Tag Archives: Maui

Kaua’i & Maui, Waimea Canyon 3/15/14

Our 3rd Full Day on Kaua’i Our morning coffee on the lanai was served up with this sunny blue sky.

 palms enhanced

Good Morning Poipu Sunshine!

We watched the honu, sea turtles, surfing in the waves along the rocky lava shoreline. I kept thinking they would get bashed against the rocks. They must know what they’re doing, and enjoy it, since they seem to congregate here.  And the whales – no matter how many we see, always amaze me!

We watched the honu surf the waves outside our condo

We watched the honu surf the waves outside our condo

The gorgeous blue skies promised a day of wonderful weather. Brian checked the forecast, and found rain and clouds predicted.

Morning palms enhanced

Look At That Perfect Blue Sky

Should we drive west to Waimea Canyon? When skies are clear, the views are stunning. The earlier in the morning, the better chance of clear skies. Well, it wasn’t that early anymore, but we decided to take a chance.  We hit the road and planned to drive all the way to the final lookout without stopping.  We hoped we could beat the clouds that would surely move in later in the morning. That last lookout, Pu’u O Kila, has dramatic views of the Kalala’u Valley on the Napali coast. If it’s not fogged over.

Canyon highway overlook panorama

Waimea Canyon Preview at an Overlook on Kaumualii Highway

This overlook was a nice sneak preview of the canyon and a good photo op. We hadn’t planned to stop, but right around the time we passed here, Brian noticed the brake light on. Hmm, not a good plan to visit a canyon with brake problems in your rental car. Thank goodness, it turned out that the parking brake had been engaged just a little. Fixed that, no problem! We were on our way with a few clear sky photos of Waimea Canyon. It was possible this might be all we would be able to get. Conor & Brian Highway W Canyon Overlook   Waimea Canyon from highway Clear blue sky made me hopeful that we had time for a clear shot at the top lookout. I shot some video as we drove along. Google+ surprised me by taking some of that video and setting it to music with some of my still shots interspersed. I don’t know if these things are made completly by computer, or if a person has some creative input. Who, or whatever, chose the still shots, did not choose the ones I would have! Nevertheless, it’s kinda cool. I get nervous on mountain roads. I had worried that this drive might be scary. For me, It wasn’t at all. There are really no shear dropoffs or one lane sections with blind curves, like the Hana Highway on Maui, or Haleakala. If you’re wondering what the drive is like take a look. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ-rpfLcnok   Google+ didn’t include any of the video I shot during the last 10 minutes or so as we got closer to the top. The clouds started to form all around us. Wind blew and rain sprinkled. The temperature had dropped at least 20 degrees F.


Pu’u O Kila Lookout was completely fogged over.

2014-03-15 22.29.30 With every minute the clouds and fog around us grew thicker. We parked and noticed that even the chickens that were hanging out up here were foggy colored! We started up the path to the lookout to see if there was a chance at a view.     No chance!     Mt. Waialalae, one of the wettest places on Earth. And today, one of the foggiest. The sign says Mt. Wai’ale’ale is “ONE OF THE WETTEST SPOTS ON EARTH”. On this day we were in one of the FOGGIEST. We could barely see our feet when we looked down! No Mt. Wai’ale’ale or Kalalau views for us today. The walk back down to the parking lot was a little bit sad.  And a lot cold… brrrrrr. I wonder, if we had left Poipu a half an hour earlier, would it have been clear? It seemed as if the clouds were gathering even as we got to the top, just in time for us.

Walking in the Clouds

Walking in the Clouds

At the next few lookouts down we did get some lovely, if hazy views.

So C-c-c-o-l-d-d-d

So C-c-c-o-l-d-d-d

Brian protecting me @ Waimea

Brian protecting me from the big bad cold wind.

1396149738   1396149737   20140315_111150     2014-03-15 22.15.43   Waimea foggy   1396149716   Waimea Canyon many colors Canyon enhanced canyon w branch

On canyon road

Driving back down the Canyon Road

Driving down, we returned to blue sky and red dirt. Even the chickens were more colorful down here.     W Canyon Rooster Fav bright canyon   Brian Waimea Canyon, love this one Waimea Conor Brian zen enhanced My guys, finding their Zen.     Bright canyon clouds I am a geek and will spend hours in a museum given the chance. My family didn’t give me the chance that day! I was out-voted in stopping at the Koke’e Natural History Museum. They just gave me another reason to plan our next trip to Kaua’i. Besides, was I going to vote against a picnic at Salt Pond Beach Park? Not a chance! We stopped at Ishihara Market in Waimea. It’s another little long-time grocery market with a great prepared local foods section. We picked up a couple kinds of poke, of course, and some Filipino pancit – stirfried noodles with pork and vegetables. We got a package of coconut mochi too. In the parking lot at Koke’e Park, we had bought some homemade coconut candies and pinapple cookies, and a nice bunch of rambutan. So we were set for salty and sweet! https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1.0-9/248573_132612703482464_7464206_n.jpg This photo of Ishihara is from Facebook.

Salt Pond Beach

Salt Pond Beach Park


Rambutan is a sweet lychee-like fruit. I copied this photo awhile ago and and can’t remember where it came from. Aplogies to the creative spirit who made these happy rambutan people.

image   Conor Salt Pond picnic When you share poke with Conor, you need to steak a claim on your own before it all dissapears! image   image   image image     image Salt Pond Beach had beautiful, calm, clear water, and a peaceful kind of happy, that matched our day perfectly. On our way back to the condo we talked about picking up something to grill for dinner. After all, I had named this our “Cheap Eats Trip”. Staying in a condo, it just makes sense to cook some meals, right? Ha! We laughed! We are on vacation, and with the best of intentions to grill at our condo, we have yet to do so in 8 Hawai’i trips. We decided not to break the streak. We had driven enough that day, though. So after cleaning up and hanging out on the lanai for a while, we decided to walk to Brennecke’s Beach Broiler. It seemed to be within easier walking distance than anywhere else., probably 15 – 20 minutes, but without sidewalks much of the way. 2014-03-15 21.42.27 Wow! Brennecke’s was crowded. We should have called ahead. It’s a very casual, beachy kind of place. With the crowds, we completely missed any beach view. The host looked at us like we were a little uncouth to walk in without reservations! We decided that our options were limited, and since we were already there we’d wait the 45+ minutes they quoted us. In our hometown that is par for the course at any popular restaurant on the weekend. So we squashed shoulder to shoulder in the bar to wait. We got a drink and mingled with others who were waiting as well. We noticed several Iowa State Cyclones shirts and talked about cheering on our team in the NCAA b-ball tournament.   image   The Kama’aina Pupu Platter that we shared was probably our favorite that night.  We each ordered an entree and a drink or two, that were fine but forgettable. With tip we certainly spent over $150. While I don’t feel that’s unreasonable, we really enjoyed our $25-30 takeout picnic lunches on Kaua’i even more. The quality of the food was as good or better. I’m comparing some of our favorite mid-priced restaurants on Maui, with those on Kaua’i, and finding that we prefer places like Star Noodle or MonkeyPod Kitchen on Maui to Brennecke’s or Hanalei Dolphin on Kaua’i. However, we really did like Kaua’i’s less expensive, take-out places. This judgement could certainly change on our next trip. I look forward to the research!

Our view from upstairs at Brennecke's.

Our view from Brennecke’s.

We left just before the live music began at 8:00, too tired to stay and listen. We were glad to have my little flashlight for the dark walk on the road back to the condo. The night time ocean breezes were chilly but delicious.  We were wishing we had much more time to experience Kaua’i. At the same time, we were happily anticipating our return to Maui in 2 days! Up next, hiking gorgeous Mahaulepu.   Aloha, A Hui Hou

Until We Meet Again

Until We Meet Again


Napali Coast on the Northern Star

This is Kaua’i.

This is Iowa:

With temps like this don't we deserve a little Hawai'i?

With temps like this don’t we deserve a little Hawai’i?

Enough snow already!

Enough snow already!

This blog is my personal scrap book and journal. I’ll share it with anyone else who’s a Hawai’i freak like Brian & I are. Our trips have been made much better because of the generous people I’ve met on Trip Advisor Hawai’i forums , and the blogs, trips reports, and knowledge shared there.  And we have made some true friends through TA. I hope whatever I share here will give some enjoyment or useful information too. Photos of this trip are taken with our phones and some of our best times had no pictures at all. We were too busy just being there.

