Author Topic: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai  (Read 19896 times)

Offline ygygold

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2015, 04:33:35 AM »
Ya, ya, I know ygygold just started a Kauai TR of his own, but I finally finished mine, so what - I'm not going to post it?
Hey thanks for the tr! It's amazing to share the experience.
I'll leave out the hotel details in mine.

Offline E R K

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2015, 07:21:48 AM »
Both ygygold and your trips look amazing. Was up way too late last night reading and dreaming. Will make it there I"YH one day. Thanks for all the attention to detail.

Offline benjie1305

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2015, 08:15:58 AM »
Good stuff! I think that the "Maui Revealed - book / app" should have links to DDF TR's to make it visible to vacation goers how successful trips were planned and done. Good stuff once again!
Work hard, Play harder!

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2015, 09:07:05 AM »
Was there a piece of dirt on your camera for the helicopter pictures?
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Aaaron

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2015, 09:52:57 AM »
Was there a piece of dirt on your camera for the helicopter pictures?

+1  I was scratching my monitor to get it off  ;D

Monday, 8/17


The incredibly lush green


Peeking over the edge of one of the valleys with some red mountains…



Offline @Yehuda

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2015, 10:03:03 AM »
Wow amazing so far I hope one day I can write mine to its my dream to go there . I have the points fo the trip but cant make it .
Awesome!! Great TR! Looking forward to the rest!
Love it.
Thanks!
Excellent stuff.
+1
LOL great read though.
Thanks!

read this through in a single looong sitting and have to say you really struck the balance between educating and entertaining!
Thank you! Glad I'm achieving those objectives.

Great TR so far. Very detailed, i like.
Both ygygold and your trips look amazing. Was up way too late last night reading and dreaming. Will make it there I"YH one day. Thanks for all the attention to detail.
Thanks, I try.

Wow, so many pictures.

Awesome TR!
;) Thanks!

Great TR!! Got any comp from the travel insurance for the bag?
Thanks! Yes, will be in the next post.

Amazing amazing TR,
Reading this is bringing back so many good memories,

and the scent of that hotel ahhhhhhhhhh
Thank you, agreeeeed!

So regarding the slide, I don't remember it being a problem for me as a kid, and I must have gone down 50 times!  :D

The restaurant looks exactly like I remember it from 21 years ago!

The BH ride looked amazing! I love the pictures!
Glad you enjoyed the slide :P, you sure have a good memory! Thanks!

Hey thanks for the tr! It's amazing to share the experience.
I'll leave out the hotel details in mine.
Yep, enjoying yours a lot as well! Feel free to post whatever details you'd like - and hey, maybe I missed an inch of the pool  :P

Good stuff! I think that the "Maui Revealed - book / app" should have links to DDF TR's to make it visible to vacation goers how successful trips were planned and done. Good stuff once again!
Thanks, hah! Because all their readers would love to read about POM meals.

Was there a piece of dirt on your camera for the helicopter pictures?
+1  I was scratching my monitor to get it off  ;D
Something happened to my phone camera a little before the trip. Could be when I had the glass replaced shortly before the trip, they messed with the camera a little. I blurred it out on certain pictures, but didn't do it for all pics. I have a new phone now, b"h, so that's good :)

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2015, 10:03:25 AM »
Tuesday, 8/18

6:30AM wakeup. Guess jetlag was starting to wear off. ::) First thing I did was call UA again and found out the bag will be delivered today. Wow, great update. Before I hung up, I got a call in the room from the bell desk – my bag was there and being brought up to the room as we spoke! I was promised a $250 UA travel voucher in addition to being reimbursed for the interim expenses we had ($60), but neither has come yet as of 6 weeks after the trip. [Both have now arrived b"h, and I'm working with Travel Guard to see if they'll compensate for anything as well.] Getting to have my stuff back felt so great, and it made me feel very badly for people who lose their luggage and never get it returned.

After Davening and breakfast at the Grand Club, we headed down to the lobby. Throughout our stay we met a whole bunch of interesting creatures from geckos to frogs to snails.


 


But now, we got to meet the gorgeous parrots of the GHK just chilling in the lobby garden.







My wife particularly loved playing with them and trying to get them to “speak” and bob their heads/move around. Some actually did play along a little, and it was fun to watch.

The plan for the day was to drive up to the north shore, making a few stops along the way.



Our first stop was Wailua Falls. I had originally assumed we would stop by 'Opaeka'a Falls after kayaking yesterday, since they’re very close to each other, but once we decided to skip kayaking, I decided that Wailua looked nicer in people’s pictures and figured we’d just go see one of them instead of both. Wailua didn’t disappoint.



