Tuesday morning, I got up early and sat on the lanai to write and watch some more swingers at the pool. (I knew they were swingers because the dude had speedos and a ponytail. Duh.) Even at 9am, it felt like the sun was strong enough to burn! Around 9:30, we met Colleen and Steve for brunch at our resort. They had an awesome deal where if you agreed to skip room-cleaning for a day, you got a free buffet meal. Also, this was the view:
Brunch was by far their best food selection. Mine consisted of things like a mini waffle with macadamia nuts and coconut, papaya, cottage cheese, and miso soup.
While Steve rented a car for the day, we watched the fishing bird from our daybed. He seemed really annoyed that we were watching him not catch fish.
Since we’d arrived in Kauai, I’d been talking about Old Koloa Town. Mostly I liked the sound of it, but I decided that Old Koloa Town was obviously where everything awesome happened. Matt and I had driven through it on the way to the resort, but that was all I really knew about it. Regardless, I was convinced that it would be fantastic.
We got the car and headed south to the Spouting Horn, Kauai’s very own blowhole! Since our friends had arrived on the island in the dark, it was also their first chance to see the feral chickens everywhere (apparently the Sheraton bans them).
These were all over the ground. What are they? I need to find out.
We watched this rooster wander into a sprinkler and flop around on the ground, taking a bath whenever it passed over him. It was beyond hilarious.
We went to go check out the local vendors set up nearby, and found both ukelele-playing and surfing Obama bobbleheads. We each got one, of course. I also picked up a cute cooler bag that would serve us very well at the beach over the next week or so.
From the Spouting Horn, we headed down around the south end of the island, toward Waimea Canyon; it’s known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
Along the way, Matt became obsessed with the campaign signs along the road, and decided he liked Duke Aiona because of his name. We had other favorite candidates for various offices, but Duke was far and away the favorite. How could you not vote for someone named Duke? We went so far as to research his life story on Wikipedia. (When we got home, Matt checked the election results: Duke did not win, unfortunately. But politically, the other candidate was more awesome.)
The Hawaiian ‘red dirt’ thing is not a joke. Sometimes it’s even purple.
We stopped to buy a coconut from a couple of dudes in a truck on the side of the road, who hacked it open with a machete and gave it to us to drink. Then we went up to the canyon overlook. Photos don’t really do it justice:
There was a guy set up in the parking lot selling all kinds of Hawaiian treats, like dried coconut, mango, taro, macadamia nuts, and lots of candy. We picked up several bags of it, then went down to do some hiking on the nature trail.
Colleen and Steve love nature!
We descended from the mountains, stopped at a subpar gift shop, and then drove into Waimea. Our map showed a Captain Cook monument (at the place he landed and discovered Hawaii), but we were completely unable to find it. There were only about 4 roads in Waimea, and all of them seemed to lead to construction. I’m not convinced that monument exists.
We stopped at the unusual-but-delicious Island Tacos in Waimea, then Steve and Colleen went to get shave ice while we waited outside, watching the local high school football team practice. I did not envy them wearing full uniforms and pads in that heat.
From there, we stopped to see the Old Russian Fort outside of town. This and a pile of rubble that used to be walls is all that’s left of it!
We headed back in the direction of Poipu, with one very important destination in mind: OLD KOLOA TOWN. We needed to do some souvenir shopping, and wanted to pick up some non-resort-priced booze for the beach.
Our first stop was the wine store, which had a decent selection of local liquor and beer. We picked up some Koloa Rum to bring home, and got some six-packs of beer and cheap rum for the hotel. We hit up a few more shops for souvenirs, and Steve picked up a boogie board for $9. As we were walking down the street, Colleen noticed a sign that was like a beacon to us all: $3 mai tais for happy hour at the pizza place. We couldn’t get to a table fast enough.
We ordered drinks and half-price appetizers. The bruschetta was gone within a couple of minutes, and Colleen used the pregnant lady excuse to order more, even though it was us who really wanted them. We had another round of $3 mai tais, then walked over to the grocery store to stock up on sunscreen, snacks, pop, and red cups. At that point, it was clear that I was correct about Old Koloa Town: it did, in fact, have everything we could ever want.
Back at the resort, we decided to meet at the garden pool near our room, because it was never crowded. We brought the beer and rum along, even though I’m sure the resort would’ve frowned on that. As it approached 9pm, we decided to head to dinner. The resort had long since stopped serving in the restaurant, so we drove over to Josselyn’s Tapas Bar in a nearby shopping center.
The place was less than half-full, but the service was remarkably slow. Soon after we arrived, a huge group of very loud, very drunk people gathered near the bar and proceeded to have a party. The food was pretty decent, but the server screwed up our drink orders repeatedly. It was supremely annoying, so at least dinner was good!
By then it was close to our 11pm bedtime, so we headed off to our rooms. There was no adjusting to the time change, it seemed! Matt and I had a Coconut Porter on our lanai, then headed to bed.