Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Is it July 2005 yet? IAMQ's Kauai trip report.

Is it July 2005 yet? IAMQ's Kauai trip report.

Jul 15th, 2004, 01:23 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
Is it July 2005 yet? IAMQ's Kauai trip report.

This was our second trip to Kauai. It was a bit of an unplanned and last minute trip as we got an invite to stay with at a friend's place in Poipu three weeks before we left.

DAY 1
SFO to Lihue direct using United FFM. I was surprised that at this late date we were actually able to get economy seats. It helped that we were flexible with our dates. Uneventful flight.
I love that moment when you step off the plane and you feel the warm, moist air wrap around you. Ahhh...
Picked up our Sebring convertible from Alamo. We got a low rate using the 6T rate code lahainaluna mentioned. After getting settled at my friend's we went to Poipu Beach Park where we floated and talked in the water until dinner. BBQ Ono and Ahi on the deck for dinner. Lapperts for dessert.

Day 2
Kauai's beaches are amazing. Today was the first of many days spent at the beach on the north shore. Got malasadas at Kauai bakery for a driving snack and sandwiches at the market in Kilauea.
All day at Makua Beach(Tunnels)!
This is absolutely one of the most beautiful places on earth. The water was warm and fairly calm. We snorkeled and lounged until we lost the sun to those nasty clouds. We followed the sun back to Hanalei where we were greeted by a light sun-shower and the most gorgeous rainbow I have ever seen. Magical is how I would describe it. We swam in the bay and sat around deciding where to eat dinner. We ended up at Coconuts in Kapa'a. We had a very tasty meal. Auntiem, you were right about those seafood cigars! The crispy tempura ono is to die for and was more like KFC ono than tempura. We got lilikoi chiffon pie at Hamura's and took it to the beach for dessert and star gazing. Another lousy day in paradise!
Day 3
The original plan was to drive to Ke'e and hike a small portion of the Kalalau trail and then hang at Ke'e. On the way up we stopped at the Pono Market in Kapa'a and got their fried chicken "nuggets" for lunch. This is dangerously good food! It is a great market with lots of fresh sushi. A young couple was there getting their marriage licencse. They were getting married later that day in Hanalei. We wished them well. When we got to Ke'e it was crowded and there was no place to park. Not worth it, so we drove back to Tunnels for another day of flopping and floating presided over by the serene presence of Mt. Makana. Dinner at home. Lapperts for dessert.

DAY 4
We did the guided Allerton Gardens tour in the morning. This was an amazing tour and well worth the time it took to do it. We saw several of the outdoor "rooms" that Allerton and his partner designed and built. Amazing. The location in Lawai Kai with it's beach is not to be believed.
Lunch at Joe's on the Green at the Kiahuna Golf Club. It's a great place and we ended up going back several times. That afternoon we drove to Kilauea to see the 5pm showing of Fahrenheit 911. Great movie. I really liked Kilauea. Sort of like Kauai meets Berkeley. On our way south we stopped at Hamura's for a major pig-out of fried won-tons, skewers, huge bowls of the 'special" saimin, and of course the lilikoi pie.

Days five through ten are on their way after I get some sleep. I'll continue the report by adding to this thread.
-Bill

iamq is offline  
Jul 15th, 2004, 04:16 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
Day 5
Had breakfast at Joe's and then drove to Hanapepe in search of Jacqueline on Kauai. She is a seamstress and clothing designer. We bought some cool shorts from her last year at the Koloa Plantation Days crafts fair and we wanted to see what she had this year. We found her shop, talked story with her for awhile, ordered some more shorts and then walked around Hanapepe for a while. Hanapepe is not much to look at, but there are some amazing artists working on the island that have shops and galleries there. We had interesting converstations with some of them. Drove back to Poipu Beach Park and stayed for a few hours. That afternoon we drove up to the Princeville Hotel for the seafood buffet at Cafe Hanalei. I thought the hotel was a bit gross and over the top, but the buffet was out of this world, delicious and fun. If you go, get there a little before they open at 5:30 to get a table on the terrace. We had made a reservation, but that still would not have gauranteed us a table on the terrace. We dined slowly and watched a gorgeous sunset. A very nice evening.

