Maintained by Doug Wilson, the Makai Guy,
Last update: 28 March 2000
From the desk of The Makai Guy

I guess as the internet gets bigger and bigger, little sites like mine get harder and harder to find. At least it seems that way by the dropoff in the visit counter. Maybe we're still seeing the effects of my ISP changing the address structure of the web pages, thus invalidating all the old bookmarks and search engine entries. We sure haven't been getting much mail lately, at any rate, so I don't have many new messages to share with you this time.

Doug Wilson, The Makai Guy - 8 September 2001

I've been astounded at the amount of email this site has generated - everything from trip reports to questions about how strict the police are on Kauai. I've kept some of the more interesting stuff in the mailbag, so feel free to rummage around and see what you can find. Some of the messages have been edited to remove redundancies and to save precious space on my server. Text in ITALICS indicates a response/remark from yours truly, The Makai Guy. In some cases several messages and replies have been condensed into a single entry.

If you too would like to write, I'll be delighted to hear from you. I've provided a Feedback Form to make it easy for you. Those of you with older browsers that don't support forms can email me at If you don't want your message and/or email address to show up in the mailbag, just let me know.


[Note: This note was the first feedback I received re the NORTH SHORE Kauai web site. In honor of this special distinction, I have fished it from the bottom of the mailbag and placed it in a position of honor, on top.]

Date: Wed, 04 Oct 95 16:37:43 -0700
From: Chele Crisafi

*W O W ! *

What a G R E A T page!!!!!!!!! I definitely am going to add your page to mine..... I hope you don't mind.... I love what you have done....I truly am impressed.....

BTW, where did you get that Great background? I have been looking for something like that .... hmmmmmmmm...... Been busy trying to add some fun links to my page ... need some real interesting ones ... know of any? (besides yours, of course) :-)

[Note: Chele (short for Michele, btw) lives in Kealakekua on The Big Island. We still send the occasional email back and forth. You might want to take a peek at Chele's Home Page.]

[The rest of the mailbag is in more normal mailbag order - with the latest on top -- more or less ..]

Return to The NORTH SHORE

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001
From: Bonnie

[Bonnie failed to provide her email address, so I could not send a response. I hope she sees it here ...]

Found you via hawaiivistorscenter to then to your site which is AWESOME WOW !

We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this Dec and want to stay at Kauai. I have a question about the "winter surf" Because it's Dec. does that mean the surf will be too rough for snorkeling and diving.Or even enough to ruin visibility?

Your site is the best I've found for info and navigation. GREAT JOB
Mahalo, Bonnie

I can only speak for the North Shore, Bonnie. I've not been there in the winter (yet) but did go in October on our last visit. I was surprised how much higher the surf was than I was used to in the summer already in October. Visibility was fair, but not crystal clear as I was used to. Snorkling at Tunnels was not very good then. Anini Beach has a huge sheltering reef so it was still pretty calm, but the water wasn't clear and there were few fish. I'd expect it to be worse by December. For best snorkling/diving in the winter months, your best bet is the South Shore.

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001
From: Doug Maner

After stumbling across your page a year ago, I've had a strong desire to return to kauai. (my 1st visit was in '91, just before iniki). Well, we finally did it! Right now we're at the kauai marriott and will leave our room in about an hour for a day at the north shore. We're going to tunnels beach to spend the day & boogie boarding. We spent the rest of our week on the south shore, and am already looking forward to our next trip, which hopefully will be at the hanalei bay resort in a few years. The kauai guidebook published by is invaluable for suggesting out of the way places to visit, but only so\so on restaurant reviews. thanks for the inspiration

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Mon, 09 Apr 2001
From: Connie Sundblad

Your website is gorgeous! We own timeshare on the South Shore at Nihi Kai Villas and Lawai Beach Resort. We've been visiting Kauai every year since 1977 plus (25 years) and three trips prior to '77. We always make time for your North Shore -- bee-u-tee-full! We were at Haena Beach when The Thornbirds was being filmed at Ke'e Beach. Can hardly wait for 6/20/01 -- we'll be home again.

Love your tour and will do again. I must have missed which timeshare you own? Wouldn't you just love to live "on island"? I would, but husband Bill isn't quite ready to give up snow skiing yet. Maybe some day, I hope! Nihi Kai owners refer to it as "our home away from home". We've owned there since 1983 and LBR since 1993. Bill used to hike K.Trail in/out in one day with side trip to waterfall. Before timeshare, we stayed at Kiahuna, Kuhio Shores, Poipu Shores and the old Garden Isle Cottages (wiped out during Iniki). Thanks again for the great tour --will be there in 1 1/2 months -- counting days now!


Well, gee, Connie. The Makai Guy owns at the Makai Club, of course! It is mentioned in passing in the short paragraph on Princeville, I think.

I used to think I'd like to live there, but now I'm not so sure. When I get back every few years, it is really special. Would kind of hate to have that become the drab old daily stuff ..

EGADS! How could I have not made the connection - "Makaiguy" to Makai Club? Ding, Ding! I don't think I would ever get tired of Kauai living there, but then again, who knows? I don't get burned out going over every year, and hate leaving when the time comes. Anyway, really enjoyed your North Shore Tour and plan to take it again, next time reading every word.

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2001
From: Ruth Ann

Your website is wonderful!! I will be in Maui in June for business and decided to take some extra time. After browsing through your website, I am even more excited about my decision to venture over to Kauai for 4 days. After searching around for sometime, I booked reservations in Hanalei. Thxs for the info on hiking Kalalau; I live in Utah and an avid hiker and this definitely looks like the hike for me. I will e-mail back after my trip..Thxs once again for the info.

So, Ruth Ann, did you take your trip, and what did you think of the Kalalau Trail?

Subject: Web Site
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001
From: Cat

Just wanted to tell you what an awesome website I think you have created. LOVED the picture of the squall-induced rainbow you managed to snap - what serendipity that was!

Wanted to ask you if you ever went to Queen's Bath. I didn't see anything on the website, but I might have missed it by accident. It's accessed from a small parking lot inside the Princeville concept. We loved it!! Went there twice. It involves a bit of a hike downhill past a little waterfall and the heady scent of guava and ginger, then a trek over some lava rock.

The ocean washes up and over the lava rock there, making a beautiful natural pool. Sometimes there are even tropical fish in the water! We were there at high tide, and when the surf comes crashing over the side, it sent us eddying to the other side - the ultimate water ride!!

When you find the little parking lot (it will be labeled, saying "Queen's Bath"), the trail starts immediately at the extreme right of the lot, looking makai. It isn't anything but a dirt trail (and mud once you get to the waterfall - rather steep, too, at that point, making it a tad daunting!), but right after that part you'll be on lava rock, and it's much easier. Worth the little shlep.

Subject: WEBSITE!! NaPali
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001
From: Bev Sierpina

I have just come across your website in my search for current information anout na Pali boat trips and permits, etc.

It is a beautiful website and brings back fond memories of our trip there in July 1999.

We are extremely confused about whether or not we can still take a boat trip from Hanalei, or anywhere on the north shore. We did so in '99 and hope we do not have to drive all the way to Port Allen at 6 in the morning to do so again, but will if we must.

Is there any update you can provide regarding the current state of affairs. Several boat tour operators maintain they are departing Hanalei on their websites but perhaps they are out dated. (?)

Hanalei and NaPali boat tours have been in a state of flux for some time. Rather than post info here in the Mailbag that will soon likely be outdated, please see my NaPali Boat Tour page, which I try to keep up to date with the latest information known to me.

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001
From: Sally Dunford

All I can saw is WOW Doug, what a great site you have created. This is the first time I have taken the time to read "ALL" of any site I have visited. Thanks so much for all the effort and time you put into this informative and beautiful site. I know now that I will definitely choose Kauai for my next Hawaii trip Feb 2002. Thanks to you I REALLY can't wait.

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Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001
From: Lawrence Moore

Great site--brought back many pleasant memories of the 10th anniversary trip my wife and I took last year. Just one minor nit to pick: the picture next to the description of the Waiole Mission House is not the house itself, but the church (itself worth a visit, especially for the Hawaiian language sevice and the hinged stained-glass windows that swing open to let in the breeze.) The Mission House is behind the trees to the left, and not well marked. We thought we were trespassing when we found it. It has a permanent caretaker, who gave the two of us a great tour of the house and of the grounds--with all the history and variety of plants and animals to be seen on the grounds, it was a perfect introduction to the North Shore.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks for the note. Amazing nobody has brought that up before. What would be the correct nomenclature then? Waioli Mission Church? Waioli Church? Church at Waioli Mission?

Had to pull out one of our books to make sure--the church is the Waioli Hui'ia Church, which was built in 1912. Since the missionaries were Congregationalists, it's part of the United Church of Christ. The Mission House was built in 1836. (While I'm at it, the building to the right of the church from the road, now the Waioli Social Hall, was the original church, built in 1841.) My source is Sunset Books' Hawaii: A Guide to All the Islands, which squares with what I remember from the trip.

