At this point I think we are both contemplating how to stay on a Hawaiian vacation forever. There is nothing like the relaxing island way, waking up to some freshly brewed Kona coffee, putting on some boardshorts and a t-shirt, getting in the car, snorkel and fins in the trunk, and heading out to the beach of your choice to do some snorkeling and relaxing in the sun. Aaaahhhhhhh.
New Years eve was a blast. We took our time getting ready, drinking some champagne or a mai-tai or two. Then we walked from our room over to the Princeville Resort for dinner. Now, when most people think of a buffet, they think Sizzler. Well, I can tell you, this WAS NOT Sizzler. We ate at the Hanalei Café, unlike any other café either of us had seen, and by the end of the night we both were singing the praises of the best buffet we ever had. There was lobster…..and I mean LOBSTER. Steamed half lobsters with the claws still attached, stacked in HUGE steamers just sitting there ready to be drenched in butter. Mel had four, on a mission to get our money’s worth. Sushi, sashimi, caviar (where Jeff decided he would get his money’s worth), all the shellfish you could imagine, prime rib, tenderloin, pastas, Chinese style dishes, and the most tender rack of lamb you could imagine. Then there were the deserts, which Mel is still talking about. Add a bottle of wine and you have yourself quite a New Years/3 year anniversary feast. Then it was on to the “extravaganza” a fun party set-up in the lobby of the resort. We continuously referred to it as “prom” because it had that sort of feel; large decorated entrance-way, couple’s pictures at the door, stage with the 80’s loving band belting out the hits, bad dancers, people overdressed, people underdressed; all surrounded by Venetian Carnival style decorations. We rung in the New Year with a sip of champagne and a kiss and then it was time to lug the aching feet back up the hill to our room, we were both still on Pacific time and it was past 2am!
New Years Day we awoke to be a bit hung over, but would we have expected anything less! Mel was up and ready early, pushing us out the door by 9:30am to go on a walk along the beach. Flash found a coconut and tried smashing it open for Mel, should have had a video camera for that one. We soaked up some rays till 11:30 on the resort beach below our hotel. Then it was off to meet Browne, Steph and Browne’s mom for lunch. We ate at Hanalei Café. Wait, isn’t that where we ate for New Years- the point is if you come to Kauai, eat at the Hanalei Café!!!!
After lunch, we continued our mission to find a sea turtle for Mel. We headed to Tunnels on the North Shore, a short drive from our hotel. What a beautiful day we were blessed with, a little windy, but tons of sun. We snorkeled for a while; saw tons of fish, but no turtles. We watched the sun set behind the Na Pali mountain range and packed it up. Once arriving at our car Mel went crazy with the locals selling fruit out of the back of their trucks. We bought a coconut, drank the milk and had it smashed open to get the meat inside. We also bought some avocado and some crazy tropical fruits, can’t remember the names but one is a “star” something or another. Dinner tonight was Bubba’s Burgers. Then it was a dip in the hot tub, then back to the room. Jeff did some reading while Mel fell quickly asleep watching Blue Crush(her favorite surf movie) on the laptop.
Friday was another cloudy and rainy day. That sent us on a mission all over the island, in search of sun. We didn’t find any, but we had fun trying. First it was off to the exact opposite end of the island, Polihale Beach, stopping in Kapa’a for some coffee and breakfast. To get to this beach you have to drive to the very end of the highway, and then start driving on a dirt road for another 5 miles. Since the weather was crummy and it had been raining the night before the road was a little muddy, Mel had a great time turning our little Alero into an ATV. We stayed there for about an hour, then the big, ominous clouds rolled in and we decided to move along. We drove through Waimea (brah) and headed down to Po’ipu. We tooled around the Hyatt resort (tropical paradise for ONLY $400/night) and ended up in their relaxation lounge area, with an amazing view out to the ocean. We sat there and read for awhile, sucking down some pina coladas. Then we attempted to swim in their pool and use their slide. The lady manning the slide kindly requested our room number and last name. Attempting to be a trickster Jeff said matter-of-factly, “6124, Gordon” (which is our room at the Hanalei) Well, turns out, all those guards have room lists with the last names of the guests, 6124 didn’t happen to be the Gordon party, so we were asked very kindly to exit the pool. Then we made our way to Koloa for some shopping, where both Mel and Jeff bought nice new Reef flip-flops. Then back around the island to Hanalei, a dip in the hot tub, a shower, some more champagne, and up to the Bali Hai restaurant. A great seafood dinner and some wine and it was time for bed. Details of Saturday (surfing & snorkeling) and Sunday (powered hang gliding, Na Pali, and more snorkeling) to follow soon…