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DansDeals Forum => Trip Reports => Topic started by: Shua on August 22, 2017, 01:42:00 AM

Title: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on August 22, 2017, 01:42:00 AM
Planning

My wife and I have been looking forward to going away for a few days for our 10 year anniversary. We needed a place where we could a) relax, b) have enough activities so we wouldn't get bored and c) not have zika. Unfortunately, that last criteria knocked out a lot of close options. Hawaii was always somewhere that I was really interested in but I knew that we would need to spend more time there than just a few days. (I'm not flying 10+ hours to go to one island for 4 days). I calculated that we would need a minimum of 8 days with 10 being ideal. After working out my both my work schedule and babysitting (huge shout out to my mother in law), we were able to get away for 10 days! Hawaii here we come!

Well now which of the islands would we go to? We would really only have time for 2. Besides for Pearl Harbor, Ohau didn't really seem to have anything else to offer. So that quickly whittled it down to 3 islands. After reading up online, it seemed like the big island had the most adventures/activities. If we would want to include relaxing we wouldn't be able to do everything the big island has to offer in the time period we were there. So we settled on Maui and Kauai. We weighed the pros and cons for a while on which island we should go to first and which island we should stay for shabbos. We ultimately decided on going to Maui and then Kauai. Reason being is that we a) would be getting a suite at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai (thanks @bades) which we wanted/needed for shabbos and b) because of the Grand Hyatt new kosher food restrictions we had to stay at Kauai last. After discussing with my wife, she said it would be blasphemous to go all the way to Hawaii and not see Pearl Harbor. I realized that instead of having a short stop over in HNL while flying from Kauai to NYC, I'll just expand the stop over so I'll have enough time to visit the USS Arizona memorial.

For food we ordered meals from pomegranate and bought a toaster oven for $18 in the Walmart in Maui. We were able to stuff in two meals in to it, but as there was no airflow in between the meals, we had to switch it out half way so it still took about 40 minutes to warm up the meals.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4425/36726184715_155ca01608_b.jpg)

I don't remember what nights we ate what so I will just list what we liked and disliked overall.

Great: Schwarma chicken, Sesame chicken, Szechuan beef, Eggplant parm, Mushroom rice, Popcorn cauliflower, Israeli couscous, Portabella mushrooms
Very good: Brisket in gravy, Stuffed cabbage, Spare ribs, Penne Ala vodka, Eggplant rollatini, Cheese blitzes, Mashed potatoes, Garlic broccoli
Ok: Corned beef (very dry), Hot poppers (no sauce)
Bad: General tzo chicken (had a weird taste to it)

We also brought a sandwich maker, bread, cheese and a few dried Salami as well.

For a car, I rented through Costco and got a convertible for Maui. I was supposed to get an Altima in Kauai but got upgraded to a convertible as well.


Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on August 22, 2017, 01:43:08 AM

Sunday

We flew direct from JFK to HNL. There's no denying it, it's a long flight. But to put it in perspective is shorter than flying to Israel from NYC. We had an hour and change stop over in HNL so we went to the plumeria lounge with our priority pass. Nothing major just basic drinks and snacks. Quickly boarded our second flight and a short while later we landed in Maui. Now I know Walmart is right by the airport but after flying all day we just wanted to get to the hotel and unwind. About a half hour later we arrived at the Wailea Marriot.


Driving into the Marriot

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4361/36330623860_c64d7546d0_b.jpg)

Open Lounge

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4401/36330621490_1ba7138e98_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4353/36558717032_76c51dea60_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4418/36726185625_588cc6c432_b.jpg)


We got upgraded to an ocean view room which was a regular room (nice but nothing over the top) but had a great balcony with views of the adult infinity pool and ocean.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4341/36330623580_907561dd33_b.jpg)


The hotel doesn't have a beach directly in front of the hotel, some might view that as a negative but we actually liked it as you had unobstructed views of the ocean from the pool.

Sunset our first night from the infinity pool (don’t worry that’s not me in the pool :P)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4336/36330622920_437f1bf0cb_b.jpg)

The “beach/coast” right in front of the hotel

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4419/36726184575_101e510ce6_b.jpg)

Wailea beach is a 3 minute walk from the hotel where they will set up a beach chair for you.

Customer service was fantastic with everyone really accommodating. They kept my box of pomegranate meals in their freezer and gladly gave me my meals whenever I asked.

There is a Starbucks on the property and they have Nespresso machines in every room

There is a game room with ping pong, a shuffle board, an xbox and kids games. Not 100% what’s in it because I didn’t go in.

There is a mens and womens lounge right next to the lobby. If you arrive before check in or have a late flight past checkout they have showers, towels and lockers set up so you can enjoy the pool/beach until you need to leave. The bellhop will watch your luggage for you until you need to leave.

There is a $30 resort fee as well as a parking fee. $25 for self parking or $35 for valet.
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on August 22, 2017, 02:15:04 AM
Monday

While jet lag affected me the first few days, my wife was able to sleep late pretty much every day. For Monday we had nothing planned besides relaxing and going to Walmart. I have to stress how important it is just to include at least one day of relaxing by the pool/beach. I really enjoyed all the hiking and activities that we did over the trip, but I think the "off days” were just as enjoyable. We made sure to be out by 8:00 to reserve a great seat by the pool.

There are 3 main pool areas.