Day 6
Island lethargy had set in by now and I was sick of driving. so we took a day off from the north shore and hung at Poipu all day. Interesting to note that the sandspit that seperated the two parts of the beach is all gone except for a little island at the end. The snorkeling was not quite as calm as it was last year. We did dinner at Brennecke's Beach Broiler. Do yourself a favor and skip it! By all means, buy a t-shirt downstairs, but go upstairs at your own risk. Food was marginal at best and the service was abysmal. It was truly terrible and expensive. They would be out of buisness in a month if they depended upon return business.

Day 7
Back to the north shore! This time to the Kahalahala portion of Lumahai. It is on the far eastern part of the beach. What an absolutely lovely spot...in the summer! The surf was low and the cove was like a swimming pool. The snorkeling was even pretty good. Spent all day swimming and laying around. Just before you get to the beach on the trail down, locals have made a very touching memorial to the couple that got swept of the rocks in April. Amazing to think that this peaceful place that we experienced is the same place that where that tragedy happened. After an absolutely lazy day, we drove to the Hanalei Beach Pavillion and went for a swim, showered and then it was off to Zelos for dinner. We loved it! The shrimp and ahi suchi roll was YUMMY and the fish tacos were tasty. On two occassions the room was filled with a cloud of pot smoke that blew in from across the street.
iamq is offline  
Jul 15th, 2004, 05:10 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
more later...
iamq is offline  
Jul 15th, 2004, 05:15 PM
  #4  
bonniebroad
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
IAMQ, a great report you're doing here. Have to say that our last time at Brennecke's, I was so disappointed at the attitude and the service, and the food not nearly what it used to be. Certainly agree with you there.......... Looking forward to the rest of your report.
 
Jul 15th, 2004, 07:12 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
DAY 8
More lounging at Poipu. We took a drive up to Kalaheo to look at houses for sale. My partner and I have this fantasy in which we move to Kauai and live happily ever after. Prices in Kauai are almost as bad as our part of the S.F. Bay Area, so I think we will have to be happy with periodic vacations here. Dinner at Casa di Amici in Poipu. We had a fantastic meal. This was the best meal of the trip. I'm not sure why this place is not in the Kauai Revealed book. If it were, it would get an ONO for sure.

Day 9
Ughh...Our last full day in Kauai. Once again we got our Pono Market chicken fix and ended up at Tunnels for the day. I snorkeled with a turtle for a about ten minutes. What a treat that was! On our way home we stopped to see Wailua Falls and had dinner at the BBQ Inn. And...ice cream at Lapperts.
Day 10
Pre-departure depression set in today. We packed and spent the afternoon at Poipu. Dinner was pupus and small plates at Joe's. Red-eye back to SFO and then home.
Home again and planning for next year. Kauai is awesome. I can't wait to get back.
Happy to answer any questions.
-Bill
iamq is offline  
Jul 16th, 2004, 05:28 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 88
Aloha Bill! You will likely think that this is a very superficial question, but I am going to ask it anyway. I am curious about the shorts that you bought/ordered in Hanapepe from Jacqueline. We will be in Kauai in October and I love finding clothing that is very unusual. Where is Jacqueline located and what is so special about her clothing?
Mahalo! Marilyn
pinnacle is offline  
Jul 16th, 2004, 06:53 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
Marilyn,
Your question is not superficial. Jacqueline's place in Hanapepe is on the east side of the street before you get to the bridge. Hanapepe is a small place and you won't have any trouble finding it. I'm not sure I would call her things unusual, but what I did like about her clothes are her choice of fabrics that she uses and that the quality is high. It was also nice doing business with a local/homegrown business woman and not some faceless company who's stuff is made off island.
-Bill
iamq is offline  
Jul 16th, 2004, 08:15 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 738
Hi Bill! Great, great, great report. Just wanted to ask you about Casa di Amici. What type of cuisine is it? Is it moderately priced? We only eat out a few times in Kauai so I am always looking for good ones.
kikahead is offline  
Jul 16th, 2004, 08:39 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
Kikahead,
It's hard to characterize Casa di Amici. Italian with Hawaiian/Asian influneces would be a start. The menu is huge and literally everything sounded interesting and worth investigating. Lots of risotto and pasta choices. The risotto was divine. My partner had beef tenderloins over pasta that was very tasty. The owner is a bit of a character and zooms around the room chatting up customers and filling water glasses. I'm used to Bay Area prices for meals, so I would say it is moderately high. For two us without alcohol, with two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts we paid around $100 with the tip.
iamq is offline  
Jul 16th, 2004, 05:05 PM
  #10  
gyppielou
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Oh I am so homesick! I think I have been damaged not swimming at Hippie Beach - Tunnels in the winter. I must return to calmer seas!!! No complaints on my past trip....just NEED to float in those blues and greens! Ahhhhh!!!! Great report iamq...this is how we bottle it and keep it with us~!
 
Jul 16th, 2004, 07:31 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
gyppielou,
I expect to be having withdrawls all year long until, say next, July perhaps. Aloha!
-Bill
iamq is offline  
Jul 16th, 2004, 08:23 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,360
Aloha Bill,

I'm there! Awesome report... Many mahalos.
makai1 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2004, 08:41 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 738
Thank you--that sounds fantastic!! We will be sure to check it out!
kikahead is offline  
Jul 17th, 2004, 09:24 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 399
iamq, Thanks for the detailed trip report. Will be visiting for first time at end of August. Reading about all your wonderful 10days has me wishing we were staying for more (only 6 this time). Couple questions:

One of first days you mentioned swimming at Hanalei Bay. This is where I get confused by how much emphasis to place on those revealed books. How did you like the swimming there, the book said swimming condition wasn't too "ideal", not sure what they even mean by that?

Also, on the day you went to Ke'e you said it was too crowded, was that on a weekend?

Thanks!
ggrtist is offline  
Jul 17th, 2004, 10:03 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
ggrtist,
Yeah, the remarks about Hanalei Bay in the "blue book" left me a little baffled. We found the water in Hanalei Bay to be warm, very calm and pool like. The water is not very clear and the bottom is sandy so this would not be a place to snorkel or expect to see lots of fish. We found it a great place to lay in the sun and swim. We stopped there on our way back from other beaches. The showers came in handy to wash the day's worth of salt and sand off. It was very peaceful. You have the most amazingly gorgeous backdrop of mountains and waterfalls to look at when you are floating, staring up.
Parking at Ke'e can be problematic any day after 9am or so it seemed to us. We could have waited for a place to park, but we chose not to. It is probably worse in the summer, on holidays and weekends. Get there early.
-Bill
iamq is offline  
Jul 18th, 2004, 01:12 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,559
Great report. Wow, that was a lotta driving you did! We just moved from Kauai to the mainland after a 6 year stay and I got to the point where a Poipu-Hanalei drive was an inconceivable idea, LOL.

Ditto about Brenneckes, very overrated with poor service.

As for Ke'e. I never even tried to park up at the end of the road. There is a parking lot to the right about 1/4 mile from the beach, just before the wet cave. There is a small wooden sign there that says "public parking" and there is also a chained off area for emergency helicopter landings. Very easy walk to the beach without all the jostling for a parking space.
vivi is offline  
Jul 18th, 2004, 02:01 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
vivi,
You were right in one of your previous posts to me...Walmart is the cosmic vortex of the island, and we got sucked in!
Yeah, the driving did get a little old after awhile. I think after two visits now to Kauai we have decided that the north end is more for us because of the beaches and the beauty. We stayed in Poipu these past two times mainly because of the generosity of my friend in having us as guests with her in her home. She perfers the Poipu area. We are looking at places in Hanalei and around Makua Beach for next time.
-Bill
iamq is offline  
Jul 18th, 2004, 03:02 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 178
iamq: Great trip report! I'm glad to find someone else liked the seafood buffet at the Prinville. An earlier thread coming from a trip report from CPT trashed it. My husband & I celebrated our 10th annviersdary there and we too had a nice romantic table on the terrace. I'm not a big seafood lover like my husband but I thought it was good and he really enjoy it. Maybe it's the atmopshere that added to the food experience???

Betty in Toronto
BettyInToronto is offline  
Jul 18th, 2004, 03:16 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
Betty,
I too am not a huge seafood fan, but on this trip I decided to try ALMOST everything. I certainly got to try out my new attitude at the buffet! The atmosphere did make it special, but the food was way better than I imagined it could have been. We agreed that we would go back again. I'd also like to try the Sunday brunch or do lunch sometime.
-Bill
iamq is offline  
Jul 18th, 2004, 05:10 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,558
Thanks for your detailed report - lots of good info here. I can almost smell the sea breeze...we'll be there in our Anini Beach House soon.
Maggi is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:45 PM.