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Thread: The Shrink goes to Hawaii

  1. #21
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    Body-surfed Sandy Beach many times. Also saw many a couple get slammed by a few inches of water.

  2. #22
    Master of Props Daly's Avatar
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    Oh shit - I’m retarded. 100% Must do is the ATV tour of the big ranch on Oahu. Probably the highlight of my honeymoon. Pay the extra and do the 2 hour/extended tour. They take you through areas that you will recognize from Jurassic Park and Jumanji. The halfway point they take you up the side of one of the “mountains” and they cut down some mangos......

    Fun fun fun time.... I’ll try and look up the name of it.

    I know I said you “had to do” Waikiki and I stand by it but it’s a one night/day thing. What’s amazing about it is how over run the local shopping is by the Japanese. Literally looks like downtown Tokyo.

  3. #23
    Bronze The Shrink's Avatar
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    Hawaii Trip Report

    Recently got back from our trip to Hawaii. Man. What a spot. I've heard so many people rave about Hawaii and I didn't quite get it until I actually saw it in the flesh. It is fucking incredible.

    In the end we went for 10 days and stayed on two islands - Maui and Kauai. I'll review each in separate posts (with a few pics).

    Here's a general summary of my experiences:

    Hawaii is the best place I've ever vacationed. When trying to explain to my friends I highlighted a few main reasons:
    -Everywhere you look it's stunning. Green mountainsides that way, blue ocean that way.
    -The weather is perfect (not too hot, not too cold; water is surprisingly warm)
    -No bugs
    -Food is amazing
    -Endless things to do and see
    -Everyone speaks English
    -Nobody is trying to scam you (literally every other tourist destination I've been someone is trying to hustle you in some way)

    Some downsides:
    -Expensive - gas, groceries, restaurants, excursions, etc. - we spent an ungodly amount of money. Even with the $3500 head start from my "lottery" win it was still the most expensive vacation I've ever been on. However, we also had the mindset that we likely wouldn't be back anytime soon so we just went for it.
    -Travel time - we were coming from the east coast of Canada which required nearly 24 hours to get to our first hotel in Maui door-to-door (drive to airport, flight to Newark, Newark-to-Honolulu, Honolulu to Maui, drive to hotel).
    -Driving was a bit hairy at times (despite the hilariously low speed limits - e.g., 10 mph - at times). I'll get into that in my other posts.

    Otherwise, it was well worth the effort to get there and the money spent.

    Aloha!

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      GambleBotsChafedPenis: Looking Foward To Trip Report Rep
      
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  4. #24
    Two times on the big island, no other islands, not sure why, but I hate going through security with kids and minimize it. Security at the HI airports is really not bad, so if I did it again I'd island hop.

    You're right- everything is very expensive. Maybe 1.3x? on anything, down to a can of beans in the grocery store.

    I agree, too, about no scams. People there seem happy because they want to be there. While more expensive, this made my happier to spend my tourist dollars with happy people that in Mexico, for example, where I got the read that every local would kill me then rape me if he could get away with it, then rob me.

    Loved the big island.

  5. #25
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Good prelim-trip-report, Shrink. I look forward to the rest.

    I was last in Hawaii in 2015. Since I have my anxiety issues 90% under control now, I am probably okay to take that flight again. I would like to go back. Despite traveling a lot in my young years, I didn't make it to Hawaii until I was close to 28 years old. I've been back several times since.

    I agree with most of what you wrote. The flight from eastern Canada/US sucks. It's what us west coasters have to go through in order to get to Europe. I'm jealous of people in the northeast being able to fly to London in 5 hours, but I'm not jealous of the 4 hour flight necessary to Vegas and the 10-11 hour flight to Hawaii.

    I would like to hear about your driving difficulties. I've driven pretty much everywhere in Maui, Kauai, and Oahu and did not experience any real problem driving, even on the "Road to Hana" which was talked up as being a lot scarier than it was. Well, I guess the drive up to Mauna Kea can be a bit scary too, but it's not bad.

    Regarding the expense, see my post from last year. Tons of variance in expense in Hawaii travel. I know you won the trip so you had to use their travel agency, so that reduced your choices. But for "normal" trips there, I'd recommend a lot of shopping around (for hotels especially) and a lot of eyes kept on the prices to make sure they don't fall. Never prepay if you can't cancel.

