Author Topic: Ten days in paradise: Ten year anniversary trip to Maui, Kauai and Pearl Harbor  (Read 2769 times)

Online Shua

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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?

Offline efflpetzel

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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!

Online Shua

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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

Offline mochjas

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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
 

Online Shua

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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.



Check out all those warnings!



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!



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



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



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



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



More beautiful views.



Almost there!



I see the beach



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)



Hanakapia’ai beach!

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



Caves by the beach.



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.



First you get to an inlet with really strong current.



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.



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.



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. 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?)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 12:05:00 AM by Shua »

Offline yoohoo

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What kind of phone did you use? Pics are incredible

Offline ludmila

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Beautiful TR and pictures. Thanks.
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
Pele Good,Maradona Better, George Best.

Online Shua

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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.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 10:41:24 PM by Shua »

Offline yg1836

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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.

Online Shua

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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!

Online Shua

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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.



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.



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



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



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



Fish





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!





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.