We arrived on a very rainy Superbowl Sunday and our dear friends the Tapias met us with fresh flower leis. There had been flash floods for days that would continue for the next two days. We stopped at a restaurant for dinner and to watch the game, but since the signal kept getting lost due to the weather, we left shortly after we ate.
They took us to the south coast to see Spouting Horn Park. The water was red since the red dirt had been swept into the ocean by the flood waters. It was still raining, but we stopped long enough to enjoy the view and snap a few pictures.
We spent the rest of the evening at home and our friends, the Mears came over and we caught up and rested up for the next day.
Monday, we made our first stop at Lappert’s for coffee and pastries. As soon as you walk in, the sweet smell and sights of coffee, ice cream and baked goods entices your senses making any selection quite challenging. I settled on a Coconut Pineapple muffin and did not regret my choice! After we had our fill, we headed to the north end of the island. We tried to see as much as we could in between all the showers and made some pictures stops along the way.
We parked at the Haena Beach Park and explored Maninholo Dry Cave. The cave runs deep, you can go as far as your thighs can hold you up. After exploring the cave, we headed across the street to the beach. The water was beautiful…and cold! It began to drizzle and the winds were quite strong.
We continued north as far as we could drive, to the entrance of Kalalau Trail. The trail was closed due to the rain, and as soon as we arrived, the rain came pouring down. My brother, Tommy and our hostess Caroline braved the rain and the cold winds to get a view of the north shore, while I waited patiently (and drying) in the car.
Since we couldn’t drive further, we turned back around. We stopped for lunch at Chicken in a Barrel, a small shack with outdoor seating. By this time the rain had stopped and the sun was breaking through the clouds, revealing the bluest skies. The Mahi-Mahi tacos were delish!
Tuesday was a relaxing day with friends at the spa at The Club at Kukui’ula. After heading home for a nap, we ventured out to explore and found a nice spot to watch the sun set at Salt Pond Beach Park.
By Wednesday, the clouds had pretty much disappeared and it was sunshine all day long – which was great since we were going to see the Napali Coast. Tommy and I headed out in the morning for breakfast at The Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co. It was a yummy, hearty breakfast to prep us for the hike that awaited us.
Then we headed west towards the Waimea Canyon State Park. The elevated drive was filled with beautiful scenery. Since it was such a beautiful day, the parking lots were quite packed, but it was definitely worth waiting to find a parking spot – the view of the canyon was amazing.
After the canyon, we continued to the end of the road to the Pu’u O Kila Lookout. By the time we arrived, the clouds had settled and that’s really the only thing you could see.
We were feeling adventurous, so we headed down the trail as far as we could go. We didn’t wear the water shoes Caroline gave us (mistake). The path was deceptively dry at the entrance and the further we went, the muddier and more slippery the path became. The less than ideal conditions couldn’t stop us – we went all the way to the end of the trail! We took a wrong turn on the way back, but quickly corrected course and made it back to the car.
Thursday morning we headed back to the airport to Island Helicopters for our first island tour by helicopter. The Grand Deluxe Tour was about an hour long and took us over the entire island. Our pilot pointed out all the falls from different shows and movies, Jurassic Park, The Love Boat, Tropic Thunder and many more. It is most definitely one of the BEST ways to see the island.
After the tour we went back to the house to change and finally went to the beach. We went to Shipwreck’s beach. I must say that this is quite an entertaining location. There is a rock where you can hike up to and jump off into the water. Needless to say, I didn’t do all that – but it was fun to watch!
Friday, we spent the day exploring shops and had great conversations. Most of the shops are quite touristy and quaint. We went to the mall, it’s outdoors and not very mall-ish. In the evening we went to the Lava Lava Beach Club for dinner. Since it was already dark, we couldn’t enjoy the beach side dining, however, there is live music, fire pits and great food.
Saturday morning, we got up early because our hosts wanted to treat us to a secluded beach experience before we left. It was a short hike and we practically had the beach to ourselves.
Kauai keeps true to it’s nickname the “Garden Island.” It’s natural beauty is breathtaking. It is the perfect island to get away from the busyness of the mainland. It was a delightful week away from the freezing February temperatures in Dallas. It was a great way to relax and soak in sun.