woke up 'relatively' early to grab breakfast at kountry kitchen in kapa'a, where peeps were already lined up out the door - my kind of place! i had the amazing macadamia nut pancakes w/coconut syrup, heidi had the polynesian omelette (kim chee, portuguese sausage) w/hash browns.
we were planning to hike the famed kalalau trail, but because sunday is a rest day for most on the island, a few of the places we wanted to hit on the north shore were closed. so, perfect day for a drive to and up waimea canyon!
along the way, made a pitstop at the kauai coffee company, where one could sample all of their varietals in a relaxed plantation setting steps away from the coast. even though i don't normally sip the java, their hawaiian coconut caramel crunch is the truth:
making our way up waimea canyon drive (approx. 40min from our spot on the eastside), before we even hit the waimea canyon lookout we stopped at the side of the road for this ho-hum vista:
between mile markers 10 and 11 is the lookout of waimea canyon, dubbed the "grand canyon of the pacific." not nearly as expansive as its brethren, it still stretches 14 miles long, 1 mile wide and more than 3,600 ft deep, and the sight is truly one to behold.
one thing i didn't know about kauai was its abundance of wild roosters, hens & chicks roaming the island. they are everywhere - parking lots, outdoor restaurants, parks - and it's quite hilarious to see them clucking about.
at the end of waimea canyon drive is the pu'u o kila lookout, where we parked and embarked on a short 2.4 mile roundtrip hike to pihea peak. trails differ greatly from the ones back home, as they are much rockier, muddy and slippery out here due to the abundant rainfall.
starving after all of the activity, we made a beeline to shrimp station for their coconut shrimp, then took a stroll down the street for a mouthwatering pint at waimea brewing company.
lastly, dinner was in poipu at josselin's tapas bar & grill, where we feasted on:
* lychee sangrias from a portable sangria cart!
* poached oxtail ravioli, vietnamese pho broth
* wood oven roasted kauai mushrooms, potato foam, red miso powder
* blue cheese panna cotta, mixed greens, candied walnuts
* seared diver scallops, vietnamese caramel
* 36-hour braised pork belly, apple kim chee, rosemary orange local honey
the food at josselin's was a revelation - inventive, playful and most importantly delicious. i didn't think anything could compare with saturday's dinner, but this was every bit as amazing...
parting shot is this panorama of the na pali coast: