Sunday, April 2, 2017

Kauai Adventures (Activities)

We were in Kauai from March 18-March 26. 

Here's a summary and a few notes on the activities we did each day:

Saturday March 18: Travel Day

Today we drove from our home to Seattle, flew to San Francisco, then on to the airport in Lihu'e on Kauai. It was a long travel day, but we finally arrived to our hotel late that night.

Sunday March 19: Exploring

We took today to explore the island by car an by foot (we walked over 18 miles according to the app on my phone).

1: Po'ipu Shoreline Sandstone Hikes: We stayed at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Po'ipu on the South Side of the island. Near the hotel is the Po'ipu Shoreline Sandstone Hikes area, which is 4 miles round trip. The first thing we did today was to walk a good section of that hike. It was beautiful! 

We even saw a cool sacred/historic site. 

2. Driving. Our next adventure was to drive around the island from Po'ipu East and around to the North where the road ends. We stopped at several places along the way.

3. Kapa'a Stream & Kealia Beach: Our first stop on our Drive was a stop on the side of the road near Kapa'a Stream. From there we walked along the Ke Ala Hele Makalae Shared Use Path past Kealia Beach and to the end of the path. Beautiful and fun. We decided we would need to come back and rent bikes to ride this path later in the week. 

 This is at Pineapple Dump on the path. 

4. Waiakanaloa wet cave and Ke'e Beach: Our next stops were right at the end of the road. We parked and checked out the Waiakanaloa wet cave and Ke'e Beach. Here is the beginning of the 11 mile hike to the famed North shore Na Pali coast. (Which we want to attempt next trip) We even saw a protected Monk Seal at Ke'e Beach. It was pretty awesome.

5. Back to the hotel. After all the adventures, we headed back toward the hotel (we stopped for food on the way back).

Monday March 20

1. Driving. We started the day by driving around the island from Po'ipu West and around to the North where the road ends at the PoliHale State Park. 

2. Spouting Horn: We accidentally happened upon an awesome not to be missed, really cool blowhole: Spouting Horn Beach Park. It was "spouting" so high for the time of year! That was fun to watch!

3. Polihale State Park: This adventure was one of the reasons to rent a Jeep! The video I posted in this blog was from the drive to Polihale State Park. Here is another video of that drive: 

BEAUTIFUL beaches and we pretty much had them to ourselves! It was so nice to hang out here and walk around for a while. Lots of fun! Here are a few pics:

4. Waimea: We stopped in Waimea on the way back to get a Shave Ice and some Red Dirt shirts. 

5. Grand Hyatt: Back a the hotel there was entertainment going on in the Lobby area. So fun! 

Tuesday March 21

Sigh...this is the day Wes had to start going to classes for his conference. He had classes in the mornings from Tuesday 3/21-Friday 2/24. I spent my mornings either relaxing or walking around the hotel or swimming. It was relaxing, but really I could hardly wait for Wes to get done so we could play! :) 

1. Morning Walk: Both Wes and I woke up well before his 7am conference start time, so we started the morning walking around the Hotel.

2. Biking from Kapa'a: We went to Kapa'a where we rented Cruisers (bikes) from Hele On Kaua'i (Behind Ono family restaurant). They were SOOO nice and it was easy and really inexpensive to rent from them. Definitely recommend them!!! 

3. Snorkeling at Anini Beach: One of our FAVORITE things to do in Hawaii (or even California) is to snorkel. We will pull off the road and try just about any beach that looks reasonable. I forgot to bring my waterproof camera with me on this trip, so I only have pictures of Wes snorkeling, but trust me I did it too! Today we stopped at Anini Beach to snorkel for a while.

 That is Kilauea Lighthouse in the background there.

Wednesday March 22

1. Morning Alone: This morning as Wes was in conferences I walked around then went swimming at the pool.

2. Whale Watching Tour: That afternoon Wes and I went on a Whale Watching tour with Blue Dolphin Charters leaving from port in Ele'ele. We thought the 2 hour Whale Watching would be the perfect length for us and Wes loves watching for wild life. In fact, he's the one that found the Whale we found on our tour! Yes we saw Whales, no I did not get any pictures. I had terrible timing on that...

Thursday March 23

1. Swim at Hotel:  I got burned the first day on Kauai, so Wes bought me 2 different rash guards to wear. I had a hard time deciding what suit/rash guard to wear to the pool this morning... (Eventually I picked and went swimming)

 2. Po'ipu Beach Park: Snorkeling and Turtle watching (because one came up on shore). We spent some time here playing (with a whole lot of new friends at this busy spot).

3. Grand Hyatt Kaua'i Lu'au: That evening we went to the Lu'au at our hotel. the food was SOOOOO good and the entertainment was fantastic! It was a lot of fun and I would absolutely do it again! 

Here's a short video:

Friday March 24

Today we walked around beaches a lot and hung out at the pool, but we did do one BIG Splurge:

1. Heilcopter Ride: We splurged on a Helicopter ride through Blue Hawaiian Helicopters of Kauai. It was SOOOOOO worth the splurge. I must have taken like 400 pictures, but I will share just a few here. It was amazing! If you are going to splurge on something, it should be this. I think it was in the guidebook that I read that going to Kauai and NOT doing a Helicpoter ride is like going to Paris and avoiding the Eiffel Tower. Seriously, this is a great way to see the island-even the northern Na Pali coast! And here is a tip to save on it-reserve your flight online at the Blue Hawaiian website at least 5 days in advance and you can get the ride for $216.97 per person instead of $246.56 per person. (At least that is the prices as of the pricing and advanced deal as of writing this post on 4/2/17-check their website for the latest updates). Just a few pictures from our flight (and FYI, I did purchase the video of our full flight which is awesome and I cannot wait to share with my kids).

Waiting for flight

 In the helicopter right before take off.
 "Jurassic" falls
 Na Pali Coast

 Can you spot the Whale in the picture below? 
 Us again during flight
 After the flight

And a short video I took: 

Saturday March 25

Wes finished his conference Friday, so we had the whole day to spend together. We spent our day at a couple different beaches. 

1. Secret Beach: We made the somewhat difficult (but short) hike down to Secret beach this morning. It was formerly a nude beach but is thankfully not anymore. As with all the things we saw in Kauai, it was beautiful! And we had a blast hanging out there. Here's a video and a few pictures:

2. Kawailoa Bay at the Maha'ulepu Beaches: Wes snorkled here while I hung out on the beach (it was a little harsh waves for me). But what a great beach! Beautiful and not too busy. But it is a place you should have 4WD to get to, and you MUST be out by 6 pm. (If you decide to go there, get  The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook, Kauai Revealed, 10th Edition and read about it in detail on pgs 114-115). 

Sunday March 26

As with all great things, the fun had to come to an end. We spend today traveling from Kauai, to Honolulu to San Francisco to Seattle, THEN driving home a few hours from Seattle. We had to drive through snow...what a sad welcome home.