Ok…so going to try my hand at providing a trip report for my last trip to Kauai (2/16-2/23).
I wanted to do this as I have always enjoyed reading other’s reports, it really helped me get thru the long days in anticipation of my trip. I apologize upfront if this is long, boring or not formulated properly
My girlfriend and I left Phoenix, AZ Saturday morning excited for our trip. We got to Sky Harbor Airport and the Hawaiian Airlines check-in counter 2 hours early (I’m a stickler about that kind of thing).
My girlfriend was surprised when I told her we were flying 1st Class. On our very 1st trip to Kauai 2 years ago we flew 1st class totally by accident (upgraded at the check in counter because our original seats were in separate rows). Now we are both spoiled by flying 1st Class! I’ll be paying for the tickets for the next 20 years or so… The flight was great, food and drinks were excellent, the seats ultra comfortable. My only complaint were the DigEplayers they gave us. I know they were free for 1st Class, but the selection of movies/TV shows seemed a bit old. The movie on the main screens was “The Descendents”. That movie is a postcard for the state of Hawaii (although the storyline was a bit depressing).
Landed in HNL, about a 90 minute layover and then on to Lihue. This is my 6th trip to Kauai and I always get that special feeling when I get to the LIH airport. I closed my eyes and silently gave a small prayer of thanks for being blessed to be able to visit paradise again. I remember when a trip to Hawaii was a faraway dream, something to get me thru long days and nights. I never take it for granted.
On to Budget for the car (very long wait) and then onto Kauai Beach Resort. I know there are nicer places to’stay on the island; I just love this resort for its location and for how quiet it can be. We got checked in around 4:00 grabbed a burger and mai tai at the beach hut in the resort and just relaxed.
Sunday was designated as “Do Nothing Day”, so we just had breakfast at the buffet (pre-purchased daily breakfast buffet) took a long walk up and down the beach front and then layed out at the pools reading and relaxing. It was pure heaven. Light dinner at Shutters Lounge in the resort.
As a side note: Weather – It was very windy and partly cloudy with intermittent showers the whole time we
were there. Didn’t bother us 1 bit. It was cooler than I expected… no worries, just stopped at ABC Store and picked up a hooded sweatshirt.
Monday was “North Day”. Tried to go to the Lighthouse, didn’t realize it was closed (Presidents Day Holiday). Stopped at several beaches along the way (wish I could remember all of their names) and then all the way up to Ke’e Beach. It was crowded, no place to park. Drove around a bit more, the girlfriend didn’t want to go into “the jungle”, it looked too scary to her...I just laughed as we drove back into Hanalei. Lunch at Bouchon’s was delicious. Onto Safeway and Long’s for some supplies and then back to the resort. Dinner and drinks at the resort.
Tuesday was “South Day”. Kolooa town, Poipu, Spouting Horn. All the years I’ve gone to the island this was my first time exploring Kolooa. Made some purchases in their shops, walked thru and enjoyed their historical buildings. Onto Spouting Horn for some pictures and also to purchase pearl necklaces for my girlfriend. Then onto Poipu beach for more relaxing. It was pretty crowded, had to shake my head as the lifeguard had to yell at a family walking out on some rock trail in the ocean (pretty dangerous, what are some people thinking?) Lunch at Brennecke’s, ice cream at Lapperts (wow!), more shopping in Poipu and then back “home” (KBR).
Wednesday started with breakfast at Eggberts in the Coconut Marketplace. Although I had pre-purchased breakfast at the resort, by this time we need a break. Plus I wanted to try my first ever Loco Moco. Delicious, but way too much food that early in the morning. Girlfriend had the Mac Nut Pancakes and raved about them. Next brought a return back to the Lighthouse. Views were gorgeous but quite windy. Unfortunately we never got to see any whales on this trip. Then onto Lydgate Beach for some relaxation. The beach wasn’t very crowded, but again, had to deal with windy conditions and intermittent showers. Went into Lihue for some shopping (Macy’s...the girlfriend needed more shorts…) Room service at the resort for dinner and dinks on the lanai looking out at the ocean. Another side note: had an ocean view room at the resort that I have to say was the best view I’ve ever had that was not “ocean front”. From our lanai we had a view of the resort pools, some coconut trees and then the ocean. I spent many a morning/early evening sitting on the lanai looking out and reflecting on how lucky I was for even being there in the first place.
Thursday was “Waimea Canyon” day. It was very overcast, and I was concerned about the canyon view. First a stop at Wailua Falls (beautiful, but I was curious how a group of people got into the water by the falls to swim and fish. Seemed kind of dangerous to me, but they seemed to be having fun). Made the drive up to the canyon, and of course it started to really pour when we got to the first observatory. When it let up a little we got out of the car to take in as much of the views as possible. Even in the rain and clouds it’s still a gorgeous and wondrous site to behold. I’ve made this trip several times and still can’t get enough of the views. Back down and drove as far as we could go towards Polihale Beach. I really wanted to drive to the beach, but I knew the risks involved (especially with all of the rain we had) and didn’t want to chance it with the rental car. Maybe next time we’ll rent a jeep and make the trek. Back to Kapaa and lunch at Bubba Burgers. I had always wanted to try Bubba’s, I have to say the hamburger and “Frings” (Fries and Onion Rings combo) was delicious. Unfortunately we had to compete with a number of flies that wanted part of our meals also. No worries...was happy to say I tried it. Dinner that night was at Hukilau Lani. I had made reservations weeks in advance. Dinner was delicious (we both had the Wally Steak Crown Royal). We were originally seated in the outside area of the restaurant, but it was way too windy and cold for my girlfriend. They were great in moving us indoors, but still with a view of the ocean. There was a mistake with our dessert order (chocolate lava cake), the waitress had forgotten to place the order in advance (as the menu states to give them 20-30 minute notice). Again, not a problem, we were happy to enjoy drinks and the view. The manager and waitress both offered the dessert on the house. Great service, great views and great food.
Friday (last full day) was “Souvenir Shopping Day”. Back to Bubba’s Burgers to pick up some t-shirts the girlfriend saw for her grandkids, some other shops in Kapaa and eventually back to ABC store for candy, coffee, etc. We wanted to get done with enough time to get back to the pool; unfortunately mother nature really didn’t cooperate, so it was back to the lanai for drinks and reading. Still heaven. Last dinner (and Mai Tai) at Shutter Lounge in the resort, then packing and relaxing in the room.
Saturday was “Going Home Day”. It’s always hard, no matter how many times I’ve been to the island. Breakfast and last walk to the beach. Eventually left, had some issues in LIH with delayed flights, but we had plenty of time as we had originally had a 4.5 hour layover in HNL (which by the time we actually made it there was about 2.5 hours). Another side note: Having first class tickets gave us access to the Hawaiian Airline lounges, can’t say I was very impressed. Some seats and a soda fountain, not much special about them.
Well, that was it. 8 days and 7 nights in paradise. I can never get enough of this island; it’s by far my favorite (I’ve also been to Maui and the Big Island). I love it for its quaint size, vastness of beauty and charm. It’s what anyone would envision when describing paradise. Part of me would love to retire here; part of me wants to save this place as that special place you visit. Maybe someday I’ll be blessed enough to have that as a decision to make. Again, mahalo for all of your previous reports and comments on this forum. And mahalo for reading thru all of these great memories.Edited: 27 February 2013, 18:12