A July 2005 trip
to Kauai by bmesser
Quote: This was week one of our first trip to Hawaii. Kauai did not disappoint. We loved it there and would move there in a heartbeat.
Kauai is wonderful. Don't stress that you won't do it all, because you can't. Determine what is most important to you and focus on that. Take time to relax and enjoy just being here.
One day we found a beach to play wiffle ball on. It was a challenge with the incoming wind. The beaches in Kauai are almost all deserted. There are so many of them and really not a lot of people on this island, comparatively speaking anyway.
Kauai is not very commercial. The Coconut Marketplace is a nice place to shop and is just down the road from Pono Kai. I also enjoyed just walking from the resort through downtown Kapaa.
My husband likes to mix with the locals. He met a man named Yoshi when he was considering whether we should eat a coconut he found on the beach. Yoshi warned that we would get sick and got us fresh coconut. He lives very simply near the beach, and my husband took his picture feeding the wild roosters.
We fell in love with Kauai. It is very relaxed, and we spent a lot of time just enjoying our oceanfront resort.
Hotel | "Pono Kai Resort"
We arrived at the Pono Kai after about 17 hours of travel. I asked at check-in if we were able to see the ocean from our room and was pleased to find that we had an ocean-front unit on the top (3rd) floor. This was a one-bedroom, one-bath obtained with Bluegreen points.
The unit was very clean. The master bedroom faced the parking lot and the living room had the lanai overlooking the ocean. If you opened the sliders, you could hear the waves washing against the shore. We got up for our first sunrise and walked along the beach. Paradise.
The kitchen had plenty of room and storage. It was very well stocked with pots, pans, and casserole dishes. There was service for six, even thought the unit accommodated four. Towels are changed out every other day (trash also), with a full cleaning midweek. We had plenty of room for four, although bathroom timing was required.
There is a welcome session/continental breakfast where the concierge brings in various activity people to sell you on their tours. Raffles are held for two-for-one deals after each presentation. Your welcome packet also includes a couple discounts and a restaurant discount card, but we didn’t use this.
My daughter spent a lot of time at the pool, and we also played bocci and croquet. One evening, my son, daughter, and husband joined some of the locals in a sand volleyball game at a park at one end of the beach. I enjoyed the rather central location. Traffic could be an issue at times since it is only on a two-lane road.
Kauai is less commercial than some of the other islands and very quiet. My husband got a kick out of the wild roosters. We took a helicopter tour and a catamaran tour on the Napali coast. One week is not enough time to do all. Next time, we will skip the commercial items and spend more time exploring.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 14, 2005
Pona Kai Resort
4-1250 Kuhio Highway
We had to get up early to be at the docks before 7am. We took Bonine the night before and again that morning. Unfortunately, that was not enough for me. Once the boat stopped to see dolphins, it rocked and I got sick. Waves were rough on the way out, as admitted by our captain. I could not break out of it. My son took some Dramamine on top of the Bonine that another passenger had and was able to bring himself out of it. I don't think it helps that they have breakfast onboard.
My son was the only taker for the intro scuba dive. He trained as the boat toured, so he was ready to go in once we stopped to snorkel. He spotted a 5-foot reef shark on his dive. Scuba is now something he wants to look into more when he goes to school in Rhode Island next year.
I regret not getting my sea legs, but the staff was wonderful. A monk seal was spotted resting on a beach that we passed. I had to give my husband control of the camera since I could not get around. They say it is all in your head, but I don't agree. If you are prone to motion sickness, this is a long ride before they stop to snorkel.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 14, 2005
Kauai Sea Tours
4310 Waialo Road
Kauai, Hawaii 96705
Attraction | "Will Squyres Helicopter Tours"
I purchased our certificates online through Hawaiisavers on Ebay for $215 a pair. I called ahead to make our reservations since we were traveling in peak time.
Although the helicopters take off from the airport, you check in at their office near Hilo Hatties. They shuttle you to the take off-site. Seating is prearranged by weight of the travelers, and each helicopter seats six.
We chose Kauai for the helicopter ride because of the NaPali coastline. It is only visible by air or sea. They videotape your takeoff and arrival and fill in with a typical air tour for your option to buy a DVD or VHS recording of your trip. They showed ours on the ride back, and we ended up purchasing it.
The ride is breathtaking. You wear headsets, through which the pilot explains what you are seeing and offers history about the island. Ours was a little light-spoken and sometimes hard to hear. There is no explaining the beauty of the view. Don't be disappointed if it is overcast on your scheduled day. Rain fills the waterfalls and adds in the sun for a rainbow. We saw a beautiful one, but I wasn't sure if my flash was turned off yet, so I didn't get a picture. You can really only take pictures out your one side, but most of the time, the pilot will face both directions before leaving that area.
Having done this once, I would not do it again, but I would recommend it for a one-time splurge.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 14, 2005
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
+1 808 245 8881; +1
We took a ride up to the North Shore one day. We drove to the end of the road, but you're better off with a high clearing car. I had trouble turning around in my full-size rental. We stopped at what I think was Tunnels Beach to take a couple pictures. I hear that in the winter the north side is too rough to swim. It appeared pretty calm when we were there.
Heading back, we stopped in Hanalei. My son was getting sick, so we didn't spend a lot of time. There are a lot of shops to walk around and a nice little shopping center Kauai style. There are a number of one-way bridges on the north end. Not everyone stops to let the traffic from the other side go. I made a point to stop if I was a ways into the line and saw traffic waiting on the other side.
Another stop we didn't get to make on the way back was to the lighthouse and bird sanctuary. I am a lighthouse lover and really was disappointed that I never made it back. One reason to go back to Kauai!!
There is so much to do and see, we didn't even scratch the surface. You want to have time to just relax and enjoy it as well. Take your time and enjoy; you are in paradise!