Woke up at 6:00 to the aroma of Kauai coffee. Am I still dreaming? Nope -- all I can say is God bless the person who invented the automatic coffee pot. We took our time savoring the views of the mouintains with the sunlight peeking at us. I got excited -- there's a rainbow. Wait there's another! Multiple rainbows danced across the sky -- the pot of gold at the end was surely the island of Kauai. I was in love with my new home.
We packed up and were on the road by 7:15 -- I don't like to drive so my husband has been patiently carting me around for the last 40 years. Yep, "Driving Miss Patty". I am the navigator and he is the pilot. Believe me piloting with me for a navigator can be challenging at times but usually with a good map in hand we can easily get "from here to there"!
We were heading south so our first stop would be the Opaeka Falls and Poliahu Heiau. We were treated to glorious views of the Wailua River Valley. I could understand why the Hawaiian people belelived the place to be sacred and so special. An inner peace envelopes you as you gaze at the falls cascading over the rocks -- you can hear the power of the water, and feel an occasional spray when the wind shifts.
At the town of Hanama'ulu, we drove into the Kapaia valley and onward to the Wailua Falls viewpoint. The falls were majestic -- like a twin bridal veil! No wonder they used it for the opening scenes of "Fantasy Island".
We continued on our journey and as we passed the Marriott we decided to stop in and see how we could have spent our children's inheritence! The grounds are opulent, the beach beautiful and the pool was to die for. We did get a nice view of the coast and had a peak at Duke's.
We continued through on our way for a glimpse of Nawiliwili Harbor. We passed one of my favorite stores from home -- K-Mart -- it was calling but I'm on island time now. No time for shopping, too much to experience!
We continued South taking in all the sites. The tree tunnel was a sight to behold. I asked my chauffeur to make a U-turn so that we could pass through it again! Our next planned stop was the "Spouting Horn". We had a blast there -- of water and with the other gawkers. We all stood there with our cameras, waiting for the blowhole to erupt. We were rating each one -- waiting for a ten! Even the sounds it made were a delight.
We were getting hungry, so we headed to Koloa for lunch. Sueoka's Market did not disappoint. We shared the Mahi Mahi Plate lunch -- it was onolicious! We walked around to stretch our legs and let lunch settle in our bellies.
We drove to the Kauai Coffee Company and I loved it. I'm a coffee addict so I really enjoyed the self-guided walking tour. The grounds are beautiful and you really can learn a lot about coffee growing. There are samples of all the different blends that they produce. I was in caffeine heaven!
Next stop, Hanapepe -- Kauai's Biggest Little Town. We walked down the main street of this charming little town. We window shopped and stopped in a few galleries. The highlight for us was crossing the swinging bridge. I felt like I was with Jack Sparrow swinging across the river -- it made for some fun photos!
We checked our time and realized that we had just enough time to get to 'Ele'ele and check in for our Blue Dolphin sunset cruise. I was a little nervous about reports of people who had gotten seasick but we prepared ourselves for the day with multiple doses of Dramamine.
Captain Gregg, Taylor, and Heather would be our crew for the day. After a brief and humorous safety orientation, we were ready to embark on our cruise to the Na Pali Coast.
Our boat was not too crowded and most of the other guests didn't get their sea legs as quickly as we did. For the first hour of the sail, we were perched at the tip of the bow. I was truly having my Titanic moment. It was fantastic! The Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins danced in the wake of the boat, riding the waves.
The water started to get really rough, we hung on with the waves splashing on our faces, I was soaked and loving every second. It started to rain, we didn't care -- we were wet already. I slipped into my poncho and laughed like a teenager. We looked around and realized everyone else had retreated to the cabin. We had the front of the boat to ourselves and it was glorious.
We were really churning in the water now. The Captain asked us to take a seat. With Heather's help, I was able to navigate to a perch on the top deck. The cliffs were getting more spectacular as we continued up the coast. We saw sea caves, and waterfalls and couldn't tear ours eyes from the coastline. The sun came out and we were treated to rainbows mixing with the verdent colors of the vertical cliffs. Too soon, it was time to turn around. It was hard to believe we had been sailing for over two hours already!
After the Caprtain turned the boat, the crew hoisted the sails. They cranked up the music, opened the bar and served a delicious dinner. The meal was scrumptious: Terriaki Chicken, Kahlua Pork, rice, salad, fresh pineapple, and chocolate chip cookies -- a meal fit for a king of the pirates! We ate and hummed along to the tunes while enjoying Mai Tais and Heinekens. We witnessed a fantastic sunset over the water. The boat docked at 7:30. Mahalo, Blue Dolphin for a thrilling day!
The drive home was arduous -- we were tired and it is really dark! We took our time and arrived home safely. My head hit the pillow at 8:30 and I said my thank you prayers -- Kauai had taken us by the hand and helped us live out a fantasy -- all our romantic dreams came true. We discovered so many things but most importantly, we rediscovered the love of 40 years together!