We spent 5 rejuvenating days on the Garden Isle for our spring break. Waimea Plantation Cottages was our home for the first three nights on the quiet side of the Island.
My dad barbecued fresh Mahi-mahi, Opakapaka, steak, asparagus, and onions on our ocean view porch,
We drank tons of mai tais.
In town we ate at the Shrimp Station, home of the supposed “best coconut shrimp on the island” (the verdict: we’d had better, but it was still really good), and some really messy but satisfying shrimp tacos. Of course the sights were impressive too:
Beautiful Waimea canyon,
the Napali Coast (look familiar?) *cute Jurassic Park theme song*,
A tubing adventure down old plantation canals (sorry, didn’t get captured on film), and a self-guided tour of the Kauai Coffee Plantation.
The last two nights were spent on the resorty side of the island at the Sheraton. On our drive over there, we stopped in various quaint towns to eat ahi tacos & coconut ice cream.
We took in a view of taro fields.
Dustin jumped off a waterfall while we watched.
We visited a lighthouse and bird sanctuary, and walked on a quiet beach.
When we weren’t laying on the beach, getting a long overdue tan, and swimming in the ocean (we avoided the pool that had an odd green-ish tint to it), we visited the noted Spouting Horn that spits ocean water 50 feet into the air. We ignored the warning signs and walked down the rocks to a get a closer look (I guess Dustin got a better glimpse than I did).
We had to eat lunch at Puka Dog, the famous Kauai style hot dogs (that just so happened to be featured on Anthony Bourdain!) The hotdog or polish sausage, along with mustard and a special sauce (choose from mango, papaya, coconut, etc.) is contained in a bun with a hole at the top. A brilliant idea, really, except as you hold the dog upright, all the sauce drains to the bottom, so the last few bites are a little unmanageable. But I still give it a thumbs up, and I must not be alone because the line was going out the door by the time we left.
At Roy’s in Poipu we snacked on salted edamame seasoned with sesame oil, while we tried to decide what to order. With the help of our friendly and eager-to-please waiter, we ended up with a gigantic appetizer boat for 5 filled with all sorts of delectable things – Szechwan ribs, seared Ahi with spicy mustard and ginger, chicken and basil spring rolls, skewered shrimp, and fried wontons. Then I devoured some of the best fish I’d had in a while; Hawaiian Ono swimming in steaming Chinese ginger-sesame oil with fluffy jasmine rice. My Lime Drop was phenomenal, almost as good as the pineapple upside-down cake and the chocolate souffle with a molten center for dessert. We consumed so much, our table was one of the last to leave the restaurant that night.
There’s something about a vacation in a tropical place that makes it hard to come back to wherever you came from. We’re still transitioning back to day-to-day life in Japan, but the cherry blossoms are helping. They’re in full bloom right now and they’re beautiful. It’s our last spring in Japan to enjoy them so I better get outside!