Friday, July 24, 2015

Kids, clean-up! Mommy's coming! - Kauai Day Three


Growing from 3 to 5
Wednesday finally came. Nancy and Caitlin left the house around 4:30am to make sure they make it to their 7:40am flight. As planned, they had 2 carry-on luggage, and a backpack which meant they didn’t have to worry about going to the ticket counter. She had her boarding passes on her smartphone. This made their pre-flight rituals a breeze. She did text me at 4am (Hawaii local time). After sending me a couple of selfies of her and Caitlin, the rest was all about just waiting for their arrival.


Sunrise #2
Since I was already up, I continued to work on my Day 2 blog. I woke up Evan and Madison around 5:45am (I know that sounds cruel - but hey, that’s 8:45am California time!!!) After a bit of shaking and nudging, my two loyal children got up, and while in their pajamas, they went with me to catch a glimpse of the sunrise.
We chose to head over to the next hotel over, the Kauai Courtyard Marriott. It was closer to the sun hahahahaha! it actually had a better view. While we could’ve walked, I decided to drive so we could get there right away. The sun was scheduled to rise at 6:05am. We got to the Marriott parking lot around 5:50 am. Other hotel guests made their way to the beach. There were a few adirondack chairs available for us to use. It felt like the longest 10 minutes to wait for the sunrise. I had my iPhone ready to capture the sunrise using the time-lapse feature. While there was no rain, clouds covered the sun, just like the way it did yesterday. But hey, that’s okay. It was still a vision nonetheless.

Kids, clean-up! Mommy’s coming!!!
Directly after the sunrise, we headed back to our resort. While it has only been two days of me being alone with two kids, I felt like I was living in a bachelor pad. So on Wednesday morning, I wanted to tidy up our room for a bit. I wanted Nancy and Caitlin to see the room somewhat clean,  it didn't have to be pristine, but clean.


For breakfast, we found a local donut shop in Lihue, and also Po’s Kitchen where we bought a boxed lunch (with fried chicken, rice, tsukemono, potato hash, eggs, luncheon meat). I wanted to stay in Lihue since the airport was in that area. After breakfast, we went to Ha Coffee Shop. Evan found building blocks to play. I ordered a French Pressed Brazilian coffee (beans were grown locally). It was good enough for us to hang out and kill time.






The plane was scheduled to arrive at 10:40am. We left the coffee shop a little after 10am, and I had this very bright idea to give the Malasada Lady another try. By 10:15am, her stall wasn’t opened. Uggggghhhh. I looked at Yelp and was told that I could also get malasadas from Kauai Bakery (located inside the Kukui Grove Mall right next to Kmart). Fortunately, we were able to buy malasadas, but I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t hot or warm. To the Malasada Lady, I shall try you again!

By 10:25am, I received a text from Nancy that their plane landed. Oh great! There I was.... still eating malasadas! We immediately left the mall, and drove to the airport which was about 10 minutes away. We found a parking spot, and by they time we started walking towards baggage claim, Nancy called and told us exactly where to find them. Aaaahhhh…..it was soooooo good to see Nancy and Caitlin. They had an easy flight. Caitlin made a new friend with a girl named Reese (half German, and half-Filipino). They got along very well when Caitlin shared her Tsum Tsum’s with Reese. BTW, Caitlin’s middle name is Reese!  :-)

Lunch at Hamura's Saimin
This has been on our list every time we visit Kauai. It’s a local favorite. Don't expect fancy because it ain't fancy. But it’s all about the food. I’m not sure if there was air-conditioning either. It was a hot day and I was sweating while we waited for our food. The servings were huge. Nancy, Madison, and I were able to share one Extra Large Special Saimin. Caitlin and Evan each order a beef BBQ on a stick. One thing I like about eating at Hamura’s? You’re bound to talk to a local. Nancy sat right next to a local Auntie and she gave us more tips where to go around the island. She was so sweet.


Since we were already in Lihue, we decided to go to The Right Slice. Dolly, a good friend of mine who lives in the Bay Area, asked me to check out their pies. So we did. It was a bit of a challenge to find this place. I used Google Maps as my GPS and was led to the Puhi Industrial District. I said to myself, “Mark’s Place is located just around the corner!” After circling the area, I couldn’t find “The Right Slice” - it turns out, they moved. Great! Again, I’m not about to waste this opportunity to visit Mark’s Place. We stopped by and bought the kids a plate lunch that they could eat later (teri beef and chicken). 

