kauai trip report

Sep 28th, 2005, 10:08 PM
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kauai trip report

Well..i don't have much time to do this, i
feel i must at least get a few little things out to the many sweet fodorites..(esp. for the frothy-mouthed K Klubbers) regarding our recent trip to the little island that we all love to hate.

This trip was part of our ongoing experiment in hawaii vacationing with a toddler. This time around we decided to stay at a condo for most of the trip and then to pamper ourselves at a fancy resort for the last few nights.
Mother nature had other plans, though!

We stayed at the Lae Nani resort and rented through an owner, not Outrigger. We were on the ground floor in the number 4 building and it was really quite nice! Our 2 yr-old loved the spacious unit which opened up to a big grassy area and the pool (although, oddly enough,she seemed to like the showers to rinse your feet off in almost as much). Our condo neighbors were a very sweet couple who were staying for a month(envy). They rented their unit through Outrigger and i must admit some things were more updated in it. There was a nicer TV, a King size bed, tile flooring and a newer furniture. None of this was a deal breaker for us, though, as the price we paid was considerably cheaper than the Outrigger $$ for a week.
If you are in the enviable position of being able to stay for a month like these folks, though, you might find that the cost evens out because i think they give you a week free with every 3 weeks booked or something like this. Other than our bed being a little small and the sofa a little old, i would say the amenities were pretty equal. If you're interested in the booking details, let me know and i'll email ya. Also, if you must have daily maid service(i rather prefer the uninterupted vibe w/out it), outrigger's deal includes this. The units were not a/c, but the cross ventilation was really quite good and though it was hot and steamy outside, the apt. stayed relatively comfortable. There is a heiau on the property and i recommend walking gently around the grounds of this ancient sacred land. It saddened me to see all the condos around this site, but i suppose that's just the way it is, huh?

One thing about Lae Nani, which i was not sure would be all that, was the location.
As the real estate folks say..location, location, location! Staying in this area can spoil you with the amenities of home and also is within a stone's throw of some of my absolute favorite restaurants. In particular, Kintaro. There is always a long wait to get into this place, but we were so close that we called in takeout orders 3 times and walked to pick it up. Too awesome! The beach is not really a swimming beach as there is a sharp lava shelf about 3 feet in. There is a shelf free bowl next to the heiau, but it was kinda rough, really. As for the "keiki enclosed boulder pool," well it was definately calm in there, but i had the distinct sense that it was indeed an actual part of the heiau and felt quite a sense of kapu when wading on the shallow lava shelf. I am a self-admitted nutball about this kind of thing, so feel free to ignore that comment! The ocean area was gorgeous, though. And locals seemed to come by regularly to fish and pick limpets or seaweed off the lava shelves, which i thought was cool. The pool is right on the ocean and is lovely to hang out in..being shaded from both sides by palm trees! Just lovely..
In all i give this place a big thumbs up if you're looking for a nice low-key place to hang with the family.

We moved on to the Princeville Hotel for our last 3 nights..expecting too much, i think. We have had such earth-shatteringly good times there in our pre-baby days, that i think we had our expectations set a bit high.
The carpets seemd damp/germy and all the furniture had sharp marble corners. Although it was a/c, the dampness was all pervasive at that time. In other words..it rained..and rained and..sigh..rained. We tried to make room in the minibar fridge for milk and a few other baby necessities, but ended up having to rent a fridge from the hotel. We were on the ground floor here as well, but even if it had stopped raining for a minute, you could not directly access the beach from the room, though it was tantalizingly near separated only by low shrubs. I would continue to recommend this place to folks with the cash to enjoy it properly, sadly, we don't currently fit in this demographic much as we would like to! We used a billion points for 2 nights and paid for only the third and yet the bill was only 50-60 bucks shy of what we paid for a whole week at the lae nani!! Yes. you read that right. On the whole, i love this place..and lord knows if there were no flash flood warnings and coffee brown waters for miles..we would have enjoyed the simple beach amenities just as well or more than at the lae nani. They have a swim up bar, which is nice when you can't go out for cocktails with a little one. Room service dinner was impeccable and delicious. Dinner at Cafe Hanalei was also a delight, although i was a little disappointed that the menu for this was the same as the room service menu.
Breakfast buffet had all you could want, but was uninspired. I remember really enjoying the kahiku hula performed at sunset there..but was sad to see that it only happens on Sunday evenings. The entertainment in the lounge was good, but very typical tropical lounge jazz.

