out and about in kauai: hukilau lanai

Before I get into Thanksgiving recaps, I figured I should post the final Hawaii vacation post – only a little over a week since we’ve been back ;).  Our last night on Kauai we were trying to decide on a restaurant to go to, and we kept coming back to Hukilau Lanai because they feature an entire gluten free menu as well as a gluten free tasting menu if you’re seated between 5 and 6 pm.

We didn’t have reservations but got there around 5:15 and were seated right out on the Lanai with this gorgeous view!

Right away we asked about their gluten free menu and were brought those, the tasting menus and their gluten free bread basket.  It was so nice to be able to enjoy a bread basket again!  The bread was a herby focaccia and it was delectable.  Nice and airy, not dry and gritty.  Served with balsamic vinegar + oil.

I also started out the meal with my first Pina Colada of the trip – these are by far my favorite blended fruity drink!

Sister, my mom and I decided on the gluten free tasting.  My mom eats gluten, but she liked the sounds of this one rather than the normal tasting!  Our meal started with Candied Ahi… coffee spiced ahi, chipotle coconut sauce.

Second course was an Arugula Salad… arugula, fresh beets, corn off the cob, cherry tomatoes, basil vinaigrette.

The third course and first entree was the Fresh Catch… grilled fresh island fish, thai chili coconut sauce, white rice.

Time for another cocktail!  This time I got a Lava Flow – basically just a Pina Colada with a fruit swirl.  Yum!

Fourth course was by far Kinley’s favorite, and was incredibly delicious even though it sounds so simple!  Pork Tenderloin… Local mushroom marsala sauce, crispy polenta.  I usually don’t eat mushrooms, but these were delicious I ate every last one of them!

The next course was supposed to be the final dessert course.  But the manager thought our meals were taking longer than appropriate so sent out a pre-dessert dessert.  Starfruit sorbet.

The final, sixth course of the night was the Big Island Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee… local vanilla bean custard, caramelized sugar.  The perfect sweet ending to the best meal I have ever had.

The meal took about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish, but probably should take around 2 hours.  We were by no means in a hurry and didn’t even notice it was taking longer than it should have been.  Dad got a regular meal off the menu and they timed the courses perfectly to make sure his entree came around the time ours did.  And they even brought him a scoop of Starfruit Sorbet as well!  I didn’t think it was possible to top the Guava BBQ Ribs from Lemongrass Grill, but as an entire meal this definitely does.  And for only $28?  Are you kidding me?  I would go here each and every week if I lived here, and will definitely be returning when I am fortunate enough to make it back to Kauai!  It was sad that we visited this on our last night so we couldn’t revisit it, but it was a perfect ending to our week!  I don’t think I will ever forget this meal and am hungry just thinking about it!

maui day 10/11: traveling home

Day 10 technically lasted quite a long time since it really stretched over days 10 and 11.  After the activities we did throughout the day we still had to begin our venture home.  I had managed to adjust to the time change getting there just fine – Hawaii is 4 hours behind WIsconsin so I just had to stay up a few extra hours that first night, which ended up being surprisingly easy considering the early morning wake up call.  During the week I went to bed at decent times by Hawaii standards, between 10 and 11pm most nights, if not earlier, and I was getting up between 5 and 6.  Well, Wisconsin time that all of a sudden turns into 2am going to bed and waking up at 9… definitely not going to happen when working!

What I think messed me up the most coming home was the first plane ride, it was set to leave Maui at almost 11pm… which wouldn’t have been bad if I was a good plane sleeper but I am definitely not!  Anyways, we got to the airport over two hours before, and thank goodness we did because by the time we checked in and went through the incredibly long and ridiculous security line, we had just enough time to run to the bathroom and walk on the plane.  Something was going on that made everything slow up considerably compared to normal, so I am really glad we were able to make the flight… although who wouldn’t want to be stranded in paradise for an extra night?!  I would have been okay with it.