    Probably didn't help that you are using the lol Canadian dollar, which has been weak against the US for the past few years.

    Anyway, looking forward to the report.

  6. #26
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    Hawaii Trip Report – Maui

    My first few glimpses of Hawaii in the flesh took my breath away. I felt like I was driving across the surface of a foreign planet. I’ve never seen anything like it. Lush vegetation everywhere. Ocean all around. Green mountains with low hanging clouds. Gorgeous.

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    Without any shame of looking like stupid tourists, we rented a Camaro convertible in Maui. What an amazing piece of shit. We also rented a convertible in Kauai but we got a Mustang for that rental which was 10X better than the Camaro.

    Our hotel was on Sugar Beach near Kihei, 15 minutes from the airport. We arrived at about 6 pm Hawaii time. We had left our house (which is on AST) at about 3 AM on the same date but it had been about 22 hours of travel (and it felt like 1:00 AM to us). So we tried to stay up as long as possible by going out for dinner. We went to Three’s in Kihei because it was featured on Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives (I realize Guy Fieri is a giant tool but I like how he’s an unapologetic tool and I enjoy the show). Amazing food. Generous portions. I had the beer can chicken and Mrs. Shrink had the poke bowl. Highly recommended. https://threesbarandgrill.com/

    We picked up some groceries on the way back to our hotel (which had a kitchen). Jesus fuck are groceries expensive in Hawaii. Mother of God. Everything was almost double what I would see in Canada. Beer was still cheap though. I thought Kona coffee would be inexpensive but it’s still about $35/lb. I eventually tried some and it was good but it didn’t blow me away. I was expecting life-changing coffee the way Kona coffee is hyped. One day I’ll have to try that coffee made out of rat-monkey shit - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_luwak


    We were both out cold by 8 pm. The plus side of such jet lag was being fresh as a daisy by 5:30 AM every day. I felt like such a go-getter. Great views in the morning from our balcony. Lots of outrigger canoe teams were practicing in the early morning.

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    Our hotel wasn’t actually a hotel. It was a condo building for timeshares and they rent out their open condos. Now having seen Hawaii in person, I finally understand how people get sucked into timeshares. I’m not dumb enough to buy one, mind you, but I get the impulse now. In fact, I saw several “Timeshare Resales” agencies in Hawaii. From what I understand, when people realize it was dumb to buy a timeshare and they’re stuck with the annual maintenance fee and can’t sell it to anyone, they end up giving it away to these companies who sell them on the cheap (and the cycle continues). The interior of our room was a bit dated – think 80s vintage. I half expected Mr. Furley to burst in on us in a powder blue leisure suit.

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    The next day we did the famous Road to Hana which is a scenic drive along the north/north-east coast of Maui. This is where the dicey driving comes in. In this thread Druff said that this drive is not as bad as they say. Dude, what? This was the most harrowing day of driving in my life. It’s terrifying to drive on this road which is a two-way highway that doesn’t have a middle line throughout because there’s barely enough room for two cars. It's riddled with hairpin turns and blind corners. Then there are large stretches and countless bridges that can only fit one vehicle at a time. Meanwhile, there is a steep cliff drop off to your right when driving westward and in many places there is no guard rail and no shoulder.

    Also, you have to contend with the locals in white Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks. I swear this is the official car of the people of Maui:



    The locals recklessly weaving in and out of traffic, going twice as fast as everyone, and honking at anyone in front of them to pull over so they can pass. And then there are the idiot pedestrians every half mile who have parked in tiny pullouts to get photos of waterfalls and viewpoints along the roadside.

    Not my video:



    I saw two accidents that day and one was an overturned Tacoma at a bridge. Not only that, but we naively drove a counterclockwise loop in which we took the backroad to Hana. Apparently, you’re supposed to just head east along the northern coast until you reach the furthest point east on Maui and then turn around and head back (see picture below – hashmarks are the backroad). The backroad is not well maintained and somewhat remote and unbeknownst to me, if you drive on it you void your rental agreement and tow trucks will charge you thousands if you break down. Fortunately, nothing happened. Regardless, I found the whole drive to be stressful and I couldn’t enjoy the scenery as I tried to avoid a fatal car accident. Mrs. Shrink tells me it was beautiful.

