Today we reached our last port of call: Kauai. I’ve been to Hawaii before, but never to the “Garden Island”. Fred has told me many times about how beautiful it is, so I really couldn’t wait to see it for myself. The kids were both excited, too. We knew we’d need a rental car, so we booked one online the night before (in our wait-until-the-very-last-minute style). Luckily the internet cooperated! We had several places on the island that we wanted to see and renting a car was the only option for us. I suppose we *could* have taken one of the excursions offered by the cruise company, but why spoil our record now?
Since a lot of cruisers rent cars from the nearby airport, the rental companies offer free shuttles from the port. With that in mind, Fred and Kayla left at 9:30am. They went to take the shuttle to Avis at Lihue airport, so that they could come back and pick us up at the ship. Kyle and I stayed behind to prepare a picnic lunch and get all of our stuff together for the day. We would carry it all to the car once they were back. The weather was supposed to be perfect, with a high just under 80 degrees and only a 20% chance of rain. It was convertible weather – red convertible weather to be exact 🙂
We took off down the highway towards Waimea Canyon Lookout, our first point of interest. There were plenty of places to see along the way though and we found ourselves pulling off at one “scenic lookout” after another. We even saw a local cop pulling off to check out the scenery. Good for him. Everyone should take time to stop and enjoy the beauty around them – especially in a place like this, but truthfully there is beauty to be found just about anywhere. Here are some photos from the scenic drive on the way to Waimea Canyon.
We stopped at a market along the way to grab an iPhone charger. That way we wouldn’t have to worry about our batteries going dead & since we were using Waze for directions, it was necessary. I found it interesting that I could just put in “airport” or “spouting horn” and immediately get the places I wanted. Even “cruise ship terminal” worked just fine for an ad hoc address. There just aren’t enough places here to require an address for the major points of interest. I wouldn’t want to have to type in some of the addresses here though. One street name we saw was over 15 letters long!
On highway 550, we saw a small waterfall right by the roadside and had to stop again! We pulled over in a convenient parking area, stepped over the guard rail, and walked through the red dirt to see the sights below.
We lost cell reception near Waimea Canyon Lookout and Fred needed to get on a business call at noon, so we didn’t have much time there. We stayed for just a few minutes to take photos and then headed back down. We swapped phones with another group; they took photos of us and we returned the favor. The one that they took is the featured image at the top of the page. The rest are shots that both Kyle and I took. I also snapped a shot of him taking photos. He was doing the same to me during the day (as you can see from the shot above). It was an ongoing joke between us 🙂
Once we reached the main highway again, we turned back toward the airport and planned to head to Spouting Horn Park. On the way there, we had to search for a place that had good cell reception. Then we pulled over so that Fred could have a quick business meeting via phone. Then we continued on our way. By this time, I wasn’t feeling well. Unfortunately, I had to stay in the car for the rest of the trip. The kids and Fred got out and checked out the blow hole, where the water sprays up through a large hole in the ground every few minutes. Kyle got some good pictures.
After that, we made a quick stop by Poipu Beach. Fred wanted to show the kids this particular beach because he remembers swimming there when he was a lot younger. He said the current had been so strong that it pulled him under and he’d almost drowned. Luckily, there were lifeguards at the beach today and I know I read tons of warnings both online and on the beach about the strong undertow. It’s a really beautiful area, but I think there are better beaches for swimming. I did get out here briefly, but I just sat on the ground while everyone else walked around. Kyle got some good pics. I think we may have actually stopped at more than one beach, but honestly I was feeling so lousy that I don’t recall for certain. Here are some of the shots that Kyle took.
We had to skip the Sleeping Giant Trail since I wasn’t feeling well and we were also running out of time. We will probably hike it next time we are here, which will be in February of 2020. I can’t wait!
After Poipu Beach, we made a quick stop at the grocery store for more supplies and then headed back to the ship. We spent the last part of the afternoon on the large balcony near our room on deck 11 aft. It was another beautiful sunset. I found myself spending a lot of time here over the past couple of weeks. It’s really quiet, has only about ten lounge chairs, and it seems very few people know about it. It’s the perfect place to sit and read, think, meditate, etc.
It’s really difficult to put into words just how fortunate I feel that I had the opportunity to spend all of this time traveling the world with my family. There are so many memories that we have now – things we’ll cherish for the rest of our days. Even though we have been crammed together in a tiny room for sixty days, there has not been a single argument. It’s been a joy to share this time with them. I know that Fred enjoyed the trip immensely. Kayla and Kyle will never forget what they’ve experienced. This trip has changed all of us; it’s made lasting marks that will forever enrich the way we perceive and relate to the world around us…and that is a truly priceless gift.