Today as I write about Hawaii I am freezing cold in Christchurch. We are having really rainy, cool weather with high winds. While I know it is much colder back home Syracuse–here in New Zealand I am living in a house without central heating and the space heater is just not cutting it. So–it is time to look back at some nice warm Kauai photos.
Kauai was as amazing as advertised and someplace I have to get back to soon.
We said goodbye to some family in Kona and hello to my mother who joined us for our week in Kauai. We decided to stay on the north side of the island in Princeville at a great privately owned condo in the Ali Kai condo complex. If you ever head out that way I would be happy to share the contact info because it was a perfect spot with views of the mountains and the ocean.
Our first spot to visit was the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge which was pretty close to our condo. We went for the views and some bird watching (we saw lots–red-footed booby, albatross, shearwaters), but a few hundred feet off shore we were treated to humpback whales breaching.
It is a great spot to head to if you want the views without the work of much hiking.
I felt lucky to have a misty stormy sky for my photos. I soon learned that on the north side of the island this sky comes and goes several times a day, along with rainbows and rain.
The Hawaii goose called the Nene–the official bird of Hawaii.
After we dragged ourselves away from the whale show we pulled off the road for a gawk at another amazing view.
Of course we forced the kids to pose for us.
This is apparently a game they play–seeing who can smile through the pain of the squeeze.
My mom wanted me to make sure I got a photo of the chickens that have taken over Kauai. They are fast things and they wake you up every morning. Apparently since Kauai doesn’t have the mongoose the chickens have no predator. I was wondering why people don’t just eat them–free food and all, but I was told they are not good eating? So–Kauai is an awesome place to be a chicken.
This dress (and a swimsuit) was my uniform while in Hawaii since my luggage still hadn’t arrived. I did learn an important lesson. If you go to Hawaii all you need is a swimsuit, flip-flops and a sundress. This uniform is accepted at all locations and makes getting ready in the morning very easy.
Our favorite town on the North Island was Hanalei. There are lots of little spots to eat and shop, and a rainbow pops up a couple of times a day to make even the parking lots quaint.
I think I could become a regular here if I moved to Kauai. The mai tai’s were super yummy and the pizza was good for an affordable meal. This bar is also featured in the movie, The Descendants .
Hanalei has a great fish market as well where we got ahi tuna and ahi belly. I was happy that I liked the oily belly best since it was half the cost.
We found what must be one of the safest swimming beaches in Hawaii at Anini Beach near Princeville. It was very gentle with lots of sand, parking, and views. Many people were snorkeling as well, and no crowds.
I noticed that they had a pretty sweet campground and have filed it away for a future visit.
We planned to do a “jungle hike” that J had read about near the Keahua Arboretum. We had rented a 4WD drive car and so when the road ended and muddy track continued we kept going, following the directions in our guide book. At one point the after going uphill the road had a steep downhill. I tried not to be the one to ruin the fun, but I did say that I would rather get out. My mom said, “let’s do it”, but luckily J sided with me and we turned around. A few minutes later a guy came up and told us that he had seen another person go down and get stuck at the bottom and had to get a $600 tow out. I felt relieved to have some back up. I know—I should have taken a photo, but at the time I was too busy convincing the rest of the family that going down the hill was not a good idea.
Instead we decided to go on the Kuilau Ridge trail. January is the rainier season in Hawaii and the trail was pretty muddy. It was about a mile climb to the top with some great views.
Once we made it to the top the rain came down to cool us off.
After the hike we force the kids to pose in front of another waterfall on our drive back.
Our beach of choice this day was Lumaha’i Beach. Remember in Hawaii it seems you are always looking for a different beach–one that fits your mood that day. This beach had a few surfers for us to watch as well as lots of teenagers gearing up for what looked to be a great party. Perhaps in the evening this is the party beach?
The beach swells that day made swimming unsafe for us. My mom even got pulled in by a wave when she went to put her feet in which demonstrated my “not a good day for swimming” point nicely to the girls. Sadly, I didn’t have my camera out yet for that photo.
And guess what –we saw another rainbow.
The light in Hawaii was always changing–which makes figuring out color balance a bit tricky, but man…always amazing.
Next up—hiking the Napali Coast Trail!
And, as usual–thanks for following along.