Today we decided take a drive through Waimea Canyon. Simon got dressed up in his Hawaiian shirt and jeans and we went on our way.
We stopped in Eleele for some breakfast at Grinds Cafe and Espresso. It smelled delicious when we walked inside, kind of like roasted garlic, so we were hoping for a good meal.
Simon fell asleep in the car and slept through our breakfast.
I ordered the Portuguese sausage skillet with potatoes and 2 eggs over easy. The potatoes also have green bell peppers and onions and some melted cheese. The sausages were thick and plenty of it but the potatoes were a bit burnt and very greasy.
Ron had their fried chicken cutlet (like chicken katsu) with rice and scrambled eggs. It was sort of like chicken fried steak except Japanese style and chicken. I guess what I mean to say is that the white gravy is similar to the chicken fried steak gravy.
After breakfast, we stopped by the Kauai Kookie Company for some free samples and picked up some cookies for home. They have delicious flavors like guava macadamia nut, mango mac nut, haupia mac nut (although sold out so we could only sample), lavender mac nut, etc.
Then we dropped by a grocery store to pick up a bottle of water for our drive through Waimea canyon. Simon’s first ride in the seat of the shopping cart.
Our first stop was at the Waimea Canyon Lookout. We put some sunscreen and a hat on Simon since we didn’t want his delicate skin to get sunburned.
Then into the Ergo Baby Carrier to go exploring.
They had white hibiscus plants at the lookout point. Very pretty.
Hello from Waimea Canyon!
After that lookout point, we decided to drive all the way to the end to the Pu’uokila Lookout. We came too late though so the fog started to roll in and we didn’t really get any good pictures.
Once the fog rolled in, you basically couldn’t see anything else but the fog.
We tried to hike down the trail a little bit but Simon was being really fussy. He was really tired so we ended up turning back and heading to Kalalau Lookout. Simon fell asleep in the car so Ron stayed with him while I ran out to check out the view.
Apparently they do some missile testing and research in the area. I wonder if this building is part of it. Looks like a big golf ball.
We stopped at one more look out point, Puu Hinahina Lookout. I was greeted by this rooster.
There is a view of the private island Nihau where visitors are not allowed so you can only see it from afar.
It’s that flat thing in the distance.
The other side has a view of the canyon. Lots of different colors and interesting shadows. I wish I had my dad’s DSLR but it’s so cumbersome to carry now especially with all of Simon’s stuff.
On the drive back to Waimea the city.
We stopped by Shrimp Station Restaurant for lunch. They have sauteed shrimp, fried shrimp, shrimp tacos, and a shrimp burger.
I had their coconut shrimp with fries. It is served with a papaya ginger sauce that compliments the shrimp well. I really liked these as it was really fresh and the coconut was nice and toasty.
Ron had the shrimp burger which also had the same papaya ginger sauce. The patty was chopped up shrimp pieces with some binder to make it into a patty.
After lunch, we stopped by Jo Jo’s Shave Ice and ordered two of their “favorite combinations”, #2 and #4.
Simon checking out #2.
Ron’s partially eaten #4.
The mac nut ice cream on the bottom was the best part. I could have probably done without the shave ice actually… but not to say that the syrup wasn’t good and refreshing. There was just too much of it. Also, according to Yelp, the location we went to on the main highway is not the good Jo Jo’s… the good one is the one in the alley around the corner called Original Jo Jo’s Anueanue Shave Ice. Apparently the one of the main highway was sold by the original owners but the buyers didn’t keep the quality up to par so the original owners reopened a shop in the alleyway by customer demand. Not sure if it makes much difference as I’m not sure what really good shave ice is supposed to be like.
We still had a good cool dessert break.
and we ran into the gentleman Lionel who told us all these places we should eat at. Ron started chatting with him on the plane from SFO to HNL and got some good tips on where we should eat. We ran into them at Hamura Saimin on Day 1 and now again at Jo Jo’s on Day 3.
And upon his recommendation, we went to Da Imu Hut Cafe in Hanapepe for some takeout dinner. We actually tried to go there this morning for breakfast but they only open 10am-2pm and 5pm-8:30pm. So we decided to try our luck and go there again. We had about an hour before it was going to open for dinner so we drove through Salt Pond Beach Park, hoping to see some salt being made but I guess we are out of season since it seems like they do it only in the summer when it was warm. Apparently salt water is pumped into large vats and the water is allowed to evaporate then more water is pumped in until the vat is super concentrated with salt. I guess it makes sense it is done in the summer when the sun is warmer so that the water can evaporate faster. But we drove by anyhow just to take a look before heading to get our dinner at Da Imu Hut Cafe.
Their menu is on the entrance.
We ordered a combo plate of teri fried chicken and fried chicken served with rice and mac salad. It wasn’t as crispy when we finally got back to our hotel but still pretty tasty. The batter has something sweet in it, kind of like mochiko rice flour.
We also had their saimin noodles which has a shrimp based broth. The noodles were a little soggy since it probably soaked up the broth on the way home but the wontons were interesting as they had fish paste as a filler (at least that’s what we think since it wasn’t pork).
The noodles also came with a teri chicken stick. Extra protein if the noodles weren’t enough.
End of Day 3. Tomorrow we will be exploring North Shore.