We are back from our first trip of our retirement. When I was still working I would be getting all stressed about coming back and getting back to the office and reality. As this trip was winding down, I did for just a minute start to get stressed about it being over and having to go home. But that feeling was short lived. Hey, I am retired! I am on one long vacation!
I am sad about our 3 weeks on beautiful Kauai coming to an end. But happy that we are on track with the goals we set for our retirement. Travel and vacations are a big part of that. We felt it was important to take these vacations sooner rather than later. As we hear all the time, one never knows what the future will bring. I didn’t want to procrastinate and then find out our health won’t allow it or some such thing. So first trip done. Planning underway for the next one.
Kauai was awesome! We had a marvelous time there. I even snorkelled! I wasn’t very good at it but I tried a new thing, so I was happy about that. We had 2 weeks with our daughter and her boyfriend. Then we had our 3rd week on our own. Love love loved it!
We made our first attempt to travel with only carry on bags. Lets say it was a partial success. I had one carry on size roller bag and a tote bag. I have a small cross body purse that I tucked in the tote. I planned to use the tote as a beach bag while in Kauai. That worked well. My husband had a new backpack and a small cross body case. All was fine on the trip there. The problem was that all the bags were pretty full so did not allow for any shopping. We did also discover that while we thought we had only taken what was absolutely necessary, we still took too much. We had access to laundry while there, so we took way too much stuff. Kauai is pretty laid back so there was no need for anything remotely dressy. We also spent a lot of time in bathing suits so we didn’t wear quite a few of the items we took. I did buy a couple of things while there and of course had to bring back some macadamia nuts and coffee as gifts for people. We ended up checking my roller bag on the return trip. We had bought a collapsible cooler bag when we arrived there, so we used it as another carry on to house our shopping. So it wasn’t the end of the earth. But we did learn that we have to bring even less stuff on our next trip. I have made a list of a few items I would like to buy before our next trip, like a pair of pants made from quick drying fabric so we can rinse out in the sink if there is no laundry. Much preferable to hauling around a ton of luggage. So progress made!
The first 2 weeks of our time on Kauai, we spent in Kapaa which is on the east side of the island. Great central spot for day tripping around Kauai. We were all over the island. The beaches are really lovely. Loved Anini beach on the north side. It is great for swimming and snorkelling and there is always shady spots there if you want them. Being a red head with freckles, I did want the shade. My idea of swimming is just floating around and swimming back and forth. So Anini is perfect for me. We also loved Lydgate park on the east side very near where we were staying in Kapaa. There was not as much shade on the beach there and on occasion there were big waves there, but we loved it. There is a great area for snorkelling there for beginners. We were given 2 beach umbrellas on the 2nd day we were there by some folks that were leaving, so we made use of them at Lydgate beach. On beach days, we brought simple lunches in our cooler bag, life was good. We had lots of pineapple and coconut and always brought some in the cooler bag.
We enjoyed touring around the island, seeing the sights and visiting numerous beaches. We went up Waimea canyon which has awesome scenery, loved the little town of Waimea, so cute. Found the Porky’s food truck guy there. Oh my goodness, best hot dog’s ever! We enjoyed going to a coffee plantation and a rum place. Both great. Poipu beach area on the south coast also awesome. There is nothing bad about Kauai! After our daughter went home, we moved to a small condo in Princeville on the north side of the island. We walked in and nearly flipped out over the view we had! It was a total panoramic sea view. We whale watched to our hearts content sitting right on our lanai. Because we had toured the island pretty well in our first 2 weeks, we spent quite a lot of time just enjoying our view and relaxing with a book. We did go back to Poipu and Hanalei again and of course to Anini beach. There were a couple of days that some big waves were rolling in and that was neat.
As I said in a previous post, the Canadian dollar was at an all time low. So we were really conscious about spending. Kauai is quite an expensive place to be. We did buy groceries and ate a lot of our meals at our condo or packed our cooler bag. Groceries on the whole whole were more expensive, especially since we were buying for convenience. We weren’t cooking big gourmet meals. The condo complex we stayed at had great BBQ’s, so that helped. We did eat out a few times of course and that was pretty pricey. But it is nice to experience the local dishes. Both my husband and daughter are celiac, so must eat gluten free. We did not have a problem with that at all on Kauai. A lot of the activities we did while there, did not cost a lot. Beaches and touring around are free. We did have a rental car which is essential there. We did overspend a tad but nothing too bad.
So after 3 weeks it was time to pass on our beach umbrellas and beach chairs to some people just arriving and head home.
Would I go to Kauai again? Heck, yes!