Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Kauai- Days 5 & 6

Vince and I spent most of our 5th day in Kauai at Shipwreck Beach, doing a little shopping, and checking out the area by our B&B. It was nice to have a day with no agenda! That said, we were rested and raring to go again the next morning. We got up bright and early, had a light breakfast at our B&B, and headed to Steelgrass Farm for a chocolate farm tour & tasting :D

Our lovely guide Andrea introducing herself

The first stop on the farm tour was all about their local fruit

It was great learning about (and trying) so many new things!

After a beautiful walk around the property, we came to the cocoa trees

The inside of a cocoa pod- crazy!!

The last portion of the tour was a chocolate tasting. It was hard, but we managed.... :p It was fascinating to learn about the different flavor profiles that can be discovered in trees from different regions!

Buzzing on antioxidants, we thanked our hosts and headed off to see more of the north side of the island...

Our first stop was the Kilauea Lighthouse

The second stop? Lunch! We discovered a food truck park
that couldn't be missed ;)

It took us awhile, but we eventually decided on a truck

I got the Tinfoil Special (mahi mahi, scallops, shrimp,
octopus, & veggies in Siracha aioli)- it was amazingly good!

Vince got the Kauai garlic shrimp- also a winning choice :)

I definitely needed a walk after lunch, so we headed to Hanalei Bay

I found someone's fort :)

The bay was absolutely stunning

We eventually made our way from the beach to see more of the
sights- including this gorgeous view of the taro fields from the highway

Our next stop was the bar at St. Regis for a champagne toast at sunset


We capped off the evening at a cozy tapas place. What a day :)

Kauai- Day 4

Vince and I woke up the next day and were thrilled to see that the sun was out; the weather for the long hike back was looking good! We enjoyed another breakfast on the beach, replenished our water supplies, packed up camp, and set out for the trail.

One last look at the beach

Action shot!

Me crossing one of several streams along the way...

Whew! Vince and I made it out before sunset; check out those steps/floors!

Able to relax knowing we'd made it back safely, our appetites were running on all cylinders. We'd heard good things about a little barbeque stop in a nearby town, so making it there was our first order of business ;) It was a great choice (I went back for seconds!) and we left there happy and satisfied. We hit the road proud of our accomplishments, made short work of the drive to our B&B in Waimea, and went to sleep looking forward to seeing more of the island the next day.

Kauai- Day 3

Refreshed from a good night's sleep, Vince and I woke up the next day eager to explore the Kalalau Beach area. We enjoyed our camp breakfast of biscuits and gravy (thank you Mountain House) by the beach, drank our coffee to the sound of the waves on the beach, and headed out for an a.m. stroll.

We found the coolest spot at the end of the beach :D

Me in the corner (for scale!)

Vince enjoying the view :)

We spent the morning checking out the beach, getting fresh water, and hoping for some sunshine, but the clouds were not going to give up, so we went back to the tent to relax. It was nice being "unplugged!"

Wild goats showed up to check out the scene that afternoon- too cool!

We got up and walked the beach later on, but the weather wasn't the greatest, so it was a fairly uneventful day. That said, we were grateful for the tranquility and the time together, so we made the best of it and hoped we'd be as lucky with the weather going out as we had been hiking in...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Kauai- Day 2

Our alarm clock went off bright and early our first morning in Kauai and, although I am NOT a fan of mornings in general, I was excited to see what we had in store. Vince and I had decided to hike the Kalalau Trail on the island's Napili Coast. It's 11 miles (each way) of switchbacks, cliffs, and jungle, so we would definitely be checking off the "adventure" box!

We hit the road long before the sun came up to give us time for coffee, 
 a quick breakfast, and an opportunity to get a parking spot at the trailhead

Our stop of choice: the Kilauea Bakery

Deciding what to pick was the hard part!

Our baked goods were still warm in the to-go box- YUM!

With our parking spot secure (yay!) we enjoyed our treats
in the car, readied our packs, and set off for the trail

The gentle beginning...

Amazing views were around each corner- we were speechless

We took a quick water break and enjoyed the sound of the
waves against the shore before getting into the serious part...

Can you spot the trail?

One of several pristine streams along the way

A feathered friend checking us out :)

Somewhere around mile 8 or 9...

Almost there...

Made it! We surveyed our camping options and set up shop

Our next chore was gathering water; luckily this waterfall made it easy! 

Beach pic for the books :)

Our first beach sunset of the trip- beautiful

What a day! Feeling quite accomplished, we enjoyed our camp dinner by the beach, finished organizing our campsite, and settled in for some well-deserved sleep