First a little background. We are a married couple, 26 and 27 years old, no children. We were married in 2006 on Maui, and last visited Kauai in March 2007. I had been to Kauai two other times when I was younger. We are fortunate enough to be able to stay with my parents at their timeshare at the Point at Poipu.
Our flight from DFW went well, with a short stopover in LA. I actually like having a short layover on the West Coast, being able to get off the plane and stretch the legs. We arrived in Kauai around 7:00 PM, retrieved our luggage, then off to Budget to get our rental car. Once we were in the cars, my mother and I went to Star Market for some necessity shopping (milk, coffee, and some fruit). Husband and father went on to the Point at Poipu and got checked in. At the Point, we got a great room in building 3, with a full ocean view. Again, let me re-iterate how lucky we are to be able to join my parents here. We could NEVER afford a room or view like what we get at the Point. The whole resort is great, but the shoreline walking and just sitting on the lanai watching the ocean is awesome.
The next morning, I was up at 4:30 AM, thanks to that pesky Central-time based internal clock of mine. Once light started to dawn, all 4 of us walked to Makawehi Point (or “the rock” as we call it). We sat up there and watched the sun come up…amazing! After reveling in our surroundings for a while, we headed back to the condo and got cleaned up. My dearest husband is a football addict and has no qualms about watching it at 7:00 AM, so, in front of the TV is where he spent the rest of his morning. My mother and I went into Lihue for Costco shopping. I really enjoyed looking at all of the local products they carry, and we both felt the prices weren’t that much higher than we’re used to paying in Fort Worth. The rest of the afternoon, we walked around the shoreline at the Point, watched the honu’s feed in the cove, and just re-acquainted ourselves with the resort. For our first evening on-island, we had made dinner reservations at the Beach House. We had a great table, right by the open-air doors, and perfect to watch the sunset. The dinner was outstanding, but the sunset is what makes it memorable.
That rich chocolate dessert we had at the Beach House? Be assured we paid for it the next day…we drove to the North Shore early that morning and hiked to Hanakapiai Falls. The views of the NaPali coast on the first two miles did not disappoint. The second two miles into the falls was also cool, with the possible exception of the rotting fruit on the ground smelling like wine and attracting gnats that tend to go up your nose or into your mouth if you’re not careful (speaking from experience here). Once we got to the falls….WOW! I have never been anywhere like this and it was just amazing. I got into the water for a bit and swam around, but it was rather cold so I didn’t stay in long. After spending about an hour relaxing on the rocks, looking at the views, and eating a snack, we started back. All of the climbing and negotiating of the rocks definitely started to wear on us, and by the last mile of the hike, we were spent, but made it out in one piece. Overall, it was an outstanding hike and I recommend it. But, make sure you are in decent shape and if you have ankle or knee problems, make sure you have supportive shoes…all the hiking over rocks can definitely wear on you. My mouth dropped open in a stupor when I saw another couple coming up the trail in flip flops! I would have never made it without good comfortable shoes (Keen’s by the way….they worked great for the stream crossings).
After the hike, we drove back to Poipu and relaxed for the rest of the day. Watched our Cowboys win against the Eagles, then went to bed….both exhausted and triumphant.
Tuesday, we were still a little sore from the hike, so we took it easy and hit up Lawai and Poipu beaches. Bummer of the trip: My husband lost his wedding ring at Lawai beach. It probably fell off when he grabbed a rock for stability when he was getting out of the water. He shouldn’t have been wearing it and usually makes a point to take it off in the water…but this time he didn’t. For those of you planning a trip, take heed to our unfortunate lesson! The snorkeling at Lawai and Poipu beaches was good; the water was a little rough that day though.
Watching the sunset that night at the Point was excellent, we also had a full moon for this part of the trip….VERY cool.
Wednesday my husband and I went to Lihue for breakfast and ate at the Tip Top Café. I got the banana pancakes (delish) and he got a Loco Moco….lets just say he’s found a new guilty pleasure for breakfast in Hawaii.
We then drove west, stopping at Kauai Coffee Company (I love their coffee), and onto Waimea Canyon. We have been to the canyon each time we visit Kauai, and it’s still awesome. We went to all of the major lookouts, including Kalalau, and took a few of the shorter trails. It was perfect weather that day, no clouds and great views. Stopped at Shrimp Station for lunch (great as usual…love the shrimp tacos).
That evening, we met my parents out at Polihale beach for sunset. This was one of the highlights of the trip for me. There were only a few other people on the whole beach, and the sunset was magical. Polihale is a beautiful beach!
Next day, we rented a Kayak through Wailua Kayak and Canoe. The experience didn’t start well; when I made the reservation, the representative didn’t tell me where to meet them. We showed up at the office address that was on their advertisement, and nobody was there….they didn’t open until 8:00 and our reservation was at 7:30. We finally asked a guy in the convenience store next door and he told us where to go…you meet them at the river, not at their office, would have been good to know. When we got there, the guy at the waterfront didn’t want to let us go because “you wouldn’t be back in time…you are starting too late”. Tried to explain the situation but he didn’t seem to care much. We went back to the office, and by then there was someone there. He seemed to be the owner and when I explained what happened to him, he took immediate action to make it right…called the guy at the dock and told him to let us go. 15 minutes later we were kayaking down the river. We did the hike to Secret Falls and stopped at the Fern Grotto on the way back. The trip was nice and relaxing and I’m glad we did it solo rather than with a group.
Friday was our final full day on Kauai. Late morning, we hiked to Maha’ulepu Beach…FANTASTIC. The hike along the cliffs was easy and it was awesome seeing the coastal erosion in that area. The beach is beautiful…we hung out and played in the water for a few hours, just enjoying ourselves in paradise. I am remiss that this is the first time we have made the hike out to this beach…just amazing.
We got back and were hungry for lunch, decided to try out Keoki’s paradise. It was good and worth the trip. Did a little shopping after lunch, looked for a replacement ring for the husband, alas...the rings we liked weren’t available in his size….but we did find one later in the trip.
One last sunset at the Point...we were sad to leave but excited for our next week, heading to the Big Island. It is nice to know that we will have the opportunity to come back each year…and you can be sure we will.
A few final words. Kauai is a magical place and after visiting all the other major islands, it is my favorite. The people are friendly and the scenery is jaw dropping. I enjoy that you can come here on a budget, and still do wonderful things. All you need are two feet and some snorkeling gear to have the vacation of a lifetime.
Also, a special thanks to all of the posters on this board. I read the board for months leading up to the trip and learned some valuable information that certainly made positive contributions to our trip. Your kindness reflects the kindness we experience from others when we are on Kauai.
Mahalo for reading,