Kauai, Hawaii, USA – 2018 – Day 11-12

07/09/18

To start our day right, we stopped by Ha Coffee Bar for breakfast. I got the Hacienda Acai bowl and picked up locally roasted coffee beans.

After breakfast, we drove to the west shore to take in the wonders of Waimea Canyon State Park. We made it to all the lookout points and past many trails that would be ideal if we had more time. We also drove through Koke’e Statepark which is attached to Waimea Canyon State Park. You can camp in these areas with loads of trails to take. Waimea Canynon State Park brings you up to an elevation of 3600FT.

Many hikes that I would have liked to do in Waimea/Koke’e Park:

Awaawapuhi Trail

Alakai Swamp Trail

Honopu Trail

We finished our drive up and unfortunately the last 2 lookouts were for the most part covered in cloud coverage so we couldn’t see the Na Pali Coast from there but we were able to see into the canyon.

We drove about 30 minutes back to Kekaha to catch our Na Pali Coast boat tour with Na Pali Experience. We booked the 2-7PM sunset boat tour of the Na Pali Coast for $179USD. We had Captain John lead us plus a family of 3 on this 5-hour adventure down the coast. For those who aren’t the best with motion on waters, bring medication for it. I did not and apparently couldn’t handle the motion. To be fair, we came from a 3600FT elevation and the pressure from the elevation change was already messing with my head.

Take everything that they recommend you take including a long sleeve or something to keep you warm during the ride in and out. When you are on the boat, it takes about 45 minutes from where you board at the Kikia’ola draft boat harbour past the military base before appearing around the right corner of the Na Pali coast. The cloud coverage was pretty much over our ride. We saw the spots where Mary J Blige and many others have filmed music videos and movies.

The skies might’ve been dark but the waters gave us appearances of dolphins and turtles. Our sea captain also navigated us into some caves like a pro. We had a little bit of time to also snorkel in the waters. Being in the water was my safe haven for this 5 hour tour – bobbing in the water with a life jacket felt like bliss for me and my body that was suffering motion sickness. We hopped back on the boat after about 30 minutes in the water to a nice treat of freshly cut fruit and other little snacks before heading back to land. The ride back was bumpy and cold – a dry long sleeve or wrapping a towel is a good choice.

We learned that Kauai is slowly deteriorating. The whole island is actually a pancake but because it is so lush and tropical and tons of water falls, the water needs to find or make ways to drain back into the ocean. With that being said, all the ridges that are seen on this island are places where water flows out.

It felt so great to be back on land. We started our drive back from Kekaha to Kapa’a with Gypsy Guide on. It led us to try the most famous Saimin spot on the island – Hamura Saimin. You seat yourself around the W shaped counter or the big table. I got the small saimin and a chicken skewer. They are also known for their Lilikoi Chiffon Pie.

I really wish I went through with booking the helicopter tour over the island but I guess I will have to come back and do it. These were the helicopter companies I looked into and are highly rated. Helicopter tour gives you a new perspective of the island that many miss and wouldn’t be able to see from the ground or waters especially a view of Waialeale – Weeping Walls. Kauai also has the 2nd wettest place in the world called Waialeale – The Weeping Walls. The wettest place in the world is in India.

On facebook Market – You can post that you are interested in doing the Waialeale – Weeping Walls hike and hopefully a local will respond to take you OR you can look for a guy named Mark Woogie Kracht on Facebook – apparently he is a local who has done that hike multiple times and offers to take people.

07/10/18

Princeville – Hanalei

We had breakfast at Java Kai. The bright teal just draws you in. I ordered The Beetnik $9USD (toasty bagel with cream cheese, housemade pesto, local beets, & sprouts) and a Golden Sunrise shake (turmeric, dates, coconut milk). The food and drink were incredibly delicious. The coffee shop is also attached to a cute boutique called Shipwreck Kauai.

