Aloooha! With our round the world trip OFFICIALLY underway, we started out on one of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai. The week was nothing but hikes, beaches, and a lot of spam musubi eating. Some really rough stuff. I have spent a lot of time on Oahu and have visited the Big Island a few times, but my favorite (so far) has been visiting Kauai. Much more rural than Oahu, the island of Kauai is an adventure land, but is also a place where you can unplug and relax. Here’s a quick recap of our time there:
Some other things to do while you are on Kauai: sunset cruise around the island. Now, we are usually not down for group tours. Being herded around like a bunch of cattle is not that enjoyable for us plus, most of the time the cheesiness level is unbearable. But, the sunset cruise gives you a different perspective of the island that you wouldn't be able to see unless you had your own boat. It’s one of the best ways to see the Na Pali coast which is an absolute MUST. We purchased tickets with the Holo Holo Kauai Boat Tours and set sail for the west side of the island. It was an enjoyable excursion filled with mai tais, beautiful scenery, and some interesting facts about the island. Passengers have the option to stay below/behind the boat where they are dry, although, slightly sea sick. Shane and I opted for the “action” seats in the front which were, by far, the best seats on the boat. Although, not the driest. Seeing the Na Pali coast in person is indescribable. It’s like you’ve been thrown onto the set of Jurassic Park and at any moment a Pterodactyl might come soaring out between the sharp ridges of the mountains.
When it comes to grabbing a bite to eat, you cannot go wrong with a Hawaiian plate lunch. Large portions that include a scoop of rice, some sort of tossed salad and meat; all at a reasonable price. One of the best places to get a plate lunch is the classic staple L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. Chicken curry katsu, Kailua pork, shoyu chicken, plus so many more delicious things await you. Also, for those who are daring, try their spam musubi. So so good. In fact, you can get spam musubi in almost any gas station/convenient store. In my opinion, they are the perfect snack for on the go. If you love chicken as much as Shane and I do, go see the Huli Huli Chicken man. It is by far the best Huli Huli chicken on the island. It’s just a little stand on the side of the road, blink and you may miss it. They grill the chicken halves on a grate over a fire basting the chicken with a “secret sauce” that only the chicken man knows. The portions are HUGE so come hungry! To cool off after a hot sweaty hike, stop in Hanalei Bay area to grab some shaved ice from JoJo’s. This isn’t your typical shaved iced that you find on the mainland. It is finely shaven from a huge ice block then covered with sugary sweet syrups, but they take it the next level by putting a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream at the very bottom.
We stayed in Princeville in a little studio apartment we found on VRBO. Princeville wasn’t our favorite but our apartment was walking distance from the Queens Baths which was pretty sweet and was just a few minutes drive from Hanalei.
Now we’re off to Oahu to stay with some family friends on the windward side of the island for a few weeks and then up to the north shore to stay at one of my close friends cottage. Having spent most of my time on Oahu near Honolulu/Waikiki, we’re super excited to explore other parts of the island. Will try my best to show Shane that we need to end up living here! (cross your fingers!)
Until then, aloha!
-Anna & Shane