Me (in the distance) on the grass area in front of our condo watching for whales.
So the day before we were due to leave for Kauai, I was still not feeling well. I went to my regular doctor and he checked my ears after I told him my symptoms and he said I didn't know how I was able to hear anything as my one ear was completely blocked up.....ewww! He said I should get some ear drops to loosen the stuff up and then the next morning to come back before we left for the airport and they would clean it out. He also gave me a doctor's note since I'd need to keep putting the drops in my ears every hour and couldn't really be wearing my headset and doing that at the same time. I knew it looked really, really bad to have the two days before a month long holiday off so I drove my sick note the 45 minutes in to work and explained to the girl acting as manager that week what was going on and to prove that I was still physically in the country and not already in Kauai.
Saturday morning, I got up, made sure I was packed and then headed off to the doctor's office. They ended up squirting both of my ears out and it was a pretty weird sensation, but they got the right ear unblocked without bursting my ear drum so I was excited.
I rushed back home and just before noon the shuttle came to pick us up to take us to the airport. The guy was a super slow driver and kept taking these backroad routes that were bumpy and windy and making me kind of nauseous. We finally made it to the airport and up to the counter where MOTH Dude proceeds to read the screen above us that says you can pack a gun in your checked luggage and jokes, "Oh man, so I can't bring it loaded?" I was like, "Ummm, you idiot, did you not see the screen before that one that said 'Please do not make jokes' about weapons or terrorism? Do you want to get arrested or cavity searched? I'll tell them you need a cavity search!" After that, he stopped joking around.
The plane ride was long and uncomfortable and the food that we had to pay extra for was pretty awful. We flew JetStar and I'd recommend a)not flying with them for long flights b) don't buy their food (we prepaid), bring your own on and c) don't bother to buy the comfort/entertainment package. Bring your own blanket and load movies on your laptop. All the ones on their hand held players were old or we'd never heard of them.
We had a 2 hour layover in Oahu and a quick flight over to Kauai. I thought for sure we'd have to wait at the airport for my parents to pick us up, but they were to our baggage claim area within 5 minutes of me calling them. A first for our family, I think! Mom came up behind me and gave me a big hug and had tears in her eyes. MOTH stayed to watch for luggage and I went out to the curb to drop off a bag and give Dad a hug.
Once we had our luggage, we made our way to Walmart and bought some reef walking shoes and some fins for Mom. We then made our way to Koloa Town to have lunch. We went to a place called Tomkats Grille. MOTH Dude got the plate lunch with kalua pork and poke (like ceviche) and thought it was awesome.
This was part of the view from our balcony and from that point we could watch dolphins coming in and whales going by!
After lunch, we finally made our way to our condo at Whaler's Cove. We dropped all of our stuff and hopped in to our bathing suits and hit the pool and jacuzzi. When we got back to the condo, Mom spotted whales from our balcony. Later, Dad, MOTH and I went grocery shopping and then made tacos for dinner and we all sat outside on our balcony to eat and watched the stars and lightning.
The next day, I got up by 7 or 8 am and sat outside with Mom and Dad. Not long after I came out, a huge pod of spinner dolphins cruised past and did a few leaps and spins for us. I then got really tired and passed back out for an hour or two. When MOTH and I finally got up, we decided to make the most of the sunny weather and go swimming and bronzing. As we were laying there, we saw people watching the water. A few minutes later we looked up again and everyone was still watching the water so we figured there must be something really cool out there. We walked to the edge of the pool area and saw the most incredible sight. About 100 yards, if that, off the pool area were three humpback whales cruising along. They were very active and began tail splashing and bringing their heads out of the water and seeming to look back to where we were. All of a sudden one did a full jump out of the water. Then a few minutes later two jumped out of the water back to back. I had never seen wild whales so close before and I had never seen them do so many leaps at a time. We must have seen them breach 5 times or more. It was a pretty incredible experience. We felt very special to have witnessed it.
After that, we decided to head to Costco and MOTH and I were so excited to get pizza and a chicken bake. We also picked up some really nice steaks to barbecue for dinner. When we got home, we all threw on our bathing suits and headed to a nearby beach to snorkel. We must have been out there for over an hour and we just couldn't get enough of all the brightly colored fish we were seeing. We only got out after we started getting the shivers from being cold.
When we got home, we started prepping dinner and mai tais and Dad turned on the news. We were all pretty blown away by the news of Osama bin Laden being killed and sat and watched it for awhile. Dad and MOTH headed out after awhile to cook up dinner and just as they did a quick, heavy rain came over. After a few minutes, it passed and Mom went to go check on them. I spotted some whales in the distance from our balcony so I went down to the pool/barbecue area to let the others know. I think those were the last whales of the trip that we ended up seeing.
Over the next few days, we bronzed a lot, went souvenir shopping, drank an insane amount of mai tais, tried some new restaurants, snorkeled or swam whenever we could, and MOTH Dude went for a scuba dive where he saw a bunch of sea turtles just hanging on the sea floor and taking a nap. It was the perfect, relaxing vacation.
Next up, Part 2 of our trip to Kauai including our adventure paddleboarding, sight seeing at some waterfalls, and a trip to the start of the Napali Coast and one of the prettiest beaches in the world.