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The Good Stuff: A Boring Songdoc Kauai Trip Report

The Good Stuff: A Boring Songdoc Kauai Trip Report

Apr 26th, 2013, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,701
No matter how many times I read your paradise reviews, it always sounds new and fresh.

Better rest up so you can go back Down Under.

What a life!
rncheryl is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 04:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
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The best thing at Hamura's is not even on the menu.
wekewoody is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 464
Songdoc, now I know the last thing on your mind is little ol' us, your fan club, but we are living vicariously through you.

I don't know how much longer my patience will hold out with no post on paradise...!

...louistraveler, Songdoc Fan Club Pres.
louistraveler5 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Let's see. We have a President. I nominate icceu2 to be the fan club's registrar.
wekewoody is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 09:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,596
Question for WW. Is the registrar the keeper of the coins?
iceeu2 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 09:31 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
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No, the registrar is someone who signs people up and is the group's cheeleader! Rah, Rah and all that.
wekewoody is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,701
I second the nomination of Icceu2 as anything she wants to be!
rncheryl is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 01:06 PM
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Wow! My very own fan club! I'm honored. But I'm not worthy. So, now I guess I’d better deliver some updates to my fans.

Weke: are you referring to the stuffed buns at Hamura’s? Enquiring minds (and stomachs) need to know!

and FYI … my autocorrect changed saimin to asinine! I've eaten asinine three times since arriving!

Don’t want to make anyone jealous, but … the past four days couldn’t possibly have been any more perfect. Except for a few hours of clouds on one day, the weather has been incredible.

On two evenings, the sunsets from the lookout near the St. Regis hotel (next to Pale Ke Kua) were glorious. It was pretty crowded with photographers all watching the sun splash into the sea and color the sky. The sky was filled with stars as I walked back to the condo. Every other evening has been spent at Hanalei Bay/Black Pot beach.

Yesterday, decided to venture a little farther. Stopped to take some beautiful photos at Waikoko beach--the first beach north of Hanalei (between mile markers 4 and 5). Then to Lumahai for more photos at that jade green river. Love looking at the horses grazing beneath the mountains. Then backtracked to the southern portion of Lumahai, that I learned is called Kahalahala.

It was as stunning as I remembered with some of the most brilliant, sapphire blue water on the island. I plopped my little Tommy Bahama chair (that straps on your back) in a shady spot. There were only a handful of people at the beach—maybe because the water was quite rough. The waves were powerful and breaking only a few feet from shore, making swimming dangerous.

That reminds me …

EVERY day, every beach has been posted as having “Dangerous Rip Tides,” and on two occasions, Hanalei Bay was posted as, “No Swimming.” Because of the rise in tourist drownings they’ve really stepped up the warnings. On some of the “no swimming” days, the water was full of people (including kids), and it was calm as could be—actually too calm for my taste, with waves that were barely a ripple—and no current that I could feel. I swam in front of the lifeguard stations, and close to other swimmers. There’s an ocean safety video that plays at the airport baggage claim.

I heard a program on KKCR (love that radio station) stating that EVERY drowning this year has been a tourist, and occurred at a location with no lifeguard—and that the majority occur when people walk out on rock outcroppings and get knocked over by an unexpected wave.

But back to my perfect day … I had picked up a great “custom” sandwich at Foodland and loved eating while looking at that gorgeous scenery with it’s black lava pools jutting out of the ocean and it’s jagged peaks in the distance.

I read, then decided to walk at the water’s edge. Went in up to my calves and determined it was wayyyy to rough to be safe. But a while later, it calmed down a bit, and there were several people swimming. It was HOT, and no one was having any trouble, so I decided to brave it. It felt amazing—but within a few minutes I decided it just wasn’t safe enough—and I didn’t need to risk my life to enjoy paradise.

But the water had been so refreshing … I wanted to swim! I’d already taken enough photos to rival Ansel Adams, so I decided to head to Hanalei Bay. The water was exceptionally calm with no discernible current (and posted as dangerous rip tides) and just exquisite.