It was only a 6 hour flight from Maui to our layover in Denver.  I maybe slept for 4 hours of it?  I remember being absolutely freezing and waking up randomly and trying to find a comfortable way to get to sleep.  Not easy when sister is hogging the seats… We arrived in Denver around 9am Denver time, so I ate some random snacks as breakfast and grabbed an Iced Americano from Starbucks to help wake me up.  Our flight from Denver to Milwaukee was delayed an extra 10 or so minutes because our flight attendant decided not to show up.  This plane was TINY!  And we were in the front row… meaning we didn’t have floor space for carry-ons and I had to gate check my backpack.  I mostly read on this flight while sister got even more sleep…  Luckily we ended up arriving in Milwaukee 10 minutes early!

After we arrived, I had to wait for my bag that was gate checked and then go and get our checked luggage.  Dad went to go get our not-as-cool-as-jeep-or-pip vehicle and we headed on our way back to the house to meet up with the pup.  He was so happy to see us!  It’s always sad returning from vacations, but I know Crosby misses us terribly so he is definitely happy we returned!  The rest of the day was spent being incredibly unproductive.  I did get two loads of my laundry done, but nothing else!

Getting back into the swing of things at work has been easier than I thought it was going to.  I was prepared to have an absolutely stuffed inbox, but just had a little over a hundred new emails – kind of miraculous!  I have not been tired as much at nights and super tired and out of it in the mornings, but I am gradually getting used to the time change and hopefully the long Thanksgiving weekend will help get me back to normal!

maui day 10: haleakala crater + honu

I can’t believe this was the last day in Hawaii… as you can tell I definitely was putting this off as long as I could, but I had to write it now so I wouldn’t forget!  In the morning I did my 6 mile long run up the beachside road in Maui, and then we ate and went down to the beach by the condo – I wish I lived this close to the ocean so I could walk to it every day!  We spent the morning snorkeling and soaking up the last of the Hawaiian sun before our departure.  We went back at lunchtime, cleaned the sand off of us and then set off on our roadtrip to Haleakala crater.  Good thing we had Pip to get us there!

We had debated going to Haleakala for sunrise, but decided against waking up at 3am to catch the view – maybe when I am there for longer than two mornings?!  It’s an hour drive up – and 10,000 feet in elevation.  We drove through the clouds.

And behind a busload of Japanese tourists.  Thank you, driver, for pulling to the side so Pip could soar past you.

My ears were popping and my Camelbak was having a hissyfit.  Be careful bringing a Camelbak on a flight or to higher elevations – the water likes to spurt back up the straw and all over everything…

We finally reached 10,000 feet.

And walked up 23 more.

But we certainly could not miss this view.  (P.S. it was COLD!)

This is Hawaiian National Park on the island of Hawaii – see the smoke from the lava flow of the active volcano?  Visiting this park and walking to see the lava at dusk is one of my favorite memories from my last trip to Hawaii.

This looks surreal.  I can’t believe I was actually there.

The top of Haleakala has its own vegetation – including silver plants.  I wanted to bring one home.

We headed back down Haleakala and went toward Lahaina for dinner to celebrate Sister’s birthday!  We finally decided to try out Honu after seeing it listed in a dining guide that highlighted its gluten free options.

The view, both inside and outside, was gorgeous.

The food was too – we got deep fried chickpeas as a complimentary appetizer and I just had to get another Pina Colada before we left!  I think this might have been the best one I have ever had.  Ever.

There were many gluten free options, but my eyes were only for the pizza.

I ended up with the special – Lobster Curry something or other.  It was divine.  The crust was chewy just like hand tossed pizzas are supposed to taste, only sans gluten.  This might have been the best pizza I have ever had and I really need to schedule a trip back ASAP.  Well, and to Kauai as well to go back to Lemongrass Grill and the other restaurant I still need to post about – so much good food!

After dinner Kinley got a special birthday dessert, and we all shared bites!  Happy Birthday Sister!!!

The entire meal was incredible, but also sad because it was our last eaten in Hawaii.  We went back to the condo to pack up and head to the Airport…


maui day 9: kiehe beaches + america ii

I woke up with not much of a plan for the morning. I ended up going on a 4 mile walk up the road in Kiehe. Kiehe is much more walker/runner friendly than anywhere in Kauai was since there are actually sidewalks and plenty of other walker/runner/bikers out and about in the mornings.

