Some have asked me how in the world do I go on vacation with no set itinerary? Since we’ve been to Kauai before, there was no need to hit every key location. Instead, I wanted to pace ourselves knowing that in the nearly two weeks of vacation on the island, we’d be staying at 3 different parts of the island. I’m saving all of my North Shore visits next week, while for the first few days, I’m concentrating on the Kapa’a/Lihue area, Towards the weekend, I’ll move our focus towards Poipu and Waimea. By doing this, I’m not driving all over the island.
How to get tips
Also prior to going on a trip, whether it’s business or pleasure, I try to get a general idea of the place I’m about to visit. I join forums and read posts from TripAdvisor and I get lots of ideas from locals or people just like me and you who are looking for tips. I also “LIKE” quite a few travel-related folks on Facebook and Twitter. If they post an article that is interesting to me, I read the article or save a copy of it for further reading. Lastly, once I reach my destination, the best advice comes directly from the locals…so go ask them!
Good morning, Kauai
Before going to bed, I set my alarm to wake me up at 5:45am. Why? I wanted to catch the sunrise. Back in November 2008, Nancy, Caitlin and I watched the sunrise right outside the Kauai Coast Resort. If I remember correctly, the sun rose directly in front of the resort (at least, that’s what I remember in 2008). So naturally, I headed outside this morning and expected to see the sun rise in front of me. But to my surprise, it rose to the left side of the resort. I took quite a few pictures. My iPhone captured a time lapse of the sunrise, while my Canon took still shots. There were clouds in the way, but the sun still made its brilliant ascent.
Breakfast with the localsWe all got ourselves ready for breakfast. I decided to drive towards Lihue due to an errand around the area. This allowed me to visit Tip Top Cafe and Bakery. I’ve been here a few times in ’08 and ’10. It’s located away from the main drag. Once you enter, it was filled with locals – families, construction workers, etc. Madison and I shared a Loco Moco, Evan had a bit of the loco moco as well as side order of bacon. I plan on going back to Tip Top when Nancy arrives. I want the oxtail soup.
Malasada Lady (failed visit)I was told she opens her stall in front of Kmart in Lihue around 9am. When we got there at 9:30, the stall was not open….in fact it said something “around 10am” so the kids and I walked inside Kmart to purchase a few items and tried to kill time. By 10:15, still no Malasada Lady. Ugggghhhh!!! Again, I’m not about to waste my time to Lihue, so I decided to drive 5 minutes away from Kmart towards Mark’s Place. The plan today was just to lounge around the resort – swimming pool and beach. So I figured, let’s purchase our lunch, and we’ll eat them later at the resort. So there, my failed visit to the Malasada Lady was redeemed with a visit to Mark’s Place. We ordered two things, a mini-Bento for the kids to share, and Grilled Lemon Garlic Ahi Belly for me. Case closed! To the Malasada Lady, my challenge is to come see you before we leave the island.
Gotta love the rain in Hawaii
Rain started to pour on our way back to the resort. The kids were a bit bummed, but I said, give it 5-10 minutes and we’ll see the sun. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. I got our lunch ready. I chose to eat the Ahi Belly later for dinner. I cooked rice in the rice cooker that I borrowed from the front desk and then topped it with Fresh Ahi Limu Poke I purchased from Costco the other day. Evan and Madison shared the bento….that was lunch. We then jumped in the pool. They even made new friends, there were 2 other kids from San Francisco who played with them in the pool. After an hour in the pool, we went to the beach. One has to be very careful with swimming behind the resort. There are big rocks near the beach. So we ventured off to the right and found a better spot for us to swim.
After our swim, we went to Kapa’a town for Shave Ice. I noticed that there was a line at Ono Ono Shave Ice, so I opted for Hee Fat General Store. Their Lava Flow Shave Ice did not disappoint – pineapple, coconut, strawberry over Mac nut ice cream with snow cap. I asked Madison to take my picture and all I remember at the time….I was drenched in sweat. It was hot at 4pm yesterday!
After a short walk around Kapa’a Town, we decided to head back home, we ate our early dinner, and decided to jump back in the pool. It was another no non-sense, relaxing day. Wednesday promises to be a big day. Nancy and Caitlin are scheduled to arrive at 10am. Aloha and mahalo for following our journey.