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    On the way to Hana we stopped at O’Heo Gulch and saw the 7 Sacred Pools and hiked Pipiwai Trail to see Waimoku Falls (star on the above image). The hike through the bamboo forest was really neat and the waterfall was spectacular. Just before the waterfall there is a warning sign to not pass. But everyone else was passing to get closer to the waterfall and it didn't seem dangerous. So we just passed it and didn't think much of it. I still didn't understand why that warning was there until later when I read that several people have had their heads bashed in by large rocks falling from the top of the waterfall. Woopsies! Anyways, we're still alive.

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    We didn’t actually stop in the town of Hana. By the time we got there it was into the afternoon and there was still a long drive on the treacherous highway back to the hotel. And to make matters worse the sun setting to the west would be in my eyes during the last stretch of the drive.

    My copilot directed me to take a little detour because according to her guidebook, Maui Revealed, there was a spectacular side road with a waterfall at the end. We turned down a steep unpaved road in our shitty-ass Camaro and immediately a white pickup truck roared behind me, blaring his horn and I moved out of the way so it could pass. We passed several properties with signs up that said things like “Locals only “ and “Tourists not welcome.” Then, I shit you not, we turned a corner and there were 5 fucking pitbulls that casually walked in our path and surrounded our car as we slowed to a stop. They just stared us down until I crept up towards the two dogs at the front which eventually moved out of the way. That freaked me out and Mrs. Shrink didn’t know how long the road was so we turned around and hightailed it out of there. It turns out there’s some controversy about this road called “Nahiku Road” because few people knew about it until the author of Maui Revealed wrote about it. The place started to get overrun with tourists and the locals have subsequently tried to make it less welcoming to chase out the Looky Lous. It worked on us. We also stopped at the Black Sand Beach at Waianapanapa (very small beach, not all that remarkable).

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    Finally, we made it to the end of the Highway to Hell. Thank Christ. We drove through Kahului on the way to our hotel and stopped for dinner at another spot featured on DDD, Da Kitchen. http://dakitchen.com/
    Another awesome spot. Humongous portions. I had the Kalbi ribs.

    The next day we went ziplining. We did the Kapalua Ziplines in northwest Maui. There were a bunch of options and we went with the one available with the most runs (7). I’m a bit afraid of heights but not enough to deter me from this type of thing (it probably just enhances the thrill). With that in mind, I never really felt unsafe or super scared. It was just fun. The 7 lines were between 750 feet and over 2000 feet and the whole experience took about 4 hours. It was about $190 each. I’d say that price is about right for the experience.

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    After ziplining, we ate at another place featured on DDD (lol) called Miso Phat. http://misophat.com/
    Delicious sushi. However, very pricey. It was BYOB though so we saved on booze.

    The next day we hung out at the pool and on the beach. Sugar Beach is a long stretch of sand with pristine clear water when it’s calm in the morning. But the beach wasn’t very deep and there was limited soft sand. The bottom of the ocean was rocky/lots of coral even at shallow depths. Overall, not a great beach for lounging/swimming.


    For supper, we went to our 4th (!!!) Maui restaurant featured on DDD – Fat Daddy’s BBQ in Kihei. Pretty good BBQ. The chicken was a bit undercooked. Burnt ends were on point. Also recommended.
    http://www.fatdaddysmaui.com/

    The next day we went to see the sunrise at Haleakala Park. Haleakala is a volcano that forms most of Maui and at the summit (10,000 feet elevation) you can see the sun coming up through the clouds during sunrise. This is what it's supposed to look like...

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    This is a very popular activity. In fact, it’s so popular they limit the number of cars that can enter the park to see the sunrise. You either have to pay to go with a bus tour or try to buy a $1 sunrise ticket to enter the park each day at 3 PM when they release 80 tickets online. We were logged on exactly at 3 PM and at first it seemed like we didn’t get the ticket because it quickly said “Sold Out” but then Mrs. Shrink kept refreshing and a ticket eventually became available at about 3:05 PM.

    Sunrise was at 5:45 AM and it was over an hour drive to the summit. We also knew there were limited parking spots in the upper lot so we left shortly before 3:00 AM. That drive was a bit wild as well – super windy road up a mountainside in pitch black while sleepy. But the road was much wider and well maintained so I didn’t find it as harrowing as the Road to Hana. We were one of the first 10 cars to arrive and we got a spot in the upper lot. There was nothing to see or do until about 5:15 when it was no longer pitch black. We stood on the summit platform and waited for the sun to rise and then………….
    We didn’t really see anything. It was too cloudy. So we didn’t get the grand sunrise. Luck of the draw, I guess.


