I figure three months late is better than never at all....
Somewhat fitting, as Scott and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary last weekend and with that, acknowledged the 23rd anniversary of Hurricane Iniki, which destroyed much of Kauai, days before we were scheduled to honeymoon there. Our honeymoon plans were altered - swapping in Maui's Ka'anapali coast for the southern point of Kauai. It would take us nearly 23 years to finally make it to Kauai, so a three month delay in recounting our trip seems appropriate.
Fortunately, I rely upon technology and vacation downtime to record snippets as the events are happening, or else I simply forget the details. Most of today's post was written while we were on vacation, capturing the real time essence of our experience.
We arrived late Tuesday night after a full day of travel - there's no easy / direct way to get to Hawaii from the Midwest. Still, it was a perfect day to fly and all our flights were on time or early. The worst wait was for the rental car - 45 minutes too long. I should have learned from our trip to Italy not to rent from Dollar rental car and need to remember that for the future.
We checked in around 10pm, which is like 3am CDT, so needless to say, we were Zombie city. It was difficult to find our room, and when we did, we all collapsed into bed. Except for the Boy, who was hungry. He ordered a full meal from room service and ate the entire thing while the rest of us slept. I didn't find out until the next morning when I found the remnants outside our room.
I awoke around 7am with my stomach grumbling. Quietly tip toeing out of the room in search of coffee and something to eat, I stopped abruptly after rounding the corner - this was my first daylight view of paradise:
All I could think was "wow", we passed by all this last night, oblivious to it all...
I found the Starbucks, located at the Seaside terrace, an open air space in overlooking the ocean, flanked by palm trees waving in the ocean breeze. Most of the Grand Hyatt common spaces are open air, open roof, and beautifully landscaped to maximize the connection to nature and the sea - the warm, fresh air, the sound of the surf, the faint scent of plumeria in the air. The resort sits along the ocean, with swaths of sandy beach cut among the black lava rocks, aptly named Shipwrecks beach. To the east, the Mahauluepu heritage trail weaves high along the coast, providing spectacular vistas.
We spent the rest of the day exploring grounds of the resort - with its multitude of pools, paths, restaurants and spaces. We hiked up to the eastern cliff, Maka-wehi point, before waking up the kids for lunch. We enjoyed lunch at the Iliana restaurant, where a pair of white swans glide in the lagoon next to the terrace. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the salt water lagoon. I brought Brian to the beach, with the pounding surf and we had fun just letting the waves hit our feet and more..
The experience whetted the boys' appetite for adventure, so after dinner (Hamura’s Saimin Stand in Lihue), we bought Boogie boards to use.
|A local favorite - Saimin, an upscale Ramen|
It was certainly a wonderful start of our vacation. 23 years later, we finally arrived.