To celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, we took a trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi (read the previous parts here). They say they get lots of rain in Kauaʻi, and we were about to find out if that is true…
Sunday, July 8, 2018
Once again, we got up at our regular time, although we did not have any place to be early in the morning. The morning worship service at the church that we had looked up in Līhuʻe did not start until 11:15, so we had time to take it easy.
We headed down to the Ilima Terrace for breakfast as usual. The servers liked Laura’s Mickey Mouse dress, and then they noticed Mickey on the pocket of my shirt, too. One of the servers told us that her brother worked at the Disney resort of Aulani in Oʻahu. You canʻt escape Disney no matter where you go! But thatʻs okay. She asked us if we had been there or if we were planning to go, and we answered no to both questions. This was meant to be a non-Disney vacation. Except for some of our clothes, I guess. As usual, the food was great and filled us up, and the servers were nice and friendly, too.
It was another rainy morning, and the open area of the lobby was roped off once again. We spent some time wandering through the lobby and looking at the shops, and then we wandered back to our hotel room for a while.
We spent our time sitting on the lanai and catching up on some of what was going on at home by social media. I suppose it is good to know what is going on with everyone, even on vacation. It looked like everything was good with everyone there. That was about all I needed to know because knowing much more than that takes you out of the vacation mode. Who wants that while they are on vacation?
Checking to see if it was raining. Yes, it was.
I also noticed that the mountain that we could usually see from the lanai was once again nowhere to be seen. But that was not surprising with the rain. I am sure it was still out there, even if we could not see it.
Remember when there used to be a mountain over there?
The more we waited, the more I realized that we could have gone ahead and drove to Līhuʻe a little early, because we were planning to go to Walmart sometime during the day. Because we did not need groceries, we could have taken care of that before the morning worship service, since that did not start until 11:15. But it was a nice, relaxing morning of sitting on the lanai, so we were fine.
The time did come for us to leave, and so we drove to Līhuʻe. Fortunately the rain had stopped, making for a nicer drive. We found where the Kauaʻi Church of Christ was located, thanks to those handy maps on Laura’s phone. The meeting place looked to have at one time been a house, and the street that it was on looked to be mostly residential. Nothing wrong with that, of course.
We walked inside and found a seat near the back. The worship room was long and narrow. Windows were open on the right side, and oscillating fans hanging from the ceiling helped to create a little bit of a breeze, which was nice. To start off the worship service, all of the visitors introduced themselves, and it appeared that almost half of the people there were visitors. Some mentioned that it was their second week of visiting, and I was thinking how nice it would be to have a two-week vacation in Kauaʻi instead of a one-week vacation. Maybe someday.
The worship service was good, and the speaker had a good lesson. Because we did not sit near the front, there were a few times that we had difficulty hearing what was said, because of cars driving down the street and past the open back door. But we heard most all of it just fine.
After the service, we signed the guest book. The church there also has a custom of taking photos of visitors, so we had our photo taken as well. It was a nice way of welcoming us. I wonder if our photo ended up on their Facebook page or somewhere like that?
Once we were properly photographed, we decided to go ahead and do some shopping. Laura found that there was a Del Sol store in the town of Kapaʻa. Because that has always been one of our favorite stores in Nassau, we thought it would be fun to visit the Hawaiian version, too. We drove on to Kapaʻa and found the Coconut Marketplace shopping center where the store was. And as usual, we made a few purchase of their color-changing shirts. Hard to pass those up. And these even said Kauaʻi instead of Nassau, too.
We looked around in the shopping center, and we decided that eating lunch might be a good idea. My stomach was certainly recommending that we do that, and soon. One of the stores there also had a deli and food counter, so we decided that would be a good place to eat. I got a flatbread pizza, even though I had just had a pizza for supper the night before, and Laura had a sandwich. We sat on an outdoor covered patio, and the weather was nice for that. It had not rained much, but the skies were still overcast. Some might have felt that it was a little warm outside, but we never mind that too much.
After eating, we did some more shopping in some of the Coconut Marketplace stores. We were not in that big of a hurry, but we knew that we needed to be back at the Grand Hyatt for our evening luau reservation. We had plenty of time before that, so we leisurely took our time.
When we had finished with all of the shops, we drove back toward Poʻipū and the hotel. But I had told Laura that we could stop by Hilo Hattie in Līhuʻe, so we did that on our way back. Hilo Hattie is a popular store on the Hawaiian Islands, probably more popular with the tourists than with the residents. As soon as we walked in, a lady behind the counter lured us over and got Laura to pick a pearl from an oyster. Laura picked one, and it turned out to be a large, pink pearl. She decided not to get any jewelry to go with it, so she got her pearl for $6. Not too bad. We looked around for a while, and Laura made another purchase or two before we left.