Some of our previous trips:

2010  West Maui Mountains from Paragon Sunset Sail

West Maui Mountains from Paragon Sunset Sail

2011 Teri and Brian on Oahu at House Without a Key

Teri and Brian on Oahu at House Without a Key

2012 Our View at Honua Kai A Promise from Maui That We wil Return

2012 Our View at Honua Kai
A Promise from Maui That We Would Return

2013 Maui Scotch Mist Sunset Sail

2013 Maui Scotch Mist Sunset Sail

Brian and I have been blessed to spend a week to 10 days on Maui (once on Oahu) most of the last few years in December or January. This year we decided to wait until spring break when we could take a 2 week trip, and make our first visit to Kauai along with Maui. Our youngest son, Conor would join us for the first week.

The countdown was 1 day. The bags were packed. The mail was stopped. Nails were manni’ed and peddi’ed.  Reservations were confirmed and flights were checked in. Boarding passes were printed. I was floating on air at work that last day. I even wore my Hawai’i “slippahs” in the library to give my toes some practice at breathing! Nothing could bring me down.

Until… I got a text… and a phone message… and an email. United had cancelled all flights into Chicago the next day due to a forecast winter storm.

I had a conversation with myself, “What???? You can’t cancel my flight!” “OK. Breathe Teri. We’ll just fly to another airport to connect to Hawaii.” Unfortunately it wasn’t so easy. Every traveler in the Midwest was scrambeling to find flights. After many hours on the phone and computer we finally had a flight booked on American , but it was into ORD again, and we had very little confidence that it would actually go.

Nevertheless, we woke up an hour before our alarm went off at 4:00 AM and got to the airport by 5:00 for our 6:30 scheduled flight.  We were in better shape than most people in the airport that morning. It seemed like many had not even been notified that their flights were cancelled and were being told that there was nothing out of this airport available for several days.

The American flight was canceled as we expected, but the United workers at the Eastern Iowa Airport were angels for us. Two women in particular worked their butts off for us to find connections as flight after flight was cancelled or delayed. They were fantastic!

After untold hours in that airport, we made it onto a flight to O’Hare, where we barely caught a connection to LAX. My friend Deb messaged me, “I can just see it.  A crazy blond hauling ass down the corridors of O’Hare, pulling her carry-on, with her two guys trailing behind, ”  and she was spot on! If I hadn’t RUN for it we would have missed our first day on Kaua’i. I was NOT going to let that happen! In LA we got a connection to Honoulu, and finally after more than 24 hours without sleep we were in Hawai’i!

The gates at HNL were confusing in our sleep deprived state. We must have seemed like a pathetic trio as we tried to figure out if we were at the right gate, and discussed the pressing topic of who would use the restroom first and who would watch the carry-on bags. I called the rental car agency to make sure they knew that we would arrive late, so they would stay open for us.

After dithering about we decided we were in the right place and I settled back to wait for our blessed last flight. Try as I might I was not anywhere near slipping into my beloved island time state of mind.

A soft deep voice adressed me as a big beautiful Hawai’ian lady sat down beside me. “You one busy lady.” She looked at me deeply with dark eyes. I started to explain about our crazy long travel day.  And then I stopped. “You going to Kaua”i?” she asked, giving me that same deep look. “Yes”, I said. And that was all that mattered.

Our First Morning View Form the Condo at Poipu Makai

The Sun Lights Up the Palms on Our First Morning

Poipu Morning Sun Lights Up the Palms

Poipu Makai Kauai

We arrived on Kauai close to midnight Hawaii time, 5:00 am Central time.  After another hour of crazy mixups with our condo, we collapsed in the dark and gave thanks for a comfy king sized bed.

In the morning we knew it was all worthwhile the minute we opened the bedroom door onto our oceanfront lanai. Ahhhhh… we had made it. Thank goodness for the Kaua’i coffee in the welcome basket from Parrish.  Just give me coffee and my guy on an oceanfront lanai. Heaven.

Poipu Makai morning coffee

Up next… More pictures of our first day on gorgeous Kaua’i. And maybe fewer words… we’ll see.

Island Time Found on North Shore Kaua'i

Island Time Found on Kaua’i, Happy Happy