Kauai & California, 1993
Trip in the Sun with Betty and Casey
June 12-22, 1993
Album of 19 trip photos at http://flickr.com/photos/lewis_nolan/ (Scroll down to see small pictures with limited caption information or double click “Slideshow” at top right to see larger pictures with full caption info once captions are activated on screen instructions.)
(This posting updated July 23, 2008)
By Lewis Nolan
Tuesday, June 15, 1993 – To
Day 4: Today was a
long, driving day. We stopped at Hilo Hattie’s in Lihue on our trip to the
South Shore of Kauai
Lagoons is a beautiful, tropical and expensive course. The layout has several areas of lagoons throughout the course. Waterfowl, other birds and wild animals populate the lagoons and I’m sure that my men will enjoy themselves playing golf there.
We drove all the
The beach was pretty, but the sand was my least favorite due to its heat-holding composition of crushed shell and coral. We went by what had been the Beach House Restaurant and drove on to the tourist attraction of Spouting Rock, a formation of lava flows with tunnels that concentrate water from incoming waves into giant spouts of water that shoot up into the air. Seeing the mini-geysers every minute or two made for a pretty sight. But it was sad to see the million-dollar homes with pools and walled gardens along the beach virtually destroyed.
The funniest sight
in the devastation at
We got back in the
rental car and drove on to Koloa, said to be in oldest plantation in the area.
It is noted for its huge stands of sugar cane. We had thought we would eat
lunch there, but balked at paying $6 to $10 to broil your own. We drove away
from the ocean and headed inland where we found a diner that cooked great burgers and
fries. We then drove on to Waimea and saw its wide beach and a few surfers. We
had planned to see the tourist attraction of
We stopped to get a snack at Waimea and both Buzz and Casey purchased tee shirts. We then drove most of the way up the canyon until we decided we had seen enough of the barren land that showed acres of bare, red dirt.
The drive back to Lihue offered some beautiful views of the ocean and a nearby island in the Hawaiian chain. We stopped at a Safeway store and were amazed at seeing one of its more popular offerings – 25-pound sacks of different varieties of rice. One guy walked out of the store after paying for his with the sack on his shoulder. It’s obvious their eating habits here are Oriental and rice-centered.
That evening we ate at the Outrigger Hotel restaurant and enjoyed a good – but pricey – dinner. What made it so attractive was that the restaurant was only a short walk from our villa and we enjoyed passing by lighted torches that illuminated the pools and gardens.
On the way back to our villa we tarried in the lush grass in front of our place to visit the gigantic toads that came out onto the lawn at night to eat insects. We then went inside and retired for the night after a busy day.
Wednesday, June 16, 1993 – To
Yesterday was a
driving day. We visited the South and
The damage around
The ocean and beaches are still beautiful even if the shoreline and its structures are battered. Casey and I went snorkeling at Poipeu State Park Beach and saw many tropical fish. Many of the fish were 24 inches long and schooled around us as though they were asking for a handout.
We found that the
West Coast of the
Casey and I played
golf the next day at the excellent Kiele Course at the Kauai Lagoons Golf Club.
It is rated by Golf Digest at one of the top 100 in the
A picturesque hole
entails driving across a 200-yard swath of a ravine. It also offers lots of
gaping fairway bunkers and sandtrips filled with coarse, reddish-brown sand.
Famed golf great Jack Nicholas designed the course, which Golf Digest rates as
Casey and I hit our drives off the white tees. I scored a scrupulously honest 112 that included one “double hitout” from a sandtrap. I felt as though I was hitting the fall pretty well, but a series of bad bounces and a moonscape of fairway bunkers put me in the sand 10 times. Casey scored a 100 or more. He is now driving the ball quite a long way – a couple of his drives went 280-plus yards. A couple of his drives went out-of-bounds. I think he lost a record 11 balls. I lost 6 to water and O.B.
It was a truly
great and memorable day of golf – worth the cost of $100 each for our green
fees. Even at that price we got a special rate for the day, probably because of
the relative sparseness of traffic on the course because of the hurricane
after-effects cutting so deeply into tourism. We learned that last year’s green
fees were $135 for non-guests. The host Westin Hotel is still closed for
repairs, but the golf course is in splendid condition. Much of the fairways are
in better shape than the greens at the
A meandering series
of lagoons is home to a gorgeous tour boat, a renovated cabin cruiser like
those seen in old movies of the opulent rich. We noticed quite a few Japanese
taking tours and playing golf on the course. Quite a few of the course signage
is in both languages. I read somewhere that the low air fares, the Japanese can
actually go to
Part of the greens
fee included unlimited use of the club’s luxurious spa. It made me think of
fantasy spas from Hollywood movies about ancient
Betty spent much of the day at the pool while Casey and I played golf and luxuriated at the Lagoons. Later, we went to dinner at the Bull Shed Restaurant.
Wednesday, June 16, 1993 –By
Day 5: This morning we went to the pool before Buzz and Casey went to play the Kiele Lagoons Golf Course. I spent most of the day reading a book when not going back and forth to our villa to eat and cool off. Between sunning, doing laundry, tidying up, etc., the day passed.
The men seemed to enjoy their golfing. They returned later in the afternoon. Casey opted to cook himself a frozen pizza after going for a swim. Buzz and I went to the Bull Shed Restaurant and had delicious, fresh grilled yellowfin tuna. I also had broiled shrimp as well.
The day wasn’t too exciting for me, but it was a lazy, pleasant one.