    There are still some spectacular views up there of the crater and such. We had breakfast at Grandma’s Coffee House near the bottom of Haleakala. I had Hawaii’s famous comfort food dish Loco Moco which makes a nice breakfast or lunch – white rice and a hamburger patty covered in gravy with a fried egg on top. Delicious.

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    We spent the rest of the day on the beach. The next day we left for Kauai. Overall, I really enjoyed Maui and it was a nice introduction to Hawaii. Aloha!

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    Comments
      
      Sanlmar: Shrink is the king of movie reviews & trip reports.
      
      simply1: Great stuff. Skip the ziplining and go play the Plantation Course in Kapalua
      
      Crowe Diddly: Very cool stuff all around!
      
      Dan Druff: Excellent report
      
      GambleBotsChafedPenis: The Shrink Brings The Hits/Nice Sneakers Rep
      
      splitthis: Gorgeous
      
      big dick: You do an AMAZING trip report. Glad you had a nice trip
      
      Tellafriend: trip report green
      
      duped_samaritan: looking forward to next one
      
      gimmick:

  7. #27
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report. It actually gave me some new ideas for things to do and restaurants to visit, next time I'm in Maui.

    I didn't have as much time in Maui as you did (we went to 3 islands), so you did more than me.

    I don't know what to say about the difference in our impressions of the Road to Hana. Maybe being from the western US, I'm more used to treacherous roads?

    Yes, there's the blind curves, but everyone slows down and travels them very cautiously. I read some harrowing-sounding reviews on Yelp before I did it, and was freaked out going into the whole thing. Then I actually did the drive, and was surprised at how mild it was. At no time did I feel nervous or unsafe. I slowed down when it seemed potentially dangerous, and I felt totally comfortable. I didn't feel any worry or concern at any point, and keep in mind Benjamin was in the car.

    I do remember it being difficult to find a certain waterfall, where we had to walk through a bamboo forest to get there. But it doesn't look like the one you posted. We parked in a few places before finding a path through.

    I also went to the top of Haleakala, and again I didn't find the road to be a big deal. However, I didn't see the sunrise. I went up in the afternoon. I thought it was cool... looked like we are on a barren, different planet.

    Te reason we didn't go see the sunrise was twofold:

    1) Unlike you, we weren't on an early schedule

    2) Benjamin's mom had gone up there previously with a different boyfriend (probably about 20 years ago), and told me it was super cold up there, to the point where she couldn't enjoy it. (It probably didn't help that she didn't expect the cold in Hawaii, and didn't bring clothes for it.)


    Timeshares are basically a huge scam, but that's a different subject for a different time.

    Glad you enjoyed your trip, and thanks for the pics and the great report. I want to go back!

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff
    everything is about me!!!
    why do you make every thread about you bro?

  9. #29
    I've never been to Hawaii but this trip report definitely is pushing me in that direction. I've lost interest with beaches of late but it looks like you did a lot of sight seeing and hiking which definitely appeals more to me these days. An every day possible adventure is more what I enjoy as I've aged.

  10. #30
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    Kudos! Glad you had a great time. My impression of the Road to Hana was the same - total nightmare. The locals make it nerve wracking. My wife was almost swept out to sea at that black sand beach on our honeymoon.

  11. #31
    Gold duped_samaritan's Avatar
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    I spent over 12 years living in Florida and hate the beach. It's pretty and all, but I'm just not capable of sitting there enjoying the sensation of being cooked alive.

    Always assumed a trip to Hawaii for me would be miserable. You're starting to change my mind.

  12. #32
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I'm glad I took the Road to Hana before reading the opinions of Shrink and gauchojake, or I probably would have skipped it.

    Shrink, are you planning upon returning and going to the other islands? Or is the trip there too brutal?

    I wouldn't blame you if you're not dying to take that flight again.

  13. #33
    Bronze The Shrink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I'm glad I took the Road to Hana before reading the opinions of Shrink and gauchojake, or I probably would have skipped it.

    Shrink, are you planning upon returning and going to the other islands? Or is the trip there too brutal?

    I wouldn't blame you if you're not dying to take that flight again.
    We'd love to return but it won't be anytime soon. First barrier is expense and second barrier is the travel time. I'd love to see the Big Island and the lesser visited Molokai.

  14. #34
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    Hawaii Trip Report – Kauai

    Open, listen, and read (R.I.P. Sonny)



    The flight from Maui to Kauai is about 50 minutes. The Maui airport was actually a bit of a zoo and it took almost an hour to get through security. Island time, baby.

    We took a short shuttle bus to the car rental place. There was a foul stench on the bus during the 5-minute ride, quite a juxtaposition to the glorious Kauai landscape visible in the distance. When we disembarked I figured out what it was – some old lady sitting beside me had shit and pissed herself. She was wearing cream-coloured shorts that were drenched in her own filth. A prominent brown spot on the seat of her shorts made it abundantly clear she had lost control of her bowels. She looked to be in her mid-60s. Her husband, somewhat older – perhaps 10 years her senior – steered her around the rental agency, keeping an eye on her. She didn’t seem bothered by the fact that she had soiled herself and smelled like an open sewer. She had a distant look in her eyes. I’ve seen that look before. This woman had dementia. I stood behind in her line and I had to breath through my nose to keep from retching from the smell. A rooster crowed loudly just outside the car rental place (side note: Hawaii is teeming with wild chickens but Kauai has even more than the other islands because there are no mongoose on Kauai).

    “Oh! A chicken!” she declared, turning to me as if gauging whether I was as surprised as she.
    I smiled back, “Yeah, I’ve heard there are lots here.”
    “Are we going to the farm?” she asked me with a vacant stare.
    Her husband turned and said, “Come on, Brenda. Don’t bother them. I’m sorry.” He corralled her back in line in front of himself.

    The memory of that lady stuck with me. Here they were in paradise – two people but only one healthy mind. Such a shame.

    As mentioned in the Maui recap, we got a convertible rental. The rental agent tried to upsell me to a Jeep, telling me it would be much better for accessing parts of the island but I declined (in the end, it would have made no difference in terms of the roads we were driving on). This time we had a Mustang which was so much better than the Camaro we had in Maui. I’m not really a car guy but it drove far better, the dashboard controls were more user friendly, and it was way easier to put the top down.

    Kauai is much smaller than Maui but we were staying on the southwest end of the island and the airport is on the east side so it took about 45 minutes to get to our hotel which was the Plantation Cottages in Waimea. This place was pretty good and a big change from the condo accommodations in Maui. They have about 25 cottages that sleep 2-8 people. Most of the cottages are a stone’s throw from the ocean.

    Pros:
    -very private and novel accommodations
    -beautifully maintained grounds
    -beach and pool not crowded at all (I never saw more than a handful of people on the large beach and never saw anyone at the pool)
    -short walk into town of Waimea which has restaurants and groceries stores
    -can use BBQs and hammocks on grounds
    -excellent BBQ restaurant on site called “Chicken in a Barrel”
    -close to excursion departure points and Waimea Canyon
    -reasonable value

    Cons:
    -view not as nice
    -$25 per day resort fee (there was no resort fee in Maui – that said, there was no housekeeping service which I’m fine with but you had to take out your garbage, run the dishwasher, and start a load of laundry before you left – I’ll happily take that in exchange for no resort fee) – I hate resort fees with a passion.
    -beach wasn’t really maintained – lots of debris everywhere and water was a bit murky. Nonetheless, it had lots of soft sand and the ocean had a nice sandy bottom. I took a dip each morning.
    -somewhat isolated from the eastern side of the island

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    Overall, I would recommend staying here. After checking in we walked into Waimea (about 5 minutes away by foot) and had something to eat – fish tacos at Island Tacos. I had the Cajun mahi mahi. Good (not great). Then we picked up some groceries (fun fact: plastic bags are banned in Hawaii – you get everything in paper bags) and headed back to the cottage to hang out for the rest of the day.
    The next day we drove east around to the north part of the island. Kauai is much smaller than Maui and it took less than two hours to basically drive around half the island (even with their hilariously low speed limits – by the way, I saw many people on motorcycles without helmets so I guess they’re not required). Very pleasant drive. I found Kauai to be even more beautiful than Maui. It’s a little less touristy and the surroundings are even greener.

