Monday, August 31, 2009

Chasing Waterfalls

Before you read this, you may want to take a quick bathroom break - there's going to be lots of running water ahead.

We decided to spend a whole day visiting some of Kauai's waterfalls. Now, usually, the problem with traveling in August is that it's the dry season and the waterfalls aren't running at full throttle. But you remember me mentioning how wet and rainy it had been? Well the waterfalls were as full as they ever could get. Fuller than ma ny of the pictures I had seen in my research and guide book! Unfortunately, the rain also meant that the path to some of the waterfalls was a little muddier and slipperier than some members of our party would have liked.

As we hiked down to Ho'opi'i Falls, Thatmom continued to repeat her mantra - "I am not an outdoorsy girl." She didn't love the fact that we were hiking through the muddy woods, but the trooper that she is, she came along anyway. She was overjoyed when we reached our first stop and there was a rock bench for her to sit on while the rest of us scrambled around the top of the waterfall and across the river.

There is a second falls along this trail, but as a compromise to Thatmom, we headed back after this first falls. After all, there would be plenty more waterfalls to see throughout the day and we didn't want Ms. Notoutdoorsy to burn out too early.

Before we hit the next falls, which I knew would have another hike Thatmom wouldn't like, we decided to stop and bribe her with food. Thatmom could have noodle soup every day, and I had heard fantastic things about Hamura's Saimin - a bowl of broth, noodles, and all sorts of other add-ons. UDubb backed me up with her description of saimin and avowal we wouldn't get anything like it outside of Hawaii.

Hamura's has counter seating only and quite a line when we entered, so Thatboy decided we should take this show on the road! Saimin picnic anyone?

Thatbrother and UDubb had the regular saimin, which just had the broth, ham, fishcakes, and noodles. Thatmom and Thatboy added pork wontons to theirs. I had the special which had all that and pieces of bbq pork. It was salty, warm, and delicious. Even Thatmom LOVED it - which is a big step since she's not very adventurous when it comes to food.
Align Center

Thatboy and I also split a piece of Lilioki Chiffon Pie. I'm great to split desserts with since I don't want more that a bite or two. The pie was so light and perfect! Good way to end the meal if you like salty and sweet!

Our next stop was really for Thatbrother, UDubb, and Thatboy. We were off to Kipu Falls. To get to Kipu, we had to go through another trail that weaved it's way through sugar cane fields. Thatmom decided a movie should be made about the "children of the sugar cane" starring her as the victim killed by someone jumping out of the sugar cane. She didn't do much better when the sugar cane cleared and we got to cross the rocks to get to the waterfall.

For the rest of us, this site was worth the trip.

Kipu might not be the tallest waterfall on the island, but it was definitely tall enough. Especially because to get into the pool below, you had to jump from the top of the falls. (See why this wasn't for me?) Thatmom and I sat and watched the others jump off and swim in the pool below. Kipu had one other attribute that Thatboy fell in love with.

The rope swing. Thatboy spent almost the entire time at the falls swinging and jumping. He loved it.

By the time we hiked back to the car, Thatmom was definitely done with hiking for the day. Good thing our next waterfalls didn't require walking!

Our next waterfall was Wailua which was putting on its best show for us. Wailua Falls is taller than Niagra Falls and I've decided it's the coolest waterfall I've ever seen. Tall, full, and surrounded by gorgeous greenery. Apparently in ancient times, men would jump off the top. As we stood and looked at it, we couldn't figure out who could be that stupid.

We ended our waterfall tour at 'Opaeka'a Falls. Not as full as Wailua, it was still beautiful to see the twin falls and the rain made 'Opaeka'a fuller than it usually is.

Across from 'Opeaka'a Falls was a gorgeous view of Waileau River. We were able to watch a kayaking party wind its way down the river. Thatboy and I vowed to do that next time. Thatboy decided we'd have to share a kayak, because left on my own, I would surely get left behind or run aground.

We were a little early for our dinner at Kintaro - a sushi and teppanyaki restaurant. We parked our car in the lot, and went to check out some neighboring stores, when a woman in front of the restaurant waved us over. She was a local, and told us that we should get in line to eat now, because as soon as the restaurant opened, the line would stretch into the parking lot - this was apparently a VERY popular restaurant. So we took our seats in line, and moments later it seemed like the rest of the island joined us.

Thanks to our new friend, we were quickly sat when the restaurant opened, leaving us to peruse the menu and figure out what we were going to eat.

Thatmom and I began with salads. Mine had crab, shrimp, cucumber, lettuce, and tomato. Thatmom had the same without the shrimp and crab.

Thatbrother and UDubb ordered several sushi rolls and nigiri. They thought the sushi here was FAR better than at Hanalei Dolphin and both were really impressed with the selection and the taste.

Align Center

Thatboy and I each had a miso soup - which is when I started realizing today was quickly becoming the "Thatgirl eats soup all day" day.

Since Thatmom doesn't eat sushi, she was thrilled to see choices on the menu like the teppanyaki filet mignon with veggies.

Thatboy doesn't mess around with rice, so he had a plate of sashmi yellowtail. Always contrary, he actually liked the sashimi better at the Hanalei Dolphin.

Continuing on with the soup theme, I had the beef sukiyaki for dinner. OMG was this good. The broth itself was so sweet, the meat was sweet and tender, and there were more noodles! I loved the flavor the broth gave to the tofu and veggies.

After all his sashimi, Thatboy decided we needed another order of the sushi eaters' favorite roll. I can't remember what it was called, but it had tuna, avocado, and salmon in it and everyone (other than Thatmom and me) loved it.

Poor Thatmom was exhausted by the end of dinner. Those kids of hers had run her ragged. Luckily, her fantastic kids knew the quickest way to her heart is ice cream, so we made sure we ended the day with another trip to Lapperts before crashing for the night.


  1. Ah sushi... I'm very jealous of all the sushi. #1 hardest thing about living in BFE is lack of quality sushi.

  2. Great. Now I'm totally craving for sushi.

  3. I've loved reading all your Hawaii posts, even though I really wish I were there right now. All that fresh seafood would be amazing, of course it's kind of lost on me since I'm not the biggest seafood fan - but my husband would be in heaven.

  4. Love reading about your family and your adventures in Hawaii.

  5. What great pics and how I wish I was back in Hawaii with family!

  6. I'm drooling over all the food pics!

    We've been to Wailua Falls and thought it was beautiful. It was our last stop on our way to the airport and a great last snapshot of Kauai.