Kauai/Oahu Trip Report

Feb 26th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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Kauai/Oahu Trip Report

Hey everyone, just returned from a Kauai/Oahu trip this past week so I thought I'd give a short trip report. The Oahu portion may be little sparse. I was in a wedding so I was mainly running around doing stuff for the bride with a little sightseeing inbetween.

Kauai 2/14-2/18/09:

Day 1: Flew into Kauai Valentine's Day.

Flew United from LAX to HNL then used Mesa to get from HNL to LIH. Probably wouldn't flew Mesa again. Don't get me wrong, they were extremely nice to us...even letting us move up our flight to an earlier time without a fee since the flight wasn't full. But our luggage didn't arrive on our flight (not just ours...I was thinking it might have been because we changed flights, but everyone's) so we waited another hour and a half for our luggage to arrive. That didn't really bother me because we found something else to do, but the other people on the flight were pissed. The plane was also probably smaller than I was comfortable with. If the price was significantly cheaper I wouldn't mind as much to fly on Mesa, but if I had a choice I'd probably fly Hawaiian interisland.

Passed by Hamura Saimen to wait for our luggage. Yummy! This was my favorite place to eat on Kauai to be honest. And it was very busy.

Then met up with my relatives in Kapa'a who we were staying with during our trip. Went to a local potluck with a roasted pig. Yummy!

Day 2:
Started day off by taking a Helicopter Ride with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. They were a great company. Very professional, great customer service (I had to change my flight to an earlier time and they accomodated us). The helis were very comfortable and our pilot (Jimmy) was terrific. If you sit in the back as we did it is better to sit on the right hand side (like we did!) You have better views of the island that way. I was very hesistant despite the recommendations to take the tour, but I'm a true believer. When you go into Waimea Canyon and Mt. Waialeale and see the Na Pali Coast...it just takes your breath away. The only comment I have is that if you are a serious photographer then you might want to fly doors off because the glare is pretty bad inside the plane. Having said that, I'm not so sure I would have been okay with the doors off. But in short, Blue Hawaiian is a great company.

Afterwards, made our rounds at Costco and Kmart. Then met up with my family again to go to yet another potluck....Hawaiians know how to potluck, let me tell you that. Then we headed off to the South Shore and visited Poipu. We snorkeled at Lawai Beach (right next to the Beach House Restaurant and did shoreline hike along the lithified cliffs near Poipu Beach. Nice, easy hike with a beautiful view of the ocean. Also had a Puka Dog while we were in South Shore. I thought this was delicious, especially with the lilikoi mutard (and I hate mustard usually).

Ate at Bubba's Burgers for dinner, but did not like it all. The kid at the service counter was rude. The burgers were small and the meat was all dried up. I think I probably would have enjoyed a cheeseburger at McD more.

Day 3:
We kayaked the Wailua River. There are a couple rental companies where they attach the kayak to the top of your car. For these companies where you have to haul it to the launch site, a double kayak costs $50. We decided we didn't want to deal with it and rented from the kayak rental right next to Smith's near the launch site. Parked our car at the launch site, then walked back to roll the kayak over to the launch site. A double kayak costs $75. You can get a guided tour to do Wailua, but honestly my husband and I were fine on our own. The kayak places will give you maps to follow...and I liked that we were able to go at our own pace. Just to note if you do decide to kayak Wailua and hike to Secret Falls be sure to take water, a towel, some snacks or a packed lunch, watershoes, and your hiking shoes or old sneakers. The mud will totally ruin your shoes. You do have to cross the river to start the hike no matter where you park your kayak. And for us, the water was pretty much thigh deep. I'm glad I wore my bathing suit underneath.

Headed up to explore North Shore, but it was pretty raining so we just drove through Princeville and had lunch in Hanalei. We couldn't really figure out where we wanted to eat, but we ended up eating at Kalypso in Hanalei Bay despite the so-so recommendations on this board and our guidebook (Kauai revealed). We actually thought the food was pretty good...and we went during Happy Hour which also a nice plus.

We passed by Kilauea lighthouse on our way home which was very beautiful and saw some whales off in the distance

Day 4: Our last full day in Kauai. We headed off to the West to visit Waimea Canyon. Very beautiful! I was debating whether or not to go since we had seen it on the heli ride, but I'm so glad we did. It was different vantage point and it was just spectacular. Hit up JoJo's Shaved Ice on the way back and it was delicious. We shared a mango, papaya, cantaloupe shaved ice.

Passed by the Kauai Kookie Outlet in Hanapepe. If you're planning on bringing these shortbread cookies home and are near the area, you really should stop by. First it's cheaper even then Wal-Mart (about $.30 per box), but more so, they carry flavors that they don't carry in the stores. I walked out with Mango and some PIneapple Macademia Nut Cookies.

Then we took a tour of the Kauai Coffee Plantation and got to sample some of their brews. Then we headed to Poipu to lay out (this was my request). Poipu was pretty busy both times we visited and I think it had to do with it being the beach with consistently better weather. The north side of the island was pretty cold.