    When I went over the reasons why I liked Hawaii so much in my first point I forgot to mention the lack of abject poverty. Hawaii is obviously in a first-world country. When I’ve gone to Mexico and the Caribbean, it’s pretty depressing to drive through shanty towns on the way to resorts. This is particularly the case in Cuba where everyone is especially poor (not to mention that it’s not nearly as beautiful as Hawaii). Seeing so many people living in horrible conditions gave me a twinge of guilt which put a damper on my vacation.

    First we stopped at the Kauai Coffee visitor center and took a free tour. Pretty interesting. Tried a lot of their coffee and bought a couple of bags.

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    Then we drove around the east coast and up to Princeville which is a fancy resort area. There’s a tide pool nearby called Queens Bath which draws in a lot of visitors. It’s sort of weird how to access it because you have to drive through a neighbourhood filled with luxury homes and there’s a tiny parking lot at the end where you can access the hiking trail. The parking lot only fits about 5 cars so everyone is waiting to get in. Instead of waiting, we drove back to the golf course and parked there (it’s supposed to be $16 to park but we just went to the clubhouse and bought a couple of drinks which got us a parking voucher). Then we walked back through the residential neighbourhood (shout out to BadGuy) to the hiking trail which was about 10 minutes away. The trail was treacherous – steeply sloped and muddy. That took about 15 minutes to navigate and we finally reached the Queens Bath area which was spectacular. Great views. Some people were actually going into the tide pool to swim which seemed kind of dangerous as it was quite windy that day. Waves could easily sweep someone out to sea. There’s a sign nearby that keeps a running tally of people who have drowned there.

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    Here’s a video someone took at Queens Bath and a moment when waves almost swept away some swimmers.



    Here’s a video of some real dare devils taking a plunge in the “Pool of Death” (this isn’t Queens Bath but it’s about 50 yards away). These kids are fucking nuts. I admire their balls but you couldn't pay me to try that.



    After checking that out we wanted to continue west to Hanalei Pier and Wainiha Beach but there was a backup of cars just outside of Princeville and we sat there for 30 minutes before turning around. Construction or something. Instead, we headed back and stopped at a different beach (can’t remember which one, there are tons) before returning to Waimea where we picked up some tuna steaks and grilled them at our cottage.

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    The next day we went on a helicopter tour. Now, you’re all probably aware of my success as the world's most revered Professional myVegas player ( https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sh...l=1#post189211 ). If you’re not familiar, myVegas is a “freemium” game on Facebook (I’ve never spent a cent on this game) where you can earn credits to spend on various rewards. The rewards are mostly in Vegas but also in other places. I’ve probably used credits to buy about $1000 worth of rewards. Plus, I have an obscene amount of credits (I have almost 3M credits and something worth $50 costs about 100,000 credits). I was surprised to see they had rewards for discounts on Maverick Helicopter tours not only in Vegas but also Hawaii. We planned on doing a helicopter tour anyways so we figured might as well get a discount. We did the “Explorer Tour” which is the longer of the two options at about 50 minutes. On the Maverick website it’s listed at $300 per person or as an $270 online only special. I used some myVegas credits on the $75 off reward but they just took it off the $300 price. Fortunately, when we went to pay in Kauai they applied the $75 discount to both of us so we saved $90 total off the online discounted price. Nice. I would say that $225 per person is about right for this tour. We did a Grand Canyon helicopter tour in Vegas which was about $400 per person. That one included a transfer from the hotel to the airport, lunch at the Grand Canyon (it landed right in the canyon), plus a flyover of the Strip, and it was about 4 hours total. The Kauai tour was much better. Most of the Grand Canyon tour was spent flying over the desert to get there. This one had amazing views the whole time. As an added bonus we were staying only about 15 minutes away from the helipad.

    I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves. It was absolutely spectacular. We got to see the “Jurassic Falls” featured in the movie, the Waimea Canyon (which is actually a lot like Grand Canyon, as Druff mentioned earlier in the thread), and the famed Na Pali Coast. Stunning.

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    Our pilot was great. His name was Tone and he was from Belgium which was quite a coincidence because the two other passengers on the flight happened to be from Netherlands (so he spoke to them in Dutch) and Mrs. Shrink who is from Quebec (so he spoke to her in French) and me (whom he spoke to in English).

