Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hey Baby, Want To Go To The Beach?

When Thatbrother was just a little shrimp of a thing, he had quite the way with the ladies. He was attracted to women at a very young age, but who knows what he would have done if he actually got them. His claim to fame was toddling up to women in public and dropping his pickup line "Hey Baby, want to go to the beach?" a phrase which would have been creepy coming from an grown up, but was adorable from the mouth of a four year old. Especially since we were living in Massachussets in the time, not exactly a beachy enviornment.

Kauai, however is a perfect beach environment, and we were lucky enough to be staying on the North Shore, home of some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. After reviewing our many options, we decided to spend the morning at Larsen's Beach. After a few wrong turns which gave us the opportunity to see both coasts and forests, we ended up at the parking lot. We took the trail down to the beach - which Thatmom was NOT happy about. It was narrow and weaved through sugar cane fields, making her feel that at any time someone was going to jump out and kidnap her. Where do you think I got my imagination from?

Eventually the sugar cane gave way to the beach:

Thatmom found a nice shady spot to camp out, Thatbrother and UDubb headed down the beach for a walk, and Thatboy and I headed in to the water to check and see how my camera works underwater.

One of my favorite things about Hawaii is the snorkeling. Snorkeling has got to be one of my favorite things to do - ever - hands down. I love the quietness under the water, the colorful fish, and the feeling like I'm flying. I love snorkeling so much, I even have my own equipment. Mostly because I need a child size mask for my pea-head. In Hawaii, you can walk right out into the water and snorkel, and the water is warm!

Larsen's Beach is fantastic for snorkeling because of the reefs surrounding it. It's very shallow, so you can go out fairly far, and the coral makes for excellent fish sightings. In addition, the coral itself is SO colorful, blues, yellows, whites, pinks...

Not bad for a little point and shoot right? Meanwhile, to give you an idea of how much better a photographer Thatboy is - the top left and bottom right were taken by me - notice how blurry they are? The other two were taken by Thatboy who figured out that turning off the flash actually led to better pictures underwater. Who would have thought? So the final verdict? My little camera works underwater!

Around lunchtime we got hungry. Funny how that happens. Thatmom and UDubb both love burgers, so we headed to what is supposed to be the best burgers on the island. Lucky for us, it's located just around the corner from the beach.

Duane's Ono-Char Burgers isn't much to look at. And we spent a long time laughing as we watched shirtless men in cutoffs and deciding if they were Duane or Duane Jr. The burger's aren't outstanding, but we do have to rave about the FABULOUS milkshakes. Thatmom loves milkshakes so if she likes a place, you know it's got to be good. Her review of Duanes was "average burgers, great milkshakes."

I had the terriyaki burger. I liked the sweetness of the terriyaki sauce, but I don't know how I feel about cheese on a terriyaki burger.

Thatboy likes to "top" me. So when I ordered the terriyaki burger, he got the "local boy" which also has pineapple on it.

Thatmom had the cheddar burger, which is Duane's version of a cheese burger. The consensus was that shredded cheddar cheese isn't great on a burger. We're slice people.

Thatbrother's favorite trick is sticking his finger in every picture I take. If you pay attention, you'll see it a lot. Like here, where it's featured in UDubb's burger. She got the regular Ono burger. She's kind of a purist.

Thatbrother got the old fashioned, which comes with bean sprouts. Crazy Thatbrother.

After lunch we headed to Kilauea, home of the famous Kilauea lighthouse. More importantly, home to this amazing view. Pleas notice the contrast between the land and see, which explains why Kauai is the "Garden Island."

Then it was shopping time! First in Kilauea where I picked up some Hawaiian Sea Salt for dirt cheap. I'm very excited to use it - white, red, and black! Then we headed north to Hanalei because along with other fun shops, there's a knitting store there. Thatmom is amazing with her ability to find a knitting store whereever we go. Thatboy and I picked up some gifts for family while she immersed herself in yarn.

We decided to have an early dinner while we were in Hanalei, so we headed to the Hanalei Dolphin.

The night before we had dinner on the beach, tonight it was dinner on the river.
It was a good thing we got there early, because they were already packed. Their "waiting area" though was lovely to wait at and consisted of tables set beside the river.

We sat here and ordered some drinks. Thatboy will do a wrap up of his Mai Tai taste test at the end of the trip reports. We also ordered the most expensive smallest calamari appetizer any of us had ever seen. Not a great start to the evening.

The highlight of the dinner for most of us was the giant salad we started with. Made with fresh Kilauea greens it was light and refreshing.

I had the terriyaki shrimp. Someone should have told them they were supposed to be "terriyaki" because the shrimp seemed uninformed. They were just kind of grilled.

Thatmom ordered the Opah and it was so dry she couldn't finish it. Not very impressive for a buttery, flakey fish.

Thatboy had sashimi and he actually really liked it. He was the winner of the evening. He had yellowtail, ahi, and ono. The yellowtail, as usual, was his favorite.

Thatbrother and UDubb had sushi and nigiri. They thought it was okay, but nothing too impressive. UDubb's father apparently makes fantastic sushi - and was in a Japanese Beatles cover band, so I trust her opinion on sushi implicity.

All in all, it was a good day, with some disappointing meals. But since you go to Kauai for the beaches and not the food, guess we can call it a success!


  1. Give me those burgers anytime...not a sushi fan I am shy to admit!!

  2. I have to agree about shredded cheese on a burger. I think the texture would be the biggest turn off for me.

  3. Gorgeous pics, of the food and the views :)

  4. Looks like a great trip! I am so jealous of the beautiful beaches!

  5. Oooooh I would love to be on that beach right about now.

  6. Pack me in your suitcase next time:D

  7. I've only ever snorkled in HI and I'm afraid that I'm now too spoiled to try it anywhere that the water isn't bath tub warm.

    The sashimi looks so so yummy!