The adult infinity pool in middle overlooking the ocean

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4432/36682360286_97a2847be0_b.jpg)


Cabanas in the water which you can rent (for what I am assuming is an outrageous fee, I didn’t ask)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4347/36330623290_b47d326a29_b.jpg)

 
The Kids area with waterfalls, sprinklers and 2 water slides (which they claim are the highest in Maui)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4403/36726186595_c8d864be3a_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4390/36330619440_435f298267_b.jpg)

View from the top of the water slides

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4396/36331349850_a0dc2476b1_b.jpg)


Then there is regular infinity pool (for kids as well) with hot tub attached. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of this area. There is also a regular (lap?) pool and a dive pool where they offer free scuba diving lessons.

The adult infinity pool is fantastic with unobstructed views of the ocean (it seemed closer to the water than other hotels in Wailea) but it is a drop cold at night.

After hanging out by the adult infinity pool for most of the morning, we decided to go to Wailea Beach (a 3 minute walk). The Marriot has someone who will set up a chair for you at the beach. We rented some snorkeling gear and snorkeled in front of the hotel. While the visabillity wasn't as great as the morning there were at least 5-6 turtles swimming in the shallow water.

Turtle sticking his head out of the water with the Marriot in the background.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4338/36330621890_40affbd2ed_b.jpg)

Later in the afternoon we decided to check out lapperts ice cream in Wailea shops. A bit pricey but really good.

Its kosher!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4403/36330621110_78465557c1_b.jpg)

After Lapperts, we drove to Walmart to get a toaster and some other essentials and made it back in time to see another amazing sunset.

The Marriot has a luau a few nights a week. If you want to just see the show (for free) just sit on the hill outside of the kids area pool. You have a great view of the whole luau and save yourself a $110

Originally we planned on going to Front Street in Lahaina to walk around, but we had to be up early the next morning for the road to hana so we decided to go there a different day
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: ckmk47 on August 22, 2017, 02:59:01 AM
Beautiful pictures!  The adult infinity pool looks continuous with the ocean. Clear narrative. I like understanding your choices.
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: yoohoo on August 22, 2017, 08:34:32 PM
Memories.....Great write up.
Happy to see Lapperts displaying the hashgacha (had certification behind the counter when i visited)
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: 12HRS on August 23, 2017, 08:14:59 AM
How did you book your flights?
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on August 23, 2017, 09:24:10 PM
How did you book your flights?
Through CSR. As I very specific dates when I had to fly, there was zero saver opening in both economy and/or business. After searching for a few weeks and seeing the prices slowly tick up I finally took the plunge and booked flying Hawaiian. JFK to HNL, HNL to OGG, OGG to LIH, LIH to HNL, HNL to JFK. 81,000 UR x 2
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on August 24, 2017, 03:35:11 PM
Beautiful pictures!  The adult infinity pool looks continuous with the ocean. Clear narrative. I like understanding your choices.

Memories.....Great write up.
Happy to see Lapperts displaying the hashgacha (had certification behind the counter when i visited)


Thanks! My first real TR (with pics and going into detail). Harder than it looks! I can see why so many people fail to finish...
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: davidmal on August 24, 2017, 04:07:05 PM
Thanks! My first real TR (with pics and going into detail). Harder than it looks! I can see why so many people fail to finish...
Do it now before you fail too!

I added a Wiki for you!
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on August 24, 2017, 04:36:47 PM
Do it now before you fail too!

I added a Wiki for you!
Lol, thanks! I'll use it as motivation to finish
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on August 25, 2017, 01:39:07 AM
Tuesday

We were on the road (after a quick stop in the Starbucks in our hotel) at 7AM. Made sure we had a full tank of gas and reset the odometer at road 360. We were about to take the full day long, exhilarating, amazing road to Hana.

I packed all of our valuables and essentials in one knapsack. I took this out at every stop without bothering to even close the top of our convertible. Too many stories of people getting robbed which would quickly turn the day into a nightmare. Snacks and a change of clothing we left in the trunk.

If there is one place to rent a convertible, this is it! With plants and greenery surrounding you on all sides, some sights would be missed in a regular car that you would only be able to see with a convertible.

The Maui revealed app was a lifesaver. Service is really spotty so Google maps is out. Relying on mile markers isn't great either because if you turn off the road to visit the ke'eane coast or the Nahiku road then your mile markers are going to be off. Another good thing about the app was the ability to favorite/mark places so it would allow you to quickly find it on the map

Its physically impossible to do all the sites in one day. It’s imperative to plan were to stop, were to hike/swim and were to keep driving. While I was making my list, I realized that if I would stop and swim in every waterfall that I wanted to see, I would run out of time and energy really quickly. So, I planned to have an extended stay by one of the waterfalls a third of the way in (either Ching’s pond, Three bear falls or Wailua ike) and then another extended stay by the black sand beach.

