Day 35.5 – And Just Like That It Is Over

Monday was our last day on Kauai.  We started the day with a beach walk at Hanalei Bay followed by a cup of coffee.  The morning was just perfect. While we sat, enjoying our coffee, two women started playing their ukuleles behind us, before their yoga class began.  It couldn’t have been staged any better.

On the way back to the house, I found my eyes started leaking. It was to early for the tears to come, I didn’t think it would happen until we flew out.

At the house we made our last papaya boats.  I will miss the tropical fruit so much. I know I have blueberries, peach, apple season going on here in New England, but fresh tropical fruit can’t compare.

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After savoring the boats, it was time to do the last clean up, give away a few things to friends that we didn’t want to pack home and fill the car up with the last bits of recycling and our bags.

As we passed Hanalei Bay one last time, my eyes filled with water and spilled over.  I can’t believe on our first trip here, 7 years ago, we never walked the bay. On our 2nd trip here we went maybe two times, but this trip it stole our hearts.  Maybe because we could see our retirement mornings here, yoga class for me, a swim for mike followed by a walk and coffee together.

The flights were relatively uneventful, except for my uncontrolled tears. Really I tried to stop them, but they wouldn’t comply.

We landed in Honolulu, didn’t have a long layover and then hopped on the next one. We did have to sit for an hour because of a mechanical issue, but hey I didn’t care, we did this trip first class!

The delay meant when we landed in DC, we had just enough time to walk to the gate to catch our final flight home.  We watched the aloha disappear in the air as soon as we hit DC, people didn’t have the same vibe and fought like heck to keep ours going.

So we are home in New England, we’ve been awake for  30 hours with maybe 3 hours of sleep, things are a bit blurry, so excuse any huge grammatical errors.

This trip started as a 100 birthday celebration for us (both of us turned 50 within the last year), however it really turned into a retirement rehearsal trip.  We loved the pace of our days, the excitement of finding new places to explore and eat at, revisiting old favorites, nightly sunsets with friends and just being surrounded by aloha made this a truly memorable trip.

Thanks to everyone who read and my apologies for not returning to Kauai until 2019.

Wishing all of you Aloha.

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Day 35 – The Final Full Day

This was our final full day here, it pains me to type that.  We did a lot, but yet we still have much more to do, to explore to hike, and to eat.  Honestly before we left for this trip, we really thought this would be our last trip here until we retire.  We landed and we knew that thought was a joke, we were just kidding ourselves. We can’t keep ourselves away, so for all those things we didn’t do, I’m not upset, just gives us something to look forward to when we return in two years.

Today we went for a beach walk on Cannon’s. We did try to park at Ke’e first, but at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday the lot closest to the beach was full.  I think this was our second Sunday we tried and well, no not the time to go.  So to Cannon’s we went.

We came home to  make breakfast and start the packing, laundry and cleaning of the house.

We also made a quick run into Hanalei, I wanted to pick up some cards at a store and get our last bit of poke fix in from The Dolphin.

We were expecting friends to stop in to have their first visit to Tunnels. Kelly and I met teaching, but she moved away and we haven’t seen each other in maybe 9 years, but through the magic of FB we have kept in touch.  They arrived mid afternoon and we took them to the beach, Kelly and her husband snorkeled (yes they had a great time, even swam with a turtle), while Mike and I did our last float.  It was fun for us to watch someone see Tunnels Beach for the first time and go WOW!

After they left it was back to packing, more laundry and having dinner of poke.  We headed down to the beach for our last sunset. Last night the Kauai Gods gave us a green flash, tonight they bestowed on us a beautiful after sunset glow.

Our last full day here, it was full of things we love, beach walks, time with friends, poke, and a beautiful sunset.  We are grateful to have all this.

Tomorrow our long journey home begins.  There will be no blog post tomorrow, maybe on Tuesday when we land and figure out our time zone, I will post one, but maybe not.

