Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hawaii, Part 2

Since I am pretty far behind, I will first say this: Kauai was gorgeous.

Breakfast view at the resort
I was really afraid of what our hotel might look like, but it really couldn’t have been much nicer.  I give the Kauai Beach Resort two thumbs up. Our room was lovely, we had a nice little porch, the hotel grounds were beautiful, and the property was right on the beach so we didn’t even have to leave if we didn’t want to.

Of course we did though J

The first day we left and explored the South and West shores.  We visited the Spouting Horn, Poipu beach (Breneke’s burgers for lunch), had our first “shave ice,” stopped at the Kauai Coffee Company and then went on to the Waimea Canyon area.

Kauai Coffee Company and my IPhone’s GPS led us on the adventure of a lifetime. On the way out of the parking lot my GPS told us to go a different way, which led us back around the coffee company and not out onto the main road.  I thought, my GPS must know a short cut, so we went with it. Guess what? It DID NOT know a short cut. It literally took us into the coffee bean plant fields.  Rows upon rows of coffee bean bushes (yes, that’s the technical term) and red dirt.  Because I clearly rely on technology too much, we kept following it.  I mean the thing had street names for every little dirt aisle between plant rows. I thought for sure we would hit a real street ‘any second now.’  Nope!  We passed farmers tilling the land, giant machinery, and hundreds of rows of coffee bean plants. We drove our bright red Dodge Charger up and down the rows, down into ravines and over huge bumps. If you haven’t already guessed, we got completely lost in that darn field.  We decided to start choosing our own turns instead of listening to the GPS and that certainly didn’t help.  We were lost. L-O-S-T.  I think that was the hardest I have laughed in a really long time.  I was crying and could barely breathe. It was so worth it.  Eventually we back tracked enough to make our way out of the fields (I’d say after a solid 30 minutes of driving around in them) and back to the Coffee store. On the way out, there were two trucks following us.  I firmly believe they sent workers into the fields to help get us out (or to yell at us, which is more likely).  That will always be one of my best memories of the trip.

After that adventure, we headed to Waimea Canyon, which is called the “Grand Canyon” of Hawaii. It was simply breathtaking.  We traveled up the mountain to the tourist spot for taking pictures and such which was very pretty, but we kept traveling up the mountain. In all we went over 20 miles up the mountain and I am so glad we did!  It was even prettier up there.  We were at the highest point of the island, even above the clouds. 

C and I stopped at every lookout point along the way up and once we got to the top we hiked along the rim of the mountain for about an hour.  I am glad we left when we did because it got really dark, really fast!  After a day of adventures and hiking we had a gourmet meal…..at McDonalds J

The next day we spent a lot of time at the beach at our hotel and at the hotel pool.  I have to say, we went to probably half a dozen beaches on the island of Kauai and the one at our hotel was probably my favorite.  The beaches there don’t really have much width to them.  There is really not a ton of space to lay out a blanket and lounge around because it’s so close to the water!


The pool at our hotel had several water falls, a volleyball net, an area that was covered with sand (so it felt like you were at the beach but it was much safer for kids) and even a giant water slide.  C and I spent a lot of time on that slide.  I had to giggle when I saw the weight limit sign (250lbs). I asked the attendant if it was ok if we went on the slide and he said of course.  I guess C doesn’t look like the 300lbs he really is! 

After spending half the day at the beach and pool we explored the area near our hotel.  We went to two waterfalls (pretty underwhelming) and visited a few more beaches (also a little underwhelming) and then went to the grocery store for some steaks and such since C had seen a grill (his favorite activity) at the resort earlier in the day.  Apparently this was not for resort guests, just condo guests, but oh well.   C can’t stay away from the grill!

The final day we spent wandering around the North side of the island. Boy was it beautiful!  We visited the Kileuea light house and the Hanalei Bay pier and several caves.  We stopped for lunch at an awesome burger place and had ice cream at a little shop in upscale Princeville. It was a wonderful leisure day full of sightseeing.
Kileuea light house in the distance

Before we headed back to the airport though, we made sure to stop at Poipu beach one last time for a sunset.  It was beautiful J

Funny story:  The car that drove the rental car shuttle bus also worked at our hotel.  We saw him every single day of our trip!  He picked us up in the shuttle bus, we saw him the next morning at breakfast, he was working at the pool the following day and the final day we saw him at breakfast again.  Guess who picked us up at the car rental place to go to the terminal? Yep.  It was him.  We got a nice laugh out of that one!

We flew back to Honolulu that night and spent a lot of time roaming around the beach that night.  So pretty.  If it didn’t come with all of that hustle and bustle, I would say that it would be beautiful.  But there is really too much going to there to actually relax.

The next day we decided to just be lazy and we rented movies from the free redbox type machine at our hotel.  We stayed in bed until it was time for our late checkout.  It was awesome.  After that, we had a late lunch at Duke’s (one of my favorite restaurants in Malibu, CA) and roamed some more.  Then we headed to our final activity, a sunset cruise.  I was prepared with the Dramamine this time and didn’t get sick. Phew!!

After the cruise and a yummy dinner at Buca di Beppo (another one of my favs) we headed back to the airport for our flight home.  Man was I ready to go home! I think I actually got some sleep on the plane and then I slept half the day when we got home!

All in all it was a great trip.  If I could do it over again though, I would fly straight to Kauai (or probably Maui next time) instead of dealing with Oahu and Honolulu!

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