We left Saturday morning and had a looonnggg 7:30 hour flight to Honolulu, with a little 29 minute hop to Kauai. Our favorite part….2 beers for $5, it was like Happy hour on the flight. Ha! It was dark by the time we got the car and headed to the condo, so we had to wait for morning to see the beautiful island. The time difference kind of rocked all of us the first night and we woke Easter Morning to sun and too many roosters cock-a-doodle-doing! Kel and I made Easter breakfast and we headed to the north end of the island for the first of many beach trips. We walked the beach, played in the sand, shooed away the chickens and soaked up the sun, it was a pretty low key day. Sunday night Marlo, my Dad’s wife, took us to her favorite place, JJ’s Broiler. Laura, Andrew’s girlfriend also arrived to make our party of 8 complete.
There were a few things we had planned for the week. First, each person/couple was taking one night to making dinner for the group. Second, we had to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday…after all that is the reason we were there.
Monday came with renewed energy. We took off to explore the closest beach, which turned out to be our favorite, Hanalei Bay. It is this beautiful huge bay with miles of beach. We hung out there for most of the morning then headed a few blocks away for some lunch and a little shopping. Kelly and Dan cooked a really good healthy version of parmesan chicken with marinara sauce and pasta. *SIDE NOTE – I started not feeling well early in the evening, which turned into a little bug that had me up all night over the toilet. We’re not sure what it was, but I am thankful it was only 1 night.*Tuesday we woke to rain, lots of it. We had planned to do a hike that morning, but with the rain and me not feeling well, Kyle, Dan, Andrew and Laura took off for a different hike they had read about. I stayed in bed until about noon, finally feeling better and Kel stayed back and read her book. When the hiking group got back, they looked like they had rolled in mud. Turns out they were slip-sliding around the edge of the mountain as they attempted to up a steep incline. They got cleaned up, ate lunch and we all headed to the farmer’s market. It was fun to see different fruits, weird gritty healthy drinks, and ice cold coconut milk for sale. Some went to the beach or pool and I stayed at the condo and started my Dad’s birthday dinner. I made a German Chocolate Cake, the best recipe, and Kyle helped me start the main course.
My Dad is from New Mexico and they do Mexican food their way. One of the most noticeable items is enchiladas. They are flat instead of rolled like you see at restaurants. You stack your ingredients: tortilla, chili, cheese, lettuce and continue with as many layers as you want. It is topped with a fried over-easy egg on top. They are awesome! We learned how to make these from my grandma, and knew it would be the perfect dinner for my Dad. They were a hit…it made my Dad’s day!
Wednesday we decided to explore the other side of the island. Kauai is the smallest of the Hawaii islands and there is a road that goes about 2/3 of the way around. Our mission was to see Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It was a curvy, steep long climb to the top, in the car, but the views were amazing! It was chilly and windy, but worth the drive. On the way down, we stopped at a little shack Kyle had read about, The Shrimp Shack. It was great…I think the guys could have eaten two plates of shrimp. The trip back to our side of the island included a stop at Spouting Horn, through the tree tunnel and then home to the pool. Spouting horn is volcanic rock in the water where the waves come in and the force shoots the water up through a whole. There is some crazy story about a dragon and his enemies or something, but it is just volcanic rock and water….! The tree tunnel was a total bust, disappointing…no need to elaborate. Andrew and Laura made 4 different pizzas and a pasta salad, yum!
Thursday we were taking the hike we discovered on the first day. It was a 4 mile hike to a beach and then on to a waterfall. It started fine, fairly vertical, lots of huge rocks, tree roots, streams to maneuver around. The view from the first look out point was beautiful. I only made it another ¼ of a mile or so and decided that this wasn’t the hike for me. Andrew and Laura had already sprinted ahead of us, and Kyle, Kel and Dan continued on. I slowly made my way back down the mountain and enjoyed a morning and afternoon of reading and pool time. I did a little prep work for our dinner and then headed out to pick up the hikers. I got there just in time and they were EXHAUSTED!!! The hike was much more than they thought, they ran out of water and we starving. We stopped at Kalypso’s for drinks and some food. That was exactly what they needed and we went to the pool. Kyle and I cooked dinner, Vanilla bean shrimp over Jasmine rice with roasted veggie. It was delicious! When we were in Tahiti for our honeymoon, they used vanilla in savory foods, not just baking and sweets. So we decided to show everyone how good it can be.Friday…oh, only two more days. Hanalei bay was again calling us. It was sunny, hot and huge waves. The day was lazy as my Dad was taking all of us to a Luau that night. We grabbed lunch in town and then went to the pool for a bit. We had to leave about 4:30 for the luau, so it was a short day. We had a great time at Gaylord’s luau with traditional food, song and dance.
Saturday was the finale….sadly. It was by far the hottest day. We did a little shopping, ice cream eating and laid by the pool with our cooler of beer. If you are ever in Hawaii, you have to try Lappert’s ice cream. It is amazing! By mid afternoon, we were getting ready to head to the airport.
It was a wonderful trip full of laughs, memories, a great birthday celebration and pictures to capture it all. Thanks Dad and Happy 60th!