kaua’i: beaches and cliffs

the beach

Kaua’i is beautiful. And a big change from O’ahu, which is the most developed island and full of tall buildings! There aren’t any tall buildings on Kaua’i, apparently because there’s a law that says that no building can be taller than a coconut tree!

juice stand

We flew on Hawaiian Airlines, which was fine and super short – about 30 minutes total. Then we picked up our rental car and headed for the resort. There’s just one highway that goes around the perimeter of the island, where all the towns are – the interior of the island remains all rainforest and jungle.

We got to the resort a little too early to check in, so we took a drive up to Hanalei, where there’s this little shopping plaza. I found a cute bamboo jersey dress and the yarn store!

Strings and Things

Strings and Things is half music store and half yarn store! They did have a little bit of locally dyed yarn, but otherwise a mostly mainstream selection. I do wish I’d looked for that yarn store in Honolulu that had Japanese stuff, but oh well.

Sunday we went for a drive up the coast and stopped at a couple of beaches for pictures and a little bit of walking along the water line. I’m a little freaked out about swimming in the ocean here because Kaua’i is known for rougher waters, a strong undertow and riptide. There was even a handout at the resort on “How to survive a riptide”. Yikes.

dangerous swimming

331.365 - hanalei bay!

Hanalei Bay was rated #1 beach in the world on some list – it does have a pretty awesome view!

the cliffs

picturesque beach

aloha from honolulu!

Well, we’re not in Honolulu anymore, but it was a snappier title! Today (Saturday) we arrived on Kauai but there’s lots to tell about our couple of days in Honolulu.

Long travel – 5 hours from Toronto to Vancouver (which was delayed), the longest airport transfer ever between the domestic and international terminals, and then the 6 hour flight from Vancouver to Honolulu. No free movies or tv on that flight, either, which kinda sucked – but since we arrived in Hawaii at about 5am Toronto time, I was sleeping anyway!

view from our balcony

We stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki, and although the room my sister and I shared didn’t have as nice a view as my parents’, it was bigger! The view from above was ours (there was an obstructed mountain view towards the right)…

waikiki beach

This one was the view from my parents’ room!

There was a huge pool, although it got pretty darn crowded in the morning.

the pool

Across the way right at the base of the hotel was the Royal Hawaiian plaza, filled with fancy shops and a pretty interesting food court. Coach, Ferrari (not the cars, but the apparel), Louis Vuitton, Tiffany…everything was there. I really liked how pretty much everything could be had in walking distance from the hotel! I know it’s pretty much a huge tourist trap, but sometimes that can be fun.

royal hawaiian

We had a fancy dinner at the “Top of Waikiki” restaurant which is a revolving dining room. They did have a vegetarian entree, a tomato gratin with fresh mozzarella and mushroom ragout.

token veg entree

The next day my youngest sister and I took a city bus to the Ala Moana Center, a huge open-air mall – the biggest in the world if the map is to be believed! It really was huge, but we didn’t do the whole thing since it was pretty much the usual stores. I did manage to zero in (by sheer luck) on a Hawaiian chain store with super cute clothes, Cinnamon Girl.

Ala Moana

And that was pretty much it for our two days in Waikiki! Good things about the Sheraton: excellent location, nice bed, nice lanai (balcony), nice pool, really good shower, excellent air conditioning, free wifi in the lobby.

Not as good things: super overpriced food even in the casual cafe (but there was lots else to be had close by in the other mall), no free internet in the room, and since it’s a huge hotel, there’s just so many people! I did really like it though, and I would’ve liked to stay another day or two in Honolulu, at least to visit some other parts of the city.

Now we’re on Kaua’i, everything must be driven to, and it’s much quieter. No air conditioning, but a kitchen. Everything’s a trade off! I think it’ll be pretty quiet here. I’m hoping to get some knitting done!