Trip Report - Day 1 & 2

Day 1 - June 1st

After months of planning the day had finally arrived. We started our day at 3:00am. I found a good deal on a car service to take us to the airport and they showed up at 4:15am, right on time. We loaded up our luggage and were off to the airport for our 7:05am flight. We checked in and made it through security with no problems. First order of business was food,this family can't be up for too long in the morning without food . So we hit the only place by our gate for some breakfast croissant sandwiches and Starbucks. Our plane boarded right on time, Alaska airlines, San Diego to Maui. It was a good flight, the flight attendants were very nice, and their last round of drinks were complimentary Mai Tais!

Once we landed and made a quick bathroom stop we were off to find food, again. Our options were limited, but we settled on Sammy's Beach grill. The food was good and airport expensive. We went to our gate and waited with the other 20 or so people. We were on Island Air, from Maui to Kauai. Nobody showed up to the gate until about 15 mins. before we boarded. The plane pulled up and the 20 or so people got off, they took off their luggage and put ours on and we boarded. Of course since it takes people a while to get their stuff situated on the plane we had to wait to get on. It was extremely windy standing beside the plane and then Mother Nature thought we could use some refreshing and started the rain. By the time we got on we were wet and windblown. Our tiny little plane with its 9 rows of seats was Kauai bound. It was a pretty quick and non eventful flight. Our drinks were water or Guava juice that were served in a container
that looked like a plastic jello cup, it was pretty funny.

Finally in Kauai, 1:30pm local time!!! I had told DH about going to the car rental place ahead of us to get the car (TA tip), but he said he would rather just wait. As we got to the baggage claim area we were greeted with leis by a very friendly lady who was holding a sign with our name on it. I knew the girls would like it and it was a nice touch, although they had no pretty flower smell. We got our luggage and headed over to the rental car shuttle area. The lines were long and it was hard to tell what shuttle company people were waiting for. The first Alamo shuttle came and the majority of the people surged ahead. I asked DH if he wanted to just go and come back & get us, but again he said no. The 2nd shuttle came soon after and we were off.
As soon as it got there I jumped off and left the luggage to DH and the girls. There were probably 10 people in line and 3 or 4 people working at the counter. DH came in and asked me about the kiosk. (I had told him earlier that I had signed us up for Alamos insider and we could bypass the  line and check in with the kiosk). Duh, I forgot about the kiosk when I had gotten in line. DH headed over to the kiosk and I stayed in line. A couple of minutes later he motioned me over and we were out the door. We had reserved an Intermediate SUV (Ford Escape). The guy told us we could pick the Ford escape, the Jeep liberty or the Lincoln MKX. Since there were people getting in the Ford we choose the Lincoln. I took pictures off all the scratches (TA tip) with my phone and off we went.

I told DH we could stop by the grocery store and pick up groceries, but the girls wanted to go straight to the house. The 3am wake up time was starting to take its toll (even if we were in Hawaii). I persisted since we couldn't check into our house until 3pm and it was probably a little after 1pm. We stopped by Big Save and stocked up on some water, juice and breakfast food, and most importantly coffee! After my shock at the total we were off to the house and everybodys spirits lifted as soon as we walked in. I found this listing on VRBO and it was everything and more. It is located on Hoona Rd and is perfect. Right on the water!!!! We
put away the groceries and started exploring. The house has 2 bedrooms, the Master bedroom with a full size bathroom, walk in closet and a sliding door to the full length Lanai. The other bedroom has a Queen size bed with a full size bathroom next to it. There is an amazing kitchen, dining room, living room and laundry room. Just off the laundry room there is a stairway that leads to huge room with a living room with a tv, a sitting area, a queen sized bed, a full bathroom and everything 2 teenage girls could want and fabulous views of the ocean.

We spent the next hour or so just unpacking and wandering around the house looking in
drawers and cupboards to see what was there and taking pictures. After a while we decided to explore outside. Right next to the house there is a little path to the beach. This area is very rocky and because it was high tide you had to time your steps with the waves. Once you go around a corner it opens up to a tiny little stretch of beach. I don't know if has an official name since it is right behind houses. We took pictures and found an easier beach access path back to the street. We walked further up Hoona Rd, but it was mostly houses. We headed back to the house and just hung out.