Thanks for digging this out, Lawrence. I'll update my page.

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Tue, 06 Feb 2001
From: Kerry

Doug, Thanks for making these two "sick days" much better. Snow, cold and probably strep are much more palatable when you can see pictures of the "best vacation of my life".Please post as many pictures as you want. I will only drool a little. I am a teacher too and try to schedule vacations the minute school is out so that I can switch to summer mode rather than going back into my classroom day after day to clean up one more thing. Sound Familiar? Plus it usually puts us in shoulder season and there aren't so many kids running around. :-)We spent a week in Kauai two years ago and decided there was a little school in Hanalei that must need an ESL teacher. Then I met a principal from a Princeville school who was traveling through town who said to come see him first!

Subject: Weather In North Shore
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001
From: Lynn Fox

What a great site- thankyou so much. I do have some questions. We plan to go to the Princeville area or the South Shore if we can trade into a time share over Thanksgiving, 2001. What is the weather like that time of year? What is the water like for snorkeling? Is there a great difference in weather from the North to South shore (I've never been to Hawaii, live in Arizona).

By November, the winter surf patterns are already established. Winter surf on the North Shore makes snorkling kinda tough, and the areas that are so darned good in the summer are not only choppy but roiled up to where visibility isn't all that good. If snorkling is your main "bag" that time of year you'd be better off staying in the south. But the scenery is great any time of year, and I feel that is the best in the North. I think you'll be pleased wherever you are able to get an exchange.

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2001
From: (Name Withheld)

I just found your site and I'm not really sure how I got here. I haven't spent alot of time going through it, but I can assure you, I will. We have never been to the islands before and our daughter is sending us to Kauai for our 30th anniversary and we're very excited. We're arriving on the 8th and leaving the 15th and staying at the Radisson.

My wife has MS and is severely handicapped, but can go just about anywhere on her electric scooter. I was wondering if you could give us any insight on places we might be able to visit that she can use her scooter. We are renting a car.

I'm not sure how helpful I'll be able to be. I am a frequent visitor, not a resident and since we havent had to cope with your wife's set of challenges, I've not really looked at things from that perspective.

As you read through my site, you'll find that what we love about Kauai is the lush scenery. Since we are avid golfers and hikers, we're most familiar with these aspects. But there is an awful lot of gorgeous scenery accessible through the windows of a car (or better yet from a convertable) you can see much of it by just driving around. My site covers the North Shore, but Waimea Canyon around the south side would also be good for easy sightseeing.

You might try posting your questions on the bulletin board at (now -- the folks there seem more knowledgeable about other islands than Kauai, but they may be able to help directly or steer you to a better source.

Subject: Car Rental
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001
From: Mark Farrelly

I enjoy reading your website and I hope your still answering questions. I'm going to Kauai in March and, since I'm 23, I'm having a very difficult time finding a rental car company that won't charge me more than double than regular rate. My insurance will cover any car that I rent, but that doesn't seem to matter. Do you have any suggestions?

Not really, Mark. Every time before we go we go thru the same flurry of activity you are now, checking websites, calling the various rental companies, etc. Being considerably beyond 23 years of age, I don't have any experience that could help with this particular problem.

Make sure you take advantage of any discounts available to you (AAA, AARP [- ok not AARP for you!], airline clubs, etc.) We generally find we get the best rates with AAA discount.

Some folks on the Timeshare Users Group bulletin board have been reporting pretty good results using and having lowball bids of $20/day or less accepted.

Good luck!

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Subject: Thanks!
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001
From: Steve Eck

Thanks for putting together your very well done site. Having never been to a true warm water area, it was very helful. Do you have any suggestions for a trip to kauai that would include low cost accomodations (semi camping even OK) for 2 with priorities on snorkeling, nice beach, and hiking?

'Fraid I can't help you much. We've always stayed in hotels and condos. We did like Hanalei Colony Resort (there's a link from my North Shore Kauai site) a few years ago. No phones or tv's at that time, but if you're prepared to camp, that shouldn't seem like too much roughing it. It's right on the water, although the shore there is a tad rough for snorkling. Since you'll probably want to be driving around to different snorkle spots anyway, that may not be much of a drawback. (My rainbow picture was on a morning stroll down the beach from Hanalei Colony Resort.)

There are a TON of rental resources on the web. Have fun exploring them. One thing you might want to look into for part of your stay are the cabins in Koke'e State Park. This is in the upcountry around Waimea Canyon and could be a great base of operations for exploring that part of the island.

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001
From: Mary Anne Coburn

Great web site. We are bringing two couples to Kauai next December(both for the first time). We were there about 10 years ago at Poipu. Our only concern is the resort Pahio at Keokai is not A/C and I hear the mosquitos are bad. We have a second search in for a 2 BR with air but don't know what are chances are. I am a tug member and have inquired there. We traded through RCI with Med Resorts which only banks a standard week so that might hold up up. You website really gets me excited and I will share the contents with our guest. Thanks for all your effort. I respect you opinions when you offer them on Tug.

See my reply re your air conditioning concerns where you posted the same question on the Timeshare Users Group bulletin board. I don't think mosquitos are a problem there at all! In fact, this is the first I've ever heard anybody express this as a concern.

Subject: Planning first visit to Hawaii
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000
From: Stu Schwartz

My wife has enough FF miles to finally buy the whole family RT airfare to Hawaii from NJ during a summer week. She'd like me to get an exchange (direct or RCI); we have a diamond-red GC 3 BR Cypress Pointe @ Lake Buena Vista t/s. We have 2 teens: 17 y.o. boy & 15 y.o. girl. Obviously, we prefer larger accommodations (2 BR minimum), closest to Ocean if not actually beachfront, plus A/C if needed. We like to relax, swim and sight-see. Shopping is OK, too.

1. Any recommendations for which Island to visit for our 1st time to any Hawaiian Island based on the above?
2. Any recommendations for Resort we should try for our 1st time to any Hawaiian Resort based on the above?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. TIA!

You may have noticed I never mention my children -- that's 'cause the Makai Gal and I have never had any. Makes it kinda tough to recommend what would be good for kids.

You will find that this is a LONG way to come from the east coast, and you'll have a 5 or 6 hour time change depending on time of year (HI doesn't go on daylight savings). Unless you and all your family really adapt quickly, you'll find the first day or two you're kinda loggy and not enjoying yourself over about 50%. Makes a one week trip kinda short. If you go that far, I'd suggest at least 10 days or two weeks. If you can't get timeshares for the whole time there are more rental condos than you can shake a stick at!

As a first trip, I'd recommend a couple of days in Honolulu, either going or coming, because there are some really worthwhile things to do. You'll always wonder about Waikiki beach if you don't see it, and I firmly believe every American should experience the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor - it is very moving, and there are valuable lessons here. Diamondhead, Punchbowl National Cemetary of the Pacific, the Aquarium, and a few other things can definitely make an Oahu stopover worthwhile. But ultimately, Honolulu is just a big city, sorta like Los Angeles West, and that's probably not what you really came all that way to see, so after a couple of days get out of Dodge to the outer islands.

I'd say there is enough to see and do on any of the outer islands that you won't run out of things to do on any of them. There's always one more beach to explore just down the road. On any of the islands there is so much to see that you'll be in the car a lot, unless you guys are really the veg on the beach types. That makes finding the exactly ideal resort a little less important since you won't spend all that much time there.

Kauai, as you probably know, is our favorite. We find it the most amazingly beautiful of the islands, and if your family is the sort that makes its own entertainment by seeing sights, enjoying the beach, and otherwise exploring interesting places, then you'll love Kauai. There are numerous land and water tours, helicopter rides, etc, but you can enjoy plenty without them. It is the oldest of the islands, therefore has the most soil, the lushest vegetation, and has had the chance to erode into the most interesting and scenic topography of all the islands. This all makes for some GREAT hiking. Development has been restricted here, as they don't want it to become a highrise jungle like Honolulu, or even as developed as Maui. The pace is a little slower here, but we love that about it.

Activity-wise, Maui may be your best bet, especially if you can get a place in the Lahaina/Kaanapali area. There's lots of shopping, great restaurants, more entertainment than anywhere outside of Honolulu, and good golf. Lots of outstanding natural scenery, with not-too-distant views of the neighbor islands of Lanai and Molokai. Not to be missed are a drive up to Haleakala National Part at the top of the dormant volcano in the middle of East Maui. We also love the drive to Hana, a narrow twisty road along an incredible shoreline. It's the trip that counts here, not the destination. If your kids would be enchanted to see what new waterfall or delightful pocket beach they'll find around each bend, then take a day and do this -- if they'll quickly get bored, spare yourself the trouble and save Hana for a return visit when the kids are gone.

Hawaii, the so called Big Island, is just that. Compared to the others, it's HUGE. It's also barren, with bare black lava everywhere, except where man has intervened to create greenspace. This is where the volcanic activity is at Volcanos National Park. We were unlucky enough to hit one of the rare periods of inactivity during our visit here and I've always wanted to go back. We haven't been back in 16 years since our first trip, and we're long overdue.

If your timeshare exchange comes through for an adequately sized unit in any of these islands, I think you'll enjoy yourself.

I might draw the line at Molokai, though. There are some interesting sights for a day trip or two, but probably not enough to keep a family with teenagers hopping. Kauai is laid back, but Molokai is barely breathing. Parents old enough to have teenage kids might well enjoy the relaxation, but I think kids would likely go bonkers here, unless all they need is a beach to fill their week.

Can't help you much with specific timeshares to shoot for. Since we bought ours, that's where we go so I'm not that familiar with the others, except for what I read on the Timeshare Users Group. If you need to extend a few days or second week, one rental I can highly recommend is called Kahana Village, a tad north of Lahaina on Maui. We had a 2br with an outstanding view -- roomy with lots of glass for a very open feeling. Like a number of other places I've seen there, if you stay 6 nights the 7th is free. You should be able to find it on the web.

You will find that lots of very nice places have no air conditioning. Unless you are really sensitive in this regard, it's no big deal. Places are built with flow through ventilation in mind and ceiling fans are prevalent. The normal breezes created by the tradewinds keep a properly constructed unit quite comfortable. Many of the places with air-conditioning are the result of not bothering to engineer in the proper flow through ventilation, often in the interest of cramming in the maximum number of units into the available space.

Hope this helps some.

Have a ball in Hawaii. You might think it is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but if you're like me, you'll be back!

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Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2000
From: Larry Hinkle

Have enjoyed your posts on TUG for a while but never toured your site until today....Great site....I'll be on Kauai in January so this was a super introduction. Do you have a personal recommendation on helicopter companies? Thanks again for a wonderful tour

Have only been on one helicopter at Kauai, and 16 years later it's still one of the high points of all our visits. Outfit we went with was called simply Hawaiian Helicopters and operated out of the airport at Lihue. Was steered there by the activities desk at the hotel we stayed at (pre-timeshare days). When we showed up we found the same gal working part time behind the counter at Hawaiian Helicopters -- so much for an objective referral.

'Fraid I have no basis of comparison to recommend one over another, and unfortunately neither will most other folks you talk to since they only know about the one they used. One nice thing a lot of them are doing now, that you might make a selection criterion, is a video tape actually recorded showing your actual trip -- always thought that sounded like a nice touch.

Have a ball!

Subject: Great Memories of Kauai
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000
From: Chuck Kritzon

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I spent 3 months on Kauai in the early 80's. I was there working on "Behold Hawaii" and was able to stay for 2 months after the filming was over. I had so many adventures. Sailing on the Hokulea was the highlight! I was able to sail and zodiak the Na Pali many times, explore the Valley of Lost Tribes, found an ancient burial there, swam in the sea caves, and so much more! Is Wendel Fu still around?

Again Thanks for the memories. check out my website and choose a hawaiian petroglyph product and its yours, free of charge!

I returned from the annual Thanksgiving trip to find this nice note. I'm so glad you enjoyed my website. It has been a real source of pleasure to me, both in the creating and maintaining of it, and in the number of nice folks I've heard from as a result of it.

'Fraid I can't help you much with Wendel Fu -- I am a dedicated visitor not a resident.

No more Zodiacs along NaPali as far as I know, unless they are just owned by private citizens. The state shut down commercial operations from the North Shore, and it is just too far from the ports in the south to run inflatables.

So tell me more about "Behold Hawaii" and the Hokulea! All I've been able to find on Behold Hawaii is that it was an Imax production apparently released in 1983. No DVD available from NetFlix and nothing but a title listing at

The Hokulea I'm already aware of -- assuming you're talking about the reproduction of an ancient polynesian craft that was used to test the ability of the Hawaiian ancestors to navigate between Hawaii and Tahiti. Did you get to take a quick spin or was it something more extensive?

Thanks for you generous offer. You do have some interesting looking things on your site. I'll have to spend a little time and see if I can find something neat for my wife for Christmas.

Aloha nui loa,

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000
From: Estelle Wallace

Thank you for sharing the beauty of the North Shore. The time you have invested in creating and maintaining this site for all to enjoy is a gift! We'll think of you when we visit these sites.

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000
From: Jana

Hi. We are visiting Kauai next summer and want to play golf in Princeville. Do you recommend the Prince course or Makai? One of us is a 30 handicapper and my son and I are -well suffice it to say we still are beginners!! I want to play the prettiest but at the same time don't want to get completely frustrated. Thanks!

The Prince Course is TOUGH. I'm not all that good (about a 20 handicapper) and I find it quite challenging. My first time, when I happened to be playing worse than my normal mediocre game, I was very frustrated with it, but the beauty is still phenomenal. I've done better on subsequent rounds. Be prepared to pay big bux if you decide to play here. And take plenty of balls when you start out, because you don't get back to the clubhouse til you've finished 18 and don't get a chance to replenish your supply at the turn.

The Makai Course, on the other hand, is a more "normal" resort course. There are a couple of tough par 3's where fairly long carries are required, but there are drop areas to use after an errant shot. In general the average hacker should be able to play here all right. Makai is still expensive, but not as bad as Prince.

Another course to be aware of is the Wailua course down around Kapaa. This is a municipal course built on seaside property that today is surely worth many millions. Last time we were there it was in only okay condition, but it is much less expensive than the two Princeville courses, and as beginners you might just be more comfortable there.

Have a ball in Kauai!

Subject: Your Website
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000
From: Susan May

Found your website through the tug bulletin board. You did a great job. We have never been to Hawaii before, and am planning a trip. ... Would you recommend going for two weeks? I am wondering if we should book both weeks on the same island?

I'd always recommend going to Hawaii for two weeks. It costs so much to get there, and takes so long to fly from the East Coast, that extending a second week just plain makes sense. Also, Hawaii is 5 time zones away for East Coasters, resulting in a 6 hour time difference during the summer (no daylight savings time in Hawaii) and unless you are used to a lot of timezone hopping, you may not be in top form the first several days -- another great reason to extend the visit.

If this is your first trip to The Islands, I'd definitely recommend splitting your time between islands. This is one case where the tourist hoopla really is correct -- each island has its own separate look and feel. From my website, you know that my pick for most mandatory island to visit is Kauai, but this is really a case of different strokes for different folks. We also love Maui, and it has been far too long since we've re-visited the Big Island of Hawaii, too.

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Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000
From: Karen Creamer

OUTSTANDING website! I read the whole thing--which is unusual for me--and took all your side trips. Wonderful!Guess I'd better put this on my A list of places to trade for. Thanks a bunch!

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000
From: Dave McNeil

Our family (wife and 3 kids, 8,10 & 14) just returned from Kauai. We spent 10 days based at the Embassy in Poipu.

While we own a one week timeshare at the Embassy, the North Shore is my favorite place to visit (followed by the drive up Waimea Canyon). Your site does an awesome job of communicating the drop dead beauty of the island. This was our second trip to Kauai (went August 99 for 7 days) and I am already planning our third.

My friends say I am obsessed with the place. They are right and who wouldn't be. One thing is for sure, pictures and words do not adequately commmunicate what it is like to see and experience the island for yourself. I have seen pictures of Hawaii and I spent months researching the island before I went. All that preparation did not prepare me for the amazing experience. As we drove from Princeville into Hanalei and on to Ke'e Beach, I couldn't stop saying..."wow, that is beautiful."

I wish I had visited your site before my last trip. Now I have added a few things to my "to do" list for our next trip. Ten days is not going to be enough. <g>

Thank you.

Thanks for the kind words re my web site. And I totally agree, Kauai as a whole is awesome, and the North Shore the best part of all! Glad I gave you some things to do on your next trip. We seldom spend less that two weeks when we go (takes so long and costs so much, we stay long enough to make it worthwhile) but it is never long enough!

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: 02 Jul 2000
From: Luane McGowan

Aloha Makai Guy,

A very belated THANKS for adding a link to Hale Mai Tai from your site! We're just back from 8 lovely days there plus an introductory visit to Molokai for 3 nights. Molokai seems to be lagging behind Kauai by about 30 years. Lots of undeveloped land, not a lot of green, some really friendly locals, only about 3 "nice" restaurants (2 are located way out on the west end)...a great book and binocular place. As lovely as it is in California...I'm already missing Paradise.