When I got back, we made Nature Pancakes again – it was so nice and easy to just pick up a package of Gluten Free Bisquick and a few items from the bulk bins at a natural foods store up the way than getting our own ingredients together for something!  This time there was both Passion Fruit Guava syrup from Aunty Lilikoi and Coconut Syrup.  I am definitely going to miss these fruity syrups!  Also a cup of strawberry Chobani with Pina Colada Granola on top from Kauai Granola (not certified oats, but ended up being fine!).

After breakfast, there was no need to clean up from my walk since it was time for suits and beach time!  Our condo is about 1/4 mile walk (if that) from the beach so we didn’t even have to drive to find it.

It was sunny when we were out, even though it was also really overcast!  Not what I was expecting from the weather in Maui, but the ocean was nice so I couldn’t have asked for much else!

After we had our fill of beach time for the day we headed back to the condo to clean up, eat lunch and then head on our way to Lahaina again to set sail on the America II. America II was an actual America’s Cup Contender in 1987 and has now retired to taking tourists out on performance sailing rides.  None of us were ready for what we experienced.  Our original plan was to go on the sail and then to a nice restaurant in Lahaina for dinner.  We didn’t hear any warnings from the people where we bought our tickets except you might get a little wet, but when we got on the America II, the captain was saying that anything that can’t be submerged in at least 3’ of water needs to be stowed away.  WHAT?!  I had brought my nice purse, a book to read, my camera that has already had enough near death experiences for one trip…  Luckily the stowed area stayed dry but I most definitely did not. Right away I got splashed with at least a gallon of water that soaked me from head to toe – and it was NOT sunny and warm out so it was chilly. If I only would have been prepared, it would have been great – but the lack of warning definitely surprised us all!  Needless to say, we had fun but were definitely not ready to sit anywhere, especially in a nicer restaurant, when it looked like we had wet our pants/lost our pants ;).

We left for the 1/2 hour+ drive back to the condo with towels wrapped around our waists. We decided that instead of going out to a nicer place for dinner all we wanted to do was walk from our condo to Fred’s Mexican Cafe for another round of fish tacos as well as margaritas.  I decided on the Skinny Margarita.

And the fish tacos, this time without the cheese since I remembered to order it that way.  Subbed corn tortillas in for the flour.

Such a pretty setting!

And the waitress took our best family picture of the trip – and we are all lookin’ pretty tan!

I still can’t believe today was our last full day in Hawaii – it has all gone so fast even though it seems like we’ve done a lot in just a little over a week.  One more beach and sightseeing day to go and then heading back to winter :(.

maui day 8: island transfers + lahaina

Kauai time has officially passed for this vacation – so sad! I will miss the garden island and hope to return soon :). For breakfast I had a plate of fruit along with 1/2 a Sweet Marie’s blueberry muffin and some chex + chia. So fruity and delicious! We left our condo a little after 7 to catch our Hawaiian Airlines flight from Kauai to Maui. Getting to the airport was no problem – we dropped off the Jeep and got through security and just had to wait for our plane to arrive. We left on time at 9am and arrived in Maui well before 10. Dad went to pick up the new rental car – this time a nice lil’ Lincoln Towncar which I nicknamed Pipsqueak (Pip). Such a nice little island car…

We drove from the airport to a harbor that Mom and Dad had sailed out of in the past looking for a charter, as well as a fish shop they were remembering. We came out 0 for 2 and continued on our way to Kihei to find something to eat for lunch instead. We ended up at Fred’s Mexican Cafe for fish tacos. I got mine in corn tortilla shells with refried beans. Delicious. After that we checked on our condo, but it wasn’t ready yet so we headed to Lahaina to look around instead.

We started at the huge Indian Banyan Tree. It is the largest in Hawaii and spans an entire block. So many tourists! Lahaina is definitely a cruise port and caters to the individuals who go on cruises.

For an afternoon snack we stopped at Ono Gelato Company for gelato!  We saw an exciting sign for gluten free brownies!

Unfortunately there were no brownies made today, so Kinley and I decided to share a large with pistachios, macadamia nut + big island crunch (coffee, chocolate + macadamia nuts). All three were delicious!  We continued to walk around Lahaina for a bit until our 3 hour parking was up and then headed back to the condo to officially check in and head out to grab some dinner!

