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Friday, October 20, 2017

Recommended in Kauai

We just got back from a trip to Hawai'i. 

TL;DR: here's a video:

Full version:

John's daughter was married on Kauai October 10, in a botanical garden on a bluff overlooking the ocean. We all attended a luau the night before. The ceremony was beautiful and sweet, and the rain stopped just in time.

It was my first time on this island, John's second. Andrew (John's son) and Bonnie (John's mom) traveled with us, and we enjoyed exploring the island with the Shaka Guide driving tour app. John purchased three tours, and they were well worth it. Word of warning: the app uses GPS, which makes the tour accurate and fun, but it also sucks your phone battery, and quickly. 

The trip was nice. It rained every day. Many beaches' undercurrents are dangerous and too strong for swimming, especially in the winter months. Did you know there are feral chickens on Kauai? It's true. They're everywhere. Don't feed them. Knowing this makes Heihei funnier. 

Since we were looking for recommendations, and you might be, too, here's a list of some things.

To eat, we recommend: 

Kauai Pasta - Great pasta, salads, and desserts. It's a sit-down, not a grab-and-go, so plan some time. In Kapaa, on the Kuhio highway; the parking lot is in front, so it's set back a bit from the road.

Sleeping Giant Grill - Recommended by a friend, I was skeptical when I walked inside to find a dog standing by the front door. Just the same, I ordered the Ahi Wrap, John ordered the Ono Tacos, and we couldn't have been happier with the food. This place used to be called Kilauea Fish Market, and was featured on Food Network for Best Thing I Ever Ate.

Kauai Juice Co - We actually just stopped here and I ran in, but looking back I wish we would have done this more than once. I bought a bottle of Pineapple Grapefruit Strawberry Lemonade and it was perfection. I will dream about that drink for a long time. I'd have loved to try more of what they offer. More than one location; we went to the one in Kapaa.

Beach House Restaurant - This is where you go when you want a nice dinner overlooking the ocean; I'd recommend it for a date, for sure. Get a reservation, and pay attention to what time the sun will set so you don't miss the view. The food is OUTSTANDING. It's in Poipu.

Uncle's Shave Ice - They have Shave Snow, which is shavings of sweetened condensed milk rather than ice, so if you're into creamy shave ice, there you go. But we totally recommend getting there early in the day before they sell out of the Honey Toast: it's toasted Japanese Sweet Toast with the center cut out and cubed; and that center is filled in with ice cream. Honey is drizzled all over the top. (Don't ask if it's Like French Toast -- they seem to not like that question.) A small order with macadamia nut ice cream is what we recommend, and yes, the small was enough for the two of us to share. We went to the location in Poipu.

Lappert's Hawaii  - Get this ice cream. Just get it. Whatever you choose, it's the right choice. We went to the Hanapepe location, but look for it all over the island.

Ono Ono Shave Ice - John got this drink-thing called a Halo Halo (kind of a Filipino shaved ice sundae), which besides being tasty was also very pretty with purple taro ice cream on top. 

McDonald's - Before you judge, just listen: you know the fried pies? They have one that's made with Taro. That's right, #PoiPie. Get one, just to say you did, and you're welcome.

Other recommendations:

Boat Tour of the Napali Coast - We took a sunset dinner cruise, so no swimming or snorkeling, but a buffet dinner was served, and we were impressed. We chose Holo Holo (there are other companies), and we liked it a lot. Our boat had a capacity of 49, and the crew srsly anticipates and attends to needs you didn't know you have until they offer. They're so great. You can only see the Napali Coast by boat or helicopter, and it's stunning. Take some motion sickness meds ahead of time, and dress in beach wear because you'll get wet.

Shaka Guide (see description above)

Pua Day Spa - Get a Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage. The massage wasn't on the beach (still have to try that some time), but it was a nice experience.

Yoga class on the beach - Abhi from Sound Space Yoga taught a class we attended our last morning on the island. It was so refreshing and relaxing and more than I hoped it would be.

Going running 

Going to a Zumba class as a couple

Doing yoga together in the morning on the beach

I've been asked, "What was your favorite part of the trip?" and my answer is, "Being with John Dye." It's true. It's maybe too sappy for many people, but it's the truth: I love spending time with him wherever we are. 

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