Island of Kauai, Birthday Celebration and Family Vacation

On our way to Kauai, to celebrate my 70th birthday with the whole family, Kevin, Ericka, Harper, Austin and Eric, who flew in from Columbus. We boarded the plane on Saturday, May 26th at the San Diego Airport, and had a good 6 hour flight direct to Lihue, Kauai. We arrived around lunch time, so we stopped at Duke’s Kauai to eat, and begin our Hawaiian experience in style. We enjoyed this stunning beach setting with views out to the crystal blue waters of Nawiliwili Bay and the Hoary Head Mountains beyond. The kids loved playing on the beach and stretching our legs after the long plane ride. Then off to Costco to stock up on food for the week before heading out to Princeville to David’s house, our home for the week. This house is right out of an Architectural Digest magazine, the pictures hardly capture the elegance and simplicity of this home. The views of Hanalei Bay are outstanding, especially when the rainbow lights up across the sky in the morning. We spent the first day in the pool and hot tub, couldn’t get much better.

The next morning we went to Hanalei Beach to paddle board, swim and play in the sand. Kevin and Harper caught a wave on their way in and capsized, all was well, except Kev lost another pair of sunglasses. Then back to the house to relax in the hot tub and enjoy a 5 o’clock drink, before dinner in our dining room. The next day it was off to do some sightseeing, to the Kilauea Lighthouse, the recently completed restoration of the century-old lighthouse has returned it to essentially its original state in 1913. The structure stands at the edge of Kilauea Point, 180 feet above the ocean. It was closed when we arrived there but we enjoyed the views from the lookout. Twice a week, you can climb up into the tower that once projected a beam 22 miles to sea.The Kilauea lighthouse and wildlife refuge is one of Hawaii’s true treasures, It was time for some activity for the kids so we went to the Kauai Miniature Golf and Botanical Garden. This is not your typical miniature golf course. This 18-hole course is surrounded by a beautiful Hawaiian Botanical Garden, it takes you on a journey through the origins of their island, the people that populated Hawaii, and the plants and beautiful tropical flora that came with them. Meanwhile the water hazards, pipe shots and other obstacles made for a fun and challenging experience, especially for Harper and Austin. And who was the winner????? KEVIN of course!!!! Click on thumbnail to view image

Anini Beach

Anini Beach was our destination for the next outing from the house. It is located on the north shore of Kauai, and well known for its excellent windsurfing and views of the large coral reef that rings the island and protects the beach that stretches for over 2 miles. The water was very shallow and great for paddle boarding because there were no waves to knock us off the boards. It was fun watching the kids play in the water and make sand castles. Click on thumbnail to view image

Poipu Beach and Patty’s Big Day

On my Birthday we saved the best beach for last. After being greeted by the kids with birthday wishes and a 70 silver crown plus banner, we drove out to Poipu Beach on the south shore , named America’s Best Beach by the Travel Channel. First we stopped in at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa to see the parrots that live on site in the lobby area. Kevin and Ericka had a chance to hold the parrots on their arm while the kids looked on. And we also watched the large Koi fish feeding in the pond in front of the hotel. Harper and Austin played in the saltwater lagoon surrounding the hotel until we were asked if we were hotel guests. Then it was time for lunch at Brennecke’s Beach Broiler, where we celebrated my birthday. Click on thumbnail to view image

Patty’s Birthday Dinner

My Birthday Dinner was at the St Regis Princeville, in the Makana Terrace restaurant inside the St Regis overlooking Hanalei Bay. But first we gathered together at the house and I was serenaded by Kevin, Ericka and Eric with a song they wrote dedicated to me. It was fabulous! Then I opened some wonderful presents, and off to the St Regis. The setting on the terrace overlooking Hanalei Bay was breathtaking especially as the sun set during dinner. It was such a special birthday, thank you to my wonderful family for making it such a momentous occasion, one that I will cherish forever! Click on thumbnail to view image

Helicopter Tour of the Island

Our last day on the island we took a helicopter tour so we could enjoy the entire scenery of Kauai. We were all able to fit into one helicopter with Austin on Bob’s lap. The flight over Kauai’s world famous 3,000-foot sea cliffs of the Na Pali Coastline is a once in a lifetime experience. The 15 mile stretch is one of the most beautiful and pristine coastlines in the world and we were not disappointed. We flew over the majestic Waimea Canyon, dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, with huge cascading waterfalls. We saw the stunning Manawaiopuna Falls, 400-feet tall, often called “Jurassic” falls, surrounded by rich native flora in the gorgeous Hanapepe Valley. It is a privately owned waterfall, and only accessible by helicopter, and it was featured in the background of several scenes in the 1993 Steven Spielberg film Jurassi Park. Lastly we flew over the pristine turquoise-blue waters of Hanalei Bay, where we could see our house on the hillside. It was a fabulous way to see the island up close and personal. Click on thumbnail to view image

Luau and Train Ride

On Tuesday afternoon we took the 40 minute train ride around the historic 105 acre Kilohana Plantation, and stopped to feed the feral pigs along the way. I think that was the most exciting part of the train ride. We stayed for the Luau Kalamaku, where we feasted on a spectacular buffet, while watching the fire poi ball twirling, hula dancing, traditional fire knife dancing and vivd storytelling. Even Harper got on stage for a little hula dancing. It was a fun family evening. Click on thumbnail to view image