Hanalei Bay

It is clear, now: Hanalei Bay is where we should’ve been staying all along. I’m not saying I don’t like the Poipu area. I do. And love the Sheraton. Our stay has been scrumptious.
But man, you want to feel like you’re driving through Jurassic Park, you stay up in the north shore somewhere. Wild, verdant, unkempt — lush jungles, cerulean bay, mammoth trees, and green green green. (Pictures surely forthcoming.)
Oh, did I mention that we saw the massive ficus trees that were home to the dinosaur eggs in Jurassic Park? True. Actually saw some of the sites where Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (why are they making a fourth film? who the hell knows) was filmed, too.
Where was I?
North shore.
Gorgeous. Exactly what I had envisioned of Kauai before getting here. Again: South Shore is great, it’s hot and dry and we have a room on the ocean, but the north shore (reportedly the home of… Puff the Magic Dragon?) has that feel of old, jungley Hawaii.
Wandered the Limahuli Gardens.
Went to the Kilauea Lighthouse which — well, the lighthouse itself wasn’t any big thing (under reconstruction), but the views? Oh, mama. And that area is also a bird sanctuary, so you get those giant frigatebirds with the 7-foot-wingspans? Aka, feathered pterodactyls? Also: nenes. Tropical geese. Finally got close to the nene. That sounds like a metaphor for something — but it’s not.
Remember, all Hawaiian songs are secretly singing about vaginas.
Ate dolphin tacos, too. Mmm. Squeaky dolphin meat. With beer!
Ended our day at 22 North, a farm-to-table joint that was, by far, our best dinner on the island so far. The filet was so perfect, so tender, so stone’s-throw-from-rare. Had a African blue basil and Java plum “mojito” (not-a-mojito), and a starfruit caipirinha. Guh. Drool. Gibber! Pants off! Tasty drunken dance!
And the Phillies lost.
They just didn’t seem to have the spirit in this post-season, so, y’know. Good game, Giants. You’re probably going to get Cliff Lee’s fastball up your poop chute, just so you know. (Really, though, I don’t have a horse in that race. Whoever wins, wins. Feels like this series is lacking a narrative — Yankees vs. Phils would’ve had a narrative. Phils vs. their old pitcher would’ve been a narrative. Eh well.)
Today? An easy day of chill.
But soon, soon we leave.


  • Glad you enjoyed seeing Hanalei and other North Shore sights.

    The first time we ever went to Kauai, we really had trouble trying to decide whether to stay on the North Shore or South Shore. We ended up choosing the North Shore. When it’s sunny up there, it can’t be beat! Last time we were there, we split our time between staying in Princeville (North Shore) and staying in Poipu. It was like having two different vacations on the same island.

    So, now you have a reason to return to Kauai — to spend more time on the North Shore.

    Were you able to see Puff in Hanalei? If you look at the mountains that backdrop Hanalei Bay, you can see him resting there and looking at you.

    This 22 North place sounds ‘ono. Where was it?

    When you get back home and settled, I’m anxious to hear what you think about Kauai in comparison to the Big Island? Do you think you’ll be going back to Hawaii? If so, which island(s) will be next? I hope those aren’t nosey questions. I just love ‘talking story’ about Hawaii.

  • Did not actually see Puff, no. 🙂

    22 N is the old Gaylords. It’s there at the Kilohana Plantation. Big Ono. Broke da mouf, as they say.

    We love Kauai, but right now, I think the Big Island has an edge in terms of… comparability with our vacation style? A more nuanced answer later. But regardless, we will totally come back to Hawaii. Maui or BI next. Oahu is not big on the list yet.

    — c.

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