A few weeks ago Cliff and I were able to spend 8 nights in Kauai.  We had the best time and I for one, can’t wait to go back! We stayed at the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort and Villas. It was the perfect place for us.  Each room has its own kitchen with a sink, dishwasher, stovetop, full size refrigerator, all of the  kitchen utensils you needed, and a washer and dryer. Scattered around the resort were about 20 Weber grills.

The hotel has 5 different pools spread out around the resort. We prefer resorts that are spread out, where you can always find a spot by the pool. And the grounds around this resort were really beautiful too. Princeville is on a cliff so the hotel does not have a beach. But there was a trail right by the hotel that led to a beach. Let’s just say it was always an adventure to get to the beach. I may have fallen. Twice.  And more than 3 weeks later I may still have a scrape on my thigh. Maybe.

On our first day there we decided to just explore the area around the hotel. On our way to the hotel the night before we both noticed a sign that said “beach access” with an arrow pointing towards the path to the  beach. We walked to where we thought we had seen the sign.  It wasn’t there so we kept walking and walking and walking. Probably about ½ a mile, until finally we decided, we must have missed it. So we turned around and walked all the way back to the hotel and still we did not see the sign. When we got to the hotel parking lot we finally saw the sign; about 20 yards from our room. And the trail was right in front of our room. Whoops! We walked along the beach for awhile and Cliff needed to get back to the room to watch the Bulls lose to the Heat. I went to the pool but it was raining on and off all afternoon, so I finally gave up and went back to the room as well.

That night we had dinner at the hotel restaurant, Nanea. They had a prime rib special. It was delicious! Our only problem was they gave us knives that were closer to butter knives than steak knives and we were struggling to cut our meat.  We kept looking around wondering if we were the only ones struggling. No one else seemed to be having a problem though!

On Monday we went to check out some waterfalls. First we went to Ho’opi’i falls. While there, we ran into some people who recommended we also go to Wailua falls. So after Ho’opi’i falls, we got back in the car and went to Wailua falls. Wailua falls is definitely the most amazing waterfall I have ever seen. The people we met gave Cliff directions to climb to the bottom of the falls. There is a path to the bottom of the falls, but it is muddy, slippery and dangerous. The first part of his instructions was: climb over a bent fence. There will be a sign that says “Dangerous conditions; do not continue.” There was a “path” with some ropes to help you down. We got about halfway down and I decided not to continue. I didn’t know how much harder it got and I wasn’t sure I could make it back up alive. But Cliff was not about to miss it so he continued on. I sat there waiting, wondering if he was going to make it back alive for what felt like hours! It was probably about 20 minutes! And he did make it back alive and he said it was spectacular. It ended up being his favorite thing we did on the whole trip!

That night we went to Hanalei town. It was only about 5 minutes from our hotel, but it was quite the drive getting there. Lots of S curves and one lane bridges.  Not exactly what we are used to in Illinois. We went to see Hanalei Bay and then we picked up a pizza. We got pepperoni and roasted garlic. Again, delicious. I drove home that night and it was terrifying! The whole time I kept saying omg! omg! omg! But I did get us home safely! Cliff drove the rest of the trip though!

On Tuesday we went to the St. Regis to use their beach. The St. Regis and the Westin are both Starwood resorts so the Westin provided an hourly shuttle to the St. Regis and we were able to use the beach chairs and enjoy their beach. Right when we got there we saw a balcony with a beautiful view of Hanalei Bay. Cliff was taking pictures and I spied a giant spider in a planter. I had lots of spider nightmares that night! The view of Hanalei Bay is beautiful but the beach at St. Regis was nothing special. We left the St. Regis and walked across the street where there is path to Hideaways Beach. This was my favorite beach we went to in Kauai. You have to climb down a steep hill to get to the beach. Again, there were ropes to help you down. But it was worth the hike. It was the second most beautiful beach I have ever seen. The first being Tulum, in Mexico. While we were at the beach we saw lots of people snorkeling right off the beach. We decided we would have to come back to snorkel.  We hung out at the beach for awhile and then jumped on the shuttle back to our hotel. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool and watching the Bulls lose again.

That evening we went to the Princeville Center to get tacos at Federico’s.  This is the second time we ate at Federico’s.  As much as I loved Kauai, we didn’t find too many restaurants we were interested in eating at. We enjoyed our prime rib, pizza and tacos but we decided from now on we were going to grill our own meals at the hotel. Eating out in Hawaii is expensive and it kills me to pay $30 for a steak that I can make just as well, if not better, at home for less than $10. So, the rest of the week we bought groceries and grilled out every night.

To be continued…