Fun Last Day on Kauai

Trip Start Apr 12, 2014
Trip End Apr 27, 2014

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Where I stayed
On the Plane to LA

Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, April 26, 2014

We were up by 8:00, had showers, cleaned up the cottage and were packed and ready to go before 10:00.  We headed east to the Kauai Coffee Plantation.  It is the largest coffee plantation in the USA with 4 million trees.  Even though Derek and I don't drink coffee, it was a fun and educational experience.  They have a museum, gift shop and cafe with free tours.  We didn't get there for the guided tour at 10:00 so we took the self-guided walking tour.  We first watched a video on the whole process which is quite involved.  While we watched the video, Larry was sampling the 20 varieties + 6 decafs.  Samples were free and as many as you want.  You did have to pay 25 cents if you wanted cream.  We also found out that we can get Kauai Coffee at Marc's in Westerville.  Larry bought some K-cups and Derek got a magnet.

We decided to take the bypass road around Lihue just for some different scenery.  The road wasn't great but there was very little traffic.  We saw a Western Meadowlark flying in a field as we drove, a new bird for Hawaii.  We stopped  at the Menehune Fish Pond which we had seen from the helicopter last week.  It is a large pond dug by the ancient Hawaiins, the Menehune, as a place to stock fish and let them fatten up.  It is the largest freshwater pond in all of the islands.  While we were there I spied a small bird eating seeds on the grasses by the side of the road.  It turned out to be another life bird, a Nutmeg Mannikin.   We saw Nawiliwili Harbor and the Marriot Resort.  Then we knew we were where we wanted to be, on Rice Street.  We staked out our supper spot, the brewery, and the Museum for later.  We continued on to Costco where we had lunch, hot dogs again.  We went in to use the restroom and ended up trolling for free food samples.  When we left we went to get gas from Costco because it was 30 cents cheaper a gallon and we had to return the car with a full tank.  We had to wait in line to get gas.

Our next stop was the Kauai Museum.  We weren't expecting much but we were pleasantly surprised.  When we got there a concert was going on by Larry Rivera, his daughter, Ilima, and her daughters.  His daughter was singing when we got there, then while she sang her daughters did the hula with drums and shakers etc.  Then Larry sang for us too.  Larry sang at the legendary Coco Palms from age 15 until it was destroyed in a hurricane.  There were only about 20 people there, very intimate.  Then we started touring the museum which has the  whole history of Kauia starting with the natural history, through the coming of the Polynesians, the Hawaiian civilization, the arrival of Captain Cook, the exploitation by European and American governments, the decline of Hawaiian culture under US occupation and the rise of Hawaiian culture in the last 30 years.  There are schools that teach Hawaiian culture and language now.  From what we learned the US took over Hawaii illegally and has never admitted it.  There are some Hawaiians who want their independence from the US.  We spent a couple of hours at the museum.

From there we went to the Kauai Beer Company which is a brewery and doesn't serve food except pretzels.  They make the pretzels from the spent grain from the brewing process.  They were very dark a delicious, so was the homemade mustard served with them.  Larry and Derek did 4 oz samplers of the six beers they had on tap:  Lihue Lager, Tropical Armadillo, KauiaBock, Black Limousine, The Red Dirty, and Lihue Lager on Nitro.  I got a pink Moscato wine from Australia.  While we sat there a woman came in and we started talking.  She is a retired nurse from California who moved to Lihue three years ago.  She has owned her condo there for 12 years.  We enjoyed talking with her and with the bartender who was very personable.

Needless to say when we left there, I drove to the Feral Pig and Pub for supper.  It was in a shopping center and we stopped at a store, Beachrail,  that sells trains and also ukeleles.  I got a book of chords and lessons and music.  When we got to the Pub, Larry and Derek had Maui Brewing Mana Wheat, a pineapple wheat beer.  Larry had fish tacos, good but not as good as the ones we had on Maui in 2007 at the Paia Fish Market.  Derek had the Feral Burger which was half Maui beef and half pork with lots of cheese and bacon.  It was huge and he loved it.  I got the Fish and Chips with Clam Chowder.  The fish was Mahi Mahi and it was delicious and not such a big portion that I was stuffed.  The french fries were really good but the clam chowder was the best I have ever had with lots of spices.

I drove to the airport which was just over a mile away.  We dropped all our luggage at the curb and Larry took the car back to Alamo.  We went through the agricultural inspection for our checked baggage.  When we had that sticker we got in line to get our boarding passes but the system was down so we had to wait a while.  Finally we went through security and then through agricultural inspection for our carry-ons.  It was hot in the waiting area, so we were glad when boarding began.  Our flight left on time and got to LA early.  Now a four hour lay-over and then off to Columbus.
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