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Day 34 – Third Time’s the Charm

Today our plan was to get to Pila’a beach, following the local’s foot trail, not totally rock hopping as the Trailblazers book said to.  We started off with papaya boats for breakfast, oh how I will miss the fresh tropical fruit once we get back East.

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Today was our third attempt to get to Pila’a Beach.  We made it! We took a different path down this time that was a bit steep, but well used definetly by locals.

Once we crossed the stream we were at the beach.  Only one other family was there and they were fishing. We found our own tree to hang out under, put our stuff out and went for a float.

While I enjoyed the views, Mike rock hopped over to the next little beach.

After spending a little over an hour here, we headed back, we walked the field behind the beach until we hit the stream.

We were passed on the trail by a trail runner and his little Pekingese dog. Now that hurt the ego, the dog ran right past me on his short little legs. Once we reached the top we savored the views and figured out our game plan in the back of our rental (I may or may not have taken a little snooze).

After our little beach trek, we drove around Kilauea’s neighborhood, drooling over houses for a little bit.  Our next stop was SushiGirl Kauai to pick up lunch to enjoy at home.

After lunch it was laundry time and a little bit of tidying up, as the dreadful day of leaving is almost upon us.  I think the island gave us a goodbye gift today, a green flash at sunset. You could hear the clapping and cheering up and down Tunnels Beach.

The third time’s a charm for Pila’a beach for us.  Now that we know the way, on our next trip we will come with lunch packed and snorkel gear with us, truly a gem of a beach.

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Day 33 – What to do on a Rainy Day?

Try to outrun the rain? Or just drive around? Or go play outside between showers? We did all of those things and a few more!

We had a few rain showers overnight, but no gushing downpours. We woke to a bit of cloudy skies, but after reading Glen’s detailed forecast we knew showers would be more numerous today due to the remnants of a tropical storm.

We had to have a beach walk to start our day, so we just went “around the block”, a brief road walk to the beach and then back to the road.  Lucky for us we did this loop, we had monk seal encounter #5 of this vacation and a rainbow!

After the walk it was breakfast time and then the jackfruit adventure awaited Mike.

Well, the jackfruit adventure was a bit of a bust and disappointing. Mike watched youtube videos on how to cut the fruit and what it should look like, so he was prepared. However the jackfruit was picked to early and wasn’t ripe.  The pods were rock hard and didn’t have that juicy fruit taste.

After a clean up of the area and Mike from the gluey substance that jackfruits give off, we headed to do the other side of Waiakalua Beach.  On Day 26, we went to the left side of the beach, today we attempted the right side.  The adventure here didn’t get very far, the rocks we had to go over were more and further than we expected to get to the secluded beach.  Plus it started to rain, which was making the rocks very slippery.

After that we packed in the adventures for the day, went to the Dolphin for lunch and had a salad and a fin burger, cajun style.

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We arrived home to patches of blue sky, mixed with gray.  When we had a fairly large swath of blue, our neighbor invited us to look at another neighbor’s gardens and her stunning orchids.  I feel like this trip, orchids are all the rage!

We had a late lunch, so we just had some chips and salsa for dinner before sunset viewing.  We were treated to rainbow before the sun sunk.

In our three trips to Kauai, we never had a truly full day of rain, today was the rainiest we’ve encountered, but we survived, dodging the rain and at times embracing it.  You have to make the most of the days, rain or shine!

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Day 32 – Daily Delights

I love the spontaneity of our days. We never know what little or big delight will cross our path during the day.  Today we had a few delights and last the one of the day was HUGE.

The day began with a two mile beach walk at Cannon’s beach. It wasn’t the plan to walk that much, but we just kept going, until hunger pains set in and returned home to breakfast.

After our breakfast, we made the plan to hike the Moloaa Coastal Trail. While doing some research we learned that this is a disputed trail, but luckily it is still open to hike. One blogger called it the trail to nowhere.  It does end at a fence line, but the views are dramatic and worth it to go “nowhere”.  You have to walk to the left of the bay to access the trail.  We lucked out today and had a monk seal sighting on the way to the trail head!

