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Songdoc's Snivelling, Grieving for Kauai Trip Report

Songdoc's Snivelling, Grieving for Kauai Trip Report

Old Aug 9th, 2008, 05:35 PM
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Songdoc's Snivelling, Grieving for Kauai Trip Report

This was my fourth trip to paradise (aka Kauai) in the past three years so it was not about sightseeing or activities. I was there to enjoy soaking in the tranquility and beauty. I brought my sister along, so I rented a 2-bedroom condo: Sealodge E-6 ($185/night). I love Sealodge and this unit included everything I could have needed. It had WiFi, beach chairs, and even a coffee grinder! But that view is what I go for and it was spectacular as always.

Lazy mornings were spent with coffee on the lanai overlooking the Anini reef and lighthouse, writing, and going for long walks. Most afternoons, we sampled my favorite North Shore beaches: Kee; Tunnels; Anini; and Hanalei. Our only dinner out on the North Shore was at Neides, a favorite. I enjoy the relaxed outdoor seating and view and the awesome Brazilian vegetable pancake. (I ordered mine with chicken, as well.)


I knew we were going to be eating all of our meals out later in the trip and nothing could beat watching the sun turn the clouds pink and violet as we ate dinner on our lanai at the condo. A couple of times we picked up pre-cooked food (i.e., a roast huli-huli chicken; salads, and veggies) from nearby Foodland. A couple of times, we enjoyed doing some relaxed cooking. Stopped at the Sunshine Market (4:30 PM Thursdays in Kilauea) for awesome fresh-picked, homegrown, organic produce. The mangoes, papayas, pineapples; bananas; and veggies were perfect. Who knew corn could be so sweet.

While there were a few intermittent showers on the North Shore, there was only one actual rainy day (out of twelve) that kept us indoors. There have been threads about whether a/c was needed. I said, no, but I admit we were warm during the days and we bought a portable fan. The breeze cooled things down, but the problem was that when it rained, we had to shut the windows. We also had to shut them when we left the condo (in case it rained), so it got very warm and stuffy. But otherwise, it was pure bliss .

Sadly, after six days, we moved to the Hilton Kauai Beach Resort (KBR) for me to teach songwriting workshops and perform at the Kauai Music Festival. They made some nice improvements to the hotel since I first stayed there, but unfortunately, there is still a problem with cockroaches. Some guests were very upset. But I think it goes with the territory. Sort of like complaining about there being sand at the beach. (And FYI, there were ants and a couple of massive Palmetto bugs at Sealodge, too.)

I loved walking on the shore at the KBR in the mornings. Just beautiful!

Of course we had to have some of those OMG AMAZING pancakes at Kountry Kitchen in Kapaa. I LOVE that place. I was practically orgasmic from the macadamia nut pancakes (with a side of sliced bananas). My sister was moaning over the chocolate chip pancakes. On our next visit, the coconut French toast and luau omelet (kahlua pig, spinach, onions & cheese) received equally great reviews.

We drove down to Spouting Horn which was showing off quite well. My sis especially enjoyed the shopping at the little booths next to the parking lot. When I finally dragged her away we headed for Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Lookout.

Sadly, it was drizzling and clouds were rolling in when we arrived at the Kalalau Lookout. But as those clouds wafted by, we were treated to what surely must be the most beautiful view in the world. After three visits it still takes my breath away. And where was rain there were soon brilliant ribbons of rainbows. We continued on to the Puu o Kila Lookout and walked a bit, snapping picture after picture, in utter awe.

By the time we viewed Waimea Canyon, it was almost 6 PM andit was in the shadows but we still enjoyed it thoroughly. Dinner was at Roys in Poipu and was excellent, if a bit pricey. The portabella mushrooms on mashed potatoes were FANTASTIC, as were the potstickers, and my sister enjoyed her shrimp, as well. It was a long, tiring day, but utterly satisfying.

The next day, we enjoyed swimming and sunning at Lydgate beach and walking south of there (toward KBR). There was indeed some debris in the water, but we still loved it. The views of Sleeping Giant were great from the beach, but the best views are from the short cut aka the Wailua Alternate that we used to avoid most of the Kapaa traffic. (Thank you Auntie Marie!!!)

More restaurant reports: I always enjoy the broccoli beef at Waipouli restaurant and it did not disappoint. But my sister said the spare ribs were tasty but too fatty for her. Of course, the infamous Hamuras Saimin was a highlight. This was the first time I tried the wonton saimin and I preferred it over the delicious special saimin. Also, had a teriyaki chicken stick. A friend tried the Chinese pretzels and loved them. Similar to the fried noodles you might put in wonton soup but somewhat sweet. Yum! Love that place!

We were underwhelmed by Garden Island BBQ. It had come highly recommended by the chatty cashier at Wal-Mart (where sister did lots more souvenir shopping), but we felt it was mediocre; no better than fast-food mall Chinese food. And before I leave the topic of souvenirs, we stopped at Hilo Hatties. They certainly have the tourist thing down, with free necklaces, contests, and lots of (literal) bells and whistles. But everything there could be found at much lower prices at Wal-Mart or Walgreens.

Dinner at Kauai Pasta was impressive enough to return a second time. The house pasta with meat sauce was thick with chunks of beef and sausage and DELICIOUS! The Caesar salad was exceptional, as was the chicken parmesan (which, like the eggplant, was baked, as opposed to fried).

But the best meal of the trip was (drum roll please) Scotty¦s BBQ (just north of Kapaa). I read about it in the controversial blue Ultimate Kauai Guidebook, which has led me to many favorite restaurants. The oceanfront view is what drew me in, but the ribs were the best I ever tasted. Wow! The service was exceptional, as well. Looking over the ocean and savoring that meal was a perfect way to spend my last night in paradise. (sniff, sniff)

A favorite walk started across from Kountry Kitchen and headed north on the path to Kealia beach. Absolutely beautiful, and when I got hot, I jumped in the ocean. Ah, bliss!!!

The Kauai Music Festival was fantastic; probably the best ever. I was blown away by some of the Island artists ˇV particularly the amazing Paula Fuga; Keale (cousin to Iz and carrying on the family tradition beautifully); and Hoku Zuttermeister who are all multiple Honu award winners. The mainland artists (including me!) put on a great show, as well.

The only problem is that now I am grieving for Kauai. DP does not like spectacular beaches, exquisite ocean, gentle winds, heat, and humidity so he stubbornly refuses to move there. FYI, otherwise, he acts quite sane and reasonable. So I hope to find an inexpensive place to rent for about a month a couple of times a year. Not quite as good as being there all the time, but should hopefully be enough of a fix to keep me going until the next Kauai Music Festival.

Pix coming soon. Thanks to all who offered help and advice.
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Old Aug 9th, 2008, 05:55 PM
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Let me be the first to congratulate you on your excellent trip report!

I SO wish I were planning a trip to Kauai soon.

Anxiously awaiting your pictures!
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Old Aug 9th, 2008, 11:01 PM
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hahahaaaaaaa I keep telling you guys not to go there! So wait....why does DP not enjoy it?
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Old Aug 10th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Ah, Songdoc, it's reports like this that make me wish I were leaving tomorrow for Kauai. Was this the first time for your sister? Does she love it?

We have decided to stay on the north shore with no a/c next May, so I think I will now lay on a fan at Walmart before we go north!
 
Old Aug 10th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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My sister had spent a day on Kauai during a cruise -- but said she hadn't gotten any sense of the island from her one shore excursion. She fell in love.

You may be fine in May with no a/c. I was there late July/early August and I would have been fine. But my sister was too warm. It's easy enough to pick up an inexpensive fan. As I said in the report, the only time I needed it was when we closed the windows because of a brief shower.

FYI, if the writing in my report seems a bit stiff, it's because I typed it in a separate document and when I copied it into this post, my apostrophes, dashes, semi-colons and other punctuation looked bizarre.

No matter how I tried, it wouldn't let me edit those out and replace them. So, in desperation, I deleted all of the contractions, dashes, etc ... Made it impossible to spell some of the Hawaiian names and restaurants correctly!

And one more P.S. ... we also enjoyed brief stops at Opaeka'a Falls and Wailua Falls, as well as the scared site across from the falls, overlooking the Wailua river.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for the trip report and pics. We leave in 20 days.

Fortunate for me DH loves Kauai as much as I do and this trip will include looking for a place to call home a few months a year.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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I'm insanely jealous.
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