Kauai 2003-2004

Below are the writeups from our wonderful trips to Kauai earlier in the decade. The slides and articles were originally part of the perl-cgi slide viewers, and have been ported over to the Jalbum Kauai Gallery.

October 2003

We put together a slide show of our recent trip to Hawaii. We’re featuring over 30 selected Hawaii images. Click here to jump to the thumbnails.

We chose Kauai because we wanted a Hawaii vacation well removed from the stereotyped Waikiki – Don Ho – Outrigger Room – Diamond Head tourist experience. We didn’t want to lodge in an Empire State Building by the beach. An October vacation is definitely off-season and that worked well for us.

We weren’t disappointed. We chose the Aston Islander on the east shore primarily because it was part of an attractive America West package tour. We read a couple of disparaging reviews on Expedia.com, but most were favorable. We were so pleased with our hotel that we plan to book it again the next time.

Our tour: There’s enough to do in Kauai to last several trips, even if pure rest & relaxation isn’t a primary objective (as it was for us). Instead of the helicopter tour, we drove to the top of route 550, stopping at abundant scenic vistas and pullouts between Waimea, Waimea Canyon State Park, and Kokee State Park. We caught absolutely stunning views of the canyon, described by Mark Twain as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. At the end of the road we were rewarded with breath-taking views of the roadless Na Pali Coast. Even if you do the helicopter tour, do the drive. None of the helicopters wasted the gas to bring their fares to half the altitude of we land-based tourists at Kalalau Lookout.

We drove the Wailua River State Park route (state 580), catching views of the riverboat and the jungle-like verdant green interior. We caught nice warm rainshowers on this drive as well as nearly every other day.

We drove 56, the coast highway, north to Kilauea, Hanalei (Princeville) and the end of the road at Ke e Beach. From the other side of Hanalei Bay the slide show includes a shot of Princeville Resort that makes it look like Battlestation Galactica. This affirmed our liking for our more scaled down Aston Islander lodging.

Next time: Our vacation package was for four nights; we’re recommending five or more and will do that next time. We failed to book far enough in advance to get a direct flight to Kauai, which would have earned us almost a full extra day of vacation by eliminating connections in Honolulu. Bring plenty of film or memory cards (CompactFlash, etc.) — we shot almost 400 photos!

Copyright Alex Forbes 2003

October 2004

Continuing a 2003 tradition, we put together a slide show of this year’s trip to Hawaii. We’re again featuring over 30 selected Hawaii images.

We chose Kauai again (exact same spot) because it proved to be a place worth coming back to again and again. We went for five days this time and stayed at the same resort hotel. See also our Kauai 2003 slide show to see “how it all began” for us.

Copyright Alex Forbes 2004

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