. We were, however, strong in resisting the pitch and did not have to sit through the sales saga. If you are interested in sitting through the saga, you will get your $130 Luau tickets for $10. We decided our time on Kauai was more valuable. We headed for the North end of the Island following a driving tour found in a book called "Kauai Trailblazers by Jerry & Janine Sprout. The directions were very easy to follow and accurate. We followed Driving tour four covering Port Allen, Hanapepe, Waimea towns,, Waimea canyon, Koke'e State Park, Kalalua Valley overlook and Kehaha Beach. Port Allen and Hanapep were small and uneventful, but as this is where we need to be on Friday morning for the snorkel trip, it was worth a quick stop. Waimea was still sleeping as we drove through town on our way to Waimea canyon, the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific", a one-mile wide, ten-mile long and 3,700 feet deep canyob. Very cloudy and overcast looking like it would pour at any moment. One of our stops overlooking the Canyon produced an ultralight plane buzzing the skies above the gargantuan drop to the depths of the canyon floor. We all decided that driving was the way to get to the top. We stopped for breakfast at Koke'e Lodge and Museum. Once you wade through the wild chickens and roosters that are all over the island, the gift shop and restaurant are a nice stop. On we went up the mountain, finally hitting rain and 65degree temperatures at 4000 feet. We resisted the urge to put the top on the jeep, but did end up turning on the heat! The view at our next stop would have been outstanding of the Na'pali coast, had it not been for rain and fog. We opted for dryer ground and headed back toward the town of Waimea. Onward North to Polihale beach. Before we began our trek for the day and were looking at tours to do, I mentioned that it would be fun to take the 4x4 offroad tour. After traveling the road to Polihale beach, I no longer have a need to pay for such a trip. The guidebook mentions that " The road to Polihale is rough and can be muddy in the rare chance of rain." Rough was an understatement and of course, we brought the rain with us from Texas
. We resisted as long as we could, but when Glenn could no longer see the road, we pulled under a huge monkey tree and put up the top. Two minutes later, the rain stopped. The bumps and bruises suffered along the way were worth the trip. The beach was amazing. The guidebook says it is one of the longest sand beaches in Hawaii. I'm not sure if it was the threatening weather or the treacherous road that kept people away, but there were only about two dozen people as far as the eye could see. The sand is said to get scalding hot, but given our clouds and recent rain, it was perfect. The deep white sand makes it very difficult to walk, and 4wd vehicles are warned of becoming stuck in the sand without an island AAA to pull them out, but the trek is worth it to view the crashing waves and the sheer drop of the Nap'ali coast. On the way back we stopped at the Waimea brewing company for Nacho's and wings. Highly recommended! Onto the Kauai Coffee company. The Koloa plantation is one of the most fertile and productive regions on the island. I was amazed to learn that it takes 5 years for the beans to mature. Needless to say, I did not make it out without Vanilla Macadamia Nut beans! The final tour stop of the day took us to the state sponsored farmers market for fresh pineapple, mango, passion fruit and papaya. Buying cannot commence until the bell rings precisely at 3:00. We got there at about 2:45 and quickly checked out what was for sale. There was a little old lady waiting by her car for the bell to ring. She mentioned to her Granddaughter that we were breaking the rules by looking before 3:00. So as not to upset her, we proceede across the street to look at the ukalali sale. Sorry boy... Dad said he could build you one that was better. Off to bed... It's 2:00 am in my time zone. Love to all!
Sure enough... Going to bed at 7:00 PM means waking up too early! Granted... it is 8:00AM at home, which would be sleeping in. This just means we will be more than prepared for the sunrise. We went and drank our coffee on the beach. We didn't want to buy 10 pounds of sugar at costco and didn't make it to the store yesterday, so we had to drink our coffee black. I pray that I don't end up with hair on my chest as my beloved Grandfather would tell me would happen if I had my coffee black! We then returned to book those reservations that filled quickly. We are scheduled for a Luau and snorkeling on Friday, the day the big 40 actually hits. It will be good to not have to dwell on leaving my 30's. We booked the 5 hour snorkeling tour on the Na'pali coast and then found that Activity warehouse.com offered the Smith Luau at a discount. We booked through them and came to the confirmation page that said, " Thank you for booking through Activity Warehouse. You will be contacted by one of our friendly representatives with your confirmation number." Needless to say, it was a timeshare ploy