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Trip Report Kauai 4 Years Later: It was just like riding a bike!

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I love the Fodor's board...reading questions, asking my own questions and reading experiences through trip reports. I thought I would give trip reporting a try by typing my own so here goes...

About us:
DH turned 30 while on our trip and I am 29 (until October 4). This was our third trip to Kauai but it had been four years. DH & I went to Oahu for our honeymoon in August 2005; then our first trip to Kauai was May 2007; and in late August 2007 we got a great flight deal so we jumped at the chance and went back to Kauai. We love Kauai so much that we had decided to go back every two years so we planned to go back in October 2009 but one month before our trip DH got laid off. It took four years from our first trip in May 2007 and two years since planning the October 2009 trip and we finally made it back to that magical island we fell in love with!

Basics:
Our trip was from May 28-June 4, 2011. We flew US Airways from Austin, TX to Phoenix, AZ then from Phoenix to Lihue on Saturday May 28. The flight was the reverse coming home on Saturday June 4/Sunday June 5. We booked a Mustang convertible through Budget which totaled $451 for the week. We stayed on the North Shore in Princeville at the Sealodge Condos. We love the North Shore and the Sealodge and had stayed there on our previous two trips. This trip we stayed in this unit: http://hestara.com/b10.htm

Day 1: Saturday May 28-- It really is just like riding a bike!

Our plane ride was uneventful with listening to MP3 players, reading books and watching True Grit which was played on the overhead tv screens. The captain tells us over the speaker that we will be making our decent into Lihue which sends excitement through me. After all this time...four years, planning for the '09 trip and the hard times we had with DH's lay off, we will finally be standing on Kauai soil. I LOVE this island so much...I just love how it feels being there! I get my seat in the upright position and my nose is glued to the window...breath held just waiting for that first glimpse of "my" island. Finally after the four years of thinking and dreaming of being there, after flying all day...I see it and I can't help the tears that come to my eyes. This place has a hold on me! Not just on me but DH too. You can see it all over his face as he is leaning over to see that glimpse of "our" island. The plane tires touch down and we have made it! We can't believe that it's real because it feels as though we are dreaming!

We step off the plane, pass through people waiting at the gate with envy in their eyes that we are arriving and that our trip is beginning. It is 2:00pm local time...which makes it 7:00pm at home in Austin, TX. I love open-air Lihue airport! Right off the plane, I feel the warmth of the island. We walk out of the airport to the shuttle to take us to Budget. We had to wait longer at the office than I expected but 'no worries, we're in Kauai'! Finally, it's our turn at the counter so we are moments from being cut loose! We are asked if it was our first time on the island so we tell him how many times we have been and we have this island mapped on our hands! "We're veterans, we got this"! We are handed the keys so we step out the door feeling the breeze on our faces and smelling the salty air. We get into our silver Mustang convertible, put the top down and we can't help but look at each other and smile! We pop our mix c.d. we made of island tunes and we're off! This island is ours for a week...

We head west of the airport to our favorite pizza place...Brick Oven Pizza in Kalaheo! It's almost 3:00pm so it's past our dinner time at home. I love how the windows are open so the breeze is blowing in. I also love the gingham curtains and tablecloths. My favorite thing is the license plates lined along the wooden rafters above all of the tables. We order a medium pepperoni with the garlic butter crust and relish in the fact that we are there. After scarfing down our pizza (we hadn't eaten since breakfast), we decided to drive a little further west to Lappert's in Hanapepe. I had Tutu's anniversary which is coconut ice cream with raspberry and passion fruit sorbet and DH had caramel coconut macadamia nut. We ate our ice cream feeling content we were in Kauai!

Back in our convertible, top down, music going so we could make our way to the North Shore. We made a stop at the Wal-Mart in Lihue for a few things...one being sunscreen. We both used a carry-on so we could not pack sunscreen because of the allowance of ounces. We also made a stop at the Foodland in Kapa'a to get beach mats. We like to use those the woven mats instead of towels because the sand comes off easier. We pass through Kapa'a...over the bridge that is along Waipouli Beach Park...I love going over the bridge with the ocean right there, my hair whipping in the wind and smelling the salty air! Another favorite spot of mine is to pass along Kealia Beach. After Kealia, I love seeing the red dirt along the road to Anahola and Kilauea. We make it to Princeville and arrive at the Sealodge. The B10 was great...just as it is pictured! Our first night we got settled at the condo. Semi unpacked; put luggage away and got comfortable. We went to bed hoping it wasn't all a dream!

It was a good first travel day. It felt good to get back to "our" island. We knew how to do our first day and that's just what we did. It was a nice feeling...it was familiar...it was stored in our memories and we could recapture it again. It really was just like riding a bike!

Stay tuned for...the perfect beach day; boogie boarding on DH's 30th bday; and falling in love with a beach cruiser bike!

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