As we got an early start we took the drive slow allowing locals to pass us whenever there was a place to pull over. Nothing nicer than driving through the jungle with the top down and a perfect 80 degree sunny weather!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4370/35979315203_bdab47e644_b.jpg)


Our first stop was half mile past 11 Haipua'ena Falls. A 3 minute walk through a jungle path lead us to a pretty pool with a small falls.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4342/36649069781_a7328c147a_b.jpg)


After staying there for a few minutes, we drove on to the 13 mile lookout. What a view!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4332/35953730024_0d19769bbd_b.jpg)



Next we took a small detour towards Ke'anae Peninsula. The ocean crashes up on the lava rocks, really cool to see and definitely worth the detour.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4423/36788175005_7ed4b68829_b.jpg)

We took a quick stop over at Wailua Valley State Wayside which had nice views in either direction

Looking out towards the ocean

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4354/36649188721_cc8672ebc1_b.jpg)

180 degrees behind us to the mountains
 
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4406/36788174425_d82c5b68c7_b.jpg)


After that we arrived at Ching’s pond. After going down the trail for 2 minutes we get there…. and its completely empty. I know people really enjoyed swimming here and watching the people jump off the bridge. As no one was there and we didn’t feel the need to go swimming yet, we decided to push on.

Soon we came up to the three bears falls. Here was completely the opposite problem. It was packed! We then realized we would have to park up the road and walk all the way down to the beginning of the trail. We also noticed that the beginning part of the trail was a bit steep. So we decided to just take pictures from the bridge and move on.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4342/36649187851_45ce9d54d7_b.jpg)


Finally we came to Wailua Ike falls. With our permit in hand ;), we went on a short walk through the woods that would lead us to a huge falls.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4439/35953727604_e9a93c4262_b.jpg)

We kept going a bit further and it lead us to a really nice pool with a nice waterfall.

Only a few people were there and there was a nice rock to jump off and swim to the falls. Perfect! The water was a bit cold but really nice after walking through the woods to get there.

The girl is taking video of someone jumping off the rock

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4408/36788172485_586f50f0b6_b.jpg)

Right next to the falls

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4356/36788171535_54bfd37bb1_b.jpg)


After spending a bunch of time jumping off the rocks and swimming to the falls, we walked back to our car and drove to Pua'a Ka'a State Park. While the falls were nice, we mainly stopped to use the bathrooms!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4441/36740896236_cfc347be56_b.jpg)


We kept driving and made two quick stops at Hanawi Falls (I don’t think I took a picture) and
Makapipi Falls just to see the view from the top of the falls.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4355/36649170741_23cb03c220_b.jpg)

Both took a minute each but wouldn’t spend any more time on that.

We then took a detour on the Nahiku Road all the way to the end. There is a sign at the end saying the bridge is closed (for good reason, it’s a rotten wooden bridge) so just park in front of the church and walk to the coast. The drive on this road is incredible. You feel like your car will get swallowed up by lush greenery surrounding you from all sides.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4333/36740893956_e2827394d9_b.jpg)

At the end of the road (about a 10 minute walk) is the coast with a picnic bench to eat and chill.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4399/36740891086_959d0ef7b0_b.jpg)

We stayed there for a few minutes but not before checking out Nahiku Pond

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4417/36740890386_596ee03f49_b.jpg)


Now we started getting in to the outskirts of Hana itself. We drove by a few food stands and finally came to Wai'anapnapa State Park, which has the Black Sand Beach

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4423/36741361056_e2835b3725_b.jpg)

Apparently, there are a bunch of hikes/trails to the lava arch on one side and the cliffs on the other, but as we were getting tired we decided to just stay at the beach itself. As you can see the “sand” is actually small black rocks made from lava


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4426/35954234964_7279aa4493_b.jpg)

To the right of the beach there is this cool cave that is worth checking out.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4374/35953833954_948888ee19_b.jpg)

Now we drove to Hana bay to try to find the red beach. We found it but rust color is more accurate

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4363/36649286431_9e7c9eedec_b.jpg)


At this point we were starting to get tired but we drove on to see the Seven sacred pools. Until now we barley encountered any traffic coming the other way. Now, as it was later in the day there was a lot of cars making the way back from the seven sacred pools. This made it really annoying to pull over every minute or two and maneuverer to let the cars go through. I wanted to yell at them to just do the full loop! That section from Hana bay until the seven sacred pool was the worst driving part of the trip.

We breezed by Wailua Falls without even getting out of the car because as Maui revealed warned us might happen, we had waterfall fatigue!

We finally got to the seven sacred pools. As we were getting tired we decided to do the 0.5 mile loop. Unfortunately, the pools were closed as there was high surf. Not only were they not allowing people to swim they even closed accesses to get close to the falls.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4339/35953833054_fe8092820a_b.jpg)

As it was getting late and we were pretty tired we opted out of doing any of the longer hikes through the bamboo forest or to the other falls.

While most of the cars were turning right to go back the way they came, we went left to do the full loop. Wow, what an amazing road. First, if you think there is even a possibility that you won’t finish this road while it’s still daylight out, don’t do it. Many times, you are driving on a one car width, unpaved road at the edge of a cliff.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4332/35953832404_692ee7e0a2_b.jpg)


Then you realize, wait this part doesn’t even have a guardrail!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4366/35980104753_ab11a53aee_b.jpg)

It’s hard enough during the day, its verging on suicidal at night. That being said, I would highly recommend it. Totally different then the first part of the road but in some ways just as beautiful.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4361/36741689466_a5e8f5c06a_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4331/35954546114_4366697fe1_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4360/36789035725_64e240c3dd_b.jpg)


After driving through some narrow, windy, one car width roads we finally came back to normal highways. We got back to our hotel just in time to see another amazing Wailea Sunset

