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May 10th 2008
Published: April 28th 2020
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Hawaii with Connie McGhee May 2008

Day 1

We stayed in a decent resort on the beach and near a little touristy retail area, just north of Lihue. The first day we decided to go to Opaeka'a falls and on up to Waimea Canyon. We met a nice couple at the canyon named Bill and Michelle.The canyon was beautiful. It's called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, but I thought the lush greenery along with the red canyon made it even more beautiful. It was so pretty. Driving to the waterfall at Opaeka'a I was amazed at all the chickens. There were chickens everywhere!

Later that day, we walked to the retail area and met a woman named Althea, our tour guide extridinarre, that worked for a time share next to our resort. She drew us in and it turned out to be a great thing. She was up on the best of everything on the Island of Kauai. We agreed to sit through a two hour sales pitch on our last day and she set us up with discounted tours, names of the best restaurants and places that we should go. It was a good thing because we didn't really have anything planned.

She suggested that we eat at the Lighthouse Bistro near that lighthouse, so we did. It was good. I took a lot of pictures of the lighthouse and we went on around the Island to check it out. It is truly paradise.

Day 2

We were awaken by a rooster crowing. Yes, there were chickens at our resort too. We went all the way to the end of the road on the North side to Ke'e beach and checked out the rock overhangs and then went on a hike up Kalalau trail. It was quite a hike, up a dried up creek bed most of the way to the top, then along hot dusty trails. It led to a secluded beach, but the hike took longer than expected and we needed to get back down to the beach if we wanted to snorkel, which we did. We went to Ha ena state park beach to snorkel. It was a rocky beach, but we got to see sea turtles in the waves. We did a little snorkeling then ate dinner at Wahoo's restaurant in Hanalei. It was good food and we ate outside in the town.

Day 3

We went back to the North of the Island and I dove at Kee beach a little once I found a dive shop and got a tank. It was difficult dragging my gear down to the beach and the dive was not really worth all the effort. I decided that was the only day I was going to dive. Since Connie didn't dive, there was really no point in me going off alone, when we had so many other things to do. After the dive and some snorkeling we were both tired so we just went back to the resort and relaxed and ate pizza in the room.

Day 4

This was the day for the Na Pali Coast raft tour. Our captains were Emilio and Ma'nu. Ma'nu was a lot of fun and really knowledgable. He chatted with me for most of the raft ride out because we both shared a love for history. He told me about an archaeology site where they recently found a skeleton of a red haired European built woman from 50 BC. Really interesting. We got to go to the ruins where they found that woman's grave. Oh, yes, there were chickens there, too. It is a completely isolated place surrounded by shear cliffs. The only way to get there is by boat, but there were chickens. The raft ride out along the coast line was amazing. We had spinner dolphins leaping beside our raft (a Zodiac) as we zoomed along. We visited some amazing sea caves that we got to go into and check out. Then we went ashore at the ancient site with the ruins and Ma'nu guided us on some of the stuff they found there. It was right up my alley. The coastline itself was spectacular, with all the jagged yet lush green cliffs. It was like a post card. We had so much fun. We even got to snorkel a little while there and the water was so clear and full of fish. Best day of the trip, for sure.

When we got back to the resort, I went and got a Lomi Lomi massage, which was nice. Then we went out to dinner at the Bull Shed over looking the ocean. It was a very nice day.

Day 5

We started the day with a really cool helicopter tour (one of the many things we got to do because of Althea). We flew over the entire Island, including the Na Pali coast and into Waimea Canyon where there is a beautiful waterfall that was used in some old movie, but can only be accessed via helicopter. The tour guide showed us the mountain on the Island that is the wettest place on Earth. It was a breathtaking tour.

Afterward, we toured the west and south of the Island which is drier and less lush. We intended to snorkel and watch the sunset, but we did neither. It was still a nice drive. We ended up eating at a cafe overlooking Port Allen and hung out with 4 military boys. They were a lot of fun.

Day 6

We went to the presentation for the time share in the morning, which was boring, but was worth it for all the discounts. We then went in toward Lihue to Lydgate state park and snorkelled a little. Mostly we just did laundry and rested.

In the evening we got picked up for the Smith Family Garden Luau. It was a very nice property with sculptures and manicured lawns. It looked Asian. They cooked a pig traditionally, underground and when it was done some locals in traditional grass attire blew conk shells in each cardinal direction to announce dinner as being ready. We then were taken to a huge eating area where we had the pig, some poi to dip it in (which is the proper way to eat poi), and way too many Mai Tai's. After dinner we, were taken to a ampitheater where we were treated to entertainment showcasing the traditional dances of all the Polynesian Islands. They ended the show with some fire dancers. It was a lot of fun, especially since we were a bit lit. We got pictures with the fire dancers and then they took us home where we crashed. By the way, they did have chickens on the property as well.

Day 7

Our flight did not leave until the afternoon, so we went back to the lighthouse, hoping to get to tour it. It was closed. We just ended up going back to the room and packing. We were early to the airport, so we went over to the harbor just to hang out for a minute. There were divers there and there were also dolphins in the harbor waters. The divers told us that they liked to dive with the dolphins in the harbor. I wish I had known that from day one. I would have loved to have dove with the dolphins.

We then took the extremely long flight home. It was almost 9 hours in the air. I couldn't sleep the whole way until we swithed in Chicago to a smaller plane where I did not have any seat mates. I stretched out and slept for the last hour of the trip. I was sooooo tired after I got home, I ended up taking another day off of work to recover from the jet lag. Still, it was worth the jet lag for the experience we got to have. Plus, it was the last state in the US that I needed to visit to get all 50, so that was a bonus.

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