All in all the sheraton in Poipu has a much more hawaiian evening lineup with outdoor entertainment, mai tais and a more relaxed environment. I also hear that they now have a luau as well. When we stayed there last year, we found the folks who worked there to be incredibly nice and hospitable..and this is before there look up your credit line. One of the hostesses there gave our then one year old baby a stuffed honu and endless aloha and good advice. The restaurants there are much improved. Her name is Lorraine..in case anyone wants to give her a big tip for being such a sweet and gracious lady.

OK.. i must sign off for now. Consider that my lodging rant. Next I'll tell you all about our food adventures..although, i think it will seem a little redundant..as so many people have covered this so well already.
Mebbe i'll mix in some local tales of fun and fury.

Aloha..and a hui ho.
cousin annie
sea_wahine is offline  
Sep 29th, 2005, 04:43 AM
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I like the Coconut Coast area as a "home base" too. I wish Lae Nani had elevators. Some of the 3rd floor units have great views...but lugging suitcases, groceries, and my own tired body up 3 flights of stairs is not something I'm willing to do. Was the pool heated? We stayed next door (Lanikai), and never saw anyone in that very lovely Lae Nani pool! Looking forward to the rest of your report.
Barbara5353 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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Sea Wahine..wasn't the Lae Nani beautiful? We stayed in building 5 on the ground floor, next to that hedge that juts out. The hedge prevents anyone from getting too close to your lanai. We did rent thru Outrigger and like I have said on many other posts(I am beginning to sound like an Outrigger spokesperson) the condo was beautiful. It had nice furniture, a great TV with a vcr, a full stereo system, a full kitchen with a dishwasher, so on and so on. We did get a cheaper rate than their usual $349 a night, we paid $299 a night which is still not cheap. We probably could have done better thru a owner. Can I ask you what you paid? We had 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. Thanks
jinxiejo is offline  
Sep 29th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Aloha sea wahine,

Great report... looking forward to the "local tales of fun & fury"!
You've got me curious about the Lae Nani... sorry to hear you didn't have much on the north shore. You might need to do some more research...
makai1 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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yep.. no elevators..but as far as the views..well they were just a dream even from the ground floor. I am usually pretty fussy about being on the 1st floor because of dampness and less view..but neither was an issue here. There was a kind of funky smell when we first opened the place up..but it was gone or not noticable after a day or so with screens and ceiling fans circulating the air. The pool might have been heated..but i don't think the heater was on. It was warmish-cool and delightful. Mebbe i should start telling about some of the bad things about the place..so as not to get too many folks attn?? ; O )

The grass was prickly, like Florida grass.. and no swim up bar.. The traffic from the Main road next door was audible most of the time in the bedroom.
Bldg, 5 would definately have less of this problem as it is right by the coast.
sea_wahine is offline  
Sep 29th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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Here a a couple pix.. Nothing for National Geographic or anything..but there we are..
: O )
sea_wahine is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 01:49 PM
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just added a couple pix to the yahoo site..from the past couple trips..just so you could see what it is like there on the few days when it is not stormy. Also to show off a dress that i wore to a fancy luau on a double dare. Real 1970s Don Ho couture, mind you!
: O )annie
sea_wahine is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 01:57 PM
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hmm.. i think i got that url a little wrong..how about this..
sea_wahine is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Aloha sea wahine....beautiful pics! What's the story with the I Dare You dress and where were you? Also, is that the ice cream guru you are with in one of the photos?