We ended up at Monkeypod. We shared some french fries for an appetizer with homemade ketchup and dijon mustard aiole. For my meal I got Grass Fed, Hormone Free Peppercorn Rubbed Filet Steak with Kona coffee honey butter, jasmine rice and green beans and broccoli. It was a pretty expensive meal – $31 for the steak, but it was delicious and I loved the Kona coffee honey butter on top!

kauai day 7: beach time

Today was a pretty relaxing day.  It was our last day in Kauai and we had plans to go kayaking, but the wanting to sleep in and go to the beach beat out paddling to yet another waterfall.  Plus, we’ve got to leave something for when we come back next time, right?  Well, we visited Po’ipu beach again and had some cloudy sunshine.  It was mostly cloudy, but the sun peaked out enough to give us all a little pinkish tint.  We headed back to the condo to have lunch and then sat out by the pool for the afternoon.  It seemed like it might have been rainy/more cloudy both north and south of where we were so it really wasn’t worth it to drive to a beach at that point!

Our dinner is deserving of its own post – I’ll work on writing and posting that within the next week.  It’s hard for me to say for sure, but I think it might beat the Guava BBQ ribs for my best meal ever!  I can’t believe that our time in Kauai is up.  It seems like we’ve done so much, and yet it’s already over!

kauai day 6: waterfalls + ziplining adventure

I’ve started out each post this week with my island breakfasts, so I might as well continue for day 6 ;).  I had a yogurt, banana and granola bowl with a half of a Mango Macadamia Nut muffin from Sweet Marie’s.  I have actually not been a huge fan of the muffins from Sweet Marie’s Gluten Free Bakery here in Kauai – they’ve been dry and not super flavorful.  This flavor is one of the bests tho – it’s hard to go wrong with macadamia nuts haha.  I thought the muffins were going to be the only thing for breakfasts in the islands so I pre-ordered 10 of them, and was going to share with Mom and Dad as well, but then 10 muffins and one container of granola came to $65!  Yikes – I don’t know if she overcharged me or what, but I am quite disappointed that for that price they’re not as good as what I could get close to home (or make myself).

Anyways, we left our condo around 9 this morning and drove to Opaekaa Falls. It was a pretty short drive and we got out at an overlook to check it out.  It was huge, but I do wish the foliage was a little more picturesque near the water!  You definitely do not see things like this in Wisconsin… ;).

We ended up driving around a bit after that and also heading into town to get a few groceries we needed for our last couple of days.  We also went to our first fruitstand – looong overdue since we’ve been meaning to get to one since our first day here!  We got papayas, limes, dragonfruit, lilikoi, eggfruit, starfruit and an avocado.

Lunch we just ate at the condo, but it was so good!  A brown rice tortilla with turkey, avocado and papaya seed dressing with a half of a papaya and half a starfruit on the side.  I think this may have been the best papaya I’ve ever had – so juicy and perfect.

After lunch we headed to our ziplining adventure.  We made reservations the other day and it was the first time anyone in my family has gone.  Mom didn’t join us for the zipping, but came around and stayed safely on the ground to take our pictures at a few of the spots.  We decided to go with JustLive! Kauai’s Zipline Treetop Tour that included 7 ziplines and 4 canopy bridges.  I was definitely scared to jump off the first one, but then realized it wasn’t that scary so the rest were a breeze.

It was really cool being to high up, around 60-80’ in the trees.  The trees themselves were 200’ – they’re Norfolk Pines but in the Hawaiian weather they grow ridiculously high.  And apparently you cannot tell the age of trees on Hawaii by the rings like you can in colder climates because the rings are created by the cold sap/warm sap variation in the winter and summer months.  Learn something new every day!  I really liked the one where we got to jump off backwards and turn around!

After we were done ziplining we headed to another waterfall, Wailua Falls, that we didn’t end up having time to go to this morning.  This one wasn’t flowing as much as it sometimes is so there were two streams coming down.  Such a long drop down!

We had stopped to get some fresh fish to grill for dinner at a fish market and brought that back to the condo.  We had Opah fish that ended up being really good – a very “meaty” fish that grilled really well.  We made rice, peas and broccoli on the side and I dipped it in a little papaya seed dressing.  A very nice dinner!

After dinner we went back to the grocery store to get ice cream for dessert.  We ended up with Kona Coffee + Macadamia Nut with some hot fudge.  It was extremely delicious, especially on such a hot and humid day.  The perfect ending!

kauai day 5: kilohana plantation + beach time

This morning started with a 4 mile run.  This week’s training increased my weekly distance by a half mile again – crazy!  I didn’t really know where to run around the condo since it is right off a highway and didn’t want to end up somewhere dark and scary with a bunch of chickens cornering me, so I stayed pretty close.  There are a few lit paths around the different buildings so I looped around those for a bit, and then went to the highway for a little longer, and then looped back in.  It worked pretty good and I will have to do something similar on Wednesday!  It might also help if I wasn’t running in the complete darkness – I was up at 5 this morning and the sun isn’t quite up yet that early.

After I got back, Kinley and I had coffee on the Lanai and then made our Nature pancakes again from Saturday – although this time with macadamia nuts rather than granola in them.  So good, and I absolutely love the syrup.

We left the condo at 9ish to get to the Kilohana Plantation by 9:30 am.  We were there in plenty of time, so we had a chance to walk around and take some pictures of the grounds.  Everything was so beautiful!

We got reservations for the train + hike + plantation tour which was a four hour tour taking us around the grounds and telling us different things about both the plantation and Kauai in general.

I love these trees!  Captain Cook’s ships brought them over as they were used to repair masts of their ships if they were to get damaged.

Our first thing we did once we got off the short train ride was feed the pigs!  They got a nice snack of some bread and hawaiian rolls, lucky pigs!  I attempted to throw all of mine at the little babies because they are so darn cute.  I really wanted to bring one home with me :).

The next stop on the tour was a short hike (1/4 – 1/2 mile?).  It went down into a ravine on the property that was unlike anything else I had seen in Kauai.  There were so many different types of vegetation and a bunch of bugs – wasn’t a fan of the bugs but at least they left me alone!

This is a Banyan Tree.  It was actually a mango tree at one point but was taken over by the banyon – it’s a parasitic vine that slowly suffocates the tree from the inside out – and grows from the top down.  The vines are SO thick and strong nothing can be done about it.  It’s so sad, but I do think it looks cool.  We have an entire tunnel of these at the entry to our condo.

After the hike that took close to an hour, it was time for lunch!  Turkey wraps were provided, but we called ahead and they were able to put together a salad instead of the wrap.  I can’t believe how excited I have been to have salads here because we couldn’t find any lettuce at the grocery store so it almost feels like a treat!  I also had some Guava Nectar and a blueberry Sweet Marie’s muffin that we packed along for a bit more sustenance.

After lunch we started out trek through the plantation gardens, and had a ton of fresh fruit samples right off the trees/plants/bushes.  We got to sample a guava, an orange, a tangerine, starfruit, pineapple. avocado, papaya, some weird eyeball looking thing, sugar cane and probably a couple others but I can’t remember them all, but they were all so good!

The tour lasted until 2 pm and then we headed to the Kalapaki Beach to soak up some more sun.  It wasn’t the best beach around, but it was still a beach so I can’t complain too much!  We stayed for a couple of hours and then left to head back to the condo, clean up and then find somewhere to go for dinner.  I realized when we got back to the condo that I had gotten a little sunburnt from the plantation tour – some of it was also a sun rash so hopefully it isn’t as bad as it looks right now haha.

We ended up going back to Lemongrass Grill for dinner to get the Guava BBQ ribs again – they are so good!  Although this time I washed them down with a Mudslide that was so strong I couldn’t drink it all.

After dinner we strolled a path by the beach for a few minutes because we were all so full!  And then headed back to the condo for hot tub time and bed.  I can’t believe we’ve only got 2 days left in Kauai!  In some ways it seems like we’ve been here a really long time because we’ve done so much, but now it seems like it’s going by too quickly!

kauai day 4: kauai coffee + waimea canyon

I started out this morning at 5am, unassisted by any alarm clocks.  It is nice to get up so early on your own and have a ton of extra time built in.  I had some Kona coffee (just can’t get enough!), and then went out for a 2 mile walk to try and scope out somewhere I could do a 4 mile run on Monday.  Our resort is right off a highway and has a short private drive, so I guess if worse comes to worst I can pretend I’m on a track and just do loops around the condo.  After I got back I had breakfast – some Chobani strawberry yogurt mixed with chia, granola and topped with a little Sweet Marie’s Morning Glory muffin with a half of a grilled Tropical muffin on the side with strawberry-guava jam.