    We went to Salt Pond Beach to watch the sunset and then for dinner we went to the Kauai Beer Company in Lihue which was very good. Great beer and food.

    The next day we wanted to see the Na Pali Coast by sea so we went on a catamaran tour through a company called Captain Andy’s. I liked this even better than the helicopter tour. It was $185 each and it was a 5.5 hour tour of the Na Pali coast on the west side of Kauai. I’ve been on catamaran tours in Cuba and Mexico and this one put those to shame. The boat was not crowded at all, the crew was very professional and friendly, the meal onboard was excellent, and there was free booze for most of the tour (Kona Longboard is such a good lager). We went snorkeling in clear water with tons of fish, saw several pods of dolphins, and the up-close views of the Na Pali coast can’t be beat. Fantastic.

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    That evening we decided to do a real touristy thing and go to a Luau. I know, I know. But it seems like something you have to do when you go to Hawaii. There are only about a half dozen to choose from in Kauai and we decided on the Aulii Luau because it was closest to our resort (30 minutes away) and also the only beachfront luau on the island. Before the luau we went to nearby Poipu to do some shopping and have a drink. Nice little area.

    The luau was actually pretty good. Perhaps it was a bit pricey ($100 each with an online coupon for 15% off that I found) but that was the going rate for all of the luaus. You could pay $25 each extra for “VIP” seating which was marginally closer to the stage (you also got a flower lei and first crack at the buffet) but definitely not worth it. We were seated next to a side stage in front of the ocean where performers did the same thing that was happening on the main stage anyways so we had great views. We also had a view of surfers before sundown. We saw some foil boarders which is apparently all the rage in surfing now. I’ve never seen it before but it looks super cool. The surfers appear to be hovering above the water and the pump their boards between swells so they can stay up longer. I saw a guy buzzing around out there for almost 10 minutes going from swell to swell without getting off the board.



    The food at the luau was decent but not spectacular. It had all traditional Hawaiian foods so it was a good opportunity to try them all.

    Here’s the menu:
    Hawaiian Chili Pepper Pipi Kaula
    Sliced Pineapple
    Hawaiian Potato Chips
    Sesame Garlic Edamame
    Vegetable Crudite
    Cucumber Salad
    Local Style Potato Macaroni Salad
    Ahi Ogo Poke
    Ginger Tofu Poke
    Hanalei Poi
    Lomi Lomi Salad
    Kauai 's Fresh I'a (Fish)
    Kalua Pig with Cabbage
    Grilled Marinated I'o (Beef)
    Ginger shoyu grilled sirloin
    Huli Huli Moa (Rotisserie Chicken)
    Island Vegetable Chow Mein Noodles
    Steamed Sticky Rice
    Taro Rolls
    Mango Cake
    Haupia (Hawaiian Coconut Cake)
    Pineapple Cake
    Chocolate Cake

    I was curious to try the famed poi which is taro root ground into a paste with water added. It’s rather unpleasant. Doesn’t taste like much and the texture is gross.
    Normally, a luau has an imu ceremony where they raise the cooked pig from the ground oven but this luau didn’t have that. The resulting kalua dish is basically pulled pork. I found it way too salty. The standout dishes were the grilled marinated I’o (beef) and tuna poke. I became a huge poke fan on this trip.

    The show was also pretty good. It’s a revue of different Polynesian dances with a live band. The emcee was excellent. But the best part of the show was the fire knife dancers. Very impressive.

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    Overall, I’d say I’m happy we went to the luau.

    On our final day we drove and hiked in Waimea Canyon. Glorious. Again, so many outstanding views. We did one hike that took about one hour each way and at the end there was a waterfall where I swam at the foot of it.

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    A great way to end our trip. I can’t say enough about Kauai. If I went back I would plan to do some of the really long hikes that reach the Na Pali coast.

    Again, this was the best trip I’ve ever taken. The images of the endless beauty of Hawaii are etched in my memory. Perhaps that’s why I keep thinking about the demented woman who shat herself on the car rental shuttle bus. Would she remember anything about her Kauai experience? Or would her recollection be as transient as the cock-a-doodle-doo of a Kauai chicken? I find it hard to believe anyone could ever forget this place.

