Eco

Kauai 2006 Print

 

It should be obvious to all by now that we love Hawaii, in particular Maui and now, even more so, Kauai. (Thank you, David and Milly, for insisting that we go back.)

 

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Before I forget, if you're considering a vacation on Kauai and haven't been there, or even if you've been there and don't own this book, this is the only guide book you will ever need for Kauai:

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It's published by Wizard Publications and is the best guidebook there is for Kauai. Just trust me (and David) and buy it. We followed their kayak, helicopter and sightseeing advice, and their restaurant advice (but Plantation Garden deserves an ono, guys.)

We loved staying on Baby Beach in Hale Ohe in 2004 and would have gone back last year but Christopher's birth, our remodeling, our trip to Scotland and Jennifer, Duane and Christopher moving back to L.A., made it impossible.

So, we really looked forward to staying in Hale Nalu, by far the most beautiful place we've ever rented on Kauai, and which suited the five of us perfectly. The upper floor is nothing but the master suite, with two additional bedrooms and baths downstairs which Jennifer, Duane and Christopher used. The home is right next to Baby Beach and was a delightful home-away-from-home for two weeks.

By the way, the last three times we've stayed on Kauai, we have rented homes (Stonehouse, Hale Ohe and Hale Nalu) represented by Garden Island Rentals. They have done a great job for us.

It was especially nice to celebrate Christopher's first birthday while we were there.

And, it gets harder every year to come back home.

The photo above is of Hale Nalu, with the sun shade that Jennifer and Duane brought, already set up for Christopher (and me.) Baby Beach is just beyond the palm trees at the back of the photo. The ocean is immediately to the right of the hedge at right.

We spent the first several days doing basically nothing. We bought fresh fish at the Koloa Fish Store and grilled it at home. We bought Kauai-beef steaks and ground meat from the Kojima Store in Kapa'a and Ishihara Market in Waimea and grilled it all at home. We bought fresh veggies from the Poipu vegetable and fruit stand to grill with everything. We made mai tais every night. We made food as good as many restaurants and enjoyed it all the more because we (1) spent a lot less than going out and (2) we were at "home" enjoying the ocean.

Jennifer and Duane arranged for an on-our-own kayak trip with Outfitters Kauai so we could paddle our own kayaks up the Wailua River, up the right fork, and then hike into Secret Falls. Five miles of kayak paddling and two miles of hiking total, in somewhat wet weather, but what a great experience.

Duane and I went to Allerton Garden so he could experience what a wonderful, serene, beautiful place it is. Sue and I had been there in 2004 and I wanted to go back again and make sure that either he or Jennifer saw it this time. Next time it will be Jennifer's turn. It is a beautiful home and controlled-jungle garden that has been used in numerous movies, including Donovan's Reef (John Wayne, Lee Marvin, etc.) and Jurassic Park.

Duane and I went on a helicopter tour with Inter Island Helicopters that was incredible--they leave the doors OFF their choppers so photographers have excellent views of everything. Windy, noisy, chilly and a little wet, and totally awesome. I will definitely do it again because we were supposed to land at an inaccessible waterfall but couldn't due to weather issues.

Sue and I had dinner at Roy's in Poipu, still our favorite, and we all tried Plantation Gardens at David & Milly's suggestion, and it was just as good. The Beach House, just down the road from Hale Nalu, which has probably the world's best restaurant view, came in a distant third for food--Roy's and Plantation Garden are definitely better.  And we spent more time seeing a few sights on Kauai and enjoying Hale Nalu.

We went back up to the north shore to visit Hanalei and this time went to Limahuli Gardens.  None of us had been there and we loved it.  Totally different than Allerton because it's planned to look the way the ancient Polynesians structured it, it's beautiful in a more native manner.

We also went up to Waimea Canyon and then up to the Kalalau Valley Lookout.  Once again the road to the Kalalau Lookout was closed, and once again, it was fogged in.  Oh, well.  We went to the Koke'e Lodge for lunch again, and the chili and cornbread were still good.

Another wonderful trip to paradise.