Thursday, June 17, 1993 – To
Beautiful Hanlei Beach,
Day 6: We slept later than usual. It was a long sleep for both Buzz and
me. Casey stays up until midnight watching TV and, surprisingly, reading “The
Pelican Brief” by John Grisham, a onetime
Buzz and I ate breakfast and left Casey to sleep. We drove to Hilo Hattie’s in nearby Lihue to buy straw mats for the beach and a few more souvenirs and gifts. We had lunch (or maybe a morning snack) before driving north to find another nice beach. We stopped at Kawilhili and shortly thereafter got doused by the surf, which almost soaked my camera. We were then covered with the wet, coarse sand that seems to be so characteristic of this island’s beaches.
We moved on north to Hanalei, which is celebrated in the 1960’s folk
song “Puff the Magic Dragon.” We had been through the area last Sunday and
liked it a lot. We had lunch there and found the beautiful beach at
The area around Hanalei showed signs of damage from Hurricane Iniki, but
not as much as the
On the way back to our villa, we stopped at a roadside stand and I bought a cone of Hawaiian Shave Ice. It is similar to a snow cone, but is far superior. The ice is very finely crushed and fruit juices are poured over the ice. I tried guava-orange. It was delicious.
We stopped at a bookstore and also a food store on the way back to our villa. We bought some books and cards and a bunch of food. Once back at the villa, we showered and went to dinner.
Perhaps we’ll be lucky and have another beautiful day on our last full
Thursday, June 17, 1983 – On
I have enjoyed being in
Compared to our other exotic vacations, I would have to say the scenery
here is far above that of
I have also enjoyed being away from
Friday, June 18, 1983 – To
Yesterday was a relaxing day that started with yet another trip to Hilo Hattie’s clothing and souvenir store in Lihue so we could pick up the free, complimentary shell necklaces, some souvenirs and some postcards. Then we drove north to Hanalei for the good swimming and snorkeling beaches in that area.
We started with
Then it was on to
We drove on to Hanalei for lunch and again ate at the Tropical Gourmet, followed by a visit to the nearby public beach. It offered facilities, a lifeguard and a bizarre beach house supposedly owned by the president of the big Atari computer company. The house has been under construction for several years but we saw no sign or sight of its owner who one day will have a fabulous view of the crescent-shaped bay.
Toward inland, the green-foliage covered mountains are flecked with gorgeous waterfalls arching over the foliage. They made me think of the beautiful Bridal Falls of Yosemite. Out in the surf line that formed several hundred yards out in the bay were young surfers and anchored sailboats. What a view.
The bay’s bottom was devoid of coral where we were so there were virtually no fish swimming about. But we had one of the most magnificent views we’ve ever had. We spent the afternoon sunning on the beach and occasionally swimming to cool off. We then drove about 45 minutes back to our villa at 6 p.m. We then went to the nearby Sizzler Steakhouse and enjoyed its very fine salad bar with our meals.
We plan to drive back through Hanalei today and beyond to see the famed
Friday, June 18, 1993 – Relaxing by the pool (Betty’s account)
Day 7: Today is our good friend Sister Mary Martha McBride’s 90th
birthday. She is home in
After lunch I went to the pool. Casey and I decided to stay put and just sun today. Buzz went to play golf at the Wailua Golf Course. Between sunning and reading, it was a pleasant day for me. The sun was warm, but there was a constant island trade winds breeze.
We ate at the Bull Shed Restaurant. A shower came up as one did when we ate there a few days ago. A beautiful rainbow appeared over the ocean. Just as I got up to take a picture, it was gone.
The occasional showers are brief other than the heavy rain and wind that
came during the night. I imagine that the reason this
Saturday, June 19, 1993 – Golf at Wailua Muncipal Course (Buzz’s account)
Betty and Casey
opted to stay around the village yesterday so I ditched my plan to snorkel and
instead played 18 holes of golf at the Wailua Municipal Course near our condo
development. It is listed in Golf Digest as one of the Top 100 Municipal
Courses in the
I happened to hook up with a couple of guys including Hal, who was forecaddie recently laid off at Kauai Lagoons Kiele. He had worked around many top golfers and told some good stories.
The toughness of the Wailua course was evident in my so-so play. I was Out-of-Bounds and in sand trouble a lot, shooting a dismal 108. But it was fun playing along the rolling ocean surf striking the sandy beaches bordering the course.
Back at the villa, I went for a swim in the development pool. We went to dinner at the Bull Shed Restaurant that is right on the ocean. Our good meal was predictably served with two scoops of rice, which seems to be de rigueur on this island so heavily influenced by Oriental culture.
The next morning,
we packed and took a dip in the pool before driving the short distance from our
villa to the
Saturday, June 19, 1993 – Packing for flight back to the States (Betty’s account)
Day 8: I did most
of the packing for our flights back to
We dropped by the
development’s video office to settle our bill and left for the
After Buzz checked
in our car, I checked our bags. I found out that we could leave on an earlier
flight, at 12:30 p.m., on Aloha Airlines to
We ate in an airport restaurant that wasn’t very good. But the double margarita I had hit the spot. Casey went down to the Burger King. We checked out the terminal gift shops, but found nothing that that we had not already found in our many stops at Hilo Hattie’s in Lihue.
We boarded the
Northwest plane and took off on schedule for the 4 ½ flight to
My overall thoughts
and impressions of
1. It is a beautiful, tropical island.
2. The flowers and plants are gorgeous.
3. The lifestyle is laid-back.
4. The ocean and shoreline are beautiful.
5. I would love to come back for a visit in the distant future.
We had a beautiful
We arrived in