I'm actually typing this on Day 7 (Thursday in Hawaii, Friday in MN - what an odd concept) because I was just too tired to handle it yesterday.
We called our "Expedia booking agent" (aka the activities desk) first thing this morning and got booked on a kayak/hike trip to "Secret Falls". This had been recommended to me by a friend, and so we really wanted to do it.
We ate a very healthy breakfast of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, and hung out at the hotel for a bit. Then back to Waimea - where we'd eaten Thai the night before. We found the place easily, and our guide was a guy originally from WI. The other people in our group were two separate couples from Texas. The couple from Houston was probably in their 50s, and the Dallas couple were newlyweds on their honeymoon. The poor groom had been on a boat tour the day before and thrown up FIFTEEN times on the trip - eek.
The guide drove us down to the mouth of the Wailua River w/our kayaks after a quick 'how to' lesson. Ah ha! Now I know how to hold a paddle correctly, and why I was zig-zagging all over the place a few days back! We were warned the winds were projected to be higher than he's heard since he moved here 3 years ago, and to stay close to shore. We were in double-kayaks, and so i had to lean to NOT worry about steering - just paddling - although sometimes it was hard to remember. It was a 2-mile kayak up-river - which, I guess, with the winds, would be easier than the return trip. Oddly enough, my left hand tends to go numb when I paddle - why I don't know - but I just plowed on.
We got off the river in a spot where everyone leaves their canoes. I guess northing gets stolend because you have paddle on in there - there's no road access at a ll. NExt was a short but very beautiful 1 mile hike through the rainforest. It only had a 150 feet incline, so after Waimea Canyon - that was NOTHING! The dry bags they supplied had backpack straps on them, and MIke carried our geair (2 water bottles, towels, nothing much). We arrived at Secret Falls, and it was AMAZING.
It was suggested to "take a swim" and it was really, really worth it. I am just shocked at the wind coming off the water falling down into the pool - it was like a wind storm in there! The guide suggested doing the "dead man's float" with your feet towards the Falls, looking up - really , a neat experience. Then we had a quick lunch of sandwiches, chips & pineapple - all which tasted AWESOME after the paddle & hike.
We ran into a couple from Anoka, MN off all places (literally less than two miles from our house as the crow flies) and they pointed out a couple frim Minnetonka. I also saw a guy with a MN Twins shirt on during the hike. I think half the state has excaped here!
Then we did a return trip - the hike then the kayaking. The kayaking was supposed to be rough going because of the winds, but it wasn't bad at all. I think the winds died down a LOT (we only saw white caps once or twice) and so the trip back was no harder than the way up.
Then we headed back to the resort to change & relax a bit before dinner. we'd made reservations at Keoki's Paradise - a restaurant that is Tiki-Bar like - and described as "you'll either love it or hate it". We enjoyed it a lot. A lot of it is open-air, and as good little Minnesotans, we couldn't get over the furniture OUTSIDE, and little tarps that supposedly closed at night. I mean - REALLY. No flies, no mosquitoes, no thunder & lightening storms, no blizzards! It's just an odd concept to have so much of a resturant outdoors. And these were heave wood tables & chairs - no the patio-style you see in MN that can stack up. It's just a block or so walk from our resort, so that was nice to walk there that evening.
We had a couple Hawaiian Fruity drinks (two mango margarites for Mike, and a Keoki's Lemonade & a Lava Flow for me) with our meal, and LOTS of water. It really is amazing how thirsty you get here. We started with a Thai Shrimp Stick appetizer. Mike had the Pesto Shrimp, filet mignon (sorry - too tired to look up the spelling) and a Ceasar Salad. I had the Grilled Ono (wahoo fish) with grilled panchetta & a spinach salad w/bacon dressing. Both of our meals were pretty good.
Then back "home" - it's an early-riser tomorrow (6 am - eek).
Ok - here are the pics: