Kauai Trip Report

Oct 1st, 2001, 07:30 AM
  #1  
Suzie
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Kauai Trip Report

Found this site last April when first planning our trip to Kauai. I want to thank all those who provided insight and recommendations. It taught me a new way of thinking about my vacation plans.

Flew out of Oakland International Airport via Aloha Airlines. Our original flight was cancelled so we were placed on a flight leaving 1 hour later and flying to Kona then to Maui and then Kauai. Originally we were set to arrive in Kauai before noon now we would get there after 3:00. Aloha did a good job of making sure we knew about the changes ahead of time and made every attempt to make it simple. As instructed we arrived at the ticket counter 2.5 hours prior to departure, 6:30 am. No one at the ticket counter, no one in line at security. By 6:45 we were having coffee at our gate. Ugh over 2 hours to wait. It's very strange to see only passengers in the gate area. No one greeting or sending off family and friends. Makes the area very quiet. Aloha has great flight attendants. They also serve hot chocolate chip cookies and cold milk late in the flight. Our flight, which was fully booked prior to 9/11, was combined with the Kona flight and still the plane was only about 2/3 full. Many empty seats.

Once we arrived on Kauai we went right to Budget and picked up our car. No hassels here. We got a nice clean new mustang convertable. Drove to the rental agency, Suite Paradise, to pick up the keys to our condo and they greeted us with a Mai Tai. Yahoo, let the vacation begin!
 
Oct 1st, 2001, 07:48 AM
  #2  
Suzie
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Part Two:

First day drove to Waimea canyon. Very hot day but we got an early start. This also means that we had to share the viewing areas with the many busloads of other tourists. Took the road all the way up to the furthest point as instructed in the Ultimate Guide to Kauai. This book turned out to be a really great resource, we took it everywhere. Drove back down a little ways and hiked to the two falls recommended by the author. Here's a tip, when he says moderately strenuous hike take it seriously. The hike is down hill pretty steep which means coming back is work. The falls were not impressive and the pool described as cool and swimmable did not look inviting. We should have done the Jungle Hike or a little of the hike at the top of the lookout. The view from the lookout was amazing as it was not shrouded in clouds so we could see very well.

After the hike we dragged ourselves back to the condo for a swim an then out to dinner. Dinner was the only meal we ate out so we splurged every night. The first night we went to Keoki's Paradise. The wait staff was very friendly and prompt. The food was good. The second night we ate at the House of Seafood. The food was also good and the service was good until after the entree was served and then the service died. Felt like we had been abandon.

Next Day:

NaPali Sailing tour via Captain Sundown. This is a family owned business and still sails out of Hanalei Bay as they recently won a permanent injuction allowing them to remain there. We paddled out to the cat in an outrigger which was a great way to get wet first thing in the morning. it was a beautiful morning there not very cloudy so we could see all the mountains. Sailed all the way down the NaPali coast. The trade winds were very strong all week and the surf was high so no none was snorkeling anywhere. We powered back and hugged the coastline so we got good views of the caves and waterfalls along the coast. Since we didsn't stop for snorkeling or lunch we sailed around before returning to Hanalei and paddling back in the outrigger. We caught a wave in the outrigger and got to surf in which was really fun! It was a great trip. This company take sonly 15 guests so the boat never felt crowded.

Had dinner at Brenneke's. It was very good and the hostess and waiter were very fun.
 
Oct 1st, 2001, 08:01 AM
  #3  
Suzie
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Part Three:

Another high wind day so no swimmming or snorkling. Stopped in at the Hyatt just to see what the buzz is all about. It's quite large, hope they give guests a map! It was a ghost town, no one there. Grounds are quite lovely and they have many places/pools for lounging. Loved the flag on the back of the lounge chair to use for poolside food and drink service.

Took the cruise up to the fern grotto. On Wednesdays they have a boat leaving late, 3:30 so we barely made it. Saw kayakers starting and finishing their trips. Some were smiling/some not! The boat cruise it kinda hoaky but we had a good time as the tour guides do not take themselves seriously. We also saw the falls that are shown at he beginning of Fantasy Island. Very nice. Seemsed like the hike from the river to the falls would be pretty. Didn't have time for that as we got a late start.

Anniversary dinner at Tidepools at the Hyatt. Food was good, waiter was good, guy at the next able was very loud! The atmosphere there is really nice and relaxed even when you're faced with the prices!

Last Full day on Kauai and the winds were blowing stong again and there was no reall sun anywhere, not even on the west side. Went shopping for kid gifts and ended up at the condo pool with our ice chest fuull of beer. When it rained we jumped in the pool or spa.
Last night dinner at The Beach House. A dinner to remember. Remarkable food and a very friendly waitress. Though we had reservations our table in the bar was so great that we ate there. Too cloudy for a sunset so the place cleared out.