At the end of a quiet, curvy road, you see cars just pulled over to the side and you know you’ve arrived. No need to hike at all, just stand by the railing and gawk at the power and drop.



DDFers have claimed that it’s possible to climb down the cliff here to actually go in the falls, but there was a tall fence all along the road in the area. Perhaps it’s new, or else you really need to walk quite a ways away from the falls to climb down and then hike back to the falls. After 5 minutes, we got back in the car and headed back to the main highway.

As we drove up the East Shore on Highway 56, I made sure to look out for Sleeping Giant, as the book advises. Our pilot yesterday had actually pointed it out from in the air, but we made sure to pass it on the ground as well.


Zoomed in, please excuse the quality

The book says that a little further up the highway, you can see a profile of King Kong in the mountains. I looked when I believed I was at the right spot, and I could kind of make it out, but it was really just the back view of Sleeping Giant. I felt cheated. :P The highway continues north and really isn’t a highway as much as it is more of a “main road” that passes along beaches and through cute little towns. After a decent drive, we pulled into fancy Princeville, and after a few turns, found ourselves in the makeshift parking lot by Queen’s Bath. The “lot” which is basically just a dirt section off the end of the road has space for about 7 cars, but people were parking behind other cars and blocking them in. We didn’t love that idea, but had nowhere else to park the car, so we found someone who had just pulled into a legit spot and asked if we could block them in, while making sure to leave the water by the time they wanted to. They kindly agreed and off we went!

I had been told to expect a 15 minute walk from the car to Queen’s Bath, but boy, that is not a "walk" in my opinion! We felt it was more like a hike - going down muddy paths (I guess it had been raining recently, which didn’t help) and along narrow cliffs of 10-20 foot drops with some small waterfalls.



While, the scenery was really nice, I’m very glad we kept our sneakers on and didn’t switch to flip flops for this “walk”. Once you get to the ocean, the ground levels out and you start walking on awesome lava formations, which have created incredible… oh, forget it – just look at the pictures!






Sigh

We weren’t sure how much further we’d have to walk along the water to find the bath to swim in, but we knew all the people who had filled up that parking lot had to be somewhere. Finally, we found it, and unfortunately, it was a bit more crowded than we had hoped (although it wasn't terrible).




The view from the top really shows you how long it is and how clear the water is

I thought I had gotten a better picture of the climb down into the water, but this will have to do. For reference, I am standing above the bath at the level of the lava I had been walking on, and the blue and pink blobs at the top of the picture are people down at the water. You have to try to hold your stuff while grabbing onto rocks and climbing down.



Queen’s Bath is a natural pool of ocean water that is protected from the ocean’s force by its lava walls. That meant safe swimming, live fish and pretty deep waters in certain points. People were constantly diving off the top lava into the pool (shows that it was deep), which was a bit annoying because you had to watch out overhead, but still cool to watch. For someone not comfortable swimming, there’s plenty of wall to stay close to, although there really isn’t too much shallow/standing water. My wife says this was her favorite activity on Kauai, and it’s hard for me to argue. After snorkeling for our first time – tomorrow – we wished we would have had snorkel gear for here. I was still switching off between glasses and goggles (and attempting to figure out how to swim), so it was difficult for me to see much, but she said it was incredible under water.


The ocean’s force crashing against the bath's walls that protect its swimmers


The small entrance into the ocean for fresh water and fish to flow in and out. Dangerous to stand near during rough conditions

The only thing that hampered our fun was the fact that we were blocking in someone’s car and had to keep checking whether they were interested in leaving yet or not. After about 30-45 minutes in the water, we decided to just leave and not potentially hold them up any longer and, boy oh boy, thank G-d we did. As we climbed out of the water, we saw the sky start changing colors.



Within seconds, the skies opened up and the rainy North Shore let us have it. Because we were wet already from the bath, we didn’t care much about the rain until we made it back over the lava and into the woods where the pouring rain had turned everything into an even messier mudslide than before. People a few steps ahead of us stopped their return trip and huddled together under a tree, but we figured we’d venture on. We wanted to go quickly, but we also didn’t want to slip down into the streams just off to our side, so we carefully tiptoed around puddles, mud, tree roots and people (for some reason going to the bath in this weather!) until we finally made it back up to the parking lot. That was not fun. Completely soaked, we just sat in the car, grateful that we always closed the roof whenever we left the car.

The plan for the afternoon was to continue around the island to the Kalalau Trail and Ke’e Beach, but those were not looking too good. However, knowing that rain on Hawaii is supposed to last for 20 minutes and stop, I convinced my wife to let us venture onwards and see if things would calm down. Driving in a downpour is not fun, and once we got back on the highway, we hit traffic, so we were barely moving. We passed by the Hanalei Valley Lookout and just got a nice view of cloud/fog. :P Continuing on slowly, we got to meet the first of many of Hawaii’s famous one-lane bridges.