I walked the full length of the beach, thinking … Hanalei Bay is the definitive perfect beach. You can walk for miles on sugar-soft, shell-free sand, framed by breathtaking views of the Napali Cliffs; the water is almost always perfect for swimming (except at times in the winter)—and is lifeguarded; you can watch surfers; walk out on the picture-postcard pier; watch and photograph amazing sunsets; eat at Pat’s Taqueria; and take a shower. There are restrooms, too—and on Thursday evenings a keyboardist sets up and on the pier and serenades the sunset. Who could ask for anything more?

OK, so there’s no snorkeling. But there are lots of other places to snorkel—or you could stick your head in a fish tank. HA!

At the end of my walk I was hot and sweaty. (I’m always “hot,” but not often sweaty. Well, … in my dreams … hehe) Now it was time for that swim. OMG. I don’t think being in the ocean has felt that good since I was seven years old! It was heaven!!!

Good news: Pat’s Taqueria was back! I wonder if he’s only there on the weekends this time of year?

Started one morning with a wonderful 90-minute massage this morning with Morgan at Princeville Massage (above Lappert’s Ice Cream—next to Foodland.) Poor Morgan probably couldn’t find any tension to release! Someone mentioned that Will Smith had recently been by to get some ice cream at Lappert’s.

Had to be on the east side on day and stopped at Lydate Beach Park (which I learned is pronounced LIG-gate – not LIED-gate). The man-made ocean pools were filled with toddlers and snorkelers. I prefer waves—or at least ripples, but it was pleasant. I’d heard that it was dirty at some point; I think they were referring to the water—but it seemed perfectly clean to me.

That brings you up to date. Gotta get back to the beach…
Songdoc is online now  
May 1st, 2013, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 464
Your fan club appreciates your post...mahalo!
I literally have no words, except, perfection and !

It's May 1...I made it to the actual month of my trip...24 days!
Here's hoping for glorious sunshine & dry days during my stay!!

You will soon be leaving but starting a new countdown to July. Will you also be returning in October?
louistraveler5 is offline  
May 1st, 2013, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25,306
I'm glad it's been perfect (envious, but glad ), but really, there were "No Swimming" signs posted, and there were lifeguards, and there were STILL tons of people in the water? Am I missing something?
sf7307 is offline  
May 1st, 2013, 09:34 AM
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lousitraveler: hang in there!!! I know you'll have a fabulous trip.

I'll leave Saturday (sniff, sniff) for Australia & NZ and will return to Kauai June 10 - July 15. This time I'll be back at Sealodge. But I must say, I've grown to love the condo I'm staying in. Last night, the sunset from the bluff was SPECTACULAR. I got some fantastic photos. I hope to post them before leaving.

Haven't been able to wrap my brain around dates for a next trip, yet. I'll be working in Los Angeles late October/early November. So maybe Kauai in October--and then L.A.

sf7307: I think they might have been erring on the side of caution by posting those signs--or maybe it had been rougher earlier. ???
Songdoc is online now  
May 1st, 2013, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 464
Leaving Saturday but you will soon be back. Even with a return date it is so hard to leave. We will miss each other by 9 days...I'm leaving June 1 and you're arriving June 10.

I was inquiring about October because there is a chance, , I may return in late Sept/early Oct. DH & I would arrive Sept 28 and depart the night of Oct 4...my bday ! Here's hoping our dates will finally coincide and we can meet! My only hang up with going that late is high/rough surf on the North Shore. I know that can't be predicted or planned for and I was reading through your trip report from last Oct where you had really dry weather.

Oh, and you couldn't possibly be thinking of converting from the Sealodge to the dark side, could you? ...!

Enjoy your last few days of paradise!
louistraveler5 is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 490
I was swimming at Pine Trees a few weeks ago, and it was like being on a tread mill. Pleanty of people in the water even with the signs, but I was really trying to pay attention to what the water was doing. It was strong.
DanM is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 09:54 PM
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louistraveler ...

