Agenda? What agenda?

So far we have had a pretty relaxing and leisurely time on Kauai. Yesterday we whiled away the afternoon sitting on our lanai (the hawaiian term for a porch), sipping wine or beer and playing dominos. We play a game called Mexican Train and it is a lot of fun with from 3 to 8 people. 8 is a lot and makes it a little slow, but still works. We have often played with our good friends the Richburgs, so the four of us have a strong tradition, especially on vacation. As we played we enjoyed watching local birds flit by to entertain us. We saw a beautiful red crested cardinal and a tropic bird that had a split tail. 

 

The cardinal

    
 
In the early evening we rallied and freshened up, then headed out to go to a Friday evening Art Walk in Hanapepe, a town just down the coast. We arrived just as things were getting set up. There were numerous art galleries, a few boutiques and gift shops, and various food trucks. Pretty soon there were many other people strolling the street, enjoying the evening, perusing the art, and finding some supper. It was a pleasant evening and felt like we were seeing a bit of the real Hawaii. There were a lot of different one or two person musical offerings in front of the stores. It seemed that most stores of any size hired someone to entertain for the evening, or at least welcomed them. It made for some competing sounds along the street. Nevertheless, we had a good time and enjoyed ourselves. Afterwards, back at our condo, we enjoyed seeing shooting stars and some unfamiliar constellations in the night sky before turning in.

This morning Michael and I woke fairly early – a somewhat happy side effect of the time change – and went out for a walk to explore the beach in the direction we hadn’t yet been. We made our way to Shipwreck Beach where we found the surf had drawn some people into the water to boogie board, surf, and body surf, all of which was of interest top Michael. It was a cloudy morning with occasional spitting sprinkles of rain, but that didn’t stop any of the folks enjoying the beach or out for a walk, including us. The conditions were such that only an experienced surfer or swimmer would want to go in the water. Any others would be foolhardy. Nevertheless, we saw a man take a swan dive off the big rock at the end of the beach (without incident) and swim along the bay. We deemed him a very strong swimmer, even if the currents were in his favor. 

 

Shipwreck Beach

  
   

After a nice invigorating outing we returned to our condo and cooked a nice breakfast with the Richburgs, who had since woken up. Since the weather was not looking great, we postponed our trip up Waimea Canyon and rearranged our intentions for the day. Instead, Michael explored the beach a bit more, checking out the snorkeling, and Bill, Machelle, and I toured the shops in the local area. We were forced to indulge in some island ice cream in order to avoid a deluge – a rough job, but somebody’s got to do it, right? Later in the afternoon, Machelle and I drove up to Lihue to do the major grocery shopping for the week. We took one for the team while Michael and Bill went to the local Happy Hour and made us some dinner reservations. Our chores accomplished, dinner was a short stroll away at Brenneke’s Beach Grill. The Macadamia Nut crusted Mahi Mahi was delicious! 

Tommorrow we hope to drive up Waimea Canyon to enjoy the views before heading North to our next home base, Hanalei Bay. 

Paradise Found

Dear gentle readers and loyal followers,

I know it’s been a long time since I have blogged but I thought I would do a little writing since I am inspired by my beautiful surroundings. It was a busy summer with house projects taking up our time but now we are on a special trip with friends. We are in Kauai, also known as paradise! It is the first time I have been to Kauai. Previous visits to Hawaii included the Big Island and Maui, but now we find ourselves on the Garden Isle. We arrived yesterday after an uneventful flight from San Diego. Alaska Airlines had a direct flight and all those Delta miles I acquired from our trip to Africa last year got us a couple of free tickets. I have a big birthday coming up in December and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate it than by lounging in paradise with dear friends. Hence, we find ourselves here.

As usual I did lots of research while planning this trip and settled on the following itinerary. We spend the first 3 nights in Poipu on the South shore in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath vacation rental at the Poipu Plantation Inn. Then we move to a house in Hanalei on the North shore for 8 nights. We have close friends with us for the entire trip and another couple also joining us for 5 nights in Hanalei. It should be a merry time!

Michael and I arrived yesterday in early afternoon and zoomed through arrival and bag retrieval. I had researched various car rental options and ended up choosing Budget with a USAA rate. Though this was slightly more than the cheapest Thrifty or Dollar rates through discounthawaiicarrental.com, I had heard horror stories about long lines and poor service at those two and wanted the better vehicle model that Budget offered. It worked out perfectly! There was virtually no line and we ended up with a slightly bigger vehicle than I had reserved – something that will actually be useful. The vehicle is clean and quiet and newer than ours. Michael and I headed straight to Poipu to check in to our rental. Even though it was only just after 3pm, the office personnel were gone and had left us an envelope with keys and instructions. Our unit is just about what I expected. It is not the most modern or plush in the area but it is perfectly sufficient, clean, and has everything we need.

After dropping our bags and changing into shorts and t-shirt, we walked down to the beach which is only a short way from our digs. You can see the water from the lanai.

Though there were sprinkles of rain we walked along the beach and enjoyed the sea air, warm temperatures and rainbows!

Soon we felt the need of a frosty beverage and found our way to Brennecke’s Beach Bar & Grill. Mai Tai’s and pupus are a great way to slide into vacation mode! The sunset, though not the most spectacular we’ve seen, was nothing to sneer at.

Later that evening we went back to the airport to fetch our friends. They were pretty tired, as were we, but we managed a celebratory drink back at the condo before fallling into bed.

This morning we took our coffee down to the beach, opted for a breakfast burrito, and took a nice long walk along the beach and coast. We saw Hawaiian monk seals napping on the beach and sea turtles – my favorite!

Breakfast

Now we are lounging on the lanai and about to start a game a dominoes.

Aloha!