We left the house and headed toward Waimea Canyon – the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.  On the way we stopped at Kauai Coffee Company for their short self-guided tour and coffee samples!  It was a gorgeous and sunny day with blue skies everywhere.

I had about three sample cups and my favorite was the Caramel Crunch Macadamia – and we bought a bag to brew in our condo ;).  I also really liked a banana flavored one that would have made awesome iced coffee.

The tour was 1/8 of a mile long, so just a short walk through some coffee plants.  It was really neat to see all of the coffee fruits/beans still on the plant!

After we got our coffee buzz on, it was time to go across the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge.  Dad made it quite scary by stepping unnecessarily large – I grabbed on to the railing at one point and still have a nice sliver of the bridge with me in my finger :/.

We kept driving down the highway toward Waimea Canyon and stopped for lunch at The Grove at the Waimea Plantation Cottages.  We shared pork nachos for an appetizer, and then I had the catch of the day which was Ono, grilled and topped with papaya aioli on a bed of cabbage with a side of steamed rice.  It was so good!  I even got a salad before it with delicious Papaya dressing.  And the entire catch of the day was only $15.95!

After our big lunch, we stopped across the street at Kauai Granola Sugar Cane Snax to see what they had.  I ended up walking out with Pina Colada granola, chocolate dipped  dried pineapple and a chocolate covered macaroon.  Even after all the lunch food I couldn’t stay away from the macaroon – it was SO good and I definitely need to find more of these before we leave and recreate it at home!  I couldn’t decide whether I liked the gooey inner section or the nice and crunch outer section the best…

The drive up the canyon was a bit scary.  We had to ascend 4500+ feet in elevation to reach the top.  The views were all breathtaking and I loved the red dirt color mixed with the greens from the trees.

At the top lookout there was a hiking pathway that went out for more views.  We put on our hiking*cough*running shoes on and started down the path.  We were the same height as the clouds!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this picture.

And this is the point in the vacation where (gasp!) Kelsey does something stupid and her camera is out of commission.  After we were done hiking, we began the descent down that took like half the time… and got my stomach and head rolling!  I was happy to reach the bottom and it took awhile for my head to feel like it was sitting on straight again.  We headed to Salt Pond Beach to sit for awhile and for the parents to have some cocktails and I had grabbed my book, my beach towel and my camera to bring with me down near the ocean.  Well, somehow my camera got stuck in my hands and unbeknownst to be began continually turning itself on with its lens hitting my book/hand over and over again.  Needless to say, it had a lens error.  I have had enough cameras in my day to know this is common with point and shoots and normally you just have to turn them off and when they come to life again the lens resets itself and you’re back in operation.  Well, that was definitely not the case here!

The lens refused to go in and stayed out.  I tried taking the battery out, taking the memory card out, letting them both stay out for a long stretch of time and nothing worked.  My beach time was definitely not a happy time for me because I had somehow managed to break my camera that was only four days old.  Seriously, who does that?  Well, we watched the sunset and then headed back toward our condo to make dinner there.  On the way home we stopped at Walmart to get a few things, including some chocolate macadamia nut ice cream with dry roasted + salted macadamias for on top.

Dinner (somehow I managed to wait until after dinner for ice cream!) was a brown rice tortilla with hummus, a hard boiled egg, turkey and papaya seed dressing with carrots and a few rice chex on the side.  It was nice to have a simple dinner at the condo rather than a heavy meal!  Ice cream, of course, for dessert.  I had wild plans of making kahlua mudslides, but Walmart only had a big bottle of Kahlua for $20.  No thank you, I will just have to get one out this week!

