Our stay in Poipu Beach provided a great base for exploring the south side of Kauai. But we also took a trip up to the east side of the island, even though we would be staying there later. One day it was raining and there wasn't anything better to do, so we drove into Lihue. Although it only has 6500 people it's the second largest town on Kauai and is the commercial center of the island. The airport is there, the main port is there and the county seat is there. They had a mall too, an ordinary shopping mall for locals and not for tourists. We looked around to see if there were better deals on Hawaiian clothes than we could get at the tourist places. I didn't find anything in the way of Hawaiian shirts. The tourist shops were actually much better. Sandy found some nice Jams World dresses at Macy's but had trouble finding her size. Even the food court had nothing but asian food. Bottom line, we didn't have any luck at the mall.
Next we went to Hilo Hattie's, which bills itself as "The Store of Hawaii". It's about as touristy as you can get. On previous trips, especially on Maui, we had found a lot of nice stuff there. Didn't work out as well this time though. We didn't find much in the way of Hawaiian clothes that we liked. They had other Hawaiian items as well, but the jewelry wasn't that nice and even the food items, like macademia nut candies, we were able to find much cheaper at the regular markets. At least I managed to find a Big Kahuna tshirt that I liked so that we didn't leave totally empty handed. Just for buying something we got a free Hawaiian flowery coffee mug.
When the rain stopped we visited Wailua Falls, which is a little way past Lihue when we were coming from the south. It's only three miles off the main highway at the end of a spur road. The viewpoint is right along the road with no hiking required. In fact, everything is fenced off with signs warning people not to leave the road. Wailua is a beautiful 80ft high double waterfall, although some sources list it as 200 feet high. It became famous many years ago when it was featured in the opening credits of the old tv program Fantasy Island.
On our way back, we stopped at Kapaia Stichery, conveniently located on the highway right where we had turned off to go to Wailua Falls. We visited it several years ago the first time Sandy and I went to Kauai. I still have a beautiful custom-made Hawaiian shirt that I bought there. This time, Sandy was doing some serious fabric shopping. Hawaiian quilt shops are great places to find batiks, and she wanted to get fabric to make one of her Judy Niemeyer patterns, Prismatic Star. She made it once last summer, her first Judy Niemeyer quilt. That got her interested and she has been hooked ever since. Now she wanted to make it again but with a tropical flair to the fabrics.
Sandy managed to get all three ladies working at the shop to help her to pick out the fabrics. They really got into it. At one point, one of the ladies got so excited that her friends started to tease her, "You're talking pidgin to her. She's not a local!"
"It's ok, she understands me!" the lady shot back. I guess she was enjoying herself. It probably is more fun than cutting fabric, ringing up sales, and listening to customer complaints. And Sandy ended up with a beautiful set of fabric to use for her quilt when she got home.
Oh yeah. We got a Hawaiian TikiDawg collar for Abby too.
That was our preview of the east side of the island. When our time at the Sheraton was done, we moved to a resort on the east side well past Lihue to spend the rest of our trip.