Monday, October 31, 2016

Aloha Kauai: Days 2 & 3

For a recap of the very start of our vacation, click here!

On the second day of our trip, we were delusional and ambitious and decided to take on an 'easy' hike along the coast of the West Coast of the island. According to my research, there was a long 11 mile hike that required permits or an 'easy' 2 mile hike to a secret beach and back.

Maybe for serious hikers, it would have been easy. But for me, it definitely wasn't. It was beautiful, but it was also 98% humidity, all up and down hill, and completely coated in mud. I was not prepared, but knowing it was only two miles out and two back kept me alive. In hindsight, I'm very glad I did it, but I underestimated it.

Right before you get to the secret beach, you have to traverse a creek. You are supposed to jump from slippery rock to slippery rock. I tried and made it about midway through before falling in. After wadding to the other side, I tried to push it out of my mind. It wasn't until afterward when looking through Dan's pictures did I realize that he had managed to catch this lovely image of me immersed in the creek while the strangers on the other side judged me. Yay...

But like I said, we survived. It was a rough morning for me, but I would definitely try it again. Better prepared, though...

After a veeeeeeeeeery long shower, which still managed to not get all the mud off my legs, we spent the rest of the day exploring the nearby areas of Hanalei and Princeville. We ate way too much shaved ice at Jojo's, caught the sunset overlooking the Kilauea lighthouse, and grubbed down dinner at Bubba Burgers.

After barely surviving the hike, the next day was much more chill. On the way to the trailhead, we passed the Limahuli Garden and Preserve entrance. We spent the morning strolling the grounds and learning about the native plant-life. Our intentions were good to become accquainted with the natural Hawaiian culture, but by the end of it, we were just immature idiots making jokes about plant names. Wili wili...

After a lovely morning of learning, we went into Hanalei for lunch. I pressured Dan into trying authentic Hawaiian barbecue at L & L's and I had pizza down the street at Tahiti Nui's, famous for being a location in the George Clooney movie, The Descendants.

While our rental house was basically on the beach, Dan was concerned that it was not a safe beach to swim. After a bit of research, he found Haena beach park near the trail head, with a life-guard and everything. The views were incredible. The bay on one side and the cliffs of the rain forest on the other. I am training myself to be more comfortable in the ocean, but this desert rat has a long way to go. I think I managed to wade for roughly ten minutes before a large wave knocked me over and I basically crawled back up onto the beach. There was so much sand in my bikini bottoms that Dan was concerned about it clogging the shower drain.

We finished the day with a fresh dinner at Bouchon's in Hanalei. It was the perfect way to start our vacation. We did a lot, we saw a lot, we ate a lot. It's all I ever really ask for in my vacations.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Aloha Kauai: Day 1

I know I am not the most consistent blogger, but one of the reasons I've been missing lately is we finally got around to taking a nice, relaxing vacation. A full week on the North Shore of Kauai. It was amazingly beautiful and I miss it just thinking about it.

We've been to Hawaii before, but this time was different for two reasons: 1) we chose Kauai instead of Oahu and 2) we tried AirBnb for the first time.

Last time, we stayed Turtle Bay and had a lovely time, but in looking back, our favorite moments we outside of the hotel. We ran the numbers and realized that having a beach house to ourselves for a week was slightly cheaper than staying in a nice hotel, so I talked Dan into it.

This was the beautiful beach house. Technically, it wasn't on the beach, but it was house, then street, than beach. When it's a sixty second walk across the front yard to a beach, it counts as a beach house.

The waves weren't safe for swimming on our beach, but they were safe enough to wade through almost every morning.

Another great feature of the beach house was the two horses that lived next door. I don't really understand it, but I think it's a big thing there to let livestock graze on properties to keep the grass and weeds down. This was the view from the kitchen. Seriously, paradise.

The other part of the trip that was awesomely unexpected was the upgrade of our rental car to a Jeep. My husband is a Jeep man. He's got a great '91 YJ that he's had since high school. The fact that we got a free upgrade to a Jeep was the cherry on top for him. And he got to spend the trip attempting to talk up the hard-top Jeep so he can upgrade his own.

Most of the first day we spent settling in and stocking up on groceries at the local Foodland. I'll slowly go through our whole trip, but it'll be a while, like the Mexican food we ordered from Federico's as our first meal on the island. Seriously, my chimichanga took forever...