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    Comments
      
      big dick: Best TR posted on the internet
      
      gimmick:
      
      gauchojake: excellent trip report sir
      
      Sanlmar: I think the secret sauce is that Shrink is a thoughtful human being. Thoroughly enjoyed this
      
      GambleBotsChafedPenis: Shrink Trip Report Rep
      
      Sheesfaced: Fantastic TR
      
      duped_samaritan: enjoyable read, go on an other vacation soon!
    Last edited by The Shrink; 05-23-2019 at 03:54 PM.

  15. #35
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    I did the Queens Bath when my wife and I were younger. Dangerous but not that big of a deal. I went a few years ago and turned back.

    Great pics and TR

  16. #36
    glad to see you made a comment about the poke...it's just unfuckingbelievable...

    got all these poke joints popping up that don't hold a candle to the real deal...for some unknown stroke of luck one opened a couple streets down from me in philly and the girl who owns the place with her husband is of Hawaiian decent...you can just tell that she knows what the hell she is doing...

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by gauchojake View Post
    I did the Queens Bath when my wife and I were younger. Dangerous but not that big of a deal. I went a few years ago and turned back.

    Great pics and TR
    Thanks. As I approach 40 my mentality has switched from "What the hell, there's like 1% chance I could drown. Let's go for it!" to "Oh my god, there's like 1% chance I could drown! No way!"

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by GambleBotsChafedPenis View Post
    glad to see you made a comment about the poke...it's just unfuckingbelievable...

    got all these poke joints popping up that don't hold a candle to the real deal...for some unknown stroke of luck one opened a couple streets down from me in philly and the girl who owns the place with her husband is of Hawaiian decent...you can just tell that she knows what the hell she is doing...
    I hadn't tried poke until I went to Hawaii so now I'm afraid to try it anywhere else because I suspect I'll be disappointed. Also, the Hawaiian Shave Ice was amazing.

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      GambleBotsChafedPenis: Shave Ice Is The Nuts Rep

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Thanks for the report. It actually gave me some new ideas for things to do and restaurants to visit, next time I'm in Maui.

    I didn't have as much time in Maui as you did (we went to 3 islands), so you did more than me.

    I don't know what to say about the difference in our impressions of the Road to Hana. Maybe being from the western US, I'm more used to treacherous roads?

    Yes, there's the blind curves, but everyone slows down and travels them very cautiously. I read some harrowing-sounding reviews on Yelp before I did it, and was freaked out going into the whole thing. Then I actually did the drive, and was surprised at how mild it was. At no time did I feel nervous or unsafe. I slowed down when it seemed potentially dangerous, and I felt totally comfortable. I didn't feel any worry or concern at any point, and keep in mind Benjamin was in the car.

    I do remember it being difficult to find a certain waterfall, where we had to walk through a bamboo forest to get there. But it doesn't look like the one you posted. We parked in a few places before finding a path through.

    I also went to the top of Haleakala, and again I didn't find the road to be a big deal. However, I didn't see the sunrise. I went up in the afternoon. I thought it was cool... looked like we are on a barren, different planet.

    Te reason we didn't go see the sunrise was twofold:

    1) Unlike you, we weren't on an early schedule

    2) Benjamin's mom had gone up there previously with a different boyfriend (probably about 20 years ago), and told me it was super cold up there, to the point where she couldn't enjoy it. (It probably didn't help that she didn't expect the cold in Hawaii, and didn't bring clothes for it.)


    Timeshares are basically a huge scam, but that's a different subject for a different time.

    Glad you enjoyed your trip, and thanks for the pics and the great report. I want to go back!
    A few reasons why I probably found Road to Hana so unpleasant to drive:

    1) Because of the route we took we were on the cliff side for the entire drive which is a bit more stressful

    2) The sun was in my eyes for the last couple of hours and there were times when I could not see anything in front of me with the glare

    3) I was not at all expecting it to be such a difficult drive so my mentality going in was different than yours - you were prepared for the worst and I thought we were going for a leisurely drive along the coast.

    We had to pry my fucking fingers off the steering wheel at the end of the day.

    You should start a separate timeshares thread. I think it would be fascinating to hear stories about buying/owning/selling timeshares and attending timeshare presentations.

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    Great thread.

    Did you do a TR for Cuba?

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