another cliché
travel blog

a poorly kept travel journal

Wednesday: Arriving

Woke up after packing, got on the plane (we left a bit late/on time for me, but then the flight was delayed 45 minutes, so we ended up having time to grab breakfast).

The flight was uneventful, we read and watched Juno. After picking up our bags and car, we dropped our stuff at the rental and haded to Hamura’s. I was quite satisfied. After lunch, we came back to the rental, picked up groceries from across the street, then got dinner at Bubba’s and called it a night.


After a lazy morning, we rented snorkle gear and meandered up to the north shore. First stop was shave ice from Hee Fat General Store, then food from the House of Noodles (nothing special). From there we headed to Queen’s Bath, but the line for a parking spot was three cars deep, so we bailed and went to Tunnels. Snorkeled there for a bit, then sat out and read. After the second rain shower, we packed it in.

We ended up back in Hanalei, and grabbed coffee (meh) and a super tasy gluten free brownie from Hanalei Bread Company. From there, we went back to Queen’s Bath, which was amazing! We saw only a few other people out. Because it was late in the day, Amy and I were some of the last people there, so we had the pool to our selves as the sun set. Pretty great. Did a little tide pooling, too.

After cleaning up from the muddy path, we tried to walk in to Bar Acuda (despite my protests, Amy’s never head the song…smh). Turns out you need a reservation. Kauai’s grown up a bit, it seems. So we got a reservation for 7pm on Sunday and walked across the street to Kalypso’s, a sports/tiki bar with standard fair.


Went for a short run in the morning, then headed out to the Waimea Canyon for a hike. Traffic was terrible (it’s worse than I remember). Hiked the out-and-back two mile trail to the falls, for which we were woefully over prepared. 7.5L water between us, about 18,000 calories, head lamp, first aid kit….

After we got shave ice, (not as good as Hee Fat) the read on Russian Fort, until a bit before sundown.

We drove from there out to RumFire in Poipu and had poke and a drink as we watched the sunset. Grabbed dinner at Tortilla Republic (nothing special), then called it a night.

I read. Amy adorably curled up next to me and passed out cold.


After lazing around for a bit, we went for a short run along the beach, then decided that today, we’d go stand up paddle boarding in the Hanalei River. We stopped for coffee at this place called Art Cafe Hemingway in Kapa’a. Ok coffee, but the food smelled great. I’m ambivalent about it’s existence. After driving up to Hanalei, we picked up the boards and launched right from the “Dock Dynasty”, that the outfitters had. Went up past the bridge into the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, and somewhere around the big bend found a nice little hole in the vegetation to have lunch in. We busted out the snacks, and promptly were snacked on by a whole cloud of mosquitoes. We beat a hasty retreat.

On our way back down river, it started to rain, which felt amazing! After talking about doing yoga on the beach, we felt inspired and started doing some on the paddle boards, to varying degrees of success. Right as we passed some people dining out on the shore, I attained a super stable tree pose, that eventually became less stable and ended with a loud “shit!” and the slap of my back against the water.

After stopping at the cars for water, we continued down towards Hanalei bay. The rain picked up again (still felt great), but we packed it in. Tomorrow we’re hiking some portion of the Kalalau trail, and today was supposed to be a rest day.

Sunday: Hiking the Kalalau trail

Hiked two miles along the Kalalau trail to Hanakapi’ai beach, then two miles inland to Hanakapi’ai falls. The only other place on Earth that’s as pretty is the gorge we rafted through in Costa Rica. Absolutely remarkable.

Ate lunch (BLATs with Hawaian kings bread!), swam in the pool under the falls (Lepto be damned!), then hiked out. The heat was bad by the end of it and we were both ready to be done, but a few more miles wouldn’t have been the worst.

We got back to the house, showered, changed, and grabbed a nice dinner at Bar Acuda. Nice, but what you’re paying for is a nice meal while on vacation.

Monday: Recovery

After hiking the trail the previous day, we thought it’d be best to kick back. So we took it easy. Coffee in the morning from Java Kai, a bit of shopping around Kapa’a, lunch from Anatta’s, then lounging on the beach. Really good burgers from the Kalapaki beach hut, then home.

When we got home, just for shits an giggles, we went for a short run along the beach. Much to my surprise, it felt great! After dinner we did origami and drank the sparkling rosé Amy brought with her to toast her promotion.


Slow morning. Woke up, made breakfast. We made ‘plans’ to get coffee and wait for The Green Pig to open up for lunch, then head to the north shore to check out the Kiluea Lighthouse, play a quick 18 holes of minigolf, and get some time in the water at Secrets.

So, we got coffee, lounged around Java Kai for a while. Stumps was still there, joined by the same chicken and an adorable little kitten on its way to the vet. Neither of us were particularly hungry, so we passed the Pig and headed straight to the lighthouse.

The Kiluea lightous and it's massive piece of glass
The Kiluea lightous and it's massive piece of glass

Post lighthouse, we stopped at the mini golf/botanical garden for a round. We learned that the Japanese immigrants to the islands were the ones to bring with the shave ice. So, woo fore bearers. Also, shout out to ze germans for bringing the fried meat and gravy.

Post golf, we headed out to Secrets. It was beautiful, but the break and currents looked pretty bad, so we contented ourselves with reading and, for a short while, feeding the mosquitoes. We then walked the beach (which despite being a nude beach, had more than just naked old men), and saw many other people with boards reach the same conclusion we had: maybe another time.

Still wanting to get some swimming in, we headed up towards Hanalei and did a bit of body surfing, followed by pizza.

We were home by 8 and happy about it.

Snorkling on the north shore

Woke up early, got some nosh and coffee from Java Kai, and then headed to Hanalei for a boat tour of the north shore and some snorkeling.

The trip along the north shore was beautiful, saw some spinner dolphins and the terrain Amy and I had hiked a few days previous. Seeing the remainder of the trail that we didn’t hike was an inspiration. If I ever come back, getting a permit and hiking the rest of the Kalalau is definitely on the list.

When we reached the end, we snorkeled for about an hour where we saw all manner of fish and a white tipped reef shark.

The boat was rigged up with a great sound system and the guide, Red, or the captain, Don, had great taste in classic rock. So that was cool.

Coming back from the boat tour, we hit up The Green Pig for lunch (solid food), checked out the Kapa’a farmer’s market, then killed time in Java Kai before heading to dinner at Hamura’s.

Following dinner, we drove along the south shore out to Salt Pond park in Hanapepe to stargaze. It’s amazing how many stars are drowned out by light pollution! Saw a bunch of shooting stars and identified a few different constellations. We did notice one puzzling thing I’m still working on figuring out. In Sagittarius, there was a still object that blinked once every 30 seconds. Not sure.

Hiking the Sleeping Giant

After a lazy morning, we returned the snorkel gear and hiked the Sleeping Giant. It was gorgeous, but the heat had me struggle busing hardcore.