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4403/35954619394_76d432c63d_b.jpg)


So just some advice for the Road to Hana:

•   Do your research beforehand. What I might have loved, you would skip (for example we skipped some caves that you had to crawl through, we heard people who loved it).
•   Make sure you spend some time by at least one or two waterfalls. More than that you will probably run out of time or get too tired.
•   Rent a convertible! Its made for this road
•   Leave early. Then you won’t feel rushed and it wont be as crowded
•   Pack all your valuables in one bag. This will make it easy for you to grab quickly by each stop and you won’t worry about getting robbed.
•   Do the detours at Ke'anae Peninsula and especially Nahiku Road . Well worth it
•   Drive the full loop! Its beautiful. Just make sure you’ll have enough time to do it while its still light
•   Get the Maui revealed app. A real-life saver when you have no service
•   If you aren’t going to drive the back part of road and you can’t swim in the seven sacred pools (you can check online I think), I would just turn around by the black sand beach and go back there. Not worth the time and the annoyance driving to the seven sacred pools just for that

Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: yoohoo on August 25, 2017, 09:28:49 AM
Not sure why some have issues with Google maps on RTH. Worked perfectly for me all the way around even though I had no service.
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on August 25, 2017, 09:52:55 AM
Not sure why some have issues with Google maps on RTH. Worked perfectly for me all the way around even though I had no service.
It kept going in and out if service while I was driving. But I do have AT&T :-[
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: yoohoo on August 25, 2017, 11:25:46 AM
It kept going in and out if service while I was driving. But I do have AT&T :-[
I had no service at all but gps still worked
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on August 25, 2017, 02:32:52 PM
I had no service at all but gps still worked

Interesting, did you download the maps beforehand?
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: yoohoo on August 25, 2017, 04:17:47 PM
Interesting, did you download the maps beforehand?
no, navigation may not work but map and location do, I also used a guided tour app which uses Gps, worked great
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Dan on August 25, 2017, 05:37:33 PM
Great TR, keep it up!
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 03, 2017, 11:04:34 PM
Wednesday

When researching the highlights of Maui, I saw that sunrise at the Haleakala summit was one of the must do’s. The problem is that my wife and I are not exactly morning people (that's an understatement!) Being that sunrise was at 6AM we would have to leave out hotel at 4AM. Further complicated the issue is that there is no real prediction if the weather would cooperate for sunrise. Even if it doesn't rain, if the clouds aren’t perfect, then it turns a spectacular sunrise into an ordinary sunrise. Well I thought, what about sunset? While it's not talked about as much, I did see that people said that sunset is also quite beautiful. So, for Wednesday we decided to end our day with sunset at Haleakala summit.

Now what to do the rest of the day? We wanted to do some watersports and my wife suggested Jet skiing as she had never gone. There is only one (https://mauiwatersports.com) Jet skiing place in Maui. They have an interesting setup as you aren’t allowed to Jet ski off the beach. You meet a boat in front of the Hyatt Regency which then takes you to their jet ski “island”. There they have a large area where you can Jet ski and do tricks.

As the meetup was at Ka'anapali beach we decided that we would do the western Maui loop in between Jet skiing and sunset at Haleakala summit.

We left our hotel at around 9:30 as we wanted to stop off at Front street in Lahaina to buy some souvenirs. Front street feels like a seaside town with some cool Hawaiian flair. Nice place to have a quick stop and there is also a giant banyan tree that takes up a whole block

Yes, that’s only one tree

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4338/36765366956_7025cff9eb_b.jpg)

Ten minutes from Lahaina we pulled into the public parking lot next to the Hyatt regency. While we signed up for an hour session, from start to finish it took closer to two hours. You have to take a boat to the “island”, sign in, get some safety/instructions, jet ski and then wait for the boat back. To top it off everything is on Hawaiian time!

That being said, it was fantastic. I've gone jet skiing before, but there was something really amazing about zooming over the waves at 50mph with the Western Maui mountains in the background.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4403/36765365516_18251abb95_b.jpg)

Leaving Ka'anapali beach we drove to our first stop on the western Maui loop. The two-tiered pools. This entails a 10-minute walk through a field, then to a dirt path and finally down some steep rocks and you come to, some pools by the ocean.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/36952901885_82328d1bf4_b.jpg)

There was no one around and while pretty, it seemed like the reward was not worth the effort.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4347/36118404544_53edd7a60f_b.jpg)

We then left and drove about ten minutes to the blow hole. This was pretty cool as it was erupting every 30 seconds.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4340/36205354913_2c8982432e_b.jpg)

After that we drove to the olivine pools. Again, another walk/hike which led to some really steep rocks and finally the pools. Not one person was there and while it looked pretty, again not really worth the effort.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4395/36872960281_9e256633c5_b.jpg)

We then drove through the over the top road to complete the loop. Now this is some road!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4362/36952999945_bc997a64a5_b.jpg)

I took this picture from the plane. At the bottom of the mountain, you can see the over the top road cut into the mountain side.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4415/36556915130_22891e2062_b.jpg)

This felt like the back road to Hana but was completely paved. Was great driving at the edge of the mountain with some insane switchbacks. I would highly recommend driving the over the top road as its both beautiful and adventurous.

After finishing the western Maui loop we stopped off in Walmart for some snacks (you have to bring your own shopping bags!) and started the drive up to Haleakala summit.

