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Kauai 2008, trip #2 at Hale Nalu on Poipu Print

We spent the last two weeks in July, 2008 on Kauai again, staying once again in Hale Nalu on Hoona Road in Poipu.  The house is on Baby Beach and allowed us to (once again) walk out the back gate onto the beach.  Looking from the corner of the seawall in the back yard south toward Stonehouse, the view was very pleasant:

 

And, at the risk of rubbing it in, the view from our bedroom was mighty nice, too.  The lone drawback to staying at Hale Nalu is that the noise from the waves can stifle conversation at times, but it was a nice problem to have.

Duane's mom Toni and brother Sean joined us for the first week.  It had been many years since either had been to Kauai and, essentially, this might as well have been their first trip.  They went to Allerton Garden with us and went with us when we paddled kayaks up the Wailua River.  And, they went to 'Anini Beach with us, Bubba's for burgers, etc.  They had a great time and it was nice to have them there to share Kauai.

I took five cameras with me this time:  My D3 and D2X, plus three pocket cameras.  The Casio Exilim was nice to have and is the easiest pocket camera to carry around and use.  The Leica was useful in certain cases for quick photos, and it will record RAW files.  Sue's Nikon Coolpix S3 was useful on the kayak trip because we have a waterproof box for it.  I used the Exilim to take a few photos out the window on our way over because I like the cloud formations that are sometimes interesting.  Click the thumbnail below to check them out.

When we arrived, Jennifer and Duane loaded Christopher, Brooklyn and all their stuff into their Explorer, while Sue and I loaded Toni and Sean and all our collective stuff in our Trailblazer.  Duane and I had our HAM radios with us, Duane tuned us in to a repeater on Kauai and we used them most days we were there to stay in touch.  After picking up lunch at Sueoka's Snack Shop, we drove directly to Hale Nalu, being fortunate that it was ready early.  We did our usual thing of unloading luggage and checking out the house supplies so we could fine tune our shopping list for Costco and Star Market.  Jennifer, Toni and I left everyone else at the house to put things away and get organized while we went to Costco and Star Market for provisions.

We spent a lot of time on Baby Beach with Christopher and Brooklyn.  It's peaceful and quiet and there is almost no wave activity.  Being able to walk out on the beach from the house is special.  Click this thumbnail for photos of the house and fun at the beach.

Jennifer arranged with Wailua Kayak Adventures for rental of three kayaks so we could paddle up the Wailua River again.  They were far less expensive than our previous experience and while we had to drive the kayaks over and launch ourselves, it worked very well.  We elected not to hike into Secret Falls this time, but it was a great trip up the river, followed by our traditional lunch at Bubba's Burgers.

Sue and I joined the National Tropical Botanical Garden this time, because it's a worthy cause and because it's a good deal if you're going to visit more than one garden.  We took Jennifer to Allerton Garden this trip (she had never seen it) and Toni and Sean joined us.  When we got to the Moreton Bay Fig trees that were featured in "Jurassic Park" I asked Jennifer to get close in to the tree so I could try to capture the immense size of its roots.  The gardens are a controlled jungle and the entire facility is a pleasure to visit.

Later in the trip, Sue and I went to McBryde Garden by ourselves, which is self-guided, huge and filled with interesting flora.  The Bamboo Bridge there is in the middle of a beautiful grove.

We drove into Waimea Canyon again and up to Kalalau Valley because Duane had never seen it from the Pu'u O Kila lookout--it had been clouded over every time.  For the first time ever, the road from the Kalalau Lookout to the Pu'u O Kila Lookout was open!  Unfortunately, it was clouded over again.  We drove back down to the Waimea Canyon lookouts so Toni and Sean could see the canyon.  Then, we decided to drive back up to the Pu'u O Kila lookout and got lucky--the clouds were moving in and out and we all got to see the Kalalau Valley.  We went to the Koke'e Lodge again for lunch, where the chili and cornbread were just as tasty as I remembered.

We drove out to the north shore one day, bought breakfast strombolis at the Kilauea Bakery and munched them at the Kilauea Lighthouse lookout while I took a few more photos there, and then went to 'Anini Beach.  It's a great beach, very quiet and even less wave activity than Baby Beach, and therefore a great place for Christopher and Brooklyn.

About the time that Toni and Sean went home, our good friends David and Milly Katzman arrived.  As usual, they stayed at Kiahuna Plantation, an excellent place to stay just around the bend from our house.  They had orchestrated a super family vacation whereby their son Jonathan and his wife Naomi and their new son Avi, their son Andy and his fiancee Sarah, and their niece Jenn and husband Phil and their daughter Allie, all stayed at Kiahuna Plantation.  We know and love them all and we loved being able to structure our trip to join them.

David organized a fabulous dinner for us all at Plantation Gardens, one of our favorite restaurants, so we could celebrate Milly's 60th birthday, Andy and Sarah's engagement, Jennifer and Duane's anniversary, Jenn and Phil's anniversary, etc., etc.  It was one of those special occasions we'll remember for a long time.  Christopher and Allie were best friends the minute they met and we all got huge kicks out of watching them.

I wish I'd had a video camera to capture this kiss:

What fun.

Jennifer and Duane put together another kayak trip up the Wailua River so that Jonathan and Naomi, Andy and Sarah, and Jenn and Phil could experience the river and Secret Falls.  Christopher, Brooklyn and Allie went, too.  We old folks stayed home to let the youngsters enjoy themselves, and they did.  Afterward, we went over to Kiahuna Plantation to have dinner with the Katzman clan, enjoying pizza from Pizzetta in Koloa outside Jenn and Phil's unit. 

Alas, all good things come to an end.  We bade tearful farewell to our favorite place on earth and came back home after two lovely weeks. 

Aloha...until next time...

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