Anyway, I was surfing around vacation rental sites and found what looked like a plagiarized (and grossly distorted) version of your lovely double rainbow over Tunnels Beach photo. It's toward the bottom of If this is your original photo, I'd blast "Auntie Cheryl" with an email/letter, asking her to use a different picture or give you credit for your photo in it's original format. I'm still wondering if you are selling prints, as it is one of the best I've ever seen.

Going to Princeville soon? We made our first visit to Secret beach this last trip. It is a spectacularly huge beach, punctuated by the clothing optional folks, but the hike over the sand and back up the bluff is a real challenge! Also found a lovely short hike off the Hanalei Valley. What are your latest discoveries there? We're headed to your state in another month...Mackinac Is. and Marquette. Two more beautiful spots!


Glad to provide the link. I don't get all that much traffic, regrettably, but maybe somebody can find their way to you via this route.

Thanks for the tip re the rainbow picture. This one sure seems to be popular -- I've found several other places where people are using it. There's even a copy floating around out there where somebody has altered it by removing the sailboat! My only requirement for use of any of my pictures is that credit be given to me as copyright holder and a link back to my website - not too unreasonable, I don't think. Anyhow, I've sent an email off to "Auntie Cheryl" -- we'll see what happens.

One of these days, I'll have to try to dig up that negative and look into getting some prints made for sale.

We were back to Princeville last October for the first non-summer visit we've been able to take (now that my wife is no longer teaching). This was only a few weeks before my back surgery so the hike down to Secret Beach was out of the question. Been there on other trips, though, and also found folks, um, working on extended tans.

Haven't been to Molokai since our first Hawaiian trip back in '84. I expect things must have changed a bit since then as there was nearly NO development back then -- just a Sheraton hotel at the west end (don't think it's still affiliated with Sheraton), plus a condo development and golf course there. Everything else was pretty much a working island centered around a pineapple plantation that was in the process of shutting down at the time. As with most of the islands, if you want green, you have to go to the windward side -- the east end is lush jungle. Have always thought I'd like to go back, but my wife pretty much just turns up her nose at the thought. Maybe when we retire in a few years there'll be time for such things.

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Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 10:45:48 +0500
From: (name withheld upon request)

Thanks so much, really enjoyed the site and it's connections. We're returning to Kauaii for our fourth trip. We stay mostly on the south side at Lawai Beach but also love the north side and have stayed there. We spend about half our days hiking. Last year we did the swamp in Kokee park on the new board walk. We like to see more Hula than is usually available, and last year saw a warm up competition before the merry monarch, but usually we're not that lucky. Thanks again.

For the unitiated, the Merrie Monarch is an annual Hula competition and is a MAJOR EVENT in The Islands.

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2000 15:31:15 +0500
From: Jon Gustafson

I really enjoyed your tour of the North Shore. Thanks for sharing it.

Subject: Spouting off from The North Shore
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 21:52:03 +0500
From: S Newman

Aloha Doug,
So happy to hear that you've returned to the North Shore for another visit! We too were fortunate enough to have spent four weeks calling Weke Road 'home' this past August. My ten-year old daughter and I enjoyed some activities that we had not experienced before on our previous visits. We hiked the Kalalau trail from Waimea- WOW! Incredible! Another place that we enjoyed was our guided tour of Limahuli Gardens. The staff is very knowledgable and if you are lucky enough to get Phyllis as your guide, you will be treated to some of the local lore and legends as well- fun! We did all of our favorite things on a regular basis like swimming, snorkling, exploring, jumpin' off the pier and just hangin'at the beach playing with the dogs! We too are in love with this magical place. I have to agree with you that the North Shore is my favorite place. We make it a point to travel around the island and see the sights (some not so obvious!) but we always end up hurrying to get back to the bay. One thing I would like to encourage people to do while anywhere on the island is to observe the warning signs regarding surf conditions. As you mentioned, Lumahai is an especially dangerous area for swimming.

On a lighter note, don't forget to experience all of the wonderful fruits, fresh fish and local fare available while you are on the island (we are desperate for a 'real' papaya!)

You mentioned that you usually stay in Princeville, have you stayed in the valley at all? Checked out any of the private residences for vacation rentals? Bali Hai Realty is a great place to find local rentals.

I know that your time there was as enjoyable as ours. In the meantime we will continue to visit your site for a 'virtual Kauai fix' frequently, as like yourself we too are from the midwest(Ohio) and crave a big dose of that tropical isle when we are here suffering through the bleak, yucky weather and gray skies!!

Mahalo for the ho'omana'o! Till next time...

Sheri - thanks for the nice note.

To address some of your questions:

We own a couple of weeks at the Makai Club up in Princeville, so that's where we stay when we get back to Paradise. On our first visit we stayed at Islander on the Beach hotel at the Coconut Plantation in Kapaa, but on all subsequent visits there has been no place for us but the North Shore. A friend steered us to Hanalei Colony Resort and that's where we stayed the 2nd and 3rd visits. While on our 3rd trip, we bought a timeshare week at the Makai Club up in Princeville so that's now our home base when on Kauai. In '94 we bought a second week at the Makai Club Cottages.

We just took the Limahuli Gardens tour ourselves, but we took the self-guided tour. I am having back surgery in about three weeks and we were afraid I would not be able to keep up with the guided tour. This way I could sit down when I needed to get the strain off my back every few minutes. As informative as the self-guide booklet was, I can only imagine how much better the guided tour would have been.

This was the first time we had been there any time other than the summer months. (My wife was a public school teacher for 25 years, so summer was when we could go for many years.) We found the north shore surf to be considerably heavier that we were used to in the summer -- current at Tunnels made snorkeling difficult and the water at Tunnels and Anini was much murkier than I was used to -- but that may have been the result of a Kona Low that had a major affect on the weather patterns when we were there (I never saw the north face of Waialeale cloud-free so consistently before).

Feel free to return to my website anytime you need another Aloha "fix".

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Subject: Kauai
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 07:56:34 -0400
From: Sue Nelson

My husband and I went to Hawaii in August of this year to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We know now though that that will not be the case. We fell in love with Kauai! We only had 3 days on the island, but that's all it took. I am glad to hear that we are not the only ones who have been so "captured" by the "Garden Isle". (I was beginning to think that we might have gone a little off of the deep end.) We are now looking into purchasing a timeshare so that we can return often and also be able to share Kauai with family and friends.

Your website is wonderful - I wish I had found it before our trip. You have given me lots of good ideas for things to do on future trips though. I was able to re-live some of our trip through your site and thank you for that. Tell me, how long do the dreams of Kauai last once you return home? I swear I must dream of "paradise" every night! Enjoy your visit this fall. Can't wait to get back myself!

It is my fervent hope that my dreams of Kauai never wear off ...

Subject: thank you great information
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 10:54:27 EDT
From: Dena Ennis

We will be going to North Shore 11-18-11-27 and I was looking for places to stay and I appreciate the tour...Dena

OOPS! This one got lost and is now posted out of order ...

From: Terry Plecas
Subject: North Shore
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 1998 11:23:03 -0500

Hi, Probably the nicest web page I've found on the North Shore!

I'm planning a trip this coming summer with my wife. I've found alot of information on staying there, hotels, and bed and breakfasts, but I can't find any information about grocery stores, camping supplies, markets... A for instance, say we get a place to stay in that has a stove and fridge, is there stores to buy things in for dinner, or are the prices so high for steaks and chicken that we should buy them in Honolulu, or even bring some with us, frozen, from home? I don't think we could afford to eat out all the time. I plan on camping a little when we get out there, is there any camping stores or a place to get supplies? I can't travel in an airplane with Coleman fuel in my stoves or lanterns, is it available anywhere on the island of Kauai? I would think fresh fruit and veggies are available, are they expensive and is there an outside market on the island? Thanks for any info you might be able to give me.

Fear not, you can buy what you need in Princeville and/or Hanalei. Just bring plenty of $$$ ...

Subject: timeshare in Hawaii
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998
From: Sylvia Schueller

I am interested in buying a timeshare in Hawaii. Are you the person to talk to or do you suggest an avenue for buying a resale. Thank you! Sylvia

1) Although I do maintain the Hawaii review pages for Timeshare Users Group, I am not really an expert on resale purchase.

2) We have purchased one Hawaii resale week, using Timeshare Resales of Hawaii. We found them fair, competent and professional. At the time they claimed to be the only reseller licensed in Hawaii, which regulates this stuff pretty closely. By now there are a number of others, with whom I have no experience. Also, resellers not located in Hawaii can still quite legally sell timeshares located in Hawaii without being licensed by the state -- but a closing firm in Hawaii is a REAL GOOD IDEA in these cases.

3) I have a few timeshare resale links on my GETAWAYS travel page ( One of the most useful links you'll find there is the one to Fern Modena's page - she has assembled THE definitive timeshare link page.

