So, off we go to Kauai. We never stay in a hotel anymore, always a condo. So, we packed a cooler with spam, Vienna sausage, eggs, guava jelly, bread, hot dogs, etc so we don’t have to worry about food when we got there. Upon landing Friday afternoon, we headed straight for Walmart. We had no idea there was one here. We found it on the gps because I knew it would be a long drive up to Princeville and everything up there is more expensive. We picked up our rice, a case of water, and other things we needed for the trip. Thank GOD I packed shopping bags because I had a feeling we’d need it. They do not provide shopping bags here so be prepared.
Everything opens late and closes early in Kauai. That’s why we packed breakfast foods that can convert to dinner food if we needed it to. For dinner, we had grilled hotdogs. Our kitchen has two flat burners and a grill! Awesome! Saturday morning we felt like we “slept in” but really, we got up at 5-5:30 am. The roosters crowing wasn’t a big deal. It was nice, actually. But when you have a 2 year old who pops up awake at 5:30 am like a human alarm clock, it’s hard to really sleep in.
So, after breakfast, we relaxed around the condo and got ready to leave at 9 am to head to Kilohana Plantation to take the kids on a train ride. It’s not hard to find. In fact, nothing is hard to find on Kauai. We arrived just in time for the first ride at 10 am. They do offer a Kama’aina rate of $12 per person. The tour costed us $36. Emily was free. Now, I didn’t check yelp about this place. I found it on trip advisor. Regardless of what reviews were on there, and I can’t remember the last time I rode on a train. The ride itself was fun. A local might not find it as fun, but we did and we learned some new things too. You look at plants and animals. There’s a stop on the train where you can feed the animals. Goats, wild pigs, and chickens. Now, my husband hunts wild pigs and to see these HUGE bigs behind a skinny fence was a little scary at first. A non-domesticated boar would easily run into that fence and break it. These pigs were domesticated and tame. They came running to the train and begged for bread. Some had some nice sized tusks that Romel couldn’t get over. Emily of course, yells piggy piggy!! For once, she sees one alive and running around. LOL. Normally, when she sees them, they’re tied up and being carved in my backyard. The entire train ride was 45 minutes. Did I feel jipped? At first, yes. After I thought about the experience and the new things we learned, no. Non-kama’aina rate for this ride is $18 per person. There were some people doing some Taste of Kauai tours or something so we left them on the property mid train ride.
After the train ride, our next stop was Fern Grotto. It was pouring rain and the train ride was a lot shorter than I estimated. We missed the last Fern Grotto boat at 11 and the next one wasn’t until 2. So, we killed some time. By the way, for lunch we had hot dogs and chips. We forgot mustard and ketchup so we hit up a 7-11 and swiped some packets after we bought a big gulp. LOL. To kill time, we hit up Kukui Grove. From what I learned, it’s the only mall on the island. Lucky us, it was the grand opening of the Sports Authority store there. Popcorn and shave ice, loud music and autographs. The place was packed. Was the whole island there? We then decide to take a stroll around this mall and it was very slim pickings. I had to keep telling my family, “this is KAUAI!” Not Honolulu, not LA, not Vegas. Expect small things. It was extremely muggy walking around this open air mall so we decided to look for a movie theater to cool off. Well, it’s across the street behind the 76 station, we were told. We head into the car for a quick drive to find it. We get across the street and drove right past it. Folks, it’s the size of a 7-11. If you blink, you will miss it.
The girl who directed us wasn’t kidding. It is directly behind the 76 station in a pinkish colored building with the word CINEMA slapped across the top. We pull up into the empty parking lot (it’s about 11:30 am) and the first movie didn’t start until 1 or something. We laughed and drove away. Instead of hanging around for another 3 hours waiting for Fern Grotto at 2, we went back to Princeville. We didn’t even bother to hit up the Kilauea Lighthouse on the way back because it was storming rain. Instead, we hit up Princeville Foodland and got some poke and snacks and stopped real quick at the scenic point that overlooks the lo’i (taro patch) below. Shelby loved the view. After the quick Kodak moment, we headed back to the room to eat some poke, and relax AGAIN. This time, we hit up the pool, in the rain. We also enjoyed the Jacuzzi and then Romel and Emily came to join us for a little bit. It was such a nice and peaceful day.
That night we had dinner and watched some movies. I really wanted to play some board games but it was just so nice to lounge around watching funny movies and think about nothing else. So, that , we did.
Sunday morning we got up at 5:30 again and made breakfast and got ready for church. It’s a one hour drive to Kalaheo for church so we packed our gear and food for the day and head out. We get to church on time and after church we went straight to Waimea Canyon. Well, we saw Hanapepe and took a short detour. There we drove through the little town and there was the sign to the hanging bridge! STOP!! Yes, we pulled over and while Romel changed out of his church clothes in the jeep, Shelby and I went down to check out this old hanging bridge. It was scary to walk on but quite fun!
We got back and now Shelby could stay with Emily while I walked this bridge with Romel all the way to the end. Fun! Mind you, he had to point out all the rusting parts and busted areas of the bridge while we were on it which added to my anxiety. Men!
After Hanapepe, we go to the Canyon. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Thanks to the heavy rains, there were also waterfalls to be seen! On to Koke’e Park. Really, nothing to see here unless you’re a camper, mountain biker, or hiker. I like to stop here to see the round flowers. They remind me of my grandma. There was some sort of Banana Polka fair or something going on. We walked around, had a quick lunch at the Lodge and headed down to Barking Sands. By the way, if you plan on eating at the lodge, be prepared for the cost. My chili and rice meal with corn bread was $16 and it was by no means a large lunch. Our meals in total came out to $45 not including tip. It was satisfying enough to keep us full, but don’t expect gourmet. They serve your food on paper plates with disposable utensils.
