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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report The Good Stuff: A Boring Songdoc Kauai Trip Report

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First, the disclaimer …

This trip will probably seem boring to most people, but the entire purpose was to R-E-L-A-X. I’d have nineteen days alone in Kauai before embarking on an exhausting, demanding (but fun!) work-related tour that will take me to thirteen cities in Australia and New Zealand. I worked like a dog prepping for the trip and I wanted to collapse in paradise first. That means no ziplines, boat rides, helicopters, luaus, fine dining, driving to Waimea Canyon, or any of the other things tourists typically do.

I’ve lost count of how many trips I’ve had to the Garden Island, so there’s no need to see the sights. (Besides, I’ll return to Kauai for five weeks after the trip down under, and will have company for three of those weeks, so we’ll do plenty of sightseeing then.)

… Arrived 8 PM April 15th. Amazingly, all three of my AA flights were on time – or early. More amazingly, after being crammed in on completely full flight to DFW and LAX, the flight to LIH was half empty. I helped myself to an entire exit row!!!

I’d usually spend the first night at the Kauai Beach Resort to avoid the drive to Princeville after fifteen hours of travel. The next day, I hit Costco and Wal-Mart then head to Sealodge. But I got a ridiculously good deal on Plantation Hale Suites—next door to the Coconut Marketplace—through Onetravel.com by combining it with my flight back from New Zealand. For $69/night it was a steal. The regular price is $140.

It’s a complex of older apartment buildings. But the one-bedroom unit itself was quite large, and had been updated with nice, modern furniture. My only complaint with the unit is that when I’m in Hawaii I prefer more island décor—not crisp, modern furnishings. But the terrific king-sized bed makes up for it. There’s the tiniest bit of traffic noise (my unit was the closest to the highway) but with the a/c running I could barely hear it unless I sat on the lanai.

There are several basic swimming pools and I love having a kitchen—and a bargain. But I’m a sucker for a view—and my lanai faced other buildings (albeit with some pretty palm trees in the distance) and I would prefer not to hear traffic going by when I lie out at the pool. For $69/night I’d grab it – if budget was a big consideration. For $140/nt … I think you can do a lot better.

Woke the first morning at 2AM, 3AM, 4AM & 5 AM. Ahh, jet lag! Finally gave up at 5. Of course my first breakfast was at Kountry Kitchen. I was there when they opened at 6 AM. But don’t faint my regular readers … I did NOT go for the banana/macadamia pancakes. Just wasn’t in the mood for anything sweet that early. Opted for the veggie omelet and corn bread. It was so enormous that I took half of it back and ate it for lunch. Yum.

It was a gorgeous morning and I strolled for two hours on my fave walking path past Kealia beach. I perched at the lifeguard stand (it wasn’t open yet) and a beautiful orange kitty jumped onto my lap and insisted I pet him while we both watched the ocean and the lone surfer. The ocean was calm.

The weather remained perfect the entire day. I picked up some books at the Kapa’a library then took the short, paved walking path from Plantation Hale Suites to a pretty beach. I joined several people who were soaking in protected natural pools, but otherwise, it’s not swimmable. The pools were only about 18" deep but it was just enough to float and soak away stress. Afterwards, it was a lovely spot to lean against a tree and let the sound of the ocean tranquilize me while I read. Bliss …

to be continued …

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