The drive up is really nice with some great views. The temperature kept dropping as we went up the mountain. We were prepared and I was wearing 2 sweatshirts and my wife had on a light winter coat. Truth is it was more windy than cold at the summit. We bought ski caps as well but didn't need them.

Finally, we got to the summit.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4362/36952897755_ac39852829_b.jpg)

Sunset was absolutely amazing.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4341/36118401134_6fbeef4523_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4402/36872957051_781d7877b9_b.jpg)

And Gone.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4338/36177905114_ba5c89ff0c_b.jpg)

Once the sun set we waited around a bit for it to get really dark. I have never seen that many stars in my entire life. You could even see the milky way! Unfortunately, my camera phone wasn't able to capture it. We then took the long drive back to our hotel.

I think that sunset at Haleakala summit might be an option for some people who might hesitate about sunrise. It was absolutely beautiful, it wasn't crowded at all, it’s not as cold as sunrise, you don't need to make a reservation and most importantly you don't need to wake up at an ungodly hour on vacation.
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: tageed-lee on September 04, 2017, 12:47:13 PM
Very nice TR! Good job with the pics! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: davidmal on September 06, 2017, 02:53:36 PM
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/36952901885_82328d1bf4_b.jpg)
Stunning
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 10, 2017, 01:11:20 AM
Thursday

Originally the plan for Thursday was to go on a snorkel cruise to Molokini crater. But….  we had been running around Maui the past two days (Road to Hana (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=82882.msg1794107#msg1794107) and Western Maui loop (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=82882.msg1799203#msg1799203)) and we really enjoyed our first day of relaxing. As we had plans to have an active day in Kauai on Friday, we decided to just relax by the pool and do some snorkeling off of Wailea Beach.

It’s hard to say no to this view.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4427/36879195752_e963565bf8_b.jpg)

I swam/snorkeled from Wailea Beach (on the right) to Ulua Beach (on the left). While there weren't as many turtles as in the afternoon, the visibility was better so I saw plenty of fish.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4374/36992718791_ae54c498fa_b.jpg)

Here is where the hotel lounge really came through. Our flight was at 5pm to Kauai and check out was 12. They had no problem storing our luggage and keeping our food in the freezer while we hung out by the pool and relaxed. They had towels and showers in the lounge so we could change for our flight.

Before we knew it, it was time to leave and head to Kauai.

Overall, I would highly recommend the Marriott. The staff were extremely accommodating, everything feels new as it was recently renovated and the adult infinity pool is amazing. Also at 13.3k SPG point per night it's a very good deal.

Had an uneventful flight to Kauai and got upgraded to a convertible at Alamo.

Chickens everywhere!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4351/36963597742_75328da9ee_b.jpg)

Drove through the tree tunnel to the Grand Hyatt Kauai

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4376/37049817895_d43980a753_b.jpg)

There have been many trip reports with the Grand Hyatt Kauai pictures (so I apologize in advance) but here’s a few more.

The open lobby with the ocean window is beautiful

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4343/36215026194_886db662b0_b.jpg)

View from the front of hotel from the beach/salt water lagoon area

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4337/36861704816_1c6510ef14_b.jpg)

The hotel is huge covering 55 acers. The pool situation is really nice with an adult upper pool, a lazy river (with waterfalls and hidden caves) and a lower family pool. The lazy river connects the upper and lower level pools. There is also a huge salt water lagoon with a fake beach. The lagoon is so big that you can rent kayaks and paddle around the lagoon!

Salt water lagoon with the ocean in the background

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4351/36861699266_a7f0cc7b64_b.jpg)

Lazy river

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4381/36964123452_cdb6a999e2_b.jpg)

Lower family pool

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4368/36215025234_1415bb6b74_b.jpg)

We got upgraded to the garden suite. We specifically requested the garden suite as it was on the ground floor which would be better for us on shabbos.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4385/36879349412_e4878fd489_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4392/36861706406_293c3564de_b.jpg)

While I requested an extra fridge, the fridge they had in the room was large enough to fit 10 pomegranate meals.

We had an early day planned for Friday so we crashed after eating our Pomegranate meals.
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: yoohoo on September 10, 2017, 01:07:33 PM
Nice. How did you go about arranging shabbos (Doors, heating food etc.)? Plan on being there in Nov
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 11, 2017, 11:28:41 AM
Nice. How did you go about arranging shabbos (Doors, heating food etc.)? Plan on being there in Nov
Will talk about it more in the next installment (which I will hopefully finish before the end of the week!)
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: JS69 on September 11, 2017, 02:33:14 PM
Great report.

I had room 1029 a few weeks ago. Good suite in a quiet section of the hotel.
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 12, 2017, 09:43:48 PM
Great report.

I had room 1029 a few weeks ago. Good suite in a quiet section of the hotel.

Thanks!

Not sure what room number I stayed in (1029 does sound familiar) but I attached a picture of the map below with an red X of where my room was. While it was really nice and quiet, it was also really far from the lobby and the pools.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/37006318326_dbd703d047_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 12, 2017, 10:05:27 PM
Great report.

