This was Tracy’s first zipline experience.  Once again, I had a great time.  We had great guides, Cory, Nicole, and Matt, and I’m glad we went.  We met a couple on their honeymoon from Trinidad, and it was nice talking to them about their home. That’s one of the many things I love about Hawaii- I always meet many very nice people, whether local or visitors.  I didn’t take any pictures on the zipline because I didn’t want to bring my good camera.

We went back, rested, hung out by the pool, had a mai tai, and then headed to dinner at the Dolphin in the Kukuiula Village.  Again, I was impressed because they have a whole separate gluten free menu, which takes all the guess work out for me and makes it so much easier. I had the cajun style mahi mahi with prosciutto covered asparagus, which was very good. We also had a coconut  thai style poke for appetizer that was also very good.  After dinner we went to Lappert’s for ice cream.  It will be tough to go back home where we don’t regularly have dessert!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day 6-March 3, 2013

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Today we went to the fitness center at the Hyatt.  They have a well-equipped and very nice center, which actually encourages me to work out.

We had brunch at the Ilima Terrace, a pricy breakfast at $31.00 for one person, but not so bad with the 2 for 1 deal we had. It was very nice to have all the food labelled that was gluten free and the food was of good quality and variety.

After eating we grabbed our stuff and headed out on a "hike" to Mahaulepu Beach.  I wanted to do this walk last time we stayed at the Hyatt but it wasn't going to work with the stroller and the 6 kids we were with at the time.  This walk is east of the Hyatt and goes along the coast and the golf course.  It was a beautiful walk and I loved seeing the rugged coastline.  There were a lot more people than I thought there would be (I guess this is not the secret I thought it was).  One strange thing I noticed while doing this hike-there is quite a bit of sand high on the bluffs.  It seems like you're walking on the beach, but up high.  I wondered how such fine and deep sand could get up so high...

More than halfway to the spot I thought we were going to end up, we discovered an area that had caves and a learning center.  It was called the Makauwahi Cave Trail, and I had never even heard of it.  We had a man who told us about the cave and what they were doing to teach people about its history.  It was a really neat thing to see, especially when we weren’t expecting it.  One note, to get into the cave area, you basically need to crawl through an opening, so not everyone has access to the whole site. 

We made it to Mahaulepu Beach and stayed for awhile before heading back. Another beautiful Kauai beach!

We rested and then hung out at the pool until the sun was going down.  Before heading back to our room, I stopped at the front desk to ask about whales and ask what I was doing wrong.  He told me it was easiest to see them early and late in the day and to look for their spouting and that you often could see them at their Seaview Terrace.  So, we headed out there for more looking.  Sure enough, within 10 minutes I finally got to see my first whale activity!  I was starting to think that they just didn’t want to show themselves in my presence.  

We had a great dinner at Merriman’s, where we had eaten in 2011 as well.  I of course was limited to what I could eat but we still had a great dinner of ahi for me and mongchong for Tracy.  He said it was the best meal he had ever had.  I also had a great dinner but the mai tai was pretty bad.  Then we had ice cream at Lappert’s.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day 5-March 2

March 2, 2013

Today was the day we moved from HBR down to the south side of the island.  We needed to clean up the condo, do laundry, and check out, which seems to always take some time.

We decided that we enjoyed the bbq boar so much that we just had to have it again, so stopped in Anahola to eat and then made another stop at Walmart in Lihue to pick up some gifts for people at home and some other things.  We then headed down to the Poipu area.

For our past few trips we've been renting a condo either north or east for a few days and then staying at the Grand Hyatt for the remainder of the trip.  We always really enjoy staying there and I refer to it as my "happy place".  This time I was using my points to stay there and we were very pleased to find out we had been upgraded to a partial ocean view room.  Some people don't like to split up the trip like that, but it has worked for us.  It also gives us an opportunity to spend quality time on both sides of the island.

We walked around the grounds and the beach and enjoyed an expensive mai tai at the pool.