4) Best piece of advice I can give is DON'T BE IN A HURRY. Time spent researching vendors, options, etc, will pay off in the long run in satisfaction and savings.

5) I am assuming you found me via Timeshare Users Group so you know about TUG already. If not, you owe it to yourself to start visiting the TUG web site regularly ( if you have any interest in timeshares at all. Much of the site is open to the general public, including an extensive and active bulletin board. Some parts, such as the member-generated database of reviews of timeshares are reserved for members only. It only costs $15 to join - less than what you'll spend on one vacation breakfast - and may be the best timeshare investment you'd ever make.

Good luck in your quest,
Doug Wilson, "The Makai Guy"

Subject: Maui/Kauai
Date: Fri, 09 Jul 1999 From Mary Rosenthal

Doug, I took a look at your info from the Timeshare Users Group website and it all looks great. We are exchanging into the Big Island for a week and would like to spend 3-4 days extra on another island but I can't decide between Maui and Kauai. I just thought I would ask your opinion to see which you enjoy the best. I know Kauai is quieter.

Any info you can offer would be great.

On our first trip, 15 years ago, we toured Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, and Molokai. We loved all of them, but loved Kauai best. On our third trip we bought a timeshare in Princeville in north Kauai because that's the part of Hawaii we like best. Now when we go we usually do what you are suggesting and tack a few extra days onto the trip to spend on another island, usually Maui.

Either is great, both are different. Maui is more developed, more hotels, more restaurants, more bars, more golf courses, more commercial activities and t-shirt shops, and is absolutely gorgeous. You can't possibly see or do it all in 3-4 days, but that just leaves things to do on your NEXT trip. (Once to Hawaii is never enough.)

Kauai is smaller, less developed, quieter, and (most important to me) even MORE scenic in my opinion. And even though less developed, Kauai also has more than enough to see and do to keep you busy for far more than your 3 or 4 days. My North Shore Kauai web site (see sig block, below) can give you a taste of what there is to see and do on my favorite part of my favorite island.

If you can only do one, Kauai would be MY choice, but different folks like different things, so it's really a matter of personal taste. Either way, you'll have a great time and not be disappointed.

Thanx for your input....Kauai would be my first choice too as I would rather have quiet scenery than busy commercial zones. You mentioned you have a condo in Princeville; can I assume that that would be the best area of Kauai to stay??

Another question of personal preference. To me, Princeville (where the timeshares are on the North Shore) is the place to be because I consider this the most scenic part of the island. There are those who prefer the southern shore Poipu area because it is reportedly sunnier. We've never found the occasional shower at the north end to be a problem, but different strokes for different folks ...

Subject: Links
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999
From: Carolyn Jones

Hi!! I just found your site. Must say, I love it!! I've been to Oahu twice, but never made it to any of the other islands. I'm graduating from college next May and I'm planning to move to Kauai. That's why I'm writing to you. I tried to follow 2 of your links (Data Book and Newcomer's Guide), but was told that they weren't found on the server. Do you know of any other guides such as these? Thanks so much for your help, and your beautiful site!

Did some investigating and updated the links to their current addresses.

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Subject: Shell House
Date: Sat, 15 May 1999
From: Dale Vincent

We found your link on TUG. Kauai has long been one of our favorites. Our son was about 14 on our first trip, and he fell in love with the Shell House.

This December we are returning, taking our son, his wife and new grandson. We enjoyed your photos, and are saddened that the Shell House is gone.

Subject: Na Pali info
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999
From: Laura Lovitt

Love some info about permits for Na Pali and availability, and outfitters who do sea kayak trips of the Na Pali as well. Thanks and Aloha.

For permit information, your best bet is probably to contact the Division of State Parks, 3060 Eiwa St. Rm 306, Lihue, Hawaii 96766; phone (808) 241-3444.

I have a few activity links in the Hawaii section of my Getaways travel page ( Pretty sure one of them includes kayaking. The whole NaPali tour situation has changed since the state prohibited commercial tours from using Hanalei as a base. I probably won't really know the situation til the next time I get back to the Islands this October.

Subject: Questions about Kalalau
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999
From: Scott Graf at Life Alliance

My fiancee and I are going to Kauai for our honeymoon. We are very active and fit, and we want to hike the Kalalau Trail. We don't want to do the whole thing (22 miles round trip) because we don't want to camp on this trip. We also don't want to stop at Hanakapiai beach. We have thought about skipping the 2 mile side trip the the falls here, and continuing to the second set of falls (I forget the name) which is about a 1/2 mile side trip starting at about mile marker 7. That would make it about 15 miles round trip. If we Started at 7 am or so, do you think that this would be a trip that we could complete by sunset?

I'm afraid I can't help you too much. I have never taken the Kalalau Trail beyond Hanakapiai Beach, although I have gone up to the falls from there. The part of the Kalalau Trail I was on (the most heavily traveled part) was well marked, not too steep and relatively easy to walk (steepest part was the first half mile while still perfectly fresh). The side trip was much more difficult as the trail was narrower, much less distinct, and one had to bushwhack one's way for several portions of the trail. This, for me, was a very full day, at 8 miles.

Now, you are probably in better shape than I was then (arthritis in lower back now keeps me off the trails, durnit) so maybe this would not have done you in as it did me. If you think you can do a 14-mile round trip on the main trail, then the main determinant will be what sort of a side trail you have to take to the falls. If you have to do a lot of bushwhacking through dense foliage, it might take too long for you to get back before sunset.

One thing to keep in mind is that you're fairly close to the equator there, so seasonal variation in length of day is not all that great and even in summer, the day is not all that long.

Subject: North Shore Site
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999
From: Judy

Just checked out your page on the North Shore of Kauai. It's great. We stayed on Kauai for 7 days last Feb and only spent one day in the North Shore area. Now I realize we missed so much!! We will be going back this Feb and will be staying on the North Shore this time. Enjoyed your tips for restaurants, we'll be sure to try them. After reading your site, I'm even more eager to get back to paradise.

Subject: northshore kauai in march plans
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998
From: Theresa Bakken

Discovered your website-its a great help in planning our family vacation this March! We only have a week but I'm going to include the boat ride and napali hike for sure! I've been reading everything I can get my hands on here in Seattle to find out the best place to stay as well as the activities for a college sophomore and his parents to enjoy together. I wonder if I might ask your opinion, considering we'd prefer a hiking/nature and not resort feeling to our vacation. I value an oceanfront 2-3 bedroom place( with pool for my husband to do his daily laps) and a view of both the ocean and Makana.What do you think of Pali Ke Kua condo vs. a little house in Hanalei town??We need to keep our budget under $200/night and we'll get a rental 4 wheel drive car in order to explore Waimea Canyon for a daytrip. Maybe you have another suggestion for us?? Thanks for the effort and aloha that went into preparing your homepage; its wonderful information!

I'm glad you enjoyed my North Shore Kauai website.

First, let me say that, although many people assume I live on Kauai, I am only an enthusiastic visitor. My home is in Michigan, so I am not as intimately familiar with all things Kauai as I would like.

I am not familiar with Pali Ke Kua, although from looking at a Princeville map (, I'd have to say their location appears to be excellent. Recognize that all of Princeville is on bluffs and cliffs 100 feet or more above the ocean, so this is not a shoreside location. The views of Hanalei Bay and across to Makana should be outstanding. I don't know if any of the resorts you are likely to find will have swimming pools large enough for your husband to do a meaningful lap. From that standpoint, you might be happier with that little house in Hanalei where he could swim in the Bay. On the other hand, your views from there would be more out to sea with Makana largely blocked.

March is largely considered "off season" so you may be able to find some decent room rates. The Emmalani Kai 3br guest house on the Makai Golf Course (see that map reference, above) is only $1050/week at that time, for instance, well within your $200/night budget. If you contact the owner, Jim Pycha, tell him The Makai Guy sent you -- he's an electronic friend of mine. It may not help you, but it can't hurt.

Check with the tour boat operators regarding NaPali trips. I have never been there in March and it is my understanding the seas tend to be higher and rougher then -- not sure if all the boats operate at that time of year. On the other end, this should still be the tail end of the humpback whale annual visitation and you may be able to get a combined NaPali and whale watching trip. This may limit you to the larger vessels that can handle the seas and which may not be able to go into the sea caves but could be a real thrill.
[Since sending that reply, the government has closed down NaPali boat tours leaving from Hanalei. See the NaPali boat tour page for the latest information I have.]

I would not think a 4x4 will be needed for you to explore Waimea Canyon. The major viewpoints and trailheads are reachable via paved roads with a standard sedan and for a daytrip you won't really have time to explore much deeper than that anyway. If you were gonna take 2 or 3 days at Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park, then a 4x4 might be of some use.

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Subject: info on kauai
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998
From: Michelle

Is it possible to take a motorcycle or car all the way around the island and explore it in 1 day we are going to Maui in aug and would like to take a day trip to one of the other islands.

