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Kauai 2015: Our last day – Koloa Rum, Kalapaki Beach, Kauai Pasta

Today’s was our last morning in paradise. We were in Kauai for a week to celebrate my birthday!

Since we packed almost everything the night before, we had a leisurely morning at the house, finishing up all our fruit and having some coffee.

Breakfast of rambutans from the Sueoka Store

Pretty soon we were loading the car and making our last acai bowl run at Aloha Aina Juice bar! Usually when I find something I like, I tend to stick to it, so it was the BIA bowl again for me and the Tree bowl for Steve. I savored it knowing I probably won’t get an acai bowl with fresh fruit like this anytime soon.

Can’t get enough of these acai bowls!

We drove for one last time through the tree tunnel and headed to Lihue. We still had a few hours before our flight so we went to Kilohana Plantation, namely, the Koloa Rum Company!

Last drive through the tree tunnel.

We drove to the Koloa Rum Co. for their tasting!

The rum tasting wasn’t starting for about 20 minutes so Steve quickly drove over to Costco to get gas first after dropping me off. He came back just as we started. The lady who was doing the tasting was very charismatic and full of energy. She was very proud of her island, Kauai, and we had a great time. We tried a number of different rums with a variety of flavors, including some with mai tai mix, as well as rum cake. That stuff is good and packs a punch without you knowing it since it tastes like dessert.

Koloa Rum…award-winning Kauai rum.

Distiller on display at the Koloa Rum Co.

We had mini mai tai shots! Cheers!

Rum cake with chocolate syrup. A sweetly satisfying dessert with a kick!

We drove over to Tip Top motel to see if we could grab lunch but it was packed with a crowd of people waiting to sit. They said it might be a 30-40 minute wait. Oh well, at least we got to eat here once during our trip. We decided to dine at Kauai Pasta which the lady at the Alamo Rental car had recommended Steve and it wasn’t too far away.

Kauai Pasta is a quaint little Italian place. We ordered some pasta with grilled shrimp, tomatoes, and basil, as well as a large salad with candied pecans and pears. We started with some complimentary focaccia bread. Our food came quickly and the portions were huge, luckily we shared everything. You know how sometimes when you order salads with candied nuts (which is the best part) and you are disappointed when you only see a few scattered on your leaves? Well this salad was strewn with the candied pecans, there was so many, in fact, that we couldn’t finish them, and I love candied nuts. The pasta was good, but could have probably used a bit more seasoning, but the shrimp were cooked well.

Angel hair pasta with shrimp

Salad with a ton of candied walnuts!

After lunch, which was a lot quicker than we had expected, we went to visit the Marriott grounds because we had never been to Kalapaki beach. It was quite pretty and the weather was lovely. Some kind gentleman offered to take our picture. It’s the first picture of the both of us together this whole trip where it’s not a selfie! Unfortunately his fingers were in most of the pictures, but we were grateful in any case!

Kalapaki Beach at the Kauai Marriott

Quite a lovely calm beach.

Usually we end up with pictures like this

But some nice guy offered to take our picture. Too bad I had to crop out his fingers from the shot though!

I had just seen the news that Hilo Hattie’s had filed for bankruptcy for a second time, so when we passed Kauai’s only Hilo Hattie we thought we should stop since we may not get a chance to go the store again! I’ve always liked the nostalgia of the store but I do agree that they don’t have a good setup in their locations, and the clothing products need to be updated. But I like how almost everything is made in Hawaii. The Kauai store though, is in much need of a renovation and their products weren’t as extensive as those that we’ve seen on other islands.

Maybe this is the end of Hilo Hatties, a Hawaii institution?

It was time to head to the airport, so we dropped our luggage off and I went to check-in for myself while Steve returned the car. However, it was so laid back at the airport that the cop on duty at the drop off area said we could leave the car there for a few minutes so Steve could check in too! When we got our boarding passes I was actually surprised that we still had Pualani Gold status on the return trip. Here’s the story: Pualani Gold on Hawaiian Airlines is earned based on travel for a calendar year, so during Jan 1-Dec 31 of 2013 we had earned the miles to quality for gold status in 2014. What you may not know is that your Pualani Gold status actually lasts through the first two months of 2015 – Until Feb 28th (we asked someone who worked at Hawaiian Air). We left on March 1st and I was gambling that we may or may not get it, but our boarding passes said that we did! Free checked bags and lounge access, yay!

We still got Pualani Gold on Hawaiian Air even though it technically had expired during our trip.

Our flight to HNL was very pleasant and when we landed we went straight to the Pualani Gold lounge. It was about 1pm and the lounge was packed. We had to sit separately until people started to leave. It is still a nice lounge to get some wifi, charge your gadgets, and get some beverages before your flight, but I probably wouldn’t pay extra for access to this lounge.

Lounge was significantly more crowded than on our trip going to Kauai.

On our return flight from HNL to NY we did not get the upgrade to economy+ since the flight was full, but it’s ok, we were on the left side of the plane and got to see beautiful views of Diamond Head, Waikiki, and Hanauma Bay. The flight had no delays and we were back in NYC in under 9 hours!

Diamond Head

Hanauma Bay on Oahu

This marks the end of our fabulous week-long Kauai 2015 trip!! I was very lucky to have spent my birthday on such a beautiful island…now to plan our next Hawaii trip!

Read the rest of our Kauai February 2015 Vacation!

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