Originally we had planned to go to Hanapepe for art night but nobody had much energy. About 9:30pm California time we decided it was time to eat. We cleaned up and headed to Bubba's since it was close. Once we got there the girls wanted to go to Tortilla Republic. I'm not sure why there are restaurants with an upstairs menu and a downstairs menu (Merriman's), but we chose downstairs. The food was good (we're not real foodies, so you won't get a lot of specific critique on food) DH and I had grilled Mahi fish tacos and the girls both had Carne Asada tacos. We split 2 orders of rice and beans. After we were done we wandered around a little. I checked out Living Foods market, since we had forgotten to buy coffee creamer. They didn't have any so we found some at Kukuilua market. We went back to the house and since it was close to 11:30pm CA time we were done. The girls headed up to their retreat and I crawled in bed and listened to the waves for about 30 seconds and that was it.
Sunset from Lanai
Beach behind our house

The end of our first day in Kauai.

Day 2 - June 2nd

Still stuck somewhere between CA time and Kauai time I knew for sure that I was not getting out of bed before 7am. DH had gotten up at some point in the dark. He is always up at least a couple of hours before me & the girls. It can sometimes be a source of contention between us, we try to get moving in the morning but on vacation its not easy.  So today I got up at 7, telling myself that it was really 10 and that I've had plenty of sleep (which I had). Today's downfall was wasting to much time on the computer writing my trip report. So by the time we ate, got ready and left it was around 11am. DH was not a happy camper, but I told him it was our 1st morning and we were still recovering from our long day the day before and it would get better.

Spouting Horn
So off we went! Today's plan was McBryde Garden, Spouting Horn and the Kauai Coffee tour. The day was sunny with some puffy white clouds and the always present wind. After experiencing the winds the night before I quickly realized that putting too much effort into doing your hair was pretty pointless. Our first stop was Spouting Horn. It was fun to watch for a little while and take some pictures, I wouldn't drive out of my way to go and see it.  We wandered through the shops and saw a mommy hen with her babies, which was really cute. We decided to do the coffee tour next. Along the way DH pulled off on the side of the road so we could take pictures, the hillside was so green and lush. Across the road we noticed some horses. Both of the girls love horses so we went across so they could say hi. The horses came right up to the fence and were very friendly. The owner was there spraying trees and he didn't seem to mind, so we took our pictures and moved on. About this time we were starting to get hungry so we went to Brick Oven Pizza. We got a large pizza and the youngest daughter got spaghetti. The food was good and the waitress was very friendly and the price was reasonable. At this point we determined that we wouldn't have time to do the coffee tour and McBryde's, after a vote we headed out for the coffee tour. Just the smell alone was worth it. The tour is self guided, and you certainly don't learn much on the tour, unless you want to sit and watch the video. We didn't, so we sampled the different flavors, walked through the tour taking pictures and bought our coffee, a souvenir T-shirt and moved on.

The night before our waitress from Tortilla Republic told us about Mahalepu beach. She said it was a great place to watch kite surfers. So we put it in Google maps and headed out. We stopped briefly in Koloa and browsed through the shops. Google maps and parts of Kauai do not play well together! Google maps actually sucks sometimes! This was one of those times, after a few wrong turns and pulling off on the side of the road we finally made it. When we first got there only a few people were on the beach, but no kite surfers.  DH and oldest went out and played in the water. After a while 1 guy went out, he was probably out there for more than an hour, can't believe he wasn't totally exhausted. Another guy joined him and he was fun to watch, he was going super high in the air. By now it was 5pm and we headed home.

We were just relaxing and hanging out when DH realized that we didn't bring the battery charger for our Nikon SLR (minor meltdown). So we started searching the internet for options and came up with Walmart. No problem until DH realized it was farther than he wanted to go. After some discussion we decided to go anyhow and stop at Taco Bell to grab a bite to eat. Yes I know, Taco Bell, but its a place that we can all agree on and it's cheap. The few meals that we have had were only OK and ridiculously overpriced. On to Walmart, of course of all the battery chargers they have they are out of the one for Nikon. So we bought some useless stuff and headed to Kmart, same story. Is it common to leave Nikon battery chargers at home when you come to Kauai??? Head to Sears....closed. Come up with plan B tomorrow. Drive home, check Facebook & emails and off to bed. Our 1st full day in Kauai in the books.

Aloha!!!...Waimea tomorrow.

Horse friends we met
Mahalepu Beach

Mahalepu Beach

Mahalepu Beach