The second week of our trip to Hawaii will be spent on the island of Kauai, also known as the Garden Isle. After an overcast week on the Big Island we’re hoping for a bit more sun. We flew Hawaiian airlines through Honolulu to Lihue on Kauai. As you might expect, the flights were quite short, about 25 minutes in duration. Our luggage didn’t make the connection but it was delivered to our condo later in the afternoon.

We’re staying in Poipu, which is on the southern shore of Kauai. The condo for this leg of the trip is in a complex of about 50 other condos or so. It’s in a great location, close to grocery stores, restaurants and shops. It’s also a three minute drive to Poipu beach which can’t be beat. It’s a bit older but fully stocked. Candy, the lady we rented from has been great. We arrived to find a fridge with fresh fruit, juice and fresh bread for us to enjoy. There is a lanai (deck) out the back that looks over a stream with fish swimming in it. At night we can hear frogs chirping away through the open windows. It’s very pleasant.

After settling in, we found a bite to eat at Bubba’s in the Shops at Kukui’ula. There are lots of interesting, if not high end shops and restaurants in the complex. The grocery store is more of a boutique food store that reminds me a bit of the Suntera market back home. In addition to a few staples, they also have prepared meals for folks to take away. I’m sure they do a great business with all the condo’s/vacation homes in the area.

We headed to the north shore of the island on Wednesday. The sun did make an appearance so that was nice. I had heard lots of great things about ke’e beach park. We couldn’t find anywhere to park the jeep when we got there though so we had to head back down the road and spent a couple of hours at Hanalei Bay. The weather was nice and the sun was out for a bit. It’s a beautiful spot. Lots of lush vegetation and areas to hike and explore.

We stopped for lunch at Frederico's Fresh Mex Cuisine in Princeville. It's a small place with no indoor seating and when we got there just after 2:00, it was lined out the door. I'm glad we stayed though. The food was fantastic. I had a three taco plate with chicken, fish and shrimp tacos. The fish taco was the best I've had anywhere. The fish was very fresh, prepared well and the flavour was just amazing. Deanna had a veggie burito that was stuffed with fresh veggies and cheese. Highly recommended.
One of the things we wanted to do on the vacation was take a helicopter trip. Blue Hawaii helicopter is the company we picked after reading a few good reviews. They weren't the cheapest but this is one of those things I didn't want to skimp on. We had the first flight of the morning along with two other couples. The theme of overcast skies continued to follow us around so the conditions weren't perfect, but it wasn't bad either. The trip was about 50 minutes and covered the entire island. It was quite amazing actually. It's very cool to see things from that perspective. The pilot was also the tour guide and pointed out tons of sights and interesting facts as he flew. It's well worth the expense and something everyone should do if you get a chance to come.
As I mentioned above, we're close to Poipu beach. It's only about a 10 minute walk away. There are two huge resort type properties that are on the beach, on from Sheraton and the other by Marriott. Fortunately the beach is not part of the resorts so we can walk the length of it.
Just down the road from our condo is Roy's which is a chain of upscale restaurants with locations in eight different U.S. states. The meal was fantastic. We had an appetizer 'canoe' which is five pairs of their popular appetizers. Very well executed. For the main course, I had the Hibachi Salmon which was very very tasty. Perfectly cooked with a sauce that was both light and very flavourful. Deanna had the ravioli which were part of the appetizer canoe, however they were more salty the second time around. We finished our meal with the chocolate souffl which is one of their signature desserts. It was very very good. All in all a great meal one of the best of the trip for sure.
One of the things on Deanna's bucket list was to learn how to surf. She found a local surf shop who teach out of Poipu beach. She ended up having a private lesson as there wasn't any one else signed up for the same time. She did awesome and rode her very first wave in like a pro.
It's almost an obligation to attend a Luau when in Hawaii. I didn't want some campy tourist Luau and Deanna found one that is more of a stage show. Luau Kalamaku is located closer to Lihue, about 25 minutes away from the condo. They have shows on Tuesday and Friday nights. The food is served buffet style and was fine. Traditionally prepared fish, chicken and pork coupled with sides like purple sweet potatoes, rice and curried vegetables. Desserts were banana creme pie and pineapple upside down cake.
The performance was very good. It basically told the story of how the Hawaiian island were 'discovered' by the Polynesians.
On the west side of the island is the Waimea Canyon which is the 'Grand Canyon' of Hawaii. The view is quite spectacular from the lookout.

The lookout is busy with loads of tourist buses and people just looking to snap a few photos. The interesting thing with the park is that it has a number of hiking trails and back packing campgrounds. It doesn't take much to get off the beaten path and explore. One thing I would suggest is picking up a trail guide book. We were looking for a specific hike but couln't find it. There are no signs on the highway, just pullouts with paths heading into the wilderness. We did find one path that did head into the canyon. We went headed down the path for a bit. We didn't make it to the river but it was nice to get out and stretch our legs. It was a reminder to me how out of shape I am. Something that I need to work on when I get back home.
Lunch/Dinner after the hike was at Brick Oven Pizza. We were craving a bit of home and opted for a bacon, peperoni and mushroom. It was pretty good. The crust was whole wheat and brushed with garlic butter. Pretty good.
Breakfast the next day was at Joe's on the Green which is close to the condo at a golf course. Decent breakfast entres.
Our last day was spent relaxing, walking on the beach.
Lunch was Lobster Rolls at Deli & Bread Connection in Lihue.
Dinner was back at Pizzetta where we had a couple of appetizers before heading to the airport.

And with that, our holiday comes to a close. We had a very nice time. The weather was a bit overcast but warm. We saw some interesting things, met some nice people and ate some great food. We would go back to Hawaii again, probably visiting some of the other islands.

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