Oct 3rd, 2005, 08:32 PM
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Although the gentleman in the photo looks familiar, the real Mr. Lappert -- of Lappert's Ice Cream -- passed away a year or two ago...
auntiemaria is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 09:49 PM
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Yep.. auntie..so sad about mr lappert. I think i met him not too long before he passed away. That pic is from a few years back. We were in kapaa in that photo.
sea_wahine is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 10:26 PM
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..(i added a 2nd photo album from our last few trips because i didn't get as many good pix on our most recent trip)..
((report part twp, take one)))
We did have a lovely trip, though..with moody and elegant weather.. Our baby iz was a little less in nirvana brain when we couldn't get the beach element in her style for the last few days..but we enjoyed the elemental beauty up north none the less.
We were headed towards the lovely limahuli..thinking about white birds flying to the sea.. ancient kings, old rocks,taro..and so forth. Wondered what the conditions would be like when the hanalei pali were so wild with water (It's probably best that i have a 2 year old, or i'd be getting all banged up in search of the photo of those elusive beauties). The stream crossing just past haena was looking a little wild..folks were just whistling dixie back and forth over it, still. We decided to head back to high ground. By the time we reached back to hanalei it was looking pretty moody out. We had lunch in the lovely hanalei gourmet in that schoolhouse type building. I like that place. It's not even that the food is like gonna make you freak out about how good it is..but the folks there are so nice and the food is pretty yummy, humble and not pricey. They gave my girl a coloring book and crayons and as we ate the rain came in. whooosh..kids were playing super mud games out front as we left for the car. I thought it was so interesting how people acted in the face of this kind of super rain. Like..uhhh what do i do? I don't, like, have an umbrella or ummm, a raincoat. Hey..do any of these stores sell raincoats? Maybe we should linger around and shop for one now.
We headed up the hill all giddy and soaking wet, but it wasn't until the next morning that we learned about how all these folks staying outside of the town that were a bit too la-di-doodle about the flash flood warnings were stuck in their cars all night on the road outta hanalei. puff, indeed!
Glad we hightailed early enough! (ouch and sympathy to those souls who paid a limb or two for that nights accomodations). btw: foodwise we had lunch at hanalei plate lunch or something like that..had a good kalua pork combo plate. It was tasy and fed all three of us a light lunch. Wishing well, alas, was closed on each try we made. ..next time. Tropical taco is always so deelisch for a fattening lunch. Great lemonade there, too. The winner for most saves in a pinch would have to go to the effervescently lovely Banana Joes for there lovely low-impact place to the most heavenly frozen fruit combo. ever. SOmething about the combination of that juicer and the frozen aooke banana/local pineapple combo.. is real ambrosia, i tells ya. But don't tell everyone about it..wait..oh..sigh. Please tread lightly..everywhere.

: o ) cousin annie
sea_wahine is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 10:29 PM
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oh.. please do ignor those typos. tank ewe and g'night.
sea_wahine is offline  
Oct 4th, 2005, 05:47 AM
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I love the picture of the sunset!

I noticed your pictures of the Hanakapiai Falls. How was the hike?

"Moody and elegant" is a perfect description the weather on the north shore! Thanks!

iamq is offline  
Oct 4th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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sea_wahine, thank you for sharing your photos. Lovely .... and thanks for taking us back there with your report!
Oct 4th, 2005, 09:41 PM
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Hi Bill..
I love the hike to Hanakapiai. My hubbie and i have done it a few times. These shots are a couple years old. Next trip we will be sure to have someone with us to share baby watch time with so we can do big people things again!

The stream crossing shot with Josh is also on the falls trail. I think of those guava trees fondly as dear, helping hands at almost every crossing.

I feel a strong, practically palpable sense of historic relevence wafting from all those old rocks along the bottom part of this hike. I have too many pictures of rocks..which everyone thinks is so silly..but hey, could be worse.

The stream pools along this trail have some really cool fish in them which have evolved to have a sucker on their bottom to hold on to the rocks against the current. cool.

I am afraid of heights and this hike has helped me enormously in facing this problem. Unfortunatley,I have been too chicken to continue on the entire coast hike. Something about descritpions of having to hold on to the sheer cliffside by posts in the rock..stops me cold with icy panic even after just reading about it.

This hike was about as tough as i think i can handle, but i will do it again as soon as the opportunity presents itself, you betcha. It just feels so great! I have yet to visit the hula heiau near kee. Have you visited this spot? We are also from the sf area, btw.
sea_wahine is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 04:19 AM
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Sea Wahine

Thanks for all your info and especially the photos. I'm from the UK and will be taking my first Hawaii trip in Jan 06 and we'll be on Kauai for two weeks. You are definitely whetting my appetite, thanks.
AndyPoole is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 12:36 PM
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(this is dedicated to kal)
Gosh, i'm so sorry you will have to spend 2 whole weeks in that dreadful place! It rains all the time..and watch out, or the tropicalized mosquitos can bite your leg off..and don't forget to bring earplugs..as the roosters make such an awful din at all hours..don't forget about leptospirosis in the streams (serious, that one, actually )and those jumping biting geckos who just love to crawl all over you at night..and oh, uh..did i mention the rain?
sigh. amp;
(you will have a fantastic time, i'm sure!)
My big three pet issues re: island ecology..

3) don't walk on the reefs, puhlease..
2)listen, learn about and respect the kama'aina,
their culture and history.
1)take personal responsibility by
recycling the trash you make and leaving as light a
footprint on the delicate island ecostructure as
you can figure out how to.

Ho'omalu 'aina hanau (protect the native land).
sea_wahine is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 02:14 PM
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erm... perhaps we'll change our minds!
AndyPoole is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 03:16 PM
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Yeah, Andy....go to Maui. You'll have more to do and no raian at all. :-"

That's just the foam from my Kona Brew Co Fire Rock!
Kal is offline  

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