Monday, May 1, 2017

The Party's Over

Vince and I had an amazing 9 days in Kauai, so naturally we were a little sad about saying goodbye when we woke up on Day 10. The weather, however, made leaving a little easier- the skies were gloomy and there was rain in the forecast. We packed our bags, thanked our lovely AirBnb host, and headed toward the airport in search of a nice place for our last good meal before the long trip home. Choices near the airport were somewhat limited, but I remembered a recommendation I'd gotten earlier from some locals: Mark's Place! It was definitely off the beaten path, but the number of people there was encouraging, so we headed inside to scope out the goods.


I opted for the Pork Adobo special- at only $10.75,
it was a fantastic deal and delicious to boot :)

Vince got the teriyaki chicken- char-grilled, salty-sweet goodness!

We finished what we could of our lunch, dropped off our rental car, and made it to the airport just in time to find shelter from the ensuing downpour. Happily, we had time for one last hurrah before it was time to board our plane...

Lava Flows :p Our goodbye was still bittersweet, but we boarded our
plane happy and content with our trip- and quite sure we'd be back someday :)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Kauai- Day 9

Our last full day in Kauai, Day 9 was all about making the most of our dwindling time in paradise. Vince and I hit the road early and set out for some espresso to fuel our day's adventures.

Lucky for us, a coffee stand was right down the street

Very Hawaiian business hours haha!

Coffee quest fulfilled, we headed to Wailua Falls

From there, Vince and I decided to rent a kayak and tour the river

 One of our Hawaiian friends told us about
the Fern Grotto, so that was our first stop along the way


A little trail led us from the grotto and on a quick tour of the surrounding forest

The local flora was exquisite :)

We wrapped up our river adventure and headed off to check out the nearby town of Kapaa. Our first stop? Lunch at the Pono Market. A favorite among locals, it was a good place to try some unique and authentic Hawaiian eats.

Needless to say, we didn't leave hungry...
but we still had room to try some shave ice!

We spent the rest of the day walking along the beach and doing a little gift shopping before heading back to our B&B and showering before our last nice dinner.

Plantation Gardens was quite charming :)

I went with the grilled fish special of the evening...

...and Vince got the seafood lau lau (both were delicious!)

We kept our entrees on the lighter side because dessert was next ;)

Normally not a fan of lilikoi, I was nervous trying the likiloi cheesecake, but our server insisted that it was the best dessert on the menu, so I had to give it a shot. A-mazing! Worth every calorie. Vince and I thanked our hosts, enjoyed a romantic stroll through the gardens, and settled in at our B&B contended and happy :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Kauai- Day 8

Day 8 of our Kauai trip brought us more incredible weather, so Vince and I headed out bright and early to soak up as much of it as we could!

Although we were eager to hit the beach, coffee was in order,
so we started our day with a stop at Kauai Coffee's tasting room

They had some funny truths posted hehe

Exactly how I feel every morning!

From there, we took the Tree Tunnel route to Poipu beach- magical!

Warm sand, a family-friendly vibe, and snorkeling awaited us :)

We spent a few hours enjoying the beach before grabbing a quick lunch and heading to the Lawaii International Center- a beautiful heritage site that was started by Japanese immigrants in 1904. There are 88 temples on a hillside that replicate an ancient pilgrimage in Japan, as well as a beautiful gathering center and a lovely surrounding area. Tours are not available every day, but Vince and I were lucky and there just happened to be availability during our first Kauai trip!

Some of the temples on the hillside

One of several orchids growing near the temples

The Hall of Compassion- built entirely by grooved pieces of wood
that were hand-cut by a master craftsman from Asia

Samples of the individual pieces of wood that make up the hall

Hall of Compassion interior

Another interior photo- it was stunning

Our visit to the Lawaii Center was both peaceful and inspiring. We thanked our hosts and set off to try and find the Makauwahi Cave. We parked near Shipwreck Beach and headed down a foot trail not entirely sure of where we were going...

...until we found this sign several miles back haha

One of several gorgeous views from the trail

Some history about our destination

Made it! The cave was an impressive historical site

A nearby tortoise habitat was an added bonus to our little adventure

This guy was faster than you'd think ;)

With sunset on the way, we started to make our way back to town...

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to snap a picture of this boy fishing in the surf- so peaceful

Last view from the trail

By that time, we had worked up an appetite, so we made a quick stop at the B&B to freshen up and headed back out in search of some sustenance...

Chips & salsa, tacos, and caipirinhas sounded juuuuust right

Bellies full, we finished our dinner and headed home to bed with a smile ;)

Kauai- Day 7

Our 7th day in Kauai was the perfect mix of leisure and exercise (my kind of day!). Although we didn't have a set schedule, we had a loose agenda of things to do and it worked out beautifully :)

We started our day at the Lihue Farmers' Market

First stop? Pastries from Midnight Bear Breads

The Mac Nut cinnamon roll was a must... was the mixed-berry Danish- yum!

Our next stop was some fruit- we had to have something healthy ;)

Sweet tooth satisfied, we had fun scoping out the local produce

I was stoked to see cricket products! I'd been wanting to try them...

Now I've tried one ;) Looking forward to
incorporating these in future culinary projects!

From there, we got some venison sticks for the road and were on our way

Our B&B host recommended that we check out the Waimea Days
festivities, so we parked the car back by our B&B and walked to the fairgrounds

We were just in time to catch the kids' ice-cream-eating contest...
There was some fierce competition haha!!!

After a leisurely start to the day, I was ready for some exercise, so we
made our way to the car and headed to Waimea Canyon in search of a trail

Wow. The views from the lookouts were amazing!

We eventually found a promising trail and headed into the canyon...

So impressive! We spent most of the afternoon exploring
the area before heading back to our temporary home in Waimea

Back in town, we decided to grab some poke from the
Japanese market and have a casual beachside dinner

After lots of curious sampling, we put together
a nice assortment and walked down the street to the beach

Table for 2 :)

The sunset was gorgeous and our poke was delish;
it was another great ending to another great day in sunny Kauai