“Kauaʻi or Kauai, it is the fourth largest of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, and the 21st largest island in the United States”
My brain did not want to spell “Kauai” correctly and only around the last day did it willingly do it.
“We got a place”
Back in January or so, our pal (we’ll call him “Matt (A)”) calls us to say the following:
- “I have a major birthday coming up”
- “I’m going to Hawaii with my family”
- “I’m renting a big house”
- “Do you want to come along?”
The answer to that last question was “Yes” - especially after we looked at how strangely affordable the prices for airfare were. Hawaii here we come!
Here’s what we did for the past week
We swam in the ocean and paddle boarded and walked on the sand and sabered bottles of Champagne and rode horses and jumped off rocks and went to bed very early and woke up very early and ate well and laughed and some people cried and some people ran around without clothes on all the time (but, they were 2 years old).
Birthday Dinner To celebrate the BIG birthday of our pal, last Wednesday we all donned white and opened bottles of champagne (with knives) and ate ribs. You may be asking, “Wait! You all ate ribs while wearing all white?!?”
Yes. That’s how we rolled.
No messes amazingly.
You can fly directly to Kauai, which surprised me as I assumed you had to connect in Honolulu. On the flight out, it was fine. We left very early from JFK and landed at LAX and then out to Kauai - about ten hours in the air.
Because of a scheduling snafu with the house we were renting, everyone stayed in a hotel the first night. We stayed at Marriott's Kaua'i Beach Club in the town of Lihue (pronounced entertainingly as “La-who-we”). The night of arrival we had dinner at Sushi Katsu located in the lobby of the Tip Top Motel. Quirky and lo-fi and BYOB and awesome. Sushi is our go-to jet-lag just-arrived comfort food.
The Marriott resort place was fine. The room was pretty non-descript (and short) but they had a nice beach and a suspiciously delicious brunch the next day (via jet lag, we were one of the first people there). The pool was about the size of lower Manhattan.
After our night in Lihue (LA WHO WEE!) we drove up the west coast and tried to view the amazing Waimea Canyon. “Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is a large canyon, approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep, located on the western side of Kauai”
After getting rained on and then stopping for tacos, a case of wine, and some rum (and rum cake!) we made our way back around the island and up to the north side to the town of Hanalei where the rental house was. Hanalei is a small town that sits on Hanalei Bay - this is where we swam a lot.
It was lovely. From our house we had a great view of the neighboring mountains and we were steps away from the beach (as long as “steps” means “crossing the street”).
We had 8 adults and one small adult in the house (big house with separate apartment downstairs) and it worked out well. Someone suggested that each couple take one night to cook dinner which was a really clever and practical idea. On our night, we put together our favorite ‘super food’ salad of kale and avocado and these addictive rosemary and olive oil flavored macadamia nuts alongside my favorite chunky-style gazpacho accompanied by shrimp. It somehow worked out excellently.
Things we did Queen’s Bath: This is a pool in a lava shelf. Fun to swim in. I jumped off a rock. Tons of turtles (massive turtles) swimming in the surf outside of it.
The Kalalau Trail: “11 mile trail that leads from Ke'e Beach to Kalalau Beach.” Depeding on the weather, this is a fun little hike or a pain-in-the-butt hike. We had a bit of both as the weather changed from ‘nice’ to ‘really hot’ to ‘pouring rain’ within a few hours. Great views!
Farmers Market: There are a number of farmers markets and since we needed to buy lots of food, this was handy. We met a woman who sold her garlic and tumeric to a local organic shop here in Brooklyn. Small world.
Anini Beach: Great beach that is protected by reefs and is almost completely still and flat. Great if you have small children around.
The Waiakalua Beaches: Very pretty beaches. Stunning. You don’t want to go swimming there, at least the day we were there. The waves and tides are crazy rough. Oh, and it was super hot.
Hanalei Bay: We swam and paddle-boarded here. For the majority of the time, it was awesome. They had a sand bar fairly far out, so there was this big expanse of area to swim in. The waters were clear and the ocean would send these sets of awesome waves to body surf from time to time.
Then on the last day, it went all loco and the rip currents showed up. Get out.
Horseback Riding: We went horseback riding one day at a local ranch. Apart from the fact that I think my horse didn’t like me, it was a fun hour or so.
The Na Pali Coast Boat Tours: Mrs. Robot and I didn’t do this boat tour but other people in our group did. In hindsight, maybe we should have tagged along as it looked amazing.