Friday, December 28, 2012


I am so sorry for being a little MIA lately! After my last post we headed out the door to my parents for Christmas and I didn't blog then because I didn't have any of my stuff (computer, pictures, etc.). But now I am back and I'll tell you what we have been up to.

In early November we replaced the carpet in our little house, while doing that we pulled up all the baseboards too (they were ugly and dirty!). So once the new carpet was put in we needed the help for my handy little brother to install all the new baseboards for the WHOLE house! Look at the before and after, I took this picture before the shoe molding was installed but it already looks AMAZING!!! This is how we are using our 11 days off around the holidays...stay-cation???

So...that is what we have been up to and why I haven't been on the blog in a while. We are also redoing the master closet and I got a Silhouette for my birthday so I am excited to start using that and creating more DIY around the house! 

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! These are my girls taken at my parent house.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 9: Swamp Trail & Day 10: Mainland Bound

Pu'u o Kila Lookout
Today we decided to take another stab at the hiking thing and venture on an 8 mile (possibly 10 if a gate was closed) hike. Well…the gate was OPEN!!! YAY!!! We started at the Pu'u o Kila Lookout (which is an easy walk to see the view to your left <---) and trekked 2 miles on the Pihea Trail until it crossed with Alakai Swamp Trail. The swamp trail was another 2 miles until we reached the Kilohana Lookout. WOW and AMAZING are the only things I can say to describe the views that I saw. We were lucky, it was a clear day and we were able to see Hanalei Bay from the lookout. We stopped to take pictures and have lunch and then we turned right back around for the 4 miles back to the car.

Pihea Trail

Swamp Trail
Kilohana Lookout

This hike was pretty treacherous, lots of slippery clay and 75 degree inclines to climb. The swamp did have boards for you walk on so that was nice and made it easier. Considering how slippery it was I only sort of slipped (I caught myself) and my husband slipped big time but did not fall. :P So the only thing muddy was our shoes! After that we passed JoJo's Shave Ice on the way back to the hotel and got some goooood shave ice! I think the best on the whole island! The building was a little sketchy but it was totally fine.

We stopped to get the next day's breakfast from Koloa Mills Ice Cream & Coffee and then back to the Sheraton to start packing up.

Day 10: Mainland Bound

We slept in (FINALLY) and then drove to the post office to ship home some of our muddy hiking equipment and presents we had bought for friends and family. After that we just chilled and took in the beach one last time before checking out late and heading to the airport around 2pm…where we waited again until our flight at 5:30pm. We got to Honolulu around 6:15pm and waited in the United Lounge (and snacked on the free food) until our flight…then we were on our way back home!

I hope you enjoyed our travels and pictures of Kauai! Did you miss a day? See the links below:

Aloha and Mahalo Kauai, it was fun!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 8: Where the Road Ends

Hanalei Valley

Today we headed back up to the north shore to check out Tunnels and Ke'e beach and the wet and dry caves along the road. We drove to the end of the road and walked along Ke'e and saw the amazing cliffs of the Na Pali coast. Since we were so beat from our very first hike we decided not to hike the 2 miles in (and 2 miles out) to Hanakapiai Beach. It was also winter the water was pretty rough and there were signs posted everywhere of rough shore break and strong currents…boo! For lunch we went back to Hanalei and ate at Hanalei Pizza! That place is worth a stop! The pizza was great and the prices were very wallet friendly! For 2 slices and 2 sodas it was $11.50! By far the cheapest meal we had the whole trip (and the slices were pretty big)! 
Ke'e Beach

Wet Cave

After the drive back to Poipu we went snorkeling one last time on Poipu Beach…bitter sweet *sigh*


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

~Happy Holidays~

Before finishing up my posts about Kauai, Hawaii I wanted to share some holiday cheer with everyone. There are some cupcakes I made for my holiday party at work. I love to bake and decorate but I don't have the time to do it (because I make everything from scratch) and I don't need all those calories hanging around the house either! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 7: Secret Gardens

{Jurassic Park trees}

This morning we headed to the McBride & Allerton Garden tour, part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. This was not something that I initially wanted to do because I thought $45 to tour some garden sounded ridiculous. Well as it turns out it was only $35 per person and well worth the price. I was amazed by everything I saw. Our tour guide was Frank and he did a lovely job telling us about the gardens and you could really tell he was passionate about his job.

