Hawaii Part 3: Checking out the Pool, Beach, and Lagoon

After breakfast, we walked the long, long string of hallways (open-air to allow that tropical feeling to permeate throughout the resort), changed into our swimsuits, and headed for the pool area. The valet had clued us into a shortcut just down the stairs outside our room, and down the path directly to the beach and pool area.

After checking out the pool and beach, we decided on the lagoon. The beach – Shipwreck Beach – in front of the resort is a rough beach. The red flag waves on a daily basis. But it’s a big draw for surfers, which we enjoyed watching. For swimming, we’d have to go elsewhere. But the resort has this fabulous lagoon. We remembered spending a lot of time in this area on our last trip – feels like the ocean but calmer and more relaxing. And it was the warmest water of the three.

On our last trip, there was a lazy river for adults only, but there was no sign of this existing any longer. We had read about a rehab, and now there is a kiddie slide, so maybe the lazy river was replaced with a slide. It seems that with the post 1990s economy, features that were once adult-focused have opened up to families – not a recent change but since we were there last time.

We spent the rest of the morning floating, swimming, and soaking up every drop of water. Our bodies hadn’t had that much fun in water since we used to swim in our Florida pool – a Saturday occurrence throughout the summer. As a bonus, we could hear the crashing surf just beyond the lagoon. Fabulous, simply fabulous!

But we couldn’t help but ask ourselves, should we move back to Florida so we can enjoy this tropical pool feeling on a daily basis rather than the few and far between trips to Hawaii?

After our lengthy morning swim – thank goodness for Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30 – we hiked back to the room to shower, change, and hike back to the port cochere to pick up our rental car and drive out to Coconut Marketplace. Having been to Kauai more than once but not for several years, we were going to choose our favorite things to do. And we remembered Coconut Marketplace fondly from our last trip.

To get there, we’d have to drive back through Lihue, which only has 2 lanes and is congested most of the time it seems. Passing Coco Palms, I was saddened to see how it had fallen into such disrepair. It was practically destroyed by Hurricane Iniki back in 1992 but all kinds of issues have arisen since then, blocking any efforts to rebuild the place.

In Elvis’ movie Blue Hawaii, Coco Palms is the wonderful Hawaiian resort with the traditional lighting of the coconut palms in the historic grove – where Elvis stayed on Kauai and where that portion of the movie is set. I had the good fortune of staying in one of the King Cottages on my first stay on Kauai back in 1985 – just like the ones shown in the movie. Bedroom, living room, shutters, shell bathroom sink, outdoor shower, it was fabulous!

Today, it’s a wreck. So sad. But the pic to the below is as it once was.

Anyway, