Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kauai 2013 - Day 1 & 2

First, a bit of background on myself and my family.

Those who know me, know I love Hawaii.  Those who know me well, know I do most of my research for our trips using TripAdvisor.  I have gathered a wealth of information on this site that has been invaluable.  The forums are most helpful when searching or asking ANY question!

This is my first attempt at a blog so bear with me as attempt to remember everything I learned by briefly reading and watching YouTube blog tutorials. 

This trip to Kauai consist of myself, my husband and our two boys.  Our daughter did not join us on this trip because of work obligations.  We also left behind our two fur-babies, Charlie & Lulu.  Fortunately, I have wonderful in-laws who graciously volunteered to leave their new home in Arkansas and fly to Oregon to house & dog sit while we vacation for 3 weeks. So, blessed!

"Pwease, don't leave!!"

A little bit of pouting going on....very sad! : (

My husband and I were last on Kauai for our honeymoon almost 22 years ago.  We stayed somewhere in Kapaa and some point on this trip, we will try and figure out where. Back then, we just drove around the island aimlessly and couldn’t believe how expensive it was compared to the other islands.  This time, I came prepared with an arsenal of information.  Thank you TripAdvisor forum!  You all are awesome.

We have gone to Maui the last couple of years, but his year I let our son pick the island.  I showed him some pictures of Kauai and told him about all the hiking, kayaking, etc and then he made his choice... Kauai.  This may be our last “family” vacation for a while.  He heads off to college this fall. (Go BEAVS!) I imagine his schedule will be very busy once school begins.

O.K., back to our trip.

Day 1 ~ Travel day

We flew out of PDX on Alaska Airlines on August 7th.  I purchased our tickets last December using miles and flight vouchers that we received last year from Alaska.  Total cost for 4 roundtrip tickets, $288!  Momma was happy, happy, happy.  Now with the savings on these tickets, we might be able to afford college books! I did continue to check air rates, but the rates never went down, only up!  Also, we made a last minute decision to upgrade to first class. For our simple family, this turned out to be a great decision!  The boys enjoyed the free food, digiplayers and unlimited POG!  We enjoyed the extra space and first on/off the plane!  Great service, great flight.

Flying into Lihue

Once we landed, I left for Alamo car rentals and the guys went to baggage claim.  I got a great deal on a rental thru Costco.  $402 for a 3 week car rental.  Quick and easy at the counter and she even upgraded us.  The car did have several scratches and stains so I took as many pictures as possible and just hope we don’t get accused of anything at return.  Then looped back around to the airport to pick up the guys.

Next stop, Costco. Managed to spend over $300. Yikes! Traveling with 3 guys, enough said.

We are staying 3 weeks on Kauai.  9 nights at Poipu Kai, Kahala, followed by 12 nights in Princeville at Emmalani Court.

The drive south was more beautiful than I remembered.  My son commented, “Now this is what I envisioned Hawaii to look like. Lush and green.” Can’t wait for his expression when we drive to the North shore!

After we got settled in our place, we took a quick drive over to Koloa for a few grocery items.  Also, stopped at Kukuiula Shopping Village to browse the Farmers Market. This is every Wednesday from 4-6.  Bought a few Marlin tacos from a vendor that were yummy.

Yep, looks like we just got off the plane!

Went back to the condo, boys checked out the pool situation. We then ventured out to explore the grounds, (beautifully maintained), and the beaches.  The greenbelt provides an easy access to Brennecke’s and Poipu Beach.  We walked around a bit then found a place to sit and take in our first sunset on Kauai!  Perfect way to end our first day!

Aloha Cowboy!

Day 2 ~ Kauai Photo Tour and Nounou East (Sleeping Giant) Hike
We were all up early this morning to drive DH (Mike) to Kapaa so he could go on the Kauai Photo Tour.  He enjoyed the tour and took some great shots.

Prior to us dropping him off we stopped for breakfast at Ono’s Family Restaurant.  Food was just right and hit the spot.  Our server, Norma was very sweet and enjoyed visiting with her. 

Need this at my house!

Tropical pancakes

Ono # something?

Fresh Strawberry pancakes

While Mike was gone touring around, the boys and I did the Sleeping Giant hike. I think by the time we started at the trailhead it was around 10:00 a.m.  The hike was pretty much up hill the whole way.  It was HOT, not much shade and very little wind on this morning.  You need to be careful of your footing, lots of roots and rocks.  On one part of the trail, be aware that you have to shuffle across a small rock shelf.  Also, stay on the main trail.  There are many side trails.  When you get to somewhere between 1.50-1.75, there is a fork in the trail. One goes up to the left, one goes down to the right.  Go left and you will shortly reach the lookout point. I recommend doing this hike early and taking a lot of water!

Even though it was hot and we sweated a ton, I did enjoy this hike. Great workout and nice views. 

Oregon mountain goats

After the hike, we tried to kill some time waiting for Mike.  Decided to cool down for a bit at McDonalds.  Next we stopped at a Farmer’s Market at (I think) Coconut Market Place.  Picked up some apple-bananas, mountain apples and lychee fruit.  Continued to explore the town and Kealia Beach. Boys were bummed they didn’t have their swimsuits and boogie boards.  Next stop, Chicken in a Barrel.  So good!  I didn’t have mine until after we got home and the chicken was still tender and moist. Delish!

We returned to the condo and spent the evening relaxing at the pool and watching our son discover a new underwater talent.  We are easily entertained. : )

Looking forward to more adventures and relaxing!


  1. Great photos! Makes me wish Jan. would hurry up and get here! (as I sit at my daughter and son-in-laws place near Ft. Lauderdale dog sitting).

  2. Thanks momma! So nice of you to dog sit for your kids! I am so thankful for my in-laws who watch our dogs for us. My dogs are very special to me and like my children, would not leave with just anyone!

    1. Added bonus to dog sitting for them is I get to leave St. Louis and head to southern Florida and hang out in their pool every day!
      We just had to put our pup to sleep about a month ago. Not an easy thing to do!