We didn't want to have an expensive dinner but I needed to eat something so we drove to Kukuiula and walked around.  We got a few things at Living Foods and then I got a burger at Merriman's downstairs.
We headed back and had a quiet evening.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Day 4-March 1

Today we set out for a day where the only specific goal was to get bbq boar for lunch.  Other than that, we had thought about going for a hike.

 So, we set out in our car to south/east.  I had thought that we should try the Kailua Ridge hike, one that I've been wanting to try for a few years.

On our way down, without maps or books, we set out.  We stopped at the Kileaua lighthouse for a bit in search of whales.  I got some photos of the lighthouse and birds, but still no whales.  We stopped at the gas station for waters and I got some pics of the church next to it, which I found very charming.

Then we headed to look for the trail.  Unfortunately, my phone wasn't getting much service and the map app that I had would not direct us to the Kuilau trail, and we ended up just driving around the foothills looking at the family farms around Wailua.  It was neat to see Kauai off the main drags.

I wasn't quite up for searching even more for the trail (finally located it eventually on my phone map) because I just haven't been sleeping well, so we ended up at Opaeka'a Falls with all the other visitors, and then stopped at Lydgate to see how the ponds are looking.  It was incredibly windy there so we only stopped for a few minutes.

We then headed up to stop at the Coconut Marketplace to walk around and then I wanted to walk around behind to see what some of the properties look like that I always hear about (i.e., the Islander).  I also wanted to see if Hukilau Lanai was open for lunch, but it is a dinner only restaurant.

We then left back for the north and found the bbq boar at the Anahola Farmer's Market that I've been reading about and craving.  It was exactly what I was hoping for and we were both very happy!  We bought some other produce at their market and left for the condo.

On the way we pulled off so I could see Kalihiwai Bay, as I've never seen it.  We stopped for awhile and I got pictures.  We didn't go very far, but I did find out later that two men had gotten lost/drowned close by during our trip here.

After a rest we went back to Paradice, had our shave ice, got a coffee at Hanalei Coffee Roasters, and went to Hanalei Bay for a bit to walk and read.  They're doing work on the pier and it sure takes on a different look than what I've been used to.  I found what I think is the staging area for the construction so of course had to take pics of that.  I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

We stopped and had a drink at Tahiti Nui, another place I've been wanting to go to, but didn't think it was entirely appropriate for children.  We had a quick drink and listened to the music for awhile before heading home.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day Three-February 28, 2013

Today we woke up and went for another run through Princeville. It's such an awesome place to go for a run and I'm already not looking forward to hitting the treadmill when I get back home.

After breakfast and showers, we headed up north to the Hanalei Colony Resort, where we walked on the beautiful beach for awhile.  Lots of waves here but beautiful colors.  I took some pictures, then we headed to the spa onsite called Hanalei Day Spa, where we got massages. Very good massages for both  and afterwards we went to the onsite restaurant, Mediterranean Gourmet.  I've heard great things about this restaurant and have been wanting to try it for a long time.  They also have several offerings that are gluten free, so I can actually eat more than a salad.  We both ordered fish lettuce wraps that had ono in them and had hummus, taboulleh, and babaganoush.  We both really enjoyed our food and while the service was great, the food took quite awhile to arrive.

After lunch, we went for a drive to the end of the road, and noticed that at Ke'e the beach was closed for swimming/snorkeling due to the surf.

We made another stop at Paradice for more shave ice and headed home for a rest and down time.
In the evening, we headed to the St. Regis to meet up with one of Tracy's coworkers and her husband who also were on the island.  We went a little early to watch the sunset and walk around.  It's a beautiful property and I hope to stay there some day, even if for one night, just to see what it's like.
We met the couple in the bar and had a few drinks and pupus, and while it was pretty darn expensive, the food (rice cracker ahi and barbeque beef skewers) was amazing.  The mai tais weren't bad either.,.