a few kaua'i photos.

Two years ago, when we visited Kaua'i for the second time, we had all sorts of adventures all over the island. We hiked, waterfalled, explored and ate well. This time around was different, because our vacation was about introducing Mari to the island, and not so much about us.

Which wasn't my mindset on day one.
{possibly the tastiest mai tai I've ever had, from Scotty's}
I was picturing drinking mai tais by the pool, absorbed in the latest Sunset magazine - or this book that I'm loving, on recommendation from sweet Jen - while Eddie and Mari played in the pool. That, my friends, never really happened. I didn't even crack open any reading material, though we did spend lots of time at the pool. And walking around our gorgeous retreat and looking at the fish and talking to the chickens. So many conversations with chickens.

We never made it out of our little world on the North Shore, and I'm not complaining because this trip re-introduced me to why I really love the island - the simple things - and it reminded me that Mari does this for me at home, too. She helps me pause, think and appreciate things pineapple slices. Or the red dirt for which Kaua'i is famous. Or tropical rainfall in the morning.

That, in a nutshell was our vacation: pineapple slices, red dirt, chickens, fish and agua. I mean water. Which, in Mari's world, is the ocean.
For anyone Kaua'i bound or considering, I do have a few tips to share, mostly about food.

+ If you're going to do Hawaii for more than a few days and are traveling with a child, book a condo or a resort with suite-styled rooms. In my opinion, having a kitchen is very worth having. Our favorite rentals are The Cliffs, but if you have a load of Starpoints to burn like we did, the Westin at Princeville is magical! It's also kid friendly, done very tastefully.
+ If you are staying on the North Shore, stop at Safeway in Kapa'a instead of Foodland in Princeville. It's a bigger, better market and a bit cheaper. Just a tad.
+ If you will be cooking on your vacation, pack a small travel-sized bottle of olive oil and bags of salt/pepper so you don't have to buy overpriced essentials when you arrive.
+ If you are dining out on the North Shore, we tried two restaurants that get two big thumbs up; in the Princeville Shopping Center, Frederico's Mexican Cuisine. It's basically a walk-up/order and take out, or enjoy on the patio. The veggie burrito is delicious. I had two in five days. And, just west of Hanalei, near the end of the road, is Mediterranean Gourmet. Worth the winding drive, if nothing else for the view, though the food is wonderful. Get the pesto flatbread, topped with pine nuts, feta and arugula.

For more goodness on experiencing Kaua'i, start here.


Karen said...

Your pictures made me want to book a vacation someplace relaxing ASAP! What a beautiful island and it looks like Mari agrees.

Jenna and Jason said...

Love that photo of Mari at the pool! Such an artistic view :)