Nope. On Maui there are roads all around the island, although some of them are very crude and the rental car folks don't want you taking their cars on some of them. On Kauai, Na Pali is much too rough to permit any road building so there is no way to drive all around the island.

OOPS! I found a few messages tucked away on my hotmail account that should have been included with the last update ...

Subject: Sailing in Kauai
Date: 31 Aug 1998
From: Marguerite

I really enjoyed your travelogue and photos of Kauai! I noticed one included a harbor with sailboats. I'm trying to plan a honeymoon in Hawaii for next August and I'm trying to find a company that Charters sailboats for bareboat cruising. Do you know if any exist? Do you know if the Hawaiian Islands are a good place for bareboat cruising?

Sounds like a GREAT way to spend a Honeymoon, to me! I've never looked into boat charters, barefoot or fully shod.

A Yahoo search under "sailboat charters hawaii" found a few sites, but nothing that looked too helpful - "boat charters hawaii" came up with a few more, one of which was, which at least has sailboats for hire...

I have a couple of links on my page to some boat operators. And a few more in the Hawaii section of my Getaways travel page. Perhaps one of them can steer you in the right direction.

Thank you! We will look into the addresses you mention.

I did hear today from one company who says sailing in Hawaii is not great because of rough waters, large distances between islands etc. and they would recommend another destination. Just in case anyone else ever asks.

Subject: Feedback
Date: 06 May 1998
From: Todd and Rebecca Steffen

What a great page you have here. I'm sitting at my computer in the relative warmth of my Wisconsin home thinking back 6 months. That's roughly how long ago I was married on Kauai. I really think your page does a good job of giving an overview of the Island (especically the north shore)!!! You even included the place we had our reception(Tahiti Nui). It sounds like you've been in the place before---I'm sure the names "uncle ben" and "uncle barry", and a few others probably sound familiar!? Well that's about it just wanted to let you know you brought "butterflies" to my stomach by reading and seeing all the old familiar places and sights.

Subject: Going to Kauai in July
Date: 06 Apr 1998
From: James Beck

My wife, son, and I are going to Kauai in July. I was wondering if you could suggest what (if any) discount book/pamplet is the best for discounts at restaurants and sporting type events (boating, rentals, scuba, etc). Are their any to grab at the airport?

I'm jealous. We don't have our next trip scheduled yet, since we were forced to cancel our visit last November.

There are RACKS of stuff to pick up at the airport, including several publications with discount coupons. We have never found them to do too much for us, but at least they make for fun reading. Many have maps and info in local attractions, beaches, hiking trails, etc., as well. On my GETAWAYS travel page I have a link to one of these publications, THIS WEEK, which has regional editions for all the islands.

Do you have any misc tips to give to a 1st timer to the island?

No matter where you are staying on the island, take some time to explore the other parts. I assume you found me via my North Shore Kauai site, so you know my preference for that part of the island. But the southern shore has some great beaches and points of interest too. Check out the Spouting Horn for a short scenic stop and DO NOT MISS a day trip to Waimea Canyon!!! If your budget allows it, a helicopter tour over Kauai is fantastic -- if you only do one helicopter tour in your LIFE, this is the place. One of the boat tours of NaPali is also highly recommended, as they run during the summer when you will be there -- see my web site for some information on this. If you are staying in a facility where you can cook your meals (or better yet give you access to an outdoor grill) buy yourself some fresh ahi steaks (that's yellowfin tuna to us malahinis) at a local market and grill them with a little butter -- it just doesn't get any better than this!

Enjoy your visit -- that's a safe bet, unless you run into a major tropical depression that ruins the weather for days on end. I guess if there is one word of advice for a first timer, it's "take lots of money". Things in Hawaii tend to be more expensive than we mainlanders are used to, because of the transporation costs associated with having to ship everything there. But if you're like me, your heart will be heavy and you'll feel like you've just lost your last friend when it comes time to climb on that plane for home.

[***************** End of 8 Aug 1999 update ****************]

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Subject: Guestbook entry
Date: 10/18/98
From: Jeanine Hoots

Great site! Really enjoyed it. Am planning a couple nights on Kauai March, 1999. Very helpful information, beautiful photos. Thanks.

Subject: Kauai,what else?
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998

I somehow discovered your website while cruising the net making plans for our 10th anniversary honeymoon...i could bore you forever with my comments, but you've pretty much said it a couple things when you have time (we go Oct 28) as you seem to be in the advice business ....
1. Is barking sands beach still as "uninhabited" as it was when I was there in 1984?
2. Do you have any knowledge of the "Outrigger" or the "Kauai Beach Resort" owned by the PAHIO company? (same company that has one at Princeville but this one nearer the airport-pictured at a website called "Sunscapes Travel")

Here's why I ask...when I was there before I was younger and friskier, and we camped and hiked the whole at almost 50 we prefer to stay in a condo, cook for ourselves yet do day hikes, swims and tennis...this Pahio is offering a bargain deal and one must always be suspicious....but otherwise we just can't afford appears to have all the ammeneties, be set off by itself a little (which I prefer as to the crowd at Poipu). We cannot afford to stay at Princeville, which seems to have really grown up since I was I remember was Charo's for COLD BEER after that 11 mile walk out of Kalalu...and a nice secluded swim at Honalei Bay...the tide was real low...appreciate any reply...
Deb Buzdor, palmer, Alaska

I'm afraid I can't help a whole lot re your specific resorts. Only places we have stayed on Kauai, prior to buying into our timeshare in Princeville, are Islander on the Beach Hotel (in the Cocoanut Plantation area north of Lihue, same general area as the two resorts you asked about), then twice at Hanalei Colony Resort, west of Hanalei. We also did have one timeshare exchange into Pahio at Ke'Eo Kai in Princeville when our Makai Club was still closed for repairs after Hurricane Iniki.

My personal take on staying at the Coconut Plantation area is that I'd hate to battle the traffic around there every time I wanted to go anywhere -- I have waited a LONG time trying to pull out of the Coconut Plantation shopping area on many occasions. The beach was okay (but then this was back in '84 also) but for our several days it was extremely windy and the blowing sand drove us off the beach. On the other hand, you WOULD be poised in the "middle" of the island, making jaunts to the North and South shores easier than if you were at one end or the other.

The PAHIO resorts up in Princeville are top notch, so I'd at least expect the management and activities to be good at PAHIO KBV. Reportedly they have been undergoing major renovations, which (if now done) probably means the units themselves will be very nice.

Believe it or not, we have never made it to Polihale to explore the "barking sands". This is on our "must do" list for the next visit. From everything I've read, though, it's still pretty isolated, with the only access being via some cane-haul roads. Hawaii Magazine had an article about it within the last year, and it still sounds pretty pristine.

Change the word "tennis" in your description to "golf" and you've got a pretty good description of US. Arthritis in my back has gotten really nasty over the last year, though, which has turned hiking a very difficult activity for me. First visit to a rheumatologist coming up in a week -- maybe they'll be able to do something for me by the time we get back to Hawaii and I want to set out on those beautiful trails!

Good luck with your visit. Wish we were going with you.

Hey thanks for the nice reply.....You MUST go out to barking sands...I was there on a march trip and there was NOT A SOUL on the beach the day we went, there were those prevailent on shore breezes, but you were thankful...

Anyway, I enjoyed the restaurant tips on your web sight an your pix are grand...the most beautiful slides I ever took were on that Kalalu trail and then on Barking Sands...I didn't have time to spend on Hanalei beach before but would like to this time...where is the good swimming and snorkling around there? We snorkled at Kea Beach before but even in March it was real crowded...well, thanks again for the info. Well, golf is definately something that we are almost ready to get is getting tougher and tougher..good luck with your back...

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Subject: Guestbook entry
Date: 8/20/98
From: Sharon

I really found you through TUG, but that is not on the list. I really enjoyed your tour and I plan on returning when I have more time to absorb everything. Thanks for all your hard work. I can't wait to go now.

Subject: Yo Website
Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998
From: William A. Campbell

Hey, Doug, you have done a super job on this Website. My wife and I live at the Cliffs during the Winter. We will be back on November 16. I have copied your Website to lots of folks who have asked us about the island. Your page is as informative as any I have seen. See you in November. A hui hou, Bill Campbell.

P.S. If you see my friend, Sam Mahuiki, from up on the North Shore, tell him Bill said 'hi' and that I am looking forward to jamming with him in a few months.

Well, Bill -- I'd love to say hello to Sam M for you, but you'll be there before I will. Contrary to popular opinion, I'm afraid I'm not a ka'ama'aina, but live in the Midwest, and so I don't know Sam. We had to cancel our last trip due to a death in the family, and a job transfer and geographical relocation got in the way of us being able to get back this year. Looks now like we'll probably be getting a couple of weeks at our Makai Club timeshare in October or November of '99. Maybe we'll see you then, and you can introduce me to Sam.