And I have absolutely no clue how he did it, but my dad got my camera to at least function!  The lens was really stuck out, so he somehow twisted it back enough to get it to latch on to go in and out.  It definitely took a little bit, but it appears to be working and hopefully will last until the end of vacation!  It seems like there is some other issue with the camera however because the inner piece of the lens is dented.  Luckily, it’s still under warranty so it will be sent in to Canon when we return to get a fully functioning camera again.  But I cannot even express my joy in having my camera back, even if it is only temporarily!  I am absolutely loving how the pictures are turning out and can’t imagine not having it along for the rest of Hawaii, but I guess we will see how long it can last and how nicely I can treat it from now until then!

kauai day 3: hanalai + a foodies paradise

After we got back home from the Sugar Mill Run, it was definitely time for breakfast! We got a box of gluten free Bisquick at the store. It didn’t have the healthiest of ingredients since it provided zero protein or fiber, so we also got some millet and buckwheat groats to throw in the batter. Sister had also brought some chia seeds along, so those three things combined with the Bisquick mix made a perfectly suitable breakfast!

Some of Sweet Marie’s granola might also have been put on the pancakes before they were flipped – I love granola in pancakes. If you’ve never tried it, you have to!

Served with Passion Fruit Coconut Syrup, some bacon and extra granola! I couldn’t even finish all of these because they were so filling – even though I wanted to because they were so good. We will definitely be making these again on the trip :).

After we were done with breakfast and were showered, we headed up north to Kilauea Beach lighthouse. You normally have to pay to get to the lookout and to see the lighthouse closer, but it was free today for Veterans Day – thanks Veterans!

The views were gorgeous.


After the lighthouse and more driving, we ended up near Lappert’s Ice Cream when we were starting to get hungry again.

I got a sundae with kona coffee + chocolate macadamia nut ice creams, banana, hot fudge, macadamia nuts, whip cream and a cherry. So good!

From the ice cream we headed to go work it off. Our destination? Driving all the way to the end of the road and then hike up the trail there. Don’t you just love Hawaiian directions? So descriptive… Well, we ended up going all the way to the end of the road and there was a busy beach and hiking trail calling our names! Mom had forgotten shoes for hiking so she stayed on the beach while Dad, Kinley and I went up and up and up. We were told it was 2 miles to some waterfalls… but the sign said 4 and we were definitely not prepared for an 8 mile hike that would take 3-4 hours, so we set off to the first and second lookout points listed on the sign – a Beach View and a Coast Viewpoint (.5 miles away).

The hike was quite treacherous. It was very steep, rocky, and slick in a few spots. Kinley and I wore our Five Fingers and they were just a hit on the trail haha – almost everyone we went by just had to comment and ask if they were good hiking shoes… and that was quite humorous since we so do NOT look like hikers, especially in our clothes for the day! The first lookout was a breathtaking view of the beach down below.

And the second was a double view – one side of the beach (although much higher up!), and the other side was the coastline. Everyone up there took turns taking pictures of each other so we got one of the three of us ;).

The hike probably took us 40ish minutes I would say, and it left us famished. We headed to a beach so the parents could have a quick cocktail (and apparently another huge hike since the beach we decided on had a huge trail to get to it) and then went back closer to our condo to to out for dinner at a place we had a coupon for in our resort welcome packet, Lemongrass Grill Seafood Bar. I started the meal with a cocktail – one with Malibu coconut rum, guava, passionfruit and one other juice blended with ice and topped with Bacardi 151. Probably one of the best drinks I’ve ever had.

For dinner Kinley and I (thank goodness) both got the Guava BBQ Ribs. We asked if it was gluten free and the waitress checked on the sauce, and said it was as long as we got it on a bed of rice rather than their potatoes. That was perfectly fine for both of us! They were the absolute best, fall of the rib ribs I’ve ever had and the BBQ sauce was spectacular. The jasmine rice might have even been the best rice I’ve had. And there was even broccoli slaw. We might have to go back to this restaurant to eat this meal again, because I seriously cannot think of a better meal that I have ever had – and it was so easily made gluten free!

After we got home from the best dinner ever, it was definitely time for the hot tub again. My body was sore from the 10k, hike, beach hike, and all the other random walks and strolls throughout the day. Good thing we won’t have to get up quite so early tomorrow morning!