A month on Kauai, 2019

Mar 6th, 2019, 11:08 AM
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A month on Kauai, 2019

We spend a month on Kauai every year (one of the benefits of being retired!). We were there for the month of February, which meant that we missed the snow in Seattle – great timing!

We have been to Kauai so many times, we really don’t do the usual tourist things, but we settle in and enjoy Kauai. As always, we made the drive north to Hanalei. We wanted to see how the town was faring after the storm destruction. I am pleased to report that “downtown” was back to normal, but we were unable to drive to the pier, as the road was closed. And the road beyond Hanalei remains closed as well. We had a fun lunch at Kalypso.

One of the highlights of this trip was getting visit with other Fodorites: we met Songdoc and his husband. We saw their lovely condo in Princeville and met their charming cat. They gave us a tour of the albatrosses nesting in people’s yards. We didn’t see the new chicks – only one had hatched when we were there. We were also able to visit with old friends from Honolulu, Hawaiian Traveller and his wife and Kuranosuke and his wife.

We always go to Hana Pepe and visit the bookstore Talk Story – the westernmost book store in the US. It seems we can always find something interesting there.

We have long intended to visit the Hindu monastery and temple on Kauai. We finally made it there this time. If you are interested in visiting, do look at the website for the history and the dress code. https://www.himalayanacademy.com. We arrived at 10:45, when guests are free to wander the gardens until noon. Note they do offer a tour as well.

Restaurants: We visited many old favorites, Plantation Gardens, Brennecke’s, 1849 Eating House, Lanai, Gaylords. All of these places serve fresh local fish, and local fruits and vegetables. If you have a yen for Mexican food, there is a pretty good place, Tortilla Republic, in the shopping center. A new place in the shopping center is Kiawe Roots, which offers smoked meats. Early reviews gave it great marks for the food, but said the service was poor. Our experience was that, indeed, the service is poor when you eat at the restaurant, though the food was good, so we decided to try the take out. We found that the service was poor for the takeout as well (they didn’t give us all of our order) and the sides were mediocre. So if you want Texas/Hawaiian Barbeque, my recommendation is to buy the meat at Kiawe for take out, and make your own sides. There is a new place on the edge of Lihue, Hualanai's, in the new Timbers, it has a stunning view. We enjoyed lunch there, but note the prices are high, though no higher than the Beach House, the other restaurant with a stellar view. A number of these restaurants are located in the Shops at Kukui'ula. Living Foods is also located there, and the weekly culinary market is held there on Wednesdays.

Protected wildlife: We always see whales while we are in Hawaii, usually right from the beach or from our lanai on Poipu, but anyplace where you can see the ocean, you can see whales at this time of the year. We also see monk seals every year, typically laying on the beach at Poipu, but this year, I was surprised to see one laying on the rocks at Poipu. We also see turtles on the beach. The seals and the turtles are roped off by volunteers so that people don’t bother them. We saw lots of NeNe, the wild Hawaiian goose, and some Hawaiian Stilts.

Cheryl took lots of photos of up the wildlife. I will post a link once the photos are up.

Kathie is online now  
Mar 6th, 2019, 03:41 PM
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Kathie, I've never seen you write a trip report that wasn't both interesting and helpful.

Again, Mahalo.
cmstraf is offline  
Mar 7th, 2019, 02:28 PM
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The photos are up, including a short video of the albatrosses doing their mating dance.

Kathie is online now  
Mar 10th, 2019, 05:57 AM
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It was so great meeting you!
Cheryl's photos are OMG-INCREDIBLE!!!!!
Songdoc is offline  
Mar 10th, 2019, 09:34 AM
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Amazing photos. Of course it is a very photogenic place, but Cheryl elevates it to a completely different level. The one of the Cardinals is wonderful.

Makes me want to go back to HI.
janisj is online now  
Mar 10th, 2019, 10:26 AM
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Gorgeous photos!
How wonderful to be able to spend an entire month! Thanks for sharing!
starrs is offline  
Mar 10th, 2019, 12:48 PM
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What beautiful photos. A month in Kauai sounds lovely
Paqngo is offline  
Mar 10th, 2019, 02:03 PM
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Cheryl says thanks to all of you. Her photos really do bring it to life!
Kathie is online now  
Mar 15th, 2019, 09:44 AM
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Adding to the others' praise of photos. Are the birds all over the island or concentrated in one area?
cmstraf is offline  
Mar 15th, 2019, 04:21 PM
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Thank you so much for sharing the photos! My wife and I were married on the North Short of Kauai in 2016. Your pictures brought back so many wonderful memories! I can't wait to go back. We have a 2 year old now....it will be fun to introduce her to all the chickens!
coddiwompler is offline  
Mar 15th, 2019, 05:28 PM
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coddiwompler, I'm sure your 2 yo will be enchanted with the chickens!

Carol, you will see birds all over the island. We saw the greatest concentration of water birds while we were staying at the Lagoons (near Lihue). We saw the albatrosses in Princeville, and you will see them when you visit the Kilauea Lighthouse on the north shore. There is also a garden nearby, Na 'Āina Kai, that has nesting albatrosses.
Kathie is online now  
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