So glad you enjoy our North Shore Kauai pages. I'm sure our love of the area is abundantly obvious. By all means, refer your friends to the site -- we'd love to have them.

Must be nice to be able to winter at The Cliffs. Maybe someday... <sigh>

Subject: Happy 50!
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998
From: Sandi

Hello Doug,
Thank you for the "gift" of your wonderful North Shore website. We are visiting Kauai first time this August, staying timeshare at Pahio at Ka'Eo Kai. the booking just came thru this morning! Are these units part of the Princeville Resort? Just curious if they are a different company or the same parent-company as Princeville.

Now for a birthday suggestion. My husband and I live on the east coast, and we are into traveling lately (ages 45 and 47). Jimmy Buffett (!!) has written a new book, out in June 98, which was very entertaining light reading, and sure helps the travel-inclined baby boomers, in my view. Its called "A pirate looks at fifty", To celebrate his 50th, he took his seaplane, and various boats/planes around many caribbean islands for a 3 week vacation with his wife and kids. I thought (and so did my husband) it was a vacation in a book, and so insightful about places we had been or would like to go to! I dont know too much about Buffett ("margaritaville"), but now I really like his attitude and approach to life . And he apparently has the resources to do whatever the heck he feels like, so it made a very entertaining couple of weeks of beach reading about the caribbean.

Just thought maybe you'd enjoy reading it, Im not a "bookie" but this one is good. Meanwhile, thanks again for the Kauai stuff!

Happy Birthday!

I envy you. I won't get back to my beloved North Shore until fall of '99.

I believe the only timeshare operation in Princeville that was actually developed by The Princeville Corporation was The Makai Club, where we purchased about 11 years ago. For some reason we thought that would make Makai Club a better purchase, but since then I've become convinced it doesn't make any difference in comparison to the other timeshares located in Princeville. We HAVE stayed at Pahio at Ka'Eo Kai (Summer '93, Makai Club was still closed for repairs after Hurricane Iniki. Pahio was the only timeshare on the island to come thru relatively unscathed, apparently due to its unusual archtecture - you'll see what I mean when you get there - and thus was the only one in operation that summer.) and it is VERY nice. You should really enjoy staying there.

Thanks for the recommendation on the Buffett book. I have read his two novels -- liked the first one, kinda gnarly and fun as you might expect from JB, but thought he sorta ran out of gas on the second one.

I'm glad you enjoyed visiting my web site. It obviously is a labor of love on my part, and its brought me into contact with lots of interesting folks from all around the world.

If you think of it, toast me with a mai tai out on your lanai some evening.

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Subject: Help, please!
Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998
From: Tony & Carla Rowell

Hi Doug,

You've responded to a few of my question in TUG.  [That's Timeshare Users Group, - mg]  I've finally gotten a confirmation at the Pahio at Ka'eo Kai resort for June 4 of 1999. Our biggest concern is that this side of the Island is very rainy. Can you give me some insight and do you know anything about this resort?

Love your page. It was very informative.


I really get tired of people hanging this rap on the north shore. We love the north shore. We bought into the Makai Club in Princeville on our THIRD visit to Kauai, so we knew what we were doing. We have been all over the island, and the north shore is the most beautiful. Period. It is the lushest part of the island, and it does take some rain to make that happen but we have not found it to be detrimental to our vacation experience, except for one trip where a tropical depression caused rain over the entire island. Rain at night is not unusual, but that's fine. During the day, the clouds over the mountains often bring rain, but most of the time it doesn't reach far enough makai (toward the sea) to interfere. It may be raining like a sun of a gun in the mountains, feeding those gorgeous waterfalls, while we swim or golf in the sun, nearer the shore. When the edge of the cloud mass does blow far enough out to bring rain to the activity areas, it is often just a short refreshing shower, followed by sunshine in just a few minutes. I DO need to caveat this, I suppose, that up to now, we have only visited in the summer time.

As for Pahio at Ka'Eo Kai - it is top notch all the way. It is the only other timeshare we have ever used in Kauai. (Makai Club was still being repaired after Hurricane Iniki -- Pahio's buildings are octagonal in shape with a funny coolie-hat sort of roof that seems to have ridden through the hurricane very well. They were the ONLY timeshare in operation in all of Kauai the summer after Iniki.) We were in the full 1-br side of a lockout 2-br unit, and it was extremely roomy and well appointed. The staff was friendly and helpful, and they had some nice activities.

Go and enjoy. And toast me with a mai tai out on your lanai some evening if you think of it.

Subject: Kauai
Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998
From: Jeanne Andrews

Dave -

Close -- my name's Doug <grin>

Your North Shore pages are wonderful. My husband and I have been to Kauai 5 times from 82-87. We are definitely ready for another trip.

Ten years!?? How can you possibly stay away so long after you've seen what Kauai has to offer? <smile> We went for our 15th wedding anniversary back in '84, thinking it would be a once-in-a-lifetime visit. Little did we know it would establish such a hold on us that we've been back 5 times since, and are currently planning our next visit for next year!

However, this month we have some good friends coming over for the first time and I have been trying to get interesting info for them.

Do you know of any Kauai websites that deal with the East & Southern areas of Kauai in the way that you do the North? Again, let me say . . . your's is a beautiful web site.

Thanks for any info you may have that will help me. I believe they are going to be staying in Poipu . . . anyway, the hotel is the Kauai Beach Hotel.

Thanks much,
Jeanne Andrews

Have never seen pages similar to mine which deal with other parts of Kauai. If you should happen to find any, I'd love to hear about them so I can provide some links to them. There are some good resources dealing with the island as a whole, however.

Check out the links near the end of my North Shore site, and also the Hawaii section of my GETAWAYS travel page,

"Dave", The Makai Guy

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Subject: Guestbook entry
Date: 5/20/98
From: S. Newman

Aloha! My Daughter(who is now 9yrs old) and I made our first trip to the island in June 1996. We stayed with my Mom who is a permanent resident of Hanalei Bay. I have to tell you, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that so much beauty could be contained in such a small area!! Kauai is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. We had the pleasure of experiencing many wonderful things, and I have to say that just hangin' on the beach and experiencing 'Black pot Beach' and the locals in Hanalei town were the best! My Mom is a pal of 'Auntie Louise', so of course "The Nui" was a regular place to hang and drink a beer or two after a day just beaching, or local sightseeing. We saw most of the island(South shore too), and I must admit that I'm quite smitten with the simple charm of Hanalei. One of the more'touristy' things that we did was to take the Captain Zodiac cruise up the Napali coast. Splendid!! Pods of dolphins gliding alongside of our boat, flying fish, sea turtles, and of course the caves!

Subject: Guestbook entry
Date: 5/17/98
From: Lori Morgan

Love the page, I will be leaving in 3 days for a trip to Kauai (my 4th). Havent been to the Tunnels yet, hope to go there and also to Polihale view the "other end" of the Napali Coast. I may live in Calif, but I left my heart (and soul) in Kauai

Subject: North shore
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998
From: "Stroh Family"

I don't know whether to sigh,"AHHHHHH," because of the beauty of the North Shore or to groan a big "UGHHHH" because we just returned! But last evening I found myself once again at your site (as I was several times before we went!) I think I enjoyed it more after having experienced the area for myself. Our photos haven't returned yet, but I found myself gawking at the images at your site and savoring every moment.

We exchanged our timeshare into Princeville the week of April 19. The liquid sunshine appeared daily, usually fleetingly, but the results were lush green shades, waterfalls, and rainbows. Only one day did the rain interfere with our beach plans. We drove ourselves hard to see it all--we didn't exactly "hang loose" or abide by "Hawaii time." A couple more days would have allowed more relaxation and lolling on the beaches.

Wanted to share with you our special pleasures. For my husband, a birdie on the seventh hole of the Makai Ocean course. For me, mai tais at sunset on the lanai of the Princeville Living Room with the pianist playing "Phantom of the Opera." We followed that with a fun dinner on the porch at Zelo's--our favorite place for dinner. We found their seafood chowder and a lite salad to be just the thing before we crashed into exhaustion rather than a heavier dinner. What is it about Kauai that makes moderate party folks crash? We couldn't have partied hardy if there WAS someplace opened late!

Enough of my prattling! Just wanted to let you know that you were our "travel guide" for the North Shore. Hope you have had an opportunity to return in recent months. Jan Stroh, Wapakoneta, Ohio

What a marvelous note. I'm so glad that my North Shore site was useful for you, and that you make an occasional return visit.

Sounds like you had a terrific time. We always find the same thing as you did -- at the end of the day we are ready to crash, even if we've had a pretty non-eventful day. Guess that's why we've never made it to a luau in all our trips to the islands.