{this sprout of bamboo was 3 days old and 6.5' ft tall!}

The McBride garden serves as a research and conservation garden where they do amazing work with toxins in common plants to help cancer research. You can tour this garden only for a smaller fee. But take the guided tour of both, it's worth it.
{from Whoville?}

The Allerton garden is named after Robert Allerton who purchased part of Queen Emma of Hawaii's estate on the southern shore of Kauai. Allerton had a passion for landscape architecture, sculpture and design. Along with is life companion, John, whom he legally adopted, they began designing individual "rooms" for the 80 acre garden. You might recognize some of these rooms since they are featured in the opening scene of Gilligan's Island, scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and of course Jurassic Park. The famous trees you see above are only 63 years old! If they were growing in the natural habitat to be that big they would be 300 years old! They are Moreton Bay Fig trees.

After the gardens we headed to Lihue to enjoy our helicopter ride. We chose to ride with Safari helicopters since their prices were low and I didn’t see any bad things about them (although their DVD is not worth buying). Kauai was beautiful from above! The morning started out kind of cloudy but the skies cleared before we took off. Unless you are an avid/hardcore hiker you wouldn’t be able to see most of Kauai unless you see it from above. And we were almost able to see the top of Mt. Wai'ale'ale (Wai'ale'ale gets an average of 400+ inches of rain a year!).

After our helicopter flight we headed back to the hotel for a couples cabana massage. HOLY MOLY was that wonderful! Neither one of us had ever had a massage before so that plus the sound of the waves crashing on the beach…it was just so relaxing!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 6: Na Pali Snorkel

Day 1: The Garden Isle
Day 2: The Hike that almost Killed Me
Day 3: Journey to the North Shore
Day 4: The Sunny South

Day 5: Cruisin' the Coconut Coast

Today was another early morning; we headed to Port Allen to join Captain Andy and his crew on another tour of the Na Pali coast and some snorkeling. Check in was at 7:15am and when we loaded the catamaran they had some breakfast pastries waiting for us while they went over their safety briefing. Now I knew that we would most likely not be able to snorkel on the Na Pali coast since it was winter and the northern parts of the islands usually have high surf during the winter months. But they took us to spot in the south that was famous for sea turtles so there was no complaints. 

After the snorkel stop we were on our way to see the cliffs in the morning sun. Along the way we were joined by some spinner dolphins … WOW! They were having some fun with us! There must have been about 100 of them and they were jumping out of the water like Mexican jumping beans! After that we spotted a humpback whale but all we were able to see was him blowing his blowhole, still pretty cool! The water was pretty rough, 5-7 foot swells the captain said and there was about 4 people on our trip that needed the "aloha" bag (as they call it…barf bag).

The rest of the day we just relaxed and enjoyed the sun and the water.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 5: Cruisin' the Coconut Coast

Wailua Falls
Day 1: The Garden Isle
Day 2: The Hike that almost Killed Me
Day 3: Journey to the North Shore
Day 4: The Sunny South

Today we had a small 4 mile hike planned but opted out since hike one nearly killed me. We headed to the east side of the island and hung out in Kapaa Town. First we drove up to Wailua Falls and took some pictures and then head on our way to breakfast. We stopped at Eggbert's it was pretty good and the prices seemed reasonable until we ordered drinks! They charged me $3 for 5oz of orange juice and the $3 for a regular coffee! (I feel $6 for two common drinks is a bit much…isn’t it usually like $1.50?) Anyway, they had some cute little girls hula dancing and selling leis…they were only $5 so I snatched one up!

