Friday, August 7, 2015

2015 Kauai - North shore (7/28 - 7/31) Part 2

Day 8 - (Tues. 7/28) Moving day

Today is the day I've been looking forward to... moving up to the North Shore.  

When I was planning this trip, I originally wanted to stay our entire two weeks on the North Shore, but I was having trouble finding a place for our dates and our budget.  Finally with the help of a Tripadvisor contributor, I decided on condo at Alli Kai in Princeville. We booked it for 9 nights, but decided to go ahead and split our stay and booked 7 nights in Poipu as well.  

If we are blessed to have the opportunity to return to Kauai, we will stay our entire time somewhere on the North Shore. This is the part of the island we love the most and it offers the most variety for everyone we travel with.  Not to mention, the beauty!! As much as I love the ocean here and what it offers, visually I am more drawn to the mountains.  It's hard for me to put into words why this is. Maybe because I'm a NW girl and I love to explore the beauty that surrounds us at home as well.  (Yes, we have the ocean too, but it's cold!) There are times we are driving through the Columbia River Gorge and for a split second I can see the Napali Coastline.  God's creation at it's finest.

Moving the family across the island proved to be interesting to say the least.  Somehow we managed to pile five people, several pieces of luggage, four backpacks and several large bags of groceries into our Hyundai Elantra. We did it and no one had to be left behind!

We arrived at the Alii Kai in Princeville just before noon and were allowed to check in early.  By now we are hungry so the guys wanted to introduce Aleisha to the "gas station burgers."  Inside what use to be the Chevron gas station, (now 76) is the North Shore General Store which serves delicious burgers. The pizza here isn't half bad either.  Our favorite burger is Braddah's BBQ Burger.  I rarely will eat a hamburger out, this is the one exception. Yummo!  Pass on the onion rings though, not sure there was even an onion in the deep fried batter. 

So hard to say no to this young family asking for food, but we exercised some tough love.  Sorry, mamma.  Now take your babies away so I don't feel guilty!

After lunch, we drove to Hanalei and did some shopping.  Boy, was it crowded.  I don't know if this it typical for July.  We usually travel mid-August.  Oddly enough traffic hasn't been bad, just the parking! 

We drove back to Princeville and did a little grocery shopping at Foodland and attempted to watch the sunset and turned in for the night.

Tomorrow... Tunnels

Day 9 ~ (Weds 7/29) 

This! This is the view I would never get tired of.  Every morning we sit on the lanai and take in the sights, sounds and smells.   

We hit the road by 8:00 a.m.  First stop, Pedal 'n' Paddle in Hanalei to pick up some snorkel gear for a few of us. Second stop, Haena Beach Park. We were there early enough so parking wasn't a problem. Later in the day, we noticed people got very creative with their parking skills.  I was taught to never park in a lane of traffic.  Some people apparently think this is just fine. Crazy

We walked about a half mile down the beach toward Tunnels, found a good shaded spot and set up our chairs.  Mike and I quickly got into snorkel. Such a good feeling to be back in the water again!

When we are snorkeling, I tend to look up a lot to check my surroundings and a peek at the shore so I know where we are.  While I was doing this, I noticed this older lady who was by herself waving at me.  At first I thought she might be in trouble, but she was shouting something. I asked her to repeat and she said, "Crown-of -Thorns, Crown-of-Thorns!" Well, I have know idea what this is, but thought we should check it out.  We swam over and she told us what to look for and that it "eats the coral."  We took a look and this is what we saw.

We looked up, and the mysterious lady had disappeared so we continued on with our snorkeling.  Here are some of the fish we saw along the way...

We took a brief break from the water to walk up the shoreline and came across this sleepy Monk Seal.  We kept our distance and snapped a few pics.  He/she stayed here all day and I was happy to see that people were respecting his/her boundaries.

We returned back to the water and floated down the shoreline and came across some turtles. We actually almost ran right into them. There was a slight current which can prove challenging to move out of their way, but we tried our best to give them their space. (I have zoomed and cropped many of these shots.)

After we had had enough beach time, we stopped in Hanalei to find somewhere to eat. We tried Tahiti Nui, but they weren't serving dinner yet so we dined at Kalypso's Bar & Grill. 
Ahi salad
kalua pork quesadilla
Fish tacos
The food hit the spot and we continued home to enjoy the sunset from our lanai.

Day 10 (Thurs 7/30) ~ Bicycling the east side 

The morning greeted us with a rainbow and another spectacular display of the mountains. 

Today we split up as a group.  Michael and Aleisha went kayaking to Secret Falls, and we rented bicycles to ride along the coast.  

They had a great time kayaking, but the falls were not flowing much at all. 

We had a lot of fun on our bike ride.  The weather was cloudy which I was thankful for.  This path can get hot.

Donkey Beach

About half way through our ride we stopped at the Green Pig for an early lunch.  This is located across the highway from Kealia Beach.

We dined al fresco while enjoying our BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and piggy tail fries. 

Once we all finished our excursions, we did a little shopping in Kapaa and return back to Princeville.

Nathan continues to do his 5 mile runs in the evening while we explore different places to catch the sunset.  Tonight, we walked down the Pali Ke Kua path to take in the views from a different perspective. We found two love birds along the way... : )

Another day is paradise comes to an end.

Day 11 (Fri 7/31) ~ Family Fun Day!!

Forewarning: The kids, (and maybe the adults) have been set loose with a selfie-stick, or as the packaging says, "Cable Take Pole."

We started out our morning at Hideaways Beach.  We have been here before so we have the skinny on what to expect.

The weather is perfect. Here's are a few pics...

Snorkeling was o.k. here. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the fishies.  We were having more fun with the family. : )

Michael wanted to include a baby crab in the picture!

Poor little octopus dead on the rocks. : (

Next stop, Hanalei Bay...

We set up a good spot for our crew.  Then some of us ventured down to the pier to do some jumping.  As Mike and I were heading that direction, a lady on a SUP noticed a baby Hammerhead Shark cruising along the shoreline.  We would have liked to capture a few more pictures, but a dad in the area, could not control his excitement and basically kept ordering his young son (5ish) to "put his mask on and get in the water."  All the commotion cause the Hammerhead to high tail it out of there!

Last time we were here, I regretted not jumping from the pier with the boys. This time, I did it.  Michael goes first to show how it's done.  Aleisha takes her time to build up her courage, and I decide to just do it! I know this seems silly, but it was fun.  I loved watching all the families around us having such a good time!

Michael first...

Aleisha's next after several false starts...

No, he is not pushing her. lol

My turn next...

Hanalei Bay, such a magical place!

Sometimes it's not until after I get home and look at my pictures do I realize I have captured something different than I intended.  For example... I thought I was taking pictures of the beach, but realized I also captured the art of lasso making.  Because you never know when one might need a lasso, right?  

We stayed for a while longer, but with limited shade we had to move on.  

When there is no room under the umbrella, one must find their own shade.
After our fun-filled day, we drive over to Kilauea and do a little shopping.  Dinner was at Kilauea Fish Market.  

Pork plate lunch
Ahi fish tacos
I had the Ahi fish wrap which was very good.

We took a quick drive past the light house to show Aleisha.  Then back to Princeville to try catch the sunset.  This time we walk next door to The Cliffs.

Just as the sun was setting, it began to rain.  We retired back to the condo and the kids enjoy some pool time. 

This will conclude Part 2 of my blog on the North Shore.  Part 3 will begin at Day 12 with our visits to Limahuli Botanical Garden, Anini Beach & more. 

P.S. Thanks for reading!! 

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