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Experiencing Kauai – Day 1

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A sunset view from Whalers Cove Resort, our first accommodation of the trip.

Hello everyone! The husband and I just returned from our travel-blogging trip to the island of Kauai, so the posts will be rolling out over the next week or so. Ed and I were invited by the Kauai Visitors Bureau to come and see what the Garden Isle has to offer a young, adventuring couple with cameras in hand, and for the sake of transparency, I will note which locations and activities were complimentary/scheduled, and which we found/paid for on our own, at the end of each blog post.

As our Hawaiian Airlines flight to Kauai left us with a couple of hours before we could check in to our first accommodation, we decided to take our Avis rental car and explore a couple of sightseeing locations on the island’s South Shore. Our very first stop was Spouting Horn, Kauai’s ocean blowhole. However, before we even got out of the car, we were introduced to what we came to understand is Kauai’s unofficial animal mascot – feral chickens!

Tourists photographing a feral chicken family at the Spouting Horn souvenir stalls.

Although I grew up on Maui surrounded by chickens, I have to admit that Kauai has a LOT of them! As we approached the souvenir stalls selling local crafts and jewelry at Spouting Horn’s park, we came across a ton of people photographing a mama hen and her flock of chicks.

Chicks on parade!

“No mister, we’re not stupid!”

After we were done entertaining ourselves with the birds, we went to go check out the blowhole. Spouting Horn is a pretty good blowhole, and even though the waves were tiny, the spout was reaching pretty decent heights! We also spotted a sea turtle floating in the waves just in front of the rocks.

Thar she blows!

A view of the coast opposite from Spouting Horn. Look how glassy the ocean is!

We still had about an hour and a half before check-in time, so we decided to make our way towards Port Allen, where Kauai’s famous Glass Beach is located. Tucked away below a Chevron oil refinery, Glass Beach has been greatly diminished over the years as its multicolored pieces of beach glass has been taken by the bucketloads as souvenirs or for home crafts, but we still wanted to see what was left.

The light colored streaks are tiny pieces of beach glass atop the black sand beach.

Red and blue beach glass is the most sought-after, but we only found the tiniest fragments in those colors

We spent a while closely examining and picking through the unique terrain. The glass was a centimeter or more deep in some places, and was mostly clear or amber-colored, with tiny bits of blue and green scattered about. We’d taken off our slippers, and it was comfortable to walk in, though I did get a few scratches on my legs from kneeling in it while taking photographs.

Getting down in the glass!

Abstractions.

Glass Beach should be experienced in person, as it’s a very surreal environment.

I spent a good five minutes watching a little sand crab dig out his hole from beneath the glass. Every ten seconds or so, he’d pop out with his claws full of black sand, and he’d then toss it out onto the glass.

The crab was digging out sand from beneath the glass layer.

Another closeup on some blue glass.

We didn’t take any glass, but hope to come back another time to really look for a couple of special pieces. Photo by Ed!

Finally, it was time to go to our first accommodation, Whalers Cove Resort! Whalers Cove is a quiet, luxurious beach condo rental building that is the perfect place for someone wanting to truly get away and relax. In all honesty, our condo was so fancy and luxurious, Ed and I confined ourselves mostly to the bedroom for fear of messing up the rest of the condo!  Each condo is decorated by its owner, and ours had a beautiful, tasteful tropical theme to it.

Waterfall sign at the entrance.

The orchid pathway near the entrance is particularly pretty in the early morning!

The view of the building from outside our room.

The dining room/living room area.

I really loved the decor.

The living room.

The condo could have easily fit another couple, as there were two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a large dining/living room.

The full kitchen included basic dishes, utensils, and cooking spices.

Ed lounging on the bedroom’s couch after we checked in.

The pool and hot tub after sundown.

Another shot of the pool’s beautiful reflections.

We spent a couple hours at the hotel enjoying the sunset and settling into our room, then perused the hotel’s guide to local restaurants, cross-checking with Yelp and Zagat reviews, trying to decide where we’d go to dinner. We finally settled on Mediterranean-themed Casa di Amici, just a few minutes away. While the food was absolutely phenomenal, the service was less than stellar as our food took forever to get to the table. The staff was apologetic, and we got the impression that this was the usual situation. After dinner, we returned to Whalers Cove and went to bed.

$9 for a glass of wine, so we stuck with water.

Sauteed Duck Breast with a Chambord-sun dried cherry demi glace sauce. SO GOOD! I loved the sauce!

Ed’s paella risotto, prepared with black tiger prawns, fresh fish, Chicken breast and our home made Italian sausage in a saffron-vanilla sauce with lobster glace, cumin, and cream finish with fresh tri-color bell peppers and peas.

Notes:

  • Hawaiian Airlines airfare, Avis car rental, Whalers Cove Resort accommodations were all provided by the Kauai Visitor’s Bureau.
  • Spouting Horn, Glass Beach, and Casa di Amici were visited independent from our itinerary.

 

 Re-experience our trip on Storify!

Or, search the #DNWKauai hashtag on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

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