I had room 1029 a few weeks ago. Good suite in a quiet section of the hotel.
Ha! I just found my invoice and we actually did stay in Room 1029! Yes, really nice room but again very far walk
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 13, 2017, 01:57:05 AM
Friday

We started our day by getting breakfast/lunch from the grand club where they had our 4 kosher bagels waiting for us. There is also cereal, cream cheese, juice and fruit that are kosher as well. We then drove to the airport as we had booked the Blue Hawaiian helicopter tour at 9AM. The reasoning for booking it early in the Kauai portion of the trip was if there was bad weather and we would need to postpone, we would still have an opportunity to go on the flight later in our trip.

Blue Hawaiian is a really professional, well run outfit. There were a lot of people who were flying at the same time as us and they had everything down like clockwork. When you check in they ask you to step on a scale as they have to balance out the helicopter by weight. While I requested the front seat, they wouldn't be able to confirm what seat I had until just before boarding. Finally, after a short safety demonstration I got my seating selection. Front row, right side! As the helicopter goes around Kauai in a clockwise direction this is the best seat on the chopper.

Pictures don't do it justice.

Jurassic Park Falls


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4418/37199554295_430c28bfc0_b.jpg)

Waimea Canyon

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4380/37056869531_269b75135d_b.jpg)

Waterfall in Waimea Canyon

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4348/36384849123_ba8e4c02d3_b.jpg)

Na Pali Coast

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4408/36384594053_78e00c2c60_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4422/36801127760_62a303a86d_b.jpg)

It’s impossible to capture the beauty

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4403/37057009091_924e521e6f_b.jpg)

Inside the Mount Waialeale Crater

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4416/37056827621_f0a05c1aa5_b.jpg)

As many have said beforehand, this is a must do. So little of Kauai is accessible by foot/car that if you really want to see the hidden beauty you must see it from above.

After leaving blue Hawaiian we took a 15 minute drive to the Hawaiian village to kayak to the secret falls. I called them beforehand to set aside a kayak for us. It's a good thing I did because they ran out of kayaks shortly after we got there. Hawaiian village is the closest place to rent a kayak to access the secret falls trail. While there were many people who were on tours it's really not necessary and very easy to do yourself. It took us about 15 minutes of paddling to get the trail head and we took our time. There is also a fern grotto that you can kayak to if you are interested in kayaking more.

Map from the Hawaiian Village

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/37008581796_bff7a11221_b.jpg)

We really enjoyed the whole experience. The hike was really easy but very enjoyable through the woods/jungle.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4357/37050189401_74c5fdbc6d_b.jpg)

While some have warned that it was very muddy we got lucky as it was dry the entire time. We went slow enjoying the sights and it took us about 45 minutes to get to the falls.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4406/37192306325_2e5b82f5be_b.jpg)

We swam in the falls, ate lunch and enjoyed our hike and kayak back. On the way back to the hotel quickly stopped off in Safeway and Walmart to see what food we could get for shabbos.

We didn't have to shelp grape juice for 5000 miles!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4422/37192304175_47522cf8b2_b.jpg)

Salmon was perfect for Shabbos day and Shalosh Seudos

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4375/37008268976_fb34a8f0a2_b.jpg)


We got to the hotel in the early afternoon so we had some time to hit the pool before we got ready for shabbos.

As Dan has stated before there are a few issues with the room for Shabbos. To get around these issues you have to enable VIP mode on the thermostat, unplug the bidet, cover the sensors in the closet so the light won’t turn on, make sure the darkeners are up so you can walk out on the porch and tape the latch on the front door.

I had trouble with taping the latch shut (even when it was fully taped with heavy duty tape the door would still catch) so having the ability to walk out onto the ground floor was a life saver.

For food we warmed up the food in the toaster before shabbos and then lowered it to 200 and put on the timer for the longest possible time. I finished davening and food was perfect temperature for Friday night seuda.

Good Shabbos from Kauai!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4351/36794656200_cdcae26438_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: JS69 on September 13, 2017, 09:09:12 AM
Ha! I just found my invoice and we actually did stay in Room 1029! Yes, really nice room but again very far walk

Hysterical, We didn't mind the walk, it added to the activities everyday.

Great pics!
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 14, 2017, 02:36:08 PM
Shabbos/Saturday

This might have been the most relaxing shabbos of my entire life. We didn't bring/buy anything to heat up food for Shabbos day, but we still had plenty to eat. We had dried salami, challah and deli that we brought from home. The salmon that we had got from Walmart was delicious cold. We also had lots of snack, chips, and salsa that we found in Safeway.

It was really nice walking around the hotel grounds or just sitting on the swing overlooking the ocean. Unfortunately, they don’t give the cabana’s out for free anymore (it used to be a perk for Diamond members but that changed when they changed the program), otherwise we would have reserved that.

Nothing more relaxing (picture taken before Shabbos)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4343/36397442083_281a59fdcb_b.jpg)

Before we knew it shabbos was over. We decided to go to the Kukuiula shops which was about a 5 minute drive away. Was nice to walk around in and they had a Lapperts which had delicious ice cream.

Watch out for those crazy chickens!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4382/36215023534_839db9dd3f_b.jpg)

When we got back to the hotel we went to Stevenson library for some drinks as well as a few games of pool. Cool place with a nice vibe. We didn't stay out too late we had a full day up north planned for Sunday.
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: efflpetzel on September 14, 2017, 11:48:31 PM
Thanks!