We then drove the rest of the way back to Poʻipū to be back in plenty of time for our reservation. But when we got to our room, the red light on the phone was blinking, indicating that we had a message waiting. I figured that was not good news. Sure enough, the message said that the luau had been canceled for the night due to the rainy weather. I guess that answered my question about if they had an indoor location as a backup. We could get a full refund, or we could get a reservation for Wednesday night. Or the concierge staff would help us find a luau at another hotel in the area. We would be gone by Wednesday night, so that was not an option. We decided not to try another hotel and instead just get a refund.
That was a little bit of a bummer because we had looked forward to it, but there was not too much that we could do about it. We were all dressed up for it because we were just going to wear to the luau what we had worn to church that morning. So we wandered around the hotel grounds taking a few photos since it was not raining more than just a few sprinkles at that time.
All dressed up (including our shell leis from Hilo Hattie) with nowhere to go.
You actually have to look closely to see Mickey Mouse on Laura’s dress, but he is there.
We went to the concierge desk to let them know that we wanted a refund. Because our luau tickets had been charged to our room, it was no problem at all for them to credit that back to our account. While I was at the desk, I heard someone else asking about the Makauwahi Cave, which we had thought about hiking to on the previous day but had decided against it. The concierge worker said that you could also drive to the cave, so we thought we would give it a try. It looked like it was not that far based on the map. The cave area would be closing at 6:00, so we would not have all that much time there, but we figured it would be worth a try.
The weather can change relatively quickly in Kauaʻi. What happened to the rain? Actually, it came back for another visit after this…
As it turns out, the road leading to the cave was even more rough than then trail would have been. Several of the bumps were just about all that our Mustang could handle. We kept going, thinking that the cave property would be just around the next bend, but the bumpy road just kept on going. So we eventually gave up and turned around, heading back for the hotel.
So once again, we were denied. That was like twice in one day. We tried not to be too discouraged. After all, we were still on vacation in Kauaʻi with great company (each other), a great place to stay, and a car to get us places. So we jumped in the car and headed out to see what we could find next.
On one of our earlier drives, we had seen a collection of shops in Kōloa, and we decided to stop in there to see if any of the shops looked good and if there was any place that we wanted to eat. We parked our car behind one of the shops. Right about that time, the rain decided it was a good time to become a downpour, so we got a little wet as we were going in.
We looked in a general merchandise shop first, seeing what they had that was similar to or different from everything else we had seen so far. We tried to wait out the rain, but it looked like it would be there for a while, so we moved on.
Our next stop was Crazy Shirts. This was not the first Crazy Shirts store we had been in, but we stayed here longer than we had in the others. That was partly because of the rain, I suppose, and partly because the workers there were friendly. One of them had even just moved there from Jackson, Mississippi. Small world! We did find a few shirts and made our purchase, heading back out to quickly walk through the rain.
The next several stores had some awnings that somewhat joined them, so we did not get as wet as we might have. There were a few eating places, but we did not see anything that really appealed to us, food-wise.
However, we did see something that looked interesting, a small museum of sorts about the history of the town of Kōloa. The area was the home to the first successful sugarcane plantation in Hawaiʻi, and the buildings that we had been in were the buildings of the town that grew up to support the sugarcane industry. That was cool! It is always interesting to learn some of the history of the places that we visit, and we enjoyed reading all of the signs in the museum.
Learning some history in the Kōloa History Center
Some of the exhibits inside the Kōloa History Center
After our history lesson, we decided it was time to get something to eat. Laura checked her phone map, and we decided on something Mexican. So we drove to Līhuʻe to a restaurant called Margaritas. This restaurant was in a small shopping center of sorts, and we had to get a parking ticket to enter the lot, although the sign said that any of the establishments there would validate your parking.
The restaurant was upstairs on the second floor. And like most everything we had encountered so far, it was an open air building. We were shown to a table next to the window (although there was not actually glass there). Although it was still raining, the large awnings kept the rain from coming in, and we had a great view of the street below and the water way off in the distance.
Of course, we did not actually have margaritas, since that is not our thing. But we each did have burritos, and they were quite good. There were not that many people eating there, but that was probably because it was already after 8:00 PM. We did not get quite all the refills on our Cokes that we might have wanted because the service was a little slow, but otherwise it was all good.
When we went to leave, there was no one manning the gate arm to exit the parking lot. At first I did not know what to do. But then I saw a box with a slot on the top of it. I slipped the validated parking ticket in there, and the arm opened right up. It would have been nice if there had been a sign of some sort saying that, but we figured it out.
We only had a short drive back to Poʻipū and the Grand Hyatt hotel, which was nice. Even though it had been somewhat of a relaxed day, we still found ourselves to be quite tired at night. Blame the time zone change, blame old(er) age, blame just being excited to be on vacation. It was not a bad thing, either way. And once again, we enjoyed a good night’s rest.
Check back soon for more from the 2018 Kauaʻi Trip Report!