After a long day of traveling, with quite a few unexpected glitches, both my mom and I finally arrived in Kauai late last night! Though the cloudy, windy weather was unexpected, the resort is absolutely beautiful!
We went to an island orientation first thing this morning, then took a drive into town.
Our resort is in Princeville, on the north end of the island. We found a scenic pull off nearby, called the Hanalei Lookout. It overlooked a huge tapestry of taro fields and it’s really hard to see in the picture, but there’s a waterfall running down the entire mountain in the background. Oh, how I love waterfalls!
Random fact about Kauai – random chickens and roosters are everywhere. This guy was in front of the grocery store, but we saw them near the airport, walking across the road, along the beaches…pretty much everywhere we went!
This is where we’re staying. So far, I’ve been very impressed!
The grounds are gorgeous and well-kept with water features everywhere.
And for this Tucson girl, the green everywhere is so appreciated!
We want to make sure we experience as much of the local cuisine as we can while we are here, so we went to the grocery store and picked up some of the most highly recommended foods – california roll poke, taro sweet rolls, char siu chow mein, Maui onion potato chips, cookies & cream macadamia nuts, mango, papaya, coconut peanut butter, and sesame seed macadamia nut candy.
We headed out to see the Kilauea Lighthouse, but found that it’s closed until Tuesday, so this is as close as we got!
But, man, the waves crashing against the shore, the lush surroundings, and, of course, a few roosters sure made it amazing.
On our way back, we found this adorable little fruit stand!
It was unmanned and there wasn’t a ton of fruit left, but both my mom and I just loved the little message on their box.
My mom picked out a couple apple bananas for herself (even mixed with an apple, I just can’t handle banana!)…
and we took home a massive grapefruit for us to share.
We stopped for lunch at the Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza place. We ordered a medium “Billy Holiday” pizza – smoked Ono, spinach, roasted onions, Gorgonzola rosemary sauce, and mozzarella. Uh-mazing. It didn’t taste fish-y at all. Just all kinds of delicious!
And, ohhh, the dessert – a lilikoi lemon bar, a guava macaroon, and, my favorite, the coconut chocolate eclair.
Next door, we visited a cute little shop full of homemade soaps and candles. I bought some mango body butter while we were there, because it smells fantastic. Hopefully I can resist eating my hands after I’ve used it. Fingers crossed…(while I still have them).
Then we ran across “The Coconut Experience.” These roadside stands have been our favorite part so far!
At this particular one, we were hoping for some locally made coconut ice cream, but they didn’t have any available today, so we “settled” for drinking some coconut water. It tastes absolutely nothing like the coconut water from the store. The lady explained to us that commercially made coconut water is taken from coconuts before they’ve grown their “meat.” Her coconut water was just sweet enough and extremely refreshing.
And then we headed out to Anini Beach! It was still a bit chilly and extremely windy, but the view was just breathtaking. The swells were massive and the wind was whipping around some windsurfers out in the water.
Clear water is my favorite.
And, because I really don’t want to forget about our first meal on the island last night, here’s a picture of our specialty saimin and warm mango cobbler from the Anahola Cafe and Saimin Stand. It was almost 8pm Kauai time when we ate, which meant it was 11pm Arizona time, and it was cold! There were only outdoor tables, so we shivered and tried to stay out of the wind until our saimin arrived and it warmed us right up. The saimin had homemade char siu, won tons, kai-choy, kamaboko, egg, green onion, thicker-than-ramen noodles, and the most flavorful broth. And the mango cobbler was just perfection with tons of fresh mango chunks and a sweet cobbler topping.
We drove around the island a bit longer, learning the art of crossing one-lane bridges, and now we’re back at the resort for the night.