We then hit up PMRF, barking sands. We just wanted to see it, that was all. One good thing about the stop was we could fill the jeep up with gas. It was about $0.30 per gallon cheaper than outside. And there was an NEX there as well.
After checking out that small post, we headed back towards Hanapepe to stop at Lapperts to get some the famous ice cream. $5 for a one scoop waffle cone and I wasn’t impressed. I had the mac nut ice cream and it was gritty. Not creamy and rich like I was expecting. The best part of the entire thing was the waffle cone. $15 for three cones. Ouch. Now off to Poipu. Intention was to maybe stop and swim but it was raining. Instead, we just drove through and I couldn’t believe how different it looked. It’s developed a lot since our last trip and it reminded me of Ko Olina. I just wanted to get out of there and drive through the tunnel of trees. Now where to? Back to Princeville. The drive back from Poipu was maybe an hour and a half.
Instead of going straight back to the room, this time we decided to keep driving to the end of this road, in Hanalei. We saw the wet and dry caves, and saw some nifty water “falls” or natural showers coming down the side of the cliffs above us. We crossed a ton of one lane bridges. Fun, but after a while, got boring. I really wanted to swim at a beach. But with all the rain, I didn’t want to risk
Emily getting sick. How can we swim, and not let her? Back to the room we go after our really long day trip.
When we got back, we did laundry and prepacked our bags for our trip home the next day. We relaxed, watched more movies and I spent more unwinding time in the whirlpool tub. This time, I tried to make a bubble bath and instead pulled a Lucy and nearly caused a foam party.
Monday morning we sleep in, for real this time. LOL We didn’t get out of bed till close to 7 and had breakfast. We hung out and rested even more up until checkout time at 10. Our flight wasn’t until 4:20 so we had lots of time to just cruise around and hang out. This time, because it was a clear day, we stop at the Lighthouse to have a look see. We then drove back to Lihue. Stopped at the Wailua Falls to take some pictures, drove around the Nawilili Harbor area and stopped to watch the tourists attempt to catch waves in the bay on those walmart foam boards. Honestly, I was bored to death and was so ready to come back home. I enjoyed the lack of data on my phone. I enjoyed having my phone silent for four days and not being bothered with notifications from every single social media site, text messages, alerts, alarms, reminders, etc. But I was just so bored. It felt like we drove every main road on the island. We drove through Kapaa at least 8 times going 5 mph. I was so over it. Monday being a holiday, it seemed everything was closed. We had so much time to kill and had no idea what to do with it thanks to the unstable weather. Monday was the sunniest of all days while there, but the patches of rain that did come, were pretty heavy. After nawiliwili, we go back to lihue (5 minute drive) to top off the jeep and head to the car rental return. We get to the airport “on time” based on regular check in and security check time recommendations.
Upon check in, we were then told our flight was a full one AND it’s running 45 minutes late. WHAT?! With a two year old in the most simple of all airports ever. This trip home is gonna SUCK. Thank god on our way to the airport we stopped at Walmart to kill time and pick up some last minute snacks and coloring books for Emily. Rather than get past security and be stuck in the terminal for 3 hours, we decide to just sit out there near check in for a while where there was a nice breeze and we didn’t feel “trapped”. Had we known the flight was delayed, we could’ve watched a movie or something to kill more time. We did actually drive past the theater and the parking lot was full. For all I know the theater seats 30 people? I have no clue. We didn’t want to risk being late for our plane, so we opted not to. Dammit.
Finally we go through security and find that there is a starbucks and a news stand right inside. That’s it.
Mainlanders, there are no airport malls and the only massage experience you’ll get while you wait are those crappy massage chairs that cost $5 for 15 minutes. Heck, it’s cheap. But it was a crappy massage. We end up getting some starbucks fraps and hanging out in that main lobby for majority of our time. We head into the gate and see the screen. Our flight was delayed AGAIN. Now, instead of leaving at 4:20, we’re leaving at 6:15!!! Ugh!!!!!! In case you’re wondering, we flew Island Air. Service and people are great. That delay though…Oh, and there is no such as thing as free wifi here in Hawaii. Not even in Honolulu. This airport doesn't even have wifi that you can pay for either.
Now, we’re in the gate with a lot of other people who were still waiting for their flights that was supposed to have left at 2 pm. This includes kids. People were “chronicking” out for an outlet to charge their devices. I brought my anker (see below). So all I needed was one outlet and I could charge all our devices. Emily wouldn’t keep still in the gate while we were waiting. I told her to run around in circles. The more she ran, the easier it would be for her to fall asleep on the plane ride at 6 pm. So, I wouldn’t have to deal with a screaming two year old like we did on our way to Kauai. Finally, it our time to board, yay. We left Kauai at 6:30 pm. Of course, upon take off she screamed her head off which I’m sure pissed people off sitting around us and they can suck it. I held her in my arms to calm her down and she finally fell asleep. She was out cold the entire flight and slept all the way through until this morning.
When we got home, everything in our fridge was spoiled. At first we blamed our son who was home the entire weekend. Maybe he didn’t shut the door good and just let it sit and fester. I mean, everything was moldy. My oranges, the rice in the rice pot that was in there, the produce, everything was bad including two gallons of milk. That doesn’t just happen overnight. Now I was questioning what he was doing the entire weekend to not notice the food rotting? Ugh!!! Time for a new fridge. Vacation is officially over.