The day I had been dreading on this trip was finally here and I thank this forum for making it perfect! Something about renting SUP boards and watching the kids use them was intimidating to me and I just wanted the day to be uncomplicated and fun for the kids. I remembered Shelly and Joan posting about the Surf Shack at Mana Kai Resort being a great place to rent boards and use them. That was my plan.....
We headed to Keawakupu Beach and I was thrilled there was so much parking. We pulled into the Mana Kai driveway and immediately turned left into the gravel dirt parking lot. We could have gone down one entrance further and parked in that huge lot. When we left five hours later, both of these parking lots were close to full at noon. We walked down the marked beach access path to the beach and set up back by the greenery, to the left of Sarrentos restaurant.
Michelle and Chris went to find the Surf Shack and came back less than ten minutes later with their boards. OMG....this was going smooth and it all seemed so easy! I was nervous they didn't feel the need for a lesson because Chris had done this some time ago. We watched them head out into the minimal surf and I was living vicariously through their successful kneeling and standing up.....happy I wasn't the one falling into the water.....and then they would get up again. Chris got the feel faster and better than Michelle, but Michelle got Mike out there on the board and the three of them had a blast!
This beach is a great one to learn this skill cause there are so many beginners and people give each other tips. A cool French guy was snorkeling and saw Mike trying to get up on the board, so for ten minutes he held the board steady and gave Mike tips. Within an hour on this beach, I felt completely comfortable and loved how the morning was shaping up. Wow....I could even enjoy spending a vacation in the midst of this activity, not having to drive to a swimmable beach. We would look into Surfside cause it would be close to the action, but removed by one resort. And it has a following on this forum of folks more than happy to stay there!
I took hundreds of photos of my crew SUPing, snorkeling and swimming. I was happy I brought my umbrella and I stayed pleasantly shaded all morning to avoid turning red. The kids used all of their four hours ($45 for each board) and turned them back in. It is easy to park, play and eat, if you choose, at this location. We now have a new spot to enjoy and maybe when I have my old glasses next trip, I'll learn to SUP cause I no longer feel intimidated by this cool sport. I wasn't willing to risk losing my only pair of glasses! And I liked a tip on my other post, to do this in the morning before the wind picks up.
We cleaned up at the condo and went to lunch at The Waterfront in Maalaea Harbor. We ordered a Spring Roll appetizer, Rewbin sandwich, Fish and Chips, Border Burger and the Green Papaya and Mango Salad w/Coconut Shrimp, plus the Mediterranean Pasta Salad. Wonderful lunch except my eyes were too big and I should have ordered the smaller size on the mango salad. It was huge! What a gorgeous, tastefully decorated restaurant and our server was very nice, but a bit slow. He may have been handling too many tables and we weren't in a big hurry. We would return to this restaurant, if our time on the island was longer. Coconuts remains the best fish and chips in my husband's opinion!
Mike and the kids went to the pool while I picked up some sunscreen and checked Crazy Shirts for more good deals. I had hoped they might have more long, clearance priced pants in my size, but no luck. This is truly my favorite clothes shop cause I can wear the shirts to work....as long as I take care not to buy the lower cut shirts. The Pima shirts fit comfortably and so many beautiful colors and designs. So yes, I ditched everyone and went shopping! Our daughter is a minimalist and could care less about more clothes.....as for me, I had to give away many of my Crazy shirts earlier last month because I got smaller, so I refreshed my supply!
Knowing that we were leaving for Kauai tomorrow, we took the kids out to dinner at Kula Lodge. I imagine there will only be a happy hour (Five Palms) and lunch with them when we return and we really enjoyed the lunch we had here last week. We had the same awesome server, Roy, and he was such fun! The kids earned their Mai Tais and lava flows because, once again, I thought I knew where I was going only to have to turn around and retrace to get the correct route. I was doing fine with just Mike but performance anxiety in driving with the youngsters is making me question my directions. Starting tomorrow, they get to figure out where they are going without our help. Lucky all they have to do is hang out in Kihei....or maybe they will get more adventurous!
The kids got the mango glazed ribs and I wish I had repeated this meal from last week. Instead I ordered the Cornish game hen and it just wasn't a thrill. Weird stuff on top that I didn't like and uninspired mashed potatoes, plus dealing with the bones made for just an ok meal. I tried not to look at Mike's ribeye cause it looked yummy and he practically licked the plate clean! We all had dessert (pineapple upside cake, mango cheesecake and two chocolate brownies w/vanilla ice cream) and it will be hard to go back to string cheese, turkey sandwiches, yogurt and sun chips for lunch when I get home! I have only gained back three pounds and I have literally ate exactly what I wanted the entire trip. I'm feeling good that I have boogie boarded cause the walking hasn't been happening!
Thank goodness I made it down the hill just fine....Even though there are no street lights, the reflectors and lines on the road were quite bright and it wasn't a difficult drive back south to Kihei. I will miss driving on dry roads, with the windows rolled down, even at night and feeling the warm, soft air leaving a restaurant, no matter how late in the evening. I know it will be cold and close to snow once we get home.
The kids turned in early, I imagine worn out from their day. We watched Hawaii 5-O and packed the essentials for tomorrow. I love inter island flights when we are going back to the island we left. All we need to pack is our beach bag and a carry on with beach clothes. Traveling light is fun!
If I have a connection on the north shore, I will try to post on the Kauai forum. There is no itinerary, just beaches, books, simple food, music and relaxing with each other on a "new to us" island. We will do it as we find it..... Take care! Deb