Major league congrats to your hubby on the birdie on #7 -- definitely an accomplishment. (Heck, just keeping your head down so you can hit the ball is an accomplishment!)

You are not the first person to tell me how much they like Zeno's -- we're definitely going to have to check this one out. They must be a fairly recent addition, as it's been a couple of years now since we've been able to get back. I think we're going to try to get back sometime in '99.

Mahalo nui loa for the kind words,

Doug Wilson, "The Makai Guy"

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Subject: Guestbook entry
Date: 4/29/98
From: Sherry Mintle

This is the best source of information I've found on Kauai -- and I've been surfing a lot! Planning a trip in November of 1998 -- should be a very, very special one. Not only will we be following your suggestions, but hopefully I will come back with a fiance'. Wish me luck!!

Subject: Web site
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998

Your Web site is wonderful. We are thinking about coming to Kaua'i for our honeymoon and I think you just sold us on it. Any suggestions for romantic spots?

Thanks for all your great information and pictures.

Thanks for the nice comments. Honeymooning on Kauai? How marvelous!

Romantic spots? I assume you are talking about places to stay? There are MANY, MANY outstanding places -- just depends on your own personal preferences. For luxury in a hotel setting, the Marriott is absolutely top notch. If you would prefer something a bit more intimate, there are tons of condos and homes you can rent. A Yahoo search under Kauai should turn up more than you will be able to check out. I also have a few links to Hawaiian lodging on my GETAWAYS travel page. One other suggestion is to find a store in your area that carries a large selection of magazines -- Hawaii mag, if you can find it, always has lots of resort and rental ads in its back pages.

Subject: Kauai
Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 22:00:09
From: Heather

WOW! I read almost all of your mail bag! Thanks for saving all of it, it was very interesting to read. My husband and I are headed to Kauai at the end of May for 10 days. We will be staying at the Pahio at the Shearwater Resort. Have you heard anything about this resort (good or bad) even if you haven't stayed there? We have seen a couple pictures, but want to know from someone who has probably seen or heard about the resort. We will definately try the Dolphin restaurant that everyone is talking about. My husband loves to golf so he will most definately try out the Prince course (once only, I've heard it's expensive) :-)

He wants to go on a helicopter tour also, any suggestions? Any suggestions on the Kauai lua's? I did read about the Tahiti Nui, is that our best bet? Also, does the Lua usually include buffet, or is it just a show? (dumb question)

I really enjoyed reading all of the feedback from others on your site! Keep up the great work!!!!!!!!! Thank you for taking the time to read all of your e-mail from those who are headed to Kauai!

Heather Scott

Heather -- looks like you're into Twenty Questions ...

The Pahio Shearwater is supposed to be very nice -- I haven't stayed there, but I have stayed at the Pahio at Ka'Eo Kai, nearby, and it was an excellent timeshare resort.

Don't know if you're timesharing or renting, but if you're timesharing, an excellent source of information on timeshares is the Timeshare Users Group at It is a cooperative effort of timeshare owners (costs only $15 to join) who share reviews of many many timeshares they've visited, arrange direct exchanges with other members thus avoiding exchange company fees, post adds to rent out their weeks, and lots of other features. There is also a really extensive message bulletin board on various destinations and aspects of timesharing that is open to non-members as well. I highly recommend TUG. In fact I'm one of the volunteers who keeps the web site going - I maintain the Hawaii section of the review pages.

The Prince golf course is both the most beautiful and most challenging golf course I've ever played. Unless your husband can count on staying in the fairway, tell him to take lots of golf balls -- the vegetation in the rough is so dense that a ball 2-inches off the fairway is as good as lost. And you don't get back to the clubhouse til you come off the 18th so you can't replenish your supply at the turn. It is expensive, but it is a round he will remember and cherish for a long time -- guaranteed!

If you never take another helicopter tour, take one on Kauai. There is SO much to see there! There are several companies and I've never heard complaints about any of them. This is another case of it being a fairly expensive activity but you'll retain pleasant memories of it for years -- and maybe a video tape of the tour (they've added lots of new touches since we took ours 10+ years ago -- check around).

Can't help much with luau information -- in all our visits we've never gone to one. I have heard the Tahiti Nui holds a good one that is more of a small town Hawaii gettogether than a flashy wow-the-tourists deal, and if we ever do try one that will probably be the one we try. A luau by definition is a feast -- the entertainment is thrown in for good measure. If you decide to try one at Tahiti Nui or anywhere else, I'd love to hear what you think of it -- heck I'd love to hear about your trip in general -- I just LOVE to talk Kauai!

Enjoy your visit ( I KNOW you will! )

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Subject: Charo's restaurant
Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998
From: Robert & Tina Hudgins

Aloha! Thank you for your web site.........Do you know what happened to Charo's restaurant? I was in Kauai last week and it's no longer there???????????? Any ideas? Thank you............

Only word I have is similar to yours -- the restaurant/club just west of Hanalei Colony Resort is no longer Charo's.

I do know she has sold her home on Kauai (or perhaps it's still on the market?) and is now doing a regular show in Honolulu.

Hope you had a good visit to my favorite spot in the world.

Subject: KAUAI
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 00:23:15
From: ComSitesUS


I live on Kauai for about nine years. I really enjoued your web page cause right now I'm living in San Diego California and I really miss it. Keep up the good work!



Dear NSG --
It's always a kick to hear from somebody who enjoys my North Shore site. We had to cancel our November trip due to a death in the family, and don't have another one planned yet. Next time back I'll see if I can't get a few more Kilauea pix for ya!

Guestbook entry from Bob, 1998-03-18 at 21:30:00

Looking forward to the two mile Kalalau Trail walk next July with my Son-in-Law. I was there last July and was thrilled with the ruins at the end of the Hwy on the beach. Do you know anything about them? Also, I walked up the hill from there to a little clearing where there was an other old site. Your web page has really watered my mouth for the walk. Thanks, Bob

There are reportedly a couple of heiaus (ancient ceremonial sites - I'm probably not spelling that right, but it's late ..) in that area, and they may be what you are describing. Sorry, I have no direct knowledge. Wish I could join you there this summer ..

Glad you enjoyed the web site -- notes from folks like you make it all worth while.

Subject: Kauai
Date: Sun, 8 Mar 1998 10:34:56

Hi: A few weeks ago found a great piece you wrote on "Touring Kauai's Crown Jewels" and wanted to print out another copy for a traveling companion but could not make out the website on my printout. Can't remember how I located it in the first place...was probably an accident.

Expect to be in Hawaii mid-to-end of April on a cruise and would like to enjoy the Kauai stopover at a great beach and maybe stop at Charo's to say "hello"..(my companion is an old friend of hers)....and we're not even sure she'll be there when we arrive Thursday, April 23rd...she could be touring.

Can you help? You sound like the ideal source.

[Web address provided - m.g.]  I may have some bad news re seeing Charo, however. I've received email from a recent visitor who said she no longer owns the restaurant on Kauai's North Shore -- this jibes with magazine articles I've seen about her now living in Honolulu, where I think she is performing.

Have fun on your cruise - I've always thought that sounded like an ideal way to tour The Islands.

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Subject: Kauai for the first time.
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 1998 21:30:23 EST
From: Rod and Mary Klann


My wife and I will be traveling to Kauai for two weeks beginning June 26,98. This will be our first trip. We are looking forward to day hiking, exploring beaches, and general site seeing. We are thinking about staying in bed and breakfast's or other quaint accomodations. Do you have any recommendations or thoughts for first time visitors?

I envy you. Don't know when the Makai Guy and Makai Gal will get back to our beloved Kauai. We have never stayed in any of the bed and breakfasts so I can't give you any personal recommendations. I've run across a couple on the web that looked interesting, though. Of course, I've mainly been looking up around the North Shore. Several that have looked good to me from my web explorations are The Historic Bed and Breakfast in Hanalei and River Estate (, although I really have no direct knowledge of either. If you decide you'd rather rent a full cottage, you might like Jim Pycha's Emmalani Kai rental ( on the golf course at Princeville. If you contact any of them, feel free to mention my name - it may or may not help, but it certainly won't hurt.

There are great trails and sights to see that won't cost you more than your car rental and a few gallons of gas. There are a couple of really outstanding things to do that would be great for first time visitors, but they cost some bucks: a helicopter tour of the island, and a boat tour of the NaPali coast. If you choose to do either I KNOW you won't be disappointed. But if you don't you'll love the extra hours you spend poking around on your own instead.

Congratulations on a very wise vacation choice. Take lots of film.

WOW! I can't believe you read all that! You deserve some sort of medal!

Hardcore mail junkies can browse through even older mail by visiting the archives: 2/98 back thru 6/96, PRIOR to 6/96 (though why you'd want to actually do that is beyond me!)

If you have something to add, here is a link to my super duper, custom designed Feedback Form, or you can simply email me at

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