I am lucky enough to have been born in the middle of March, which seems to conveniently coincide with Spring Break for us! This means that even when we’re not having a bonus year of travel, we are usually traveling on my birthday 🙂
This year we are in Kauai. I took advantage of it being “my day” to make a list of things I wanted to see! I love lists… and seeing new things 🙂
After making my list I decided to sit out on the balcony and enjoy the view of the ocean. Imagine my surprise when I saw dolphins not too far off the shore in front of our condo. I called Steve out to come and look rather urgently, because sometimes when you see whales from the balcony they quickly disappear. I didn’t need to worry… they stayed for quite some time… and there were a lot of them. I’m estimating we saw close to 100 by the time they were done swimming by.
We decided it was a “Dolphin Party” for my birthday. Steve thinks my dad sent them to me for my birthday. Believe what you will, but I’m just happy they came to celebrate my birthday 🙂
It was difficult to take photos, but Steve managed to get a few!
After the dolphin party we headed out for the day. I had read that there are two sets of falls you can see with relatively little effort, and they were on the list for today. The first stop on my list was Wailua Falls. When you get to the top of the hill where the lookout is, there is a small parking lot. Then you walk a short distance to the spot where you can see the falls. They were quite amazing! These falls are 173 feet high, and if you are old like me you may remember seeing them in the opening credits of Fantasy Island 🙂
I didn’t see anyone down at the bottom of the falls, but despite this large sign
… and a fence… some silly people were at the top of the falls… hanging over the edge to take a photo. Steve looked like he really wanted to do that to, but he restrained himself since it was my birthday!
Our next stop was Opaekka Falls. Yep, another waterfall 🙂
This one also had a small parking lot and a short walk to the lookout. This is a 150 foot waterfall that falls in two cascades all year round.
If you crossed the street you could look down over the Wailua River and a recreated Hawaiian Village.
Our next stop was supposed to be Kilauea Lighthouse, but we were getting too hungry so continued on to Hanalei for lunch. I kept wondering if Hanalei was of “Puff the Magic Dragon” fame, but when I researched it I discovered the songwriter said it was a “serendipitous coincidence” 🙂 Another burning question answered by “the google”.
Hanalei was another cute little town at the bottom of a hill. It was a bit chilly and cloudy (I’m sure you are not sympathetic with my version of chilly… perhaps 20 degrees celsius), and it reminded me just how different the weather can be on the North and South sides of the island. It is often sunny in Poipu on the south side, when it is cloudy and colder on the North side during the winter. If you are coming to stay in Kauai during the winter I recommend Poipu (if you like sunshine!)
We found a parking spot right away, and headed into the first restaurant we found which was called Kalypso.
It ended up being quite good and we enjoyed a nice birthday lunch 🙂
After we were refuelled we walked around the little town a bit. There were quite a few souvenir shops… as we have found in most of the little towns on this island. We all got excited when we saw this shop.
Steve was so excited he ran right across the street before I knew what was happening… this is why we don’t have kids… I can barely keep track of Steve 😉
He ended up buying some “birthday chocolates” for us to share (any excuse!) which were passion fruit/caramel/sea salt chocolates. Very delicious!
The town is quite small, but cute. It is basically shopping and restaurants that look like this…
As we were wandering we found this little mermaid photo opportunity. I could not resist since I am a mermaid. Unrefutable evidence: my sweet niece Jessica sang me a song that started with “My Auntie Lisa is a beautiful mermaid…” while she watched me swimming in the lake 🙂 Now we also have photographic evidence!
After our walk through the town we took a little detour down to Hanalei Bay which ended up being beautiful (and it wasn’t even on the list!) I imagine it is even more beautiful on a sunny day.
There is a beach, a pier and beautiful mountains in the background where you can see waterfalls!
There is a popular myth that a dragon lives in the cliffs of Hanalei and the hills are the outline of its sleeping head. So I guess Puff the Magic Dragon is not a serendipitous coincidence after all 🙂
We had planned to head down to a cave that was about half an hour further than Hanalei, but were running out of time as we had a dinner reservation at 6:15 (sunset reservation 🙂 ).
We decided to save it for another day, and headed back towards home. We made two scenic pit stops. The first was to look over the valley of Hanalei that goes towards the middle of the island. It is a beautiful piece of land with rice fields and lots of lush vegetation.
Our second pit stop was the Kilauea Lighthouse. It is currently closed as they are underpinning the road that is eroding away, but you can still see a view of it from up on the hill.
This is also a wildlife refuge and you can see tons of birds dotting the cliffside.
With the list being mostly crossed off we headed home to get ready for dinner. I had chosen the Beach House because several people had recommended it, and the views are supposed to be spectacular.
The views were spectacular!
I thought it was quite hilarious that every time you went away from the table the assistant waiter would come over, grab your napkin, refold it and put it back on the table. It seemed strange, and then the naughty part of me wanted to keep getting up to see how many times they would refold it!
The dinner was good, but expensive. I’m not sure if the food quality justifies their pricing, but it was my birthday so…. 🙂
We all enjoyed our dinners and a little after dinner treat too! Mom and Gary enjoyed a liquid dessert…
… while Steve and I had a very delicious carrot cake that also had pineapple and coconut in it! YUM!
Another excellent birthday for the books 🙂