First off, let me say a HUGE thank you once again to the DE’s on TA. I don’t know how I ever planned a vacation without you! I have used TA to plan three trips to Maui and now this latest trip to Kauai. Your information is invaluable. Thank you for your patience with all the questions. All of you were spot on with your thoughts. I always feel the least I can do to repay you is to include a trip report…so here goes and forgive me if it is too long .
This was our first trip to Kauai and this time it was just my husband and I…we always bring the kids (11 year old son and 12 year old daughter to Maui with us, and they were a bit unhappy that we chose to do this trip without them) . We told them that it is winter in Kauai and there would probably be lots of rain and the beaches would be mostly unswimmable and they wouldn’t have a good time because it was not like Maui with tons of swimmable beaches (wink, wink). But…we also told them that if we think they would like it we would bring them back in the summer months when the great beaches on the North shore would be swimmable and calm. This logic worked for them (whew) and they happily sent us on our way. We left CO at 6:30am after a short hop to SLC, then to LAX and finally onto Lihue. We flew Delta and had no issues whatsoever…except we flew coach and that is always a challenge in comfort…but oh well we were going to Kauai so who cares. We arrived in Lihue at about 6pm got our luggage; yes it arrived with us (yay) and off to Dollar for our rental car. We got on the road and went to find Costco. I might say here that I printed off a ton of Google maps and I found them not too useful. Kauai is challenging in the dark…but after a few missed turns we found Costco pretty easily and loaded up on supplies in pretty quick time. By now it was about 7pm and we were off to Poipu to find the Point at Poipu. Very dark by now…And we were a bit challenged in finding Pe’e rd…little did we know that the road we were on turned into Pe’e after Poipu Rd…lol. After taking a short tour to the Hyatt…oops to far…and then turning around and seeing Kiahuna Plantation…oops too far again…we finally found Pe’e Rd and the Point at Poipu. We checked in and the registration desk said we were in Bldg 6 and it was pretty far from the lobby…grrr…did we want a bellhop…nope we got it….umm can we borrow a cart…nope, that is for bell service only…grrr…oh well changed our minds give us the bellhop. A very nice gentleman took us to our room all the while nicely giving us the 5 cent tour of the grounds to our room. He was great and very informative all along the way. He took us to our room...we had booked a garden view…Ro0m 6-104…hmmm we got to our door and by my calculations we were right on the ocean side. We tipped him and he was on his way. Our room was huge and just what we expected…nicely furnished, two bedrooms…3 37” flatscreen TV’s….so I go to open the lanai door and ….wait…could it be…..OMG we walk out the door and there it is….a front row seat to the Pacific Ocean….WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a great surprise. In the next 8 nights and mornings I would never tire of walking out those doors to watch whales, sunrises and sunsets. It was perfect and so much more that I ever would have expected We opened our bedroom window and fell asleep to the sound of the ocean.
The next morning we of course woke up at about 4am….what time is sunrise?….check the iphone…oh…not until about 6:20am…okay…now what? Well I got up and walked around the grounds…neat pool…nice lobby….walked outside our room…the ocean was roaring…c’mon sunrise…FINALLY I think I see the sun peeking on the horizon…Wait for it…wait for it…finally the sun came up fully at around 6:50. Wow what a view in the daylight! Perfect view of the ocean and wait…what is that? OMG…whale spouts…tons of them…in our entire time here we never got tired of watching the whales…it was like whale soup out there!
So what will we do today? We headed out the door and decided to go towards Waimea…that was where the offices of the Napili Explorer were and we wanted to go whale watching with them the next day…lets see if we can find them. So Off we went…getting a little turned around on how to get to Hwy 50…that’s okay we took the scenic route. We stopped at the Kiahuna Plantation and took a look at the beach…smaller than I expected and a bit crowded, then we went on through Koloa…cute town and there’s the Big Save…we need to stop there to get the things we didn’t get at Costco. So off we go finally finding Hwy 50 and heading west. We found our way to the Subway in Waimea town to pick up sandwiches…stopped by Napili Explorer to book our whale watch the next morning and decided today was as good as any to go up to Waimea Canyon…it was clear and warm….we went up to the canyon stopped by the overlooks and on to Kokee State Park to get our first glimpse of the Kalalau Valley. What a great trip…the views were incredible! Couldn’t wait til the next day when we would see the Napali coast from a boat. We headed back to Poipu and the condo. We decided to hang out at the pool for awhile and have some happy hour Mai Tai’s. Yummy. We bbq’ed some steaks and went to bed early…7pm and we were pooped.
The next day we got up early to go on our raft ride. For those of you who kind know how crazy I am about Blue Water Rafting company in Kihei (Maui) I was expecting a similar experience. We booked the Explorer II which is a larger RIB raft…we were uneasy about taking a smaller raft on the Napali Coast in the middle of winter. It was a beautiful day with great seas. The Explorer II was very comfortable and slow and no one on the boat had even an inkling of seasickness. The highlights of this trip were we saw a ton of dolphins…they were everywhere and swam and jumped and played right next to our Boat. Captain Sean and his first mate Dennis were very knowledgeable and fun. The Napali coast was beautiful but as on most winter days there was a mist of salt sea spray that gave the Napali coast kind of a foggy view…not crisp and clear like you see on the post cards…but the Napali is a sight to behold nonetheless. The seas were so calm that we even had the added surprise of entering a sea cave….VERY COOL and much unexpected considering the time of year! Capt. Sean made lots of wisecracks about being able to go into sea caves…something the “cats” can’t do because of their “big sticks” in the middle of them! He cracked me up! We saw some whales on the way back but not as many as I had hoped to see, so that was a bit disappointing…but overall, the trip was good. In comparison to BWR…this is not a high speed high energy adventure like BWR…no music, no “entertainment” by the crew…but the marine life and incredible scenery made up for that. I would not hesitate to recommend this trip. But would probably look for a different kind of experience next time.
After the boat ride we headed back to Poipu and checked out the sites…found the parking for the Poipu Beach park…caught a glimpse of Brennecke Beach and headed back to the condo. We decided to take a walk over to the Hyatt, and check out Shipwreck Beach…we explored a little bit of the Hyatt and then…lo and held what is that on the beach? A monk seal!!! Honey…where is your camera? BACK IN THE ROOM…seriously? Darn…lets hope we get to see another one. We decided to walk up to shipwreck rock and then continued along the nice hike on the coast by the golf course…..sooo beautiful. It was starting to get late so we walked back toward the Hyatt…Monk Seal still sunbathing and back to the condo for some mai tais and whale watching from the bluff. Once again the whales put on a show. We were supposed to go on a helicopter tour the next morning but we got a call from Mauna Loa and they had a maintenance issue and asked if we would re-book…no problem, we rebooked for a few days later. With that change in plans …looks like we will go to the North Shore tomorrow….To be continued…