After breakfast we tried to find the bike rental company I found online, Eastside Cruisers…well after iMaps failing and then finally finding it turns out they were closed…permanently! I was kind of frustrated so we decided to get out a maybe walk the Kauai Multiuse Path (a no motorized vehicle path along the coast). And out 50 steps into our walk it started to rain :( We made it back to the car and kind of drove around, the rain let up and we found Coconut Cruisers and rented some bikes from them. We road just past Kealia Beach and back; and along the way we were so lucky to see a monk seal sleeping on the rocky shore. The one we saw was a 7 year old male who had been in an altercation with a shark once :-/ ouch! We also learned that they got their name for their love of solidarity.
Eggbert's pigs in a blanket

Our Monk Seal

After we returned the bikes we headed north a bit a tried to see if Larsen's beach was worth a stop. There was plenty of warning signs saying it was rough water and high current and had one of those signs that said, "this many people have been washed out to sea" we opted to just take in the sights and be on our way. On our way back to Kapaa we stopped at Anahala Farmer's Market where they were cooking chicken and pork on a fire made of mango tree logs. The pork was good and the mountain scenery was breathtaking. We continued on our way and stopped at the ABC store to pick up some souvenirs (Mauna Loa mac nuts of course!) and then stopped to see Opaeka'a Falls. They had a little area where you could pull over and park and then walk to get a good view of the falls. And if you crossed the street you were able to see beautiful views of the Wailua River. Also along these stops were two ancient heiaus. Heiaus are religious sites or temples and you shouldn't disturb them.  
Opaeka'a Falls

Wailua River

After that we headed back to the hotel and cleaned up for dinner. We walked from our hotel to Keoki's Paradise in the Poipu Village Shopping Center and had a nice meal but a better dessert…the hula pie! Anyone traveling to Kauai needs to try this, it was like heaven on Earth!
Hula Pie!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 4: The Sunny South

Day 1: The Garden Isle
Day 2: The Hike that almost Killed Me
Day 3: Journey to the North Shore

We woke up and headed down the road to Poipu Beach Park for some snorkeling. For fun at Poipu I would get there early when nobody is there, you'll have the place to yourself! Then at 9 the Craft Fair in Paradise at Mono'Okalanipo Park (right next to Poipu) started and we walked through there picking out some art and a hand carved tiki-man. I was so excited to watch this guy work (and he looked like true Hawaii)! After we picked out which one we wanted he then hand carved a honu on the top and our names, place and date. I was really neat to watch!

After we finished up at the fair we headed to Kalapaki Joe's for a late breakfast/early lunch. We got there at about 10:45 and I was STARVING so I ordered breakfast (but my husband waited for lunch). There was a pretty big crowd there watching some football games and seemed like a pretty nice sports bar. I didn't enjoy the breakfast too much, the biscuits were stale :(

After that we went back to the hotel and cleaned up and relaxed before dinner. I made reservations for 5:30 (so we could watch the sunset) and The Beach House. With the exception of the bar waitress it was the best dining experience we had our whole trip! The food, service and views were all amazing! Before we had dinner we went up the road a bit to see the Spouting Horn, I thought it was cooler then it was going to be. Definitely worth a quick stop. 

Spouting Horn

Sunset from The Beach House

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Day 3: Journey to the North Shore

Day 1: The Garden Isle
Day 2: The Hike that almost Killed Me

We left the hotel early in the morning to head to the north side of the island. On our way we stopped and had breakfast at the Kilauea Bakery which had AMAZING breakfast turnovers (and coconut and chocolate éclairs that I saved for later)! After our stop there we headed to the Kilauea light house; they weren’t open yet but if you have a good lens on your camera you could still get some pretty good shots. After that little pit stop we headed to Secret Beach, Anini Beach and Queen's Bath.

Secrets Beach – It’s a little tricky to get to, from HWY 56 turn right on the first Kalihiwai road you come to. Then turn right onto Secrets Beach road and after a short downhill (that’s uphill on your way back :P) hike you are at the beach. This was my husband's favorite beach.

Anini Beach – From HWY 56 turn right on the second Kalihiwai road you come to and then turn left onto Anini road. You'll drive down the road a ways until you see some parking and outdoor facilities. This is where we swam with the honu!

Queen's Bath – From HWY 56 you'll turn right on Ka Haku road (like you're going to the St. Regis). Then turn right onto Punahele road and go to the end and you'll see some cars parked, park there and hike your way down. During the winter months the government may close the area due to rough water. But when the water is relatively calm you can get in the pool and relax. ***Use your best judgment and caution***

After those adventures we made our way into Hanalei and stopped for a bite to eat at Hanalei Gourmet, the service was pretty good for the style of restaurant but I thought the prices were a bit on the high side. After that we walked to Hanalei Bay and Pier and took in the sights. We didn’t stay there long since we wanted to get back and freshen up before we headed to Friday night Art Night in Hanapepe.