This was about a 1 mile walk from the car and to the end of the trail at the fence. Don’t worry, you know when you hit the end of the trail, signs inform you of it.

After our hike we jumped in the water for a quick cool off, we even tried to get the seal in our water selfie!

This is a lovely little area and one we need to spend more time at.  We had planned another adventure after this, but once again hunger pains steered us in another direction, to lunch we went.

We decided to try out The Bistro in Kilauea. Before we went there, we did have to stop by the egg place at mile marker 18 to see if they had fresh eggs. We scored, they did! Once again I got to hang out the sold out sign.

On to The Bistro we went. They had two specials, fresh caught ahi, served over soba noodles with pineapple salsa in a coconut curry sauce and a chicken sandwich (not locally caught) that had a tomato goat cheese spread with lettuce and tomatoes served with fries. To be honest Street Burger has the better fries. We decided to try both dishes and have the pineapple cobbler for dessert.  Everything was delicious and yes you might say a bit pricey, but we were ok with that.

After lunch we stopped at the soap store to pick up more surfer salve soap and a few other goodies to ship back.  Once we arrived at the house, I took my regular afternoon siesta and then we had dinner. Yes tonight we had the ahi the neighbor caught, served on grains with long beans.

After dinner a rain shower was passing through, so we decided to get a head start on tonight’s dessert, the bananas wrapped in limpia pastry, this time I drizzled dark chocolate on it.

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Sunset tonight was wet, hazy and full of weddings.. Three different weddings, one came complete with a singer and hula dancer.  We had the good fortune to be treated to the couple’s first dance, the music provided by the Ukulele player singing Iz’s rendition of Over the Rainbow.  Yes, I did tear up.

When we returned home, very wet, the hughest delight was waiting for us, jackfruit.  A neighbor asked if we wanted one, we said sure, next time we will ask what size before saying yes…yikes, anyone have any recipe suggestions?

We truly had a day full of all different delights. Who knows what delights tomorrow will bring us.

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Day 31 – A Visit to the #1 Tourist Spot

Did you guess the number one  tourist spot on the island yet? If you said Costco you are correct.  Our entire day revolved around a trip to Costco for a new camera.  You see yesterday on the humid, sweaty trail, we killed a camera.  The non waterproof one didn’t enjoy sweat dripping in it and it died.  We tried to revive it, but to many sweaty hikes, to many beaches filled with sand and thrown in a backpack took its toll.  We mourned the loss of our old reliable camera.

Before we went to Costco we hit Hanalei Bay for a morning beach walk.  What a perfect morning for a two-mile stroll followed by coffee and fruit on the sand!

We returned home to make a quick breakfast, a repeat from yesterday, toast with egg, cheese, tomatoes and avo on it.

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After our visit to Costco, so busy even at 11:30 a.m., we headed to Poipu and Moir Gardens.  The orchids are stunning, the cactus garden is a little neglected. However there were some indication that revitalization might be happening in the future.

Our next adventure lead us to a return visit to Da Crack food place. We ordered fish tacos and headed to Poipu Beach Park to devour it.

We had some time to kill before heading to the Kapaa farmers market, so we stopped at Lydgate Park to walk and take some pictures.

We took a longer route inland to get over to the market, love exploring different roads and neighborhoods. Once at the market, we picked up our fruit we needed and headed home.  We did miss the red truck lady, she went to back to the Philippines to see family.  Hopefully when we return in two years, she will be still be around.

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We were exhausted from our day, so we didn’t cook up the ahi instead had leftovers of poke and sushi rolls.  Tomorrow will be the day for ahi!

Tonight’s cloud tv was brought to you by Mel’s Imagination Station. It was a beautiful evening to sit on the beach people and cloud watching.

Great ending to a day visiting the most popular attraction on the island, Costco!

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