Mechen and I went to Kauai for a week-long, “Hooray, we get to spend extended amounts of time with each other!” vacation. We planned for the last-week in August as joint vacation time, but the location didn’t get finalized until fairly late. We were thinking of road-tripping it to a variety of fun places within doable distances for a week vacation- Vail, Napa/Sonoma, SF, Northern California. But then I had a “Screw it!” moment. We’ll have plenty of time in the future to take the cheapy option of road-tripping. Not to knock road trips- we had a great one in January- but I wanted to VACATION in a way that will be harder to do in the future if our family plans go the way we hope (i.e. please, please not during residency!).
So, Mechen told me a budget for our surprise destination and Kauai it was! The airfare was definitely a hit on the pocketbook, but we went pretty low-budget on the lodging through rented rooms and condos (VRBO.com, I love you!). We also rented a subcompact car per our usual routine, much to the chagrin of the rental car lady who was really hard-selling every option. Her final blow was, “Don’t you want to rent a FUN car?” Um, no. I want to rent 4 wheels that work. You’re talking to a woman who owns the cheapest Hyundai model- cars are not that important to me. Although I’ll admit, I’m definitely an appreciator of nice cars when I’m getting a lift from a high-rolling friend, it’s just not important enough to me for me to own one.
So, we went on Sunday after the Hail and Farewell kept us in town through Saturday night. We landed in Lihue several hours later and it was amazing. Have you ever experienced the perfect temperature air? I’m not sure of the exact number, but I know I felt it. Combined with a light breeze, it was perfection. We hopped in our most ono car and headed for the West Coast, to Kakeha. We stayed there for three nights and went to Kekeha beach, Barking Sands beach, Polihale State Park, Waimea Canyona and Koke’e State Park where we went on two hikes. We saw beautiful fog while hiking along Hanapu ridge and more fog and neat ecosystems while hiking the Alakai swamp. The hikes were a lot of fun, plus it allowed us to explore while staying out of the sun all day, every day. Although try as I might with the sunscreen, I got burned a few times. The sun was no joke. Also, Kauai was talked about as being such a beautiful place that people would take helicopter rides to see it. Helicopters were advertised as the best way to see the island up close- well, what about hiking? It was a lot of fun and Mechen and I had a great time. Of course, if we found a $500 bill on the sidewalk that said, “You must spend this on helicopter rides,” of course we would have. But we felt it wasn’t completely necessary for an amazing time and I feel pretty confident that we were right.
I’ll write more about our East Coast Adventures in another post but for now, details…
8/15: Hawaiian Air from SD –> Honolulu –> Lihue
Lodging: Mindy’s Rental (http://www.vrbo.com/94780)- 2 blocks from a beach with narrow strip of sand but nice sunsets!
Food highlights: Shave Ice (Jo-Jo’s Clubhouse), Pina Colada by Mechen, master mixologist!
8/16: Hanapu Ridge Hike (4 mi)
Halipole State Park
Shave Ice! (Jo-Jo’s Clubhouse)
8/17: Alakai Hike (7 mi)
Barking Sands Beach
Shave Ice (Jo-Jo’s Anueanue)