Each time we came across one, we thought it was miraculous how people decide when to stop and allow the other direction to go. We tried to follow closely behind others who went ahead so we wouldn’t have to make the decision ever, hehe. The signs tell you what’s appropriate, but no way was anyone stopping after just 7 cars.


Local courtesy is 5-7 cars

We ate our bagel sandwiches while driving, eventually got past the traffic and, a little while later, were about to see Ke’e Beach when we were confronted by an actual river flowing across the road. The road was submerged at least 2 feet deep by 5 feet wide, and we did not think our low-riding convertible would make it. The cars going through it towards us were all jeeps and 4x4s, but soon we saw a regular car make it and decided to try it. We drove through... and made it to the other side, b”h. We pulled into the parking lot and just sat there watching people run away from the beach soaking wet, with the rain seeming like it would never stop. Crossing the beach off our list was an easy, but unfortunate, choice.

I knew that the entrance to the Kalalau Trail was just up the road. I knew that the trail was the highlight of so many people’s trips to Kauai. I had only planned to hike until the Hanakapi’ai Beach anyway – couldn’t we just push through and do it? Alas, it wouldn’t be. Our pilot from the day before warned us to check the weather on the North Shore before heading up to Kalalau. We hadn’t, but it’s not like we had many days to work with anyway. We pulled out of the lot and headed out, away from Kalalu and Ke’e. We stopped for a second outside what must have been one of the Wet/Dry Caves (probably only wet today ;D), but decided not to get out of the car and just continue on. We went through the street-river more confidently this time and wrapped our way around the island, through the continuous, drenching rain. Finally, finally, somewhere on the East Shore, the rain let up and we had a comfortable drive until we hit the famous traffic near the airport as you bend towards the South Shore. It didn’t take incredibly long, and soon enough we were through the Tree Tunnel and back on the somehow-sunny South Shore.

We were already in our bathing gear, so we went out back to enjoy the beautiful lagoon for a while to dry off in the sun (and then get wet again in the water :P) until we got hungry. Tonight’s dinner was dairy. I Davened Mincha while the food was warming up (again, it took much longer than the instructions claim). My wife enjoyed the penne alla vodka again, while I had the cheese blintzes. They were great blintzes (much better than the classic frozen ones), and I only finished half of the huge portion.



Maariv and some TV later, and it was lights out on another fun (albeit rainy) day in Hawaii!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 11:50:03 AM by @Yehuda »

Offline VacationLover

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2015, 10:05:55 AM »
Mega Mega!! Keep it up!

Offline 3yummyboys

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2015, 10:08:25 AM »
Wish I had time to read then entire thing, but I'm loving the first few posts. The details are super helpful.
I Know what I'll be reading tonight :)

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2015, 10:14:34 AM »
The both looks similar to the Olivine Pools in Maui. Was one of the highlights there.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2015, 10:21:51 AM »
Picture of the road submerged in water? Great tr!

Offline AnonymousUser

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2015, 10:54:37 AM »
Awesome TR! Looking forward for the rest.

Offline Joe4007

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2015, 11:44:41 AM »
Awesome segment once again!

I knew that the entrance to the Kalalau Trail was just up the road. I knew that the trail was the highlight of so many people’s trips to Kauai. I had only planned to hike until the Kalalau Hanakapi’ai Beach anyway – couldn’t we just push through and do it? Alas, it wouldn’t be.
FTFY.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2015, 11:54:29 AM »
Mega Mega!! Keep it up!
Awesome TR! Looking forward for the rest.
Thanks!

Wish I had time to read then entire thing, but I'm loving the first few posts. The details are super helpful.
I Know what I'll be reading tonight :)
Thanks, glad I could give you reading material!

The both looks similar to the Olivine Pools in Maui. Was one of the highlights there.
Yeah, I've heard they're similar and both great.

Picture of the road submerged in water? Great tr!
Thanks, but getting a pic was the last thing on my mind at the time!

Awesome segment once again!
FTFY.
Ah, thank you! Fixed. So, now I'm confused about my Kalalau Beach pic from the helicopter. Is it Kalalau Beach or Hanakapi'ai Beach? I can't tell from comparing to Google Images.


Kalau Beach, at the end of the famous and treacherous Kalalau Trail

Offline Joe4007

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Re: A DDF Dream Fulfilled: @Yehuda’s Trip to Kauai
« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2015, 12:00:22 PM »
Ah, thank you! Fixed. So, now I'm confused about my Kalalau Beach pic from the helicopter. Is it Kalalau Beach or Hanakapi'ai Beach? I can't tell from comparing to Google Images.
Looks to me like Kalalau.