Not sure what room number I stayed in (1029 does sound familiar) but I attached a picture of the map below with an red X of where my room was. While it was really nice and quiet, it was also really far from the lobby and the pools.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4442/37006318326_dbd703d047_b.jpg)
Hey that was my room

I'm starting to think that they put the DDF crowd in the same room.

Seriously though I loved the location of the room, whilst being a walk from the pools the grassy area was great for the kids
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 15, 2017, 12:40:22 AM
Hey that was my room

I'm starting to think that they put the DDF crowd in the same room.

Seriously though I loved the location of the room, whilst being a walk from the pools the grassy area was great for the kids
LOL, I should start a poll to see if thats true!

Yes, I do agree that for families it would be a great location so the kids could run around. Out of curiosity, where did your kids sleep? On the couch? Or did the GHK supply you with cots?
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: efflpetzel on September 17, 2017, 12:02:47 PM
LOL, I should start a poll to see if thats true!

Yes, I do agree that for families it would be a great location so the kids could run around. Out of curiosity, where did your kids sleep? On the couch? Or did the GHK supply you with cots?
1 in stroller, 1 in crib & 1 on couch!
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 18, 2017, 04:20:13 PM
1 in stroller, 1 in crib & 1 on couch!
Oh wow! Then it's definitely good that you had 1029. Plenty of room for the kids to sleep and enjoy
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: mochjas on September 18, 2017, 05:30:26 PM
Room data points from GHK:

Booked 4 DDFers in GHK from my account

2 got room 1038 and one got 1007 I believe all are garden suites as well

One went when the hotel was sold out so no suite and I dont remember what kind of room he got
 
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 26, 2017, 09:44:47 PM
Sunday
 
One of the greatest hikes in the world is the Kalalau trail. Traveling 11 miles along the Na Pali coast, with almost 5000 feet in elevation this trail is among the most beautiful as well as one of the hardest hikes in the world. In short, it’s a must do. To travel the 11 miles you must get a permit months in advance. However, you can hike the first 2 miles (4 miles round trip) to the Hanakapia’ai Beach without a permit. There is also a side hike from the Hanakapia'ai Beach to the Hanakapia’ai falls that can be done without a permit. However, we wanted to see some other sights up north, chief among them the Queens bath. As we only had one real day up north we wouldn’t have enough time to do the entire 8 miles (Hanakapia'ai Beach and then to Hanakapia'ai falls) so we decided to just to do the 4 mile round trip.
 
The beginning of the hike is right off of ke’e beach. We parked right next to the overflow parking lot and started the hike.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4388/37298438451_30abda5314_b.jpg)

Check out all those warnings!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4421/37251313546_6cc2ebcac7_b.jpg)

While I saw some people do the hike barefoot (!) I would highly recommend getting good sneakers or even hiking boots. We also bought towels to sit by the beach, food for lunch, two 1.5 liters bottles of water and a pair of water shoes. 

We were lucky that the trail was almost completely dry, I've read people doing it where there was thick mud everywhere. The trail pretty much goes straight up for the first half mile.

This wasn’t even the steep part!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4398/37441036975_74ef00730f_b.jpg)

You are literally hiking on the side of a mountain through the jungle. The lunch greenery completely surrounds you.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4357/37298426501_2fd0fb1251_b.jpg)

At times, the trail is at the edge of a cliff with a few hundred foot drop.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4373/36588556124_643937222b_b.jpg)

Finally, at a half mile in you get to the coastal lookout. It's jaw dropping.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4464/37290304176_1876306059_b.jpg)

At about the one-mile marker you start descending into the valley.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4472/37269279652_60a923484d_b.jpg)

More beautiful views.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4429/37298422971_4146b37d74_b.jpg)

Almost there!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4341/37441019535_9cf47b923f_b.jpg)

I see the beach

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4512/37441027865_b97752ff15_b.jpg)

Crossing the stream. (Don't do what this person did and jump from rock to rock, I can't tell you how many people I saw falling into the water like this. Just bring a pair of water shoes and change for the crossing)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4343/37298418161_abe46c644d_b.jpg)

Hanakapia’ai beach!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4417/37441024995_caf0aef233_b.jpg)[/url]

Surf is really strong (people drown here all the time) so no one was swimming to far from shore

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4399/37441023115_31668bd3ee_b.jpg)

Caves by the beach.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4339/37298411821_2d1d2e2f2d_b.jpg)

Then we hiked back the way we came. I must say that the trail is longer, harder and more exhausting than people let on. It took us almost 4 hours to complete the roundtrip. Was it worth it? Absolutely. The views are unbelievable and the sense of accomplishment after finishing the hike is great. Was simultaneously the greatest and hardest hike I’ve ever done. Just as advertised!

When we got to the bottom there was a guy selling fresh coconut water (he would open the coconut that were in ice). I don't think I ever had a drink that “hit the spot” more than that one.

I'm glad we listened to people on the forums that said we should start our day with the Kalalau trail. When we finished it was midafternoon and we were pretty tired. We decided to skip most of the things we had planned (dry/wet caves, tunnels beach, light house-which was closed regardless as it was Sunday) and go straight to the Queens bath.

