Kauai Day Four, Saturday
Woke up at nearly eight, made vanilla macadamia nut coffee (had chocolate macadamia nut yesterday) and then went with Drew to work out in the resort's gym. Ran a mile and did a little bit of leg workouts and then realized my shirt was chafing my burn too badly to continue. Came back, drank coffee, ate half a bagel, called Troy and remembered today is my Nanny's 90th birthday! Yaaay!
We all decided to go to Koke'e State Park and drive Waimea Canyon, which is the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific Coast”. Speaking as someone who has hiked the Grand Canyon, Waimea Canyon is way too green and the temperature is way too cool. ^_- We all pile in our two rental cars (after another intensive sunblocking expedition of layers of sunblock, clothes, sweater [even though it was a bit too warm for a sweater], and packed our backpacks with food bars and water and towels in case we went swimming) and drove to Waimea, which took nearly half an hour. Beautiful drive!
While on the drive with my friend and Clay in our car, I called to wish Nanny a happy birthday. Troy had told me that as a surprise, they were picking up two of Nanny's best friends and taking them to dinner and then to a Cirque de Symphony performance. I talked with Nanny and wished her a happy birthday, and talked with mom and dad for a while. Dad told me that he and mom stayed a night where we were headed when they honeymooned by hiking the Na Pali coast!
We started the drive up the canyon. It was incredibly beautiful, but hard to take pictures of because there is so much lush vegetation that it blocks the view half the time! Luckily during our hike we had some great views. After over ten miles of winding roads, we pulled over at the Koke'e State Park trailhead and began hiking down to a waterfall. We suspect it was nearly two miles each way, it took about an hour to go down, some of which was nice and easy, some very steep and slippery! The views along the way were incredible, especially on this one big rocky area where the canyon just opened up before us. There were some switchbacks and steep parts after that, but we finally made it down to two waterfalls, an upper and a lower one. We spent some time there, and Allie even swam (I reapplied sunscreen to the few spots available to be burned) and ate a yogurt bar and drank some water.) Then we went to the lower waterfall which was just gorgeous and took some more pictures. We finally decided to head back, feeling the heat and feeling kind of hungry and thirsty. And MY GOD. Are these people ever in shape. It took us about 45 minutes to get back to the top, and the whole time I was sweating and panting and dripping and gasping and at the back of the pack. Allie was hopping around like a mountain goat, and the guys have such long legs they were making big strides, and Andra is just in great shape. I lugged along behind them, wishing I would take off my sweater but afraid to give the sun another chance. FINALLY we made it to the top! Whew!
We drove back the way we came and stopped in a small town for Jo Jo's Shaved Ice. I had a tropical paradise, which had guava, passion fruit, and some other flavor, plus macadamia-nut ice cream at the bottom. Delicious! I loved the ice cream so much! Then we decided we were too hungry to wait for dinner at a restaurant, and walked to a small taco hole-in-the-wall. This food? So amazingly good. I had seared wasabi ahi taco with cabbage and a wasabi aioli sauce on a homemade tortilla with some mild salsa and some homemade tortilla chips. The taco was big and stuffed, there was a lot of ahi that was so deliciously rare, and we all just fell in love with our food. A definite must whenever in Kauai!
One bad point to today: I discovered BLISTERS on my chest from the sunburn! Very small, clear blisters on the reddest parts! I am so upset, I hate that I damaged my skin so badly. I am NEVER going to go without sunscreen again. Ever. This is just way too painful and way too scary to deal with. The bright side is most of the sunburns are not as painful today, just a few around the edges of my bikini. Gah.
So we came back from Waimea, taking a quick detour to find where the blowhole spout is (right by us) and found a great deal on snorkeling equipment (Boss Frog's, must go back) and realized we were right by Poipu Beach, which is supposed to have great snorkeling. Unfortunately we were too darn tired to explore any of that today.
Now we are back in the resort. Allie, Zach, and Clay are at Shipwreck Beach boogie-boarding, though it is nearly dark and they should be back soon. Andra and Drew just drove to rent a movie for tonight, and I am sitting here by myself after a shower and reapplying medicated Aloe Vera all over. Yay!
As soon as my friend and Drew come back I'm off to the main area to connect to wifi and to upload these last few days posts and put the pictures up! . . . they are home now and could not find the movie place but did buy some pasta to make for dinner!
We are having a wonderful time, sunburns aside, and I am just in love with how beautiful Kauai is. The only thing that would make this vacation even better is if Nick was here. Then it would be perfect.