Day 5: Took Hawaiian airlines to fly from LIH to HNL. Rented a car using Avis. Just to comment....I booked my rental car on priceline and saved about $15/day, but I did notice that our car was not as nice as the same class car that we got in Kauai (and it smelled like smoke). I don't know if this had to do with us using priceline to reserve our car or if this is a HNL thing. I think it had to do more with Priceline because the other cars at Avis looked just like our rental in Kauai.

Anyway, we met up with my cousin in downtown HNL where she works and she took us to a local lunch place called Art's Hideaway. It was delicious and they had big portions. The place was very busy when we were there. The owner was busy running around chatting up with the customers. Then we went on a quick tour around the financial district and the royal palace.

Afterwards we headed towards Waikiki where we stayed at the Westin Moana Surfrider. We chose to stay here because my friend's wedding was being held here and since I was in the wedding, I figured it would be the most convenient place to stay. Not to mention that the Moana is beautiful! We had an ocean view Banyan room. The rooms are definitely smaller in the Banyan wing, but I loved the sound of the music playing in the courtyard below and the sound of the waves crashing at night. I had friends staying in the Tower Wing which was definitely more spacious, but some of those rooms face directly with the Outrigger next door. We also got ready in the Honeymoon Suite in the Tower Wing which had AMAZING views of Waikiki...but with the pricetag to match.

Day 6 and 7 and 8 were pretty much dedicated to the wedding...but we found some time to sightsee inbetween.

I have to recommend Satura Cakes which is this great bakery which I believe was started up in Hawaii. Anyway, the cakes, pastries, cupcakes are delicious. Very light and airy. There was one in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center on the first floor and I tried to go there every day we were in Honolulu.

Also had dinner at Kapaako Kitchen at the Victoria Ward Center for some local food. Also ate at Tanako of Tokyo at the Ala Moana Center for the rehearsal dinner. It's kind of like Benihana, but the food is way better. Ate at Giovanni's shrimp truck when we drove around the island. The shrimp truck was pretty good but I think garlic shrimp is garlic shrimp, so I wasn't overly impressed.

We had a great time on Kauai and Honolulu and can't wait to come back. Thank you guys for all your help in planning...especially with Kauai!
aristokat is offline  
Feb 26th, 2009, 07:49 PM
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Thanks for giving us a 'taste' of your trip. Chinacat & Icee's upcoming trips have gotten me all a-stir.

I totally agree about Blue Hawaiian.
olesouthernbelle is offline  
Feb 26th, 2009, 08:13 PM
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Really enjoyed your report. Have been missing Kauai!
jojo46 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 06:34 AM
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Thanks for sharing!!!
jcb is online now  
Feb 27th, 2009, 07:13 AM
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thanks for this. Very timely for me sounds like a great trip.
china_cat is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 09:56 AM
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OH wow....thanks for the tease! It's only 75 more days until we have to listen to those roosters crow!

Hamura's will likely be our first stop after picking up the rental car. I love their fruit in the form of lilikoi pie! I guess we will have to taste a Puka Dog this time.

Glad you had such a great time.
iceeu2 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 08:33 PM
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Thanks everyone, and I do apologize for all my grammatical errors. I was trying to do the trip report late at night while I was half asleep. And I also I realized that my trip report was mainly about food. Don't get me wrong we did a lot of laying around which isn't as interesting to read about!

Iceeu2: I really enjoyed the lilikoi mustard...even more so than the lilikoi pie at Hamura.
aristokat is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 08:40 PM
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They have dessert at Hamura's? Who knew????

I get the lilikoi mustard and the habanero sauce at Puka Dogs....and about 4 lemonades!
Kal is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 08:53 PM
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Oh I agree. The lemonade is awesome at Hamura's. My husband didn't one and ended up drinking all of mine. I didn't feel like waiting in the long line to get another one.

Oh and FYI the spicy is not spicy at all! You probably need the habanero to get any kind of spice.

And I think lilikoi pie is the only dessert at Hamura's...
aristokat is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 09:09 PM
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a'kat....never had dessert at Hammy's because I go
on the Extra Large Special and 3-4 Chix Teri stix.

But I really like the place because it's easy to pick up wimmin' there: http://www.worldisround.com/articles/323707/photo1.html
Kal is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 09:16 PM
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Oh, and as for Bubba's, if you eat there I always rec a minimum of a double Bubba just so you can taste the meat that's in the bread.
Kal is offline  
Feb 28th, 2009, 12:02 AM
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I was not happy with my regular bubba burger at all...and I am not that picky about food.
aristokat is offline  
Mar 1st, 2009, 03:02 AM
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Sounds like a great trip. I'd love to do the kayaking. Thanks for the trip report.
starrs is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 07:00 PM
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Starrs: the kayak/hike to secret falls was our 2nd favorite activity of the trip!
aristokat is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 07:33 PM
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Kal is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2009, 08:19 PM
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Great report aristo! I have to agree with Satura Cakes! We love their goodies. We had the Palo Alto, Ca store do our wedding cake and it was spectacular.
iamq is offline  
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