To get to the Queens bath you need to take a 15-minute hike past a nice waterfall.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4514/37251312346_f94a015c7d_b.jpg)

First you get to an inlet with really strong current.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4401/37251310166_7ce101570f_b.jpg)

Lots of kids were jumping in and doing crazy flips. So even though the current looked pretty strong I jumped in. I was glad I did! The current was strong but was fun when the waves elevated and receded the water quickly. There was also a turtle who swam into the inlet who either couldn't or didn’t want to swim out.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4370/37441005465_9734be0ba6_b.jpg)

As you aren't allowed to touch the turtle all we could do was cheer him on. Seemed like the turtle was having as much fun as we were battling the surf! Was really cool to see and swim with.

Hard to see but he kept swimming up on the rocks when the water was elevated and the he slid off the rocks when the water receded.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4473/37295465726_d89bec5d5a_b.jpg)

We hung out there for a while and then went to the actual Queens bath. Unfortunately, when I jumped into the water by the inlet, I put my phone in this (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LBK7OSY/?tag=cl03f-20&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER). While at times it did the job, many times when I thought I was taking pictures, I was either taking a selfie or nothing at all. It's also very hard to see the screen through the case so many times I didn't even realize that I missed that shot till much later. Lesson learned, get a better case next time. So long story short, I didn't get any pictures of the actual Queens bath. But I have to say while I enjoyed it, I actually liked swimming in the inlet beforehand better! Maybe I'm just a sucker for turtles, strong surf and kids doing back flips

When we finally finished the Queens bath, it was getting late and we were really wiped. Both my wife and I agreed, it was time to head back to the Grand Hyatt.

Some thoughts:

The north part of Kauai has plenty of things to do. If you are going to do the Kalalau trail it might make sense to spend two days up north.

If you can only afford one day up north, do the Kalalau trail first thing in the morning! That way you will have time and energy to do other things that day.

If you can't do the full 4 miles at least go to the coastal look out a half mile in. That view is unbelievable

Bring shoes that can get wet and muddy so you won't kill yourself jumping from rock to rock in the stream

The Queens bath is really nice but check out the inlet beforehand. Observe the surf and if it's not too strong jump in!

If you are using your phone as your camera (as I was), get a good waterproof case that is easy to use! (Any suggestions?)
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: yoohoo on September 28, 2017, 07:18:53 PM
What kind of phone did you use? Pics are incredible
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: ludmila on September 28, 2017, 08:40:20 PM
Beautiful TR and pictures. Thanks.
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 28, 2017, 09:37:52 PM
What kind of phone did you use? Pics are incredible
Beautiful TR and pictures. Thanks.
Thanks! The phones we used was both the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7. I know this sound cliche, but it really is so amazingly beautiful that I could have used a wind up disposable camera and the pictures would still look incredible.
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: yg1836 on September 29, 2017, 10:18:56 AM
Thanks for the amazing TR. @Shua I am going after sukkot and all these TR make me so excited to go. Thanks for all the priceless information.
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on September 29, 2017, 01:38:26 PM
Thanks for the amazing TR. @Shua I am going after sukkot and all these TR make me so excited to go. Thanks for all the priceless information.
Thanks! I actually learned the most from reading people's trip reports on the forums. While the revealed booked are great (and you should definitely buy them) trip reports have lots of tidbits that aren't in the books. This is my small way of paying it forward. Hawaii is amazing, enjoy!
Title: Re: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor
Post by: Shua on October 15, 2017, 10:19:54 PM
Monday

So originally Monday we had planned to go see Waimea Canyon. But (and you might be noticing a pattern by now) we were exhausted from the day before. We had already seen Waimea canyon from the air on Friday, so we decided to have a relaxing day for our last full day in Kauai. That meant pool, spa and Poipu Beach.

The spa has a separate men's and women's area with a dry and wet sauna as well as a Jacuzzi and rain-showers. There is a main area with a lap pool and 2 jacuzzis.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4384/37440919965_3bc55be794_b.jpg)

We hung out by the pools and spa for a few hours and then decided to go to Poipu beach.

Poipu beach is a few minute drive away from the Grand Hyatt. We passed by this sign on the way in.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4507/37014299714_ff34438db2_b.jpg)

So we were hoping that we would be able to see the Hawaiian seals. Luckily, there were two lounging on the beach!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4480/37053698563_5ab6023e52_b.jpg)

They swam up at 6AM and the lifeguard roped off the area so no one would bother them.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4465/23870921498_60bbdfdc21_b.jpg)

Snorkeling here was great with a calm surf and great visibility. I made sure my phone/case was working this time! Unfortunately some of the pics still came out a bit blurry.

Eel

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4506/23870918578_15aba3a1a9_b.jpg)

Fish

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4481/37014300344_5768f0675f_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4463/37053694073_8344971653_b.jpg)

While we had originally planned to eat pomegranate meals every night, we wanted to check out the tidepools restaurant. Tidepool has a kosher menu through Ohau Kosher. As we still had two pomegranate meals left we only ordered appetizers and desserts.

Tidepools is really cool with the restaurant being situated on top of the pools of fish. There is even a swan!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4509/23870920298_2efb375a42_b.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4464/37691932342_e75d67690e_b.jpg)

We ordered the knish and minestrone soup. Both were very good. Desserts were brownies and cake. I would skip those. Everything came double wrapped and they gave us plastic utensils to eat with. While I'm glad I got our meals through pomegranate it was cool to check out the restaurant. I would definitely recommend eating at least one meal here or at least order appetizers just to enjoy the great ambiance.