Overall Kauai is a beautiful island. The people were all very friendly. Lots of radio announcements urging local people to maintain a friendly demeanor so that visitors will want to return. The locals seem a little nervous about any extended loss in tourism. We had a great time!
 
Oct 1st, 2001, 08:05 AM
  #4  
Suzie
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Oh, forgot to say we stayed at Whalers cove. Huge condo with all the ammenities. Right on the ocean. The living room and bedroom both opened on to a huge lanai. Very clean. Pool had no ledge so it looked like it was part of the patio. Very nice. We had a second floor condo so our views were outstanding and unobstructed. It was quiet and the ground were well attended.
 
Oct 2nd, 2001, 08:16 AM
  #5  
kal
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Alooohaaa Suzie (Bel Air Suzie?),
Sound slike a great trip to my favorite island.

Sounds like Aloha did their best under an adverse situatuion. I've been wanting to try them out of Oakland for a time now. Maybe next trip in '02.

How was the Kauai coffee? ha!

89 more days until we're hiking up the Sleeping Giant getting the ol' washboard treatment on our drive out to Polihale and munching on a Brick Oven Pizza.

Mahalo,
Kal
 
Oct 2nd, 2001, 09:29 AM
  #6  
Suzie
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Yes Bel Air Suzie

Never got to the Pool Bar you recommended for Wiki Waki Woo, sorry. Beaches were pretty rough on Kauai last week with strong surf and high winds. Can't believe it's over already. Guess I'll check in here to live through others, you included, for my Kauai fix.

Aloha flies pretty small planes, 737-700. Fast though. I recommend getting row 11 window seat as there is no seat directly in front of you and you can really stretch out. This is the emergency exit so you do have to agree to be helpful. They still serve you the complementary mai tais the whole time anyway!!!
 
Oct 2nd, 2001, 10:31 AM
  #7  
kal
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Suzie,
Since I'm 6'4" and have been doing a lot of traveling the past 10 years, I've learned where all the exit rows are.

I'm a "nervous nellie" the night before/day of travel, so we usually get there 2-3 hrs. early specifically to try and get the ER rows. Rather be hangin' out at the airport that stuck in traffic a few mins B4 takeoff.

Complimentary MT's are a plus! So would flying out of Oakland vs SFO.
Did you drive down that morning or stay the night B4 at a nearby hotel w/ free park n' fly?

You probably would of had a complimetary Wiki Waki Woo, too if you would have went by the Sand Bar and our friend was working. ;^D

I note from the other post where you stayed. Guess from the price posted, you must live on the east side of "R"
and not on the west side with us po' folk? Ha!

Will you wait that long again before you return to the Garden Isle?

Man...hope I can hold on for 89 more.
Mahalo,
Kal
 
Oct 2nd, 2001, 11:26 AM
  #8  
Suzie
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Kal, you're a scream. Po folk in R, ha! Yes, east side but not GB, really we did splurge. It's not our usual budget. After all 20 years is a heaka long time.

Stayed at the Oakland Hilton for park, sleep and fly. Car was fine when we returned. Shuttle is every 20 minutes. Considered driving down that morning before 9/11 but when we had to be there by 6:30 am thought we could use the 2 hrs of extra shuteye.

It's a little late to let me in on the "free" drink idea!!!! Don't know if we'll go back to Kauai next time as kids insist on be included. Might go back to BI to show 11 yo the volcano.

Sorry to hear your NO trip was cancelled but as you say more $$$ for drinks on Kauai. whoo hoo!!!
 
Oct 8th, 2001, 11:28 AM
  #9  
karen
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Suzie -

So glad you had such a wonderful trip. We travel to Kauai annually, and it is by far or fav HI island - like Kal. We leave in mid Feb. and are counting the days - a few more than you, Kal. Anyway, you did a good bit in the time you allocated for your stay on the Garden Isle. Yes, Kal, BOP (Brick Oven Pizza) with the wonderful garlic crust calls to us as does Hanalei Bay and Bali Hai, Polihale, and all the wonderful hiking and kayaking to be done on Kauai. Sleeping Giant is a nice hike and the view from the top is lovely. It's all downhill going home. Watch out for the spider's nests up there, Kal. Make sure you take your "hiking stick" to knock down the webs. Have fun; we'll talk again.
 
Oct 9th, 2001, 07:11 AM
  #10  
kal
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Aloha Karen,
82 and counting!

Ahhhh...the spider webs on the Sleeping Giant trail. I remember them well. "Taste like chicken"! ;^D

Since Mrs Kal is 5 ft nuthin' she walked under most of them. Not me.

Can't wait until I see a Hanalei Valley full of ocean spray about 30 mins before sunset. Awesome!

Take care and mucho mahalo,
Kal
 

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