Monday, August 24, 2009

A Memorial Trip

Thatdad loved Hawaii beyond description. Because of his love for Hawaii, we own timeshares on three islands. Thatdad and Thatmom travel to Hawaii a couple of times every year. Thatdad could wear a Hawaiian shirt every day for two months without repeating any of the shirts that hung in his closet. His love verged on fantaticism.

Following Thatdad's death, I made a lot of phonecalls cancelling the various trips and vacations Thatmom and Thatdad had planned for this year, but we held off on cancelling the two weeks in Hawaii planned for August. One week in Kauai, and one in Maui. Thatmom offered the trips to both Thatbrother and I, but our schedules didn't exactly permit a 2 week vacation. So we decided to use one of the weeks to all go on vacation together, and gave the second week to Knits and Petman to use. That way we got to enjoy one of Thatdad's favorite places, together, as a family.

So last Saturday afternoon, the five of us boarded a plane bound for North America's tropical paradise - Kauai.

Due to the three hour time difference, and the flight taking longer than estimated, we arrived in Kauai around 8:30 at night. By the time we got our luggage and got our rental car, it was almost 10pm. The good news? The fabulous rental car agents at the airport. We rented a full size car for the five of us and got a really good deal, but once we got to the lot, the agents told us to go ahead and grab a minivan, so we'd be more comfortable. We were off to a good start.

We got to our hotel, the Westin Princeville, and headed right to bed - after all, even though it was only 11:30 in Kauai, it was 2:30 am California time.

The next morning we were greeted with this sight out of our bedroom window:

And then this sight:

Thatmom had warned us about the roosters, so I expected to see them - but not in this quantity! There were literally flocks of roosters everywhere you looked! Not one or two, but ten or twelve! And they were so healthy and beautifully colored!

We spent the morning lounging by the pool and then the afternoon picking up supplies for the week.

For dinner that night we went to one of Thatmom's favorites. She had eaten at the Beach House twice with Thatdad and fell in love with the view. It did not disappoint.

This only looks like a window - but there's no glass. No glass in the entire restaurant, nothing separating you from the beach but air.

Thatboy was very excited about the view too. Mostly because he got to see some of his favorite Pro surfers as they caught some waves, and then came out of the water feet from our table. He was in awe of being so close to his favorite kind of celebrities.

The food was equally amazing - except for the bland dinner rolls we started out with. Those alone made us worry for the meal. Luckily the bread was like a bad dress rehearsal, the show itself was stellar.

both boys had the Fire-roasted Sashimi-grade Ahi. They both ordered it rare/seared, and it came out overcooked, but they enjoyed it anyway. It came with furikake mashed potatoes, black bean sauce, and a ginger lime buerre blanc.

Thatmom orderd the grilled fish of the day, Mahi Mahi. I love that everyone gets to eat fish to their hearts delight on vacation since I don't make it for anyone.

Roasted Duck Breast & Confit with garlic mashed potatoes, stir fried vegetables, and a cranberry port wine demi glace. I know I always say each confit I get is "the best duck confit I've ever eaten." Maybe I'm just too easy. But this was heavenly. The breast was good too, but I'm a confit girl at heart. What's not to like about a bird roasting in its very own fat?

We watched the sunset over the ocean from our seats. As we watched the beach filled with people who also wanted to watch the sun go down over the water. It was beautiful and a great night to end our first real day in Kauai.


  1. I love that you were greeted with a rainbow!

    And every time I read about your fish aversion, I am surprised.

    I've been surprised, like, 573 times now.

  2. I love Kauaui too...roosters and all!

  3. Just beautiful! I think your dad was watching over you and wanted that rainbow to be there for you. Wow, impressive looking food!

  4. So pretty! I've never been to Hawaii, but would love to go. The mahi mahi would have been my choice. It looked fantastic! YUM!

  5. I love Hawaii and have been 3 times but we live on the East Coast making it very difficult to get there more often. The long and expensive flight! Blech. We hope to go again maybe for a USC game in 2010 or 2013, we'll see. This is a very nice memorial trip and I hope it brings you continued peace as you remember your father.

  6. The Hubbs and I have been wanting to go to Hawaii. So jealousE.

  7. I love that this was a memorial trip for Thatdad. Jim's dad is a similar Hawaii (Maui in particular) fanatic and could also wear a different hawaiian shirt every day for 2 months with no repeats. So I can imagine how special this was for you all to be there together, in his favorite place. {{hugs}}