25 October 2009


Dusk and the sad goodbye - Marriott Kalapaki Beach, Kaua'i

Queen's Bath - Princeville, Kaua'i

Hideways Beach - Princeville, Kaua'i

View from St. Regis Princeville Hotel

Tip Top Cafe - Lihue, Kaua'i
I’m very, very tired this a.m., too. No more up at 5:00am on Chicago time! We have been so physically active most days and then I stay up too late blogging…

I talk to GiGi a bit, and then JE. But, it is time to do the final packing as we check out by 10:00am and then we are going for our third trip (PM’s second) to Tip Top Café.

The Marriott has such a great set-up for guests with late flights. They not only store our bags, but provide an Owner’s Lounge and Hospitality Suites where we can shower and change and generally make ourselves presentable for the Mainland.

Tip Top is hopping on this Sunday a.m. We talked about visiting New Hope Community Church, but the logistics of packing, checking out, etc. overwhelmed that idea. MM, PM, and CA cannot resist the Macadamia Nut Pancakes, but MM adds bacon to his order and CA opts for the ubiquitous SPAM. I consider the Loco Moco which is a hamburger patty, an egg, rice, and gravy, but it is pricey ($10.50) so I settle on the scrambled eggs, fried rice, and bacon. YUM and QUADRUPLE YUM. We are happy.

We journey up the Eastern Shore to the St. Regis Princeville Hotel—in the past this hotel wasn’t the St Regis but everything is more beautiful than ever, so it must be a good thing. We have plenty of photo ops with “Bali Hai” and the horizon before walking back to the guard house, cutting between the tennis courts and a private home’s swimming pool to find the trail to Hideaways Beach—our first time on this trail. It’s a fun but steep trail—challenging but only a 10 or so minute hike and the beach is shaded and lovely.

It is SO hot this morning! By the time we head back up the trail we are huffing and puffing and sweating up a storm. I lobby for a trip to the Princeville Marketplace before attempting Queen’s Bath hike, so we find the bathrooms and then Lappert’s for our final ice cream of this vacation.

The hike to Queen’s Bath is similar to Hideaways, but not quite as perpendicular. There are waterfalls off to the right at several points and the beach here is limited but the volcanic rock abounds. The waves here can be treacherous and they keep a hash-mark chart of the people who have drowned here—28 so far and counting.

We climb as high on the rocks and away from the edges as we can while still viewing the surf and waves. Queen’s Bath is farther to the left than we remember but we reach it and are dazzled. The first time we came there was an Irish Setter swimming in the tidal pool and CA couldn’t resist climbing down for a swim, too. The tidal pool and gullies are constantly changing as they are hammered by the surf and waves. It’s fun to see fish washed up over the rocks and into the pool. There are many, many guppies is the crystal clear water.

We are mindful of the time because the rental car is due back, with a full tank of gas and a receipt proving we purchased the gas within 10 miles of the airport, by 3:00pm. We make it with minutes to spare and PM and MM unload their baggage and we all walk to the departure area. CA and I are able to summon the Marriott Shuttle and are delivered in just a few short minutes to the front lobby.

I’m hungry but CA is not so we head to KuKui’s for some tropical beverages and a snack—French fries with sea salt. And, they are hot and plentiful. We sit for quite awhile as the Yankees are playing the Angels for the American League Championship Series and there are several televisions within eye view. The Yankees WIN and will face the Phillies for the World Series.

We find chaise lounges on Kalapaki Beach and take in the view, rest, and read. Of course we have to take a few final photos. Later we walk over to Nawiliwil Harbor to the ABC store to exchange one of the grandchild gifts we purchased last night, and then return to Kalapaki Beach for a bit more beach time.

By 6:00pm we are ready to shower and change and think about dinner—we’re too full from the French fries so we go to the upper lobby and catch the airport shuttle. By 7:30pm we are checked in and just beginning to take in that we are leaving Kaua’i… Next time we will stay longer. We find a deli and share a turkey sandwich while we wait for our 9:15pm flight to LAX and then to Austin, TX.

We’ve had a wonderful week with PM+MM, and they are on a mission to Maui to determine which one of the three Hawaiian islands they visit this vacation is the best. Kaua’i will win.

No comments: