We are picking up our grown children today, Saturday, April 27th around noon. My husband and I have enjoyed our time alone but we are anxious to see the "kids". This is our younger daughter's third trip to Kauai and our oldest and her husband's fourth as they came here for their honeymoon.
Day 5 - We packed up our things for our move to the north shore. We really enjoyed our Koloa rental but the time has come to head north. Mahalo to Mark and Diane :) The kids are due in around noon. We head to Lappert's for coffee and some breakfast. We went to the Sunshine market at the community college in Puhi for some produce. Headed to the airport to trade in our economy car for a full size SUV. We used Hawaiian Discount Car Rentals and ended up with Thrifty, no complaints. I met the kids in baggage claim. We normally all arrive together so it was fun to be picking them up! For a moment we could pretend we reside here :) First stop: they wanted Puka Dogs! We were happy to eat here again. Then we headed to Right Slice. This time we bought a whole lilikoi cheesecake to eat later. We had some time to kill before we could check in to our rental so we just drove around some, showed the kids where we had stayed the previous four days. Soon enough it was time to head north. We stayed at Noho Kai on Anini Beach, http://nohokai.com/ or vrbo #9778 It was a beautiful house with a beautiful yard. Very well equipped, had everything you could need. Very easy beach access also. The only negatives; the mosquitoes were really bad, the mattress we slept on needs to be replaced, and I was surprised at the amount of traffic. I don't think any of these things would keep me from staying here again but we tend to try a new place each time anyway. We got settled and headed to the beach for awhile. For dinner we went to Fredrico's in Princeville Center. This is another favorite, Mexican "fast food". A trip to Foodland. Is this place ever not packed?! Got what we needed and headed back to the house. The kids were tired due to their 6 am flight and five hour time difference so early to bed.
Day 6 - My son-in-law was up very early. He is a fly fishing enthusiast, to put it mildly. He spent many hours all over, up, and down Anini Beach looking for fish. He didn't have a lot of luck but he had fun trying. My daughters and I went into Hanalei to Hanalei Coffee Roasters. We needed our coffee fix. Daughter 2 and I shared a waffle with coconut syrup - so good! Daughter 1 had a breakfast sandwich that she really liked. By this time Dolphin Fish Market was open so we went to get what we needed for dinner. We got some fish to grill, poke, and sushi. It was all very good. We spent the entire day on Anini Beach soaking up the sun, it was an awesome! Ate dinner in that night and just chilled. Also, each night my son-in-law made awesome Mai Tais for us. I miss them.
Day 7 - Today is our 30th wedding anniversary (April 29th). Our kids had beautiful flowers delivered to us from North Shore Bud & Blooms. They did a great job! Mahalo to Maggie, Mallory and Jason! We have a reservation for a 2o'clock helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian, check-in of 1:15. On our way to Lihue we stop in Kilauea at Kong Lung for some pizza at Pau Hana. We like their pizza. Did a little shopping then got on our way. We got checked in at BH and rode the shuttle over to the airport. This tour was the highlight of the trip for me. I'm not sure why we hadn't done this in years past but we thought it would be a great way to celebrate our anniversary. Having been all over the island and seeing the Napali Coast by boat, it was just so interesting to see everything from a bird's eye view! Our pilot, Geoffrey, was great! Born and raised in Hanalei, he was even stationed in Oklahoma (our home) for a time while in the army. He had lots of stories and flew us right over Anini Beach so we could look down on our rental! I can't say enough good things about this experience, loved it!!
We had a 5:30 reservation at Tortilla Republic so we headed over early for happy hour and to watch our Thunder in the play offs. Our dinner was really good, we all liked what we ordered a lot. Good service too! Lappert's for dessert then head back to the North Shore. It was a great anniversary!!
Day 8 - We got up early and headed in to Hanalei for breakfast at the Wake Up Cafe. This is one of our favorites! Sometimes breakfast is served with a bit of attitude but it's just not Kauai without breakfast here. Headed to the end of the road to spend some time at Ke'e. We snorkeled, laid in the sun and walked down the beach to get a view up the coast. Stayed a few hours and headed back. Made a stop in Hanalei for some Bubba's then headed to Kalihiwai Beach. This is a favorite, we love to play in the waves! Got cleaned up and headed back in to Hanalei for dinner. Tried Chicken in a Barrell, we had never eaten there. It was good, I would go back next trip. Did a little shopping and headed back to Anini.
Day 9 - This was another day just spent hanging out on Anini Beach near our rental. On our helicopter pilot's recommendation, my daughter and I walked down to the park and got food from the truck there. It was really good! I got the fish and chips and she got the fish tacos. I tried the tacos, the corn tortillas were soooo good! If we had gone again I was going to ask them if they make them themselves. Does anyone know? If you go to the truck, try the fish tacos! After all day on the beach in the sun, we just ordered pizza from Pau Hanna and picked it up. Early call tomorrow - deep sea fishing.
Day 10 - We had to be at Nawiliwili at 5:45 am, this meant leaving Anini at 4:45.....yawn. We went out with Captain Don. We had a good time, Captain Don is funny and told us to make ourselves at home. He worked hard to find us fish and everyone caught some. I would recommend Captain Don as would my fishing fanatic son- in -law.
The kids had been wanting to go to Mark's Place so we went there for lunch. It was good as always. Back to the North Shore for a little beach time. Dinner in Princeville at Fredrico's with Lappert's for dessert. We were tired from our early morning. Had our Mai Tais and went to bed :)
Day 11 - We go to bed pretty early when on Hawaii time so we're usually up early too, usually by 7:30 (this is early for me). I swear Anini Beach has the loudest birds of anyplace on the island! They are usually really loud by 5:30 or so but I could usually fall back to sleep. Even though it's early, I do love listening to them :) We hung out on the beach for awhile and then the girls headed to Hanalei for a little shopping. Since we were in the area, we had to make a stop at Hanalei Coffee Roasters. In addition to great coffee, I love their chocolate chip cookies! We like to shop at Sand People and Hanalei Surf Backdoor. When we headed back to the rental Wishing Well Shave Ice was open, Yay! We have a 6o'clock reservation at Mediterranean Gourmet. This was our first time here. It rivaled Beach House for my favorite dinner on the island, so delicious! Great service, Bridgette was our waitress. Great drinks! I'll write a review under restaurants but this meal was so good I can't stop thinking about it :) We leave tomorrow night, time to pack up so we can enjoy our last day tomorrow.
Day 12 - Our last day.....sigh. Back to our favorite breakfast spot, Wake Up Cafe, great as always! We head over to Hanalei Farmer's Market. No produce since we're leaving, just shopping. We did hit up Ryan from Kunana Dairy but I was disappointed there were no Sarah's cookies. I did get some granola and some lemonade for my husband, it was delicious! We stopped by Harvest Mkt and scored some of Sarah's Island cookies, my favorite! Back to our favorite beach for awhile - Kalihawai. Big waves today! Before we know it the time has come to clean up and head back South. By the time we left our rental it was pouring down rain. It made it a little easier to leave but not much. Aloha Noho Kai. We headed over to Kukuiula to grab a bite to eat. We split between Bubba's and Savage Shrimp. We then headed to Right Slice and grabbed some pie to eat at the airport while waiting for our 8:30 pm flight. Uneventful flights home connecting in Denver.
We had a great trip! Each one is better than the last. Sorry this is so long. Next time I will do daily trip reports. Mahalo to everyone on the forum for all your good advice, especially the destination experts. Until next time I'll just watch reruns of Hawaii Life and live vicariously through others trip reports to get by.