Our first stop after breakfast was Kīlauea Lighthouse – $5 – It’s just a lighthouse really but the money goes towards a good cause. If you don’t care to help a good cause of preserving land and refuge for wildlife – SKIP THIS IF YOU DON’T CARE TO HELP OUT. There is a little information house on the property to the left side of the lighthouse. Before we continued our trip to the North shore, we stopped by a fruit stand. There are a bunch of fruit stands around the islands which are not manned with a person but its an honest system where you take what you want and put money into the box that you think is fair.

We made our way to Hanalei Bay Beach and found the beach courts. We asked the lifeguard to borrow their ball. We peppered for a few hours. We got food in Hanalei and took in the quaint little town. I grabbed a chicken katsu mini from L&L.

We tried to make our way to Queens Bath but there are only 8 parking spots in a very posh neighbourhood where you cannot park on the side of the road and only in the designated spots. It is recommended to get to Queen’s Bath really early to claim a parking spot because the closest legal parking is quite a walk away.

Defeated from not finding parking to see the Queen’s Bath, we drove from Hanalei/Princeville to Koloa/Poipu. It was such a beautiful drive through the tall tree tunnel to Koloa. Koloa is a small town that is only a few blocks but is where the workers for the plantations use to reside.

We continued on to the Spouting Horn to watch the power of water currents apply pressure into the caverns and have water burst out of the blowholes.

We continued down the coast heading east to Shipwreck Beach & jumping cliff. The waves at Shipwreck beach are strong and great to catch a quick wave. To the left of the main beach area, you will see the cliffs and possibly someone brave enough to jump off the rocks. We decided to climb up and explore that area. When you get to the top, there is a lot of space and different layers of rock formations. Many people fish from up there. We were only able to witness 1 person jump from the rock but it took him much courage and talking up to jump.

To Poipu Beach – the beach is very populated by tourists. The view was nice with a large parking lot but nothing special.

The sun started setting so we decided to head back towards home and find dinner. We settled with Coconuts – Fish Cafe where I ordered the Local Style Seared Ahi Plate. Walked across the parking lot to Tropical Dream Ice Cream for some Thai Tea Ice Cream.

After all the hiking we had done the previous days, our clothes and shoes weren’t looking the best so we decided to head to Kapa’a Laundromat – open 24/7 to do laundry before we started our travels back home. We met a traveller from Montreal and met some locals who told us the history of Kauai during our laundry adventure. This one gentleman in particular told us how Kauai was never conquered by King Kamehameha so they are their own island before USA. His family owned land on Kauai so he has a different passport to show his is a true native of Kauai. His best suggestion for us was to just meet a nice Hawaiian man and move to the island. Those are fine words or wisdom to live by.

Oahu, Hawaii, USA – 2018 – Day 5

07/03/18

Beach day

After a late night coming in, we slept in a bit and decided to take out 1 beach visit from our itinerary. Our plan was to travel to the North shore for beaches and food. We drove to the very top to Ted’s Bakery for breakfast and their famous Haupia Pie. I ordered the Loco Moco mini $8.87USD which was still large for my standards.

Our first beach that we went to was Sunset beach. Parking spots are on the side of the road. We hung out in the water and on the beach for awhile until the rain came down. The rain kept going in and out that day.

After the rain fall became too steady at Sunset Beach, we hopped back in the car and went back down the road a bit to Foodland to grab food and luckily the Coffee Bean had my favourite – Bubbies – Ice Cream Mochi. Across the road was Pūpūkea Beach Park – Shark’s Cove. We didn’t end up staying in this area but it is a mention worthy view to see.

I had visited Waimea Beach in my previous visit to Oahu but we decided to skip it as there were droves of people there and parking looked full. Waimea is known for their jump rock which you can view on the drive to and from North shore and south to Waikiki. Our next stop was Laniakea Beach. Laniakea Beach is the beach in which you need to park on the inner side of the road and cross traffic to get to the beach. It is also known for turtles. We saw one. The traffic was incredibly built up around this area and finding parking was difficult. Also, be warned that the spots also lower from the main road and there is a good chance you will scratch the bottom of your rental car depending on the spot. It also started to rain again as we made this pitstop so our stay wasn’t long. Our drive to Haleiwa gave us views of full rainbows.