I was actually told by the Kauai Visitors Bureau to check this out…and my husband and I like to collect art from our travels so we thought it would be worth our time. Well it was a big waste of time, all the art was either WAY over priced (in my mind) or the little knick-knacks that some of the stores were selling weren’t even made in Kauai! I wanted something authentic! At least take the "made in Indonesia" stickers off so I could pretend.

To get the cool underwater picture of the sea turtle we used our GoPro, get yours by clicking the link below.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 2: The Hike that Almost Killed Me

2 miles in and we had 3.8 to get to the vista
Day 1: The Garden Isle

Day two began with a drive across the island to Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park. We headed up pretty early since we had a VERY long hike to do. We stopped briefly at Puu Hinahina Lookout and then continued on our way to park at the Awa'awapuhi Trail head. Once we parked, it was 7:30am, we walked about 2 miles to the Nu'alolo Trail head and officially began the hike. We walked 3.8 miles to the Lolo Vista and had a lunch break. After that we backed tracked about .5 miles to pick up the Nu'alolo Cliff Trail, a 2.1 mile trail that took us the Awa'awapuhi Trail. We walked the .3 miles to the vista and then walked all the way back to the car, another 3.1 miles! That is 11.8 miles people!!!! Our pedometer read just over 11 miles but who's counting at point! After it was all said and done (we finished around 2:45pm)I would say it was a pretty difficult hike but well worth it for the views. This was the first real hike I would say I have gone on. I have taken long walks up and down rolling hills but nothing compares to this. I also think I had some bad inserts in by hiking boots and that also lead to my demise on the hike… Kauai 1 – Alexa 0!

Lolo Vista

After the hike we drove back to the hotel and washed up in time to have dinner at Rum Fire, the Sheraton's resort restaurant. It was Thanksgiving Day and they were only offering the buffet, which I was hoping they would offer their regular menu as well as buffets don’t make sense for me cost wise. They had the traditional turkey dinner and then they had sushi. My husband said the sushi was really good but my traditional meal was just okay. I also thought it was WAY overpriced.

Awa'awapuhi Vista
To stay hydrated we used Camelbaks, get yours here!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 1: The Garden Isle

Aloha! Man it's good to be home and have our pups back, we missed them! And welcome to December (already)! Enough with the chit-chat let me tell you about our wonderful trip to Kauai, the garden isle.

On our first day there we landed at about 5:45pm, got our bags and rental car and then headed to the hotel. After we got settled into the Sheraton Kauai we were able to walk to Bubba's Burgers at Kukui'ula Village Shopping Center. I really liked being able to walk to where we wanted to eat (something we couldn’t do on the Big Island). After our yummy Kauai beef burgers we walked back to the hotel and cleaned up and went to bed after our long day of travel.
1st honu of the trip!
 The next day we started the morning with a walk on the Sheraton's section of Poipu beach and saw our first honu (sea turtle) swimming really close to the beach and got some pretty cool pictures! Then we headed to Snorkel Bob's to rent our snorkel gear for the week (2 rentals and 1 body board was $100). And after that we walked around Koloa Town and had some shave ice at 9:30 in the morning! :) Yum!
Koloa Town is ready for surfer Santa!
 After Koloa we headed back to the hotel for a culture class. Unfortunately, with the Thanksgiving crowd, the lei making was all… but the hula lessons were open. They were supposed to start at 11:30 but things were not even close to starting at 11:45! I told them I had someplace to be and could we get it started and we did one dance. It was fun but not something I would go out of my way for. After hula we headed to the Poipu Shopping Village for some Puka Dogs! A must for a quick bite! They were so good but their garlic lemon secret sauce, which they say is spicy, is not spicy at all.

After lunch we headed to Port Allen for our 1:45pm check in for our sunset sail on the Southern Star Catamaran. What a wonderful night; we had Capt. Cory and he was very entertaining. I don’t think we could have asked for a better trip, the ocean was like glass. We saw a few spinner dolphins as we watched the sun go down. The food they prepared for us was amazing and the steak was cooked just the way I like it! What a nice way to finish up our first full day in Kauai.
Na Pali Coast 

Kauai Sunset

To keep our iPhones dry and sand free we used the Lifeproof phone case - See link to get your own! 


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