We then drove off towards Kalapaki Beach where The Right Slice is now located. It’s tucked away inside the Harbor Mall (towards the back). The place was not boasting of decor, just a display stand. There was a lady preparing the pies who assisted us and suggested two of their famous pies - Mango Lilikoi and Blueberry Pina Colada. We ordered them to-go, although we were tempted to eat them right then and there.

Malasada Lady, finally!!!!
After leaving The Right Slice, we had to pass by the same road where Kmart is located, and for the 1st time in 3 days that we’ve been on the island, we saw the Malasada Lady’s stall wide open! Without hesitation, we made a left towards Kmart. Her stall is located right outside Kmart, right before you enter the building. It’s just a one-woman-show. The name of the stall is actually Fresh Kauai Malasadas. I could smell the deep-fried malasadas as I inched my way towards the stall. There was a short line. The selections were quite simple - sugar or cinnamon. For $4, I got 5 sugar malasadas, and 1 cinnamon. It was a far cry from the malasadas I had earlier today. Indeed, malasadas are best when they’re freshly cooked. Her malasadas were not only doughy (is that a word?), but it was chewy too. There was a perfect amount of sugar. I’ll be back for more. Evan loves malasadas. Insider tip: go see her after 11am (or noon)!


Back at KCR
We made it back to the resort after all the accidental food ventures. Evan played the role of tour guide, and explained to Caitlin and his mom everything about the resort. After settling down, we headed for the pool and the beach. It’s what we exactly needed after driving around LIhue.





Hula Show at the Coconut Market Place (CMP)
My high school friend, Che-che, indicated that her aunt sings at different locations around the island. One of the locations was right across the street from our resort. The CMP is currently going through major construction, so they had to perform on a make shift stage. Her aunt, Leilani Low, along with 3 hula dancers, entertained the crowd with song and dance. It was a half-hour show, a great perfect break for all the shoppers in the CMP. Thank you, Che-che, for recommending her show. Mahalo!

What’s with the traffic in Kapa’a?
After leaving the hula show, we decided to get shave ice. We made our way towards Old Kapa’a Town. Evan wanted to go back to Hee Fat General Store since he enjoyed his shave ice from the day before. Now that we’ve been here for three days, I tend to question the growing traffic around Kapa’a. This is our 4th visit to the island since 2000 and this it the first time that I’ve noticed this heavy traffic. To get from CMP to Kapa’a, it’s probably just under 2 miles, yet it took us close to 15 minutes to get there. That’s one thing I’m not a fan of with the area at this time. 

We eventually made it to Hee Fat. This time around, it had a bit more of a crowd compared to yesterday. I opted to order the Hawaiian Sunrise shave ice (description below). The larger portion was good enough to share. It was another hot late afternoon, so this shave ice perfectly addressed the needs at that moment.


On our way back to the resort, we stopped at The Shrimp Station. It’s on my list of places to try on this side of the island. It’s not a food truck, it’s located along the highway. We just wanted to give it a try, and for tonight, we had the Cajun Shrimp. The presentation needed some help. It was just the shrimp, the sauce, and 2 scoops of rice. But I gotta tell you, the shrimp was cooked perfectly succulent. It was sweet, and juicy, and the sauce kept us wanting more. However, we behaved. It gave me an idea, now that Nancy is finally on the island, that it’s time for me to cook.

Let's rewind for a bit to Tuesday night (our Day Two)
There was one thing I didn't get to share the night before (shame on me). As I stepped out of the pool and walked towards a nearby hammock, I was startled at what I saw...a huge crawling snail. I've seen many snails in my life but not as big as the one in front of me. I called Evan and Madison's attention. Of course, Madison had to take a picture and shared it using her Snapchat.

Redbox and Popcorn 
We stopped at Long’s Drugs on the way home. Madison and I complained of itchy throat and watery eyes. Yukkkk!!! I don’t want to get sick. While we purchased our meds, the kids rented a movie from Redbox, Night at the Museum. Upon arriving at the resort, they watched the movie and had popcorn. Three of our four kids slept with us on top of the king-sized bed! Go figure! We were packed like a can of sardines, or a game of pick-up sticks, but I’m not complaining. Mahalo for following our journey.
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