Haleiwa is such a cute little town that has everything you need but I mainly know it for the food spots. In Hawaiian culture, w’s are pronounced as v’s so Haleiwa is pronounced ha-leh-ee-vah. Our first stop was to the famous shrimp truck called Giovanni’s Shrimp truck. NOTE: This is the second location – the Northeast shore location is much better and less crowded. There is a parking lot but it does get crowded. Giovanni’s is only opened to a certain time so we made sure that would be our first stop. Renee & Lulu ordered and we waited for about 20-30 minutes. There are plenty of picnic tables to eat at but we took it to go and onward to our next feat – the line for Matsumoto’s Shaved Ice. This is the same location as previous but they have done a big remodel. The line was long but well worth it as I ordered a small for $3USD (3 flavours) lilikoi, pineapple and yuzu with the addition of mochi for $1. The yuzu was my favourite.

We had passed the Dole Plantation on our drive up to the North shore and thought maybe we had time to stop by the gift shop on the way back to get pineapple soft serve however they close at 530PM and we were in line at Giovanni’s around that time. We drove back to Waikiki and walked over to the International Centre and went to the Marketplace – Mitsuwaya to grab some food. I ordered from MODO – mochi donuts. I picked up 3 flavours and they are little balls of mochi really that attach to one another and easy to pull apart to eat. Rather light in doughiness and not too intense flavouring. Strawberry and the Earl Grey were my favourites. We ended up going downstairs to The Street Food Hall for dinner. I ordered the Kailua Sunrise bowl (Baby kale, Quinoa, sunflower butter, roasted purple sweet potato, pomegranate dressing) $14.99USD from Indie Girl and I have to say I was defeated by a bowl of greens and salted sweet potato.

My leg had been in pain and swollen (no resting really) and seemed to have gotten worse as the trip went on. Renee who is a chiro had been working on my leg during the trip and in the span of the first 3-4 days, I had developed jumpers knee and possibly meniscus irritation. I had to drop by Longs Drugs to pick up a patella band and athletic tape as well as a ice pack. (NOTE: When I returned to Toronto, my Chiro gave me a full diagnosis and the knee pain I was experiencing was from overcompensation from over pronation trying to avoid pain as a walked. What this really meant was my alignment was way off causing my knee to have pains from not walking properly with my knee rotated inwards as I walked to avoid pain and messing up my alignment.

For those Terrace House fans, i stopped by 88tees in hopes I would see Avian from Terrace House. I first started at the 88tees on Kuhio but her swimwear line ILA swim was at the other location on the main strip that you have to go up the stairwell to get to. Alas, she wasn’t there. After checking social media, I found out that majority of the people from Terrace House Aloha State were together in Japan. Not meant to be. I also loosely was trying to see if I could spot some Terrace House people when I was in Japan but they were vice versa and in Hawaii during the time I was in Japan.

North Shore – Waimea – Oahu – Hawaii – 2014 – Day 10

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Awoken by roosters morning call. A nice walk on the beach and a little dip into the ocean. Off to north shore – Waimea Beach. It is a gorgeous beach with a jump rock that is about a 25FT drop. If you plan on jumping, wait until a wave comes in so that the water is deeper and make sure your swimwear is tightly fastened. Watch out for sea turtles before you jump and NEVER touch them because humans have bacteria. The tide pulls you back and forth but the water is pretty calm once you pass the first bit. Technically could just tread all the way out there. Not many waves here to surf but bring some flippers and snorkel! We were only there for an hour and half.

We rushed to find the original Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck (66-472 Kamehameha Hwy)  but the guy literally saw us and closed up shop. So we had dessert before dinner and hit up the famous Matsumoto shaved ice (66-087 Kamehameha Hwy). I don’t know what it is about it but damn it was delicious. I had the azuki bowl with shaved ice, ice cream, red beans and not sure what else but it was amazing. We went to the second location for Giovanni’s aloha shrimp truck (56-505 Kamehameha Hwy). I got the lemon and butter shrimp – I think my plate of shrimp from Mike’s Huli Huli was better and bigger to be honest. We all wrote on the truck as well!  We returned back to the estate for a fun night in with the crew.