The earliest I could possibly arrive in October would be the 3rd. It's more likely it will be later But I'll keep you posted. Don't know what to say about the surf. I wouldn't think it would be a problem that time of year -- but my crystal ball's in the shop ;-).
Songdoc is online now  
May 3rd, 2013, 09:59 PM
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DanM ...
That area is known for the rougher/higher surf. That's why the surfers go there. So I'm not surprised that it was rough. Most of the time it's much calmer closer to the lifeguard station near the Pavilion.
Songdoc is online now  
May 3rd, 2013, 10:56 PM
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Last installment … and it better be quick because I have to do laundry, pack, and be ready to leave for Australia at 3:45 AM!!!

Oh, my faithful readers … I saved the best for last. Yesterday was mostly cloudy and rainy so I used it to tie up loose ends and prepare for my trip. I didn’t venture out until late afternoon when it had cleared up. Walked to the overlook next to Pale Ke Kua and joined the throngs photographing a truly amazing sunset.

It simply doesn’t get better than today. I woke to sunshine and bright blue skies. Ate breakfast on the lanai, with albatrosses swooping by, and doves and red-crested cardinals begging for bits of my toast. Put my favorite Makana album (“Journey of the Slack Key Guitar”) in the car stereo and headed north. I was sad and stressed about leaving paradise for very demanding work down under (although I admit, I will have far more vacation time than work time). But that album works better than Xanax.

I’d planned to go to Ke’e, but noticed one last parking spot at Haena Beach Park and my car steered itself in of its own accord. (No, it’s not a Honda. Hehe.) Here’s where it will be challenging to find enough superlatives. What’s better than OMG-INSANELY-BEAUTIFUL??? I could not believe the color of that water. I’ve been there many times, but have never seen water that startlingly turquoise. I walked to Tunnels, taking a ridiculous amount of photos along the way. The water was crystal clear and perfect for snorkeling. There were lots of snorkelers out there.

I found myself heading back toward Ke’e, and followed the surf all the way to the end—more than an hour with photo stops. For a short distance I had to take a path through the jungle. When I came around the cove and spotted the Napali cliffs in all their glory, it practically took my breath away. At the end of the beach I rewarded myself with a swim

For me, the scenery at Tunnels, Haena, and Ke’e is quintessential Hawaii. With the vivid colors of the water, and those beaches fringed with palm trees, and backed by jagged mountain peaks, it’s my fantasy of Hawaii come to life.

But don’t take my word for it … Check out the pix at:

I walked back via the road (less than twenty minutes) and ate the lunch I’d packed while chatting with a lovely couple visiting from New Zealand (where I’ll be in a few weeks). Then back into the water. Ahhhh ….

Dinner was on the lanai where I caused a feeding frenzy by giving my stale bread to quite a variety of birds. Now, I’m watching a cruise ship in the distance, and bidding farewell to a perfect visit. I haven’t been this relaxed, peaceful, and serene since I popped out of the womb. I don’t know how I could bear to leave if I didn’t know I’d be back in less than six weeks.

So … I’ve spent 19 days doing nothing but lazing on the beach, soaking in the sun and sea, reading two books, taking long walks along the surf, and photographing spectacular sunsets. Was I bored???

Let’s just say I could probably happily do this for at least thirty more years before I might start to tire of it.

Mahalo nui for sharing my wonderful holiday with me!
Songdoc is online now  
May 4th, 2013, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Stunning photos. I have goosebumps watching them.
rncheryl is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 01:06 PM
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Great photos,wonderful report of a holiday that we all dream of having! Thank you for saturating our minds with images and thoughts of true relaxation - it was a joy to read! Look forward to seeing what you do on your return.
Enjoy your time down under!
loumike is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 04:08 PM
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I found myself smiling all through the slide show of your photos. Thanks!
carolyn is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 12:14 AM
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G'day from Brisbane. A weary Songdoc has arrived, worked part of the day, and trudged over miles of this very pretty city. Some of the vegetation in the botanic gardens is similar to what you see in Hawaii. It's sub-tropical here. But it ain't Kauai!!!

Thanks so much for the very kind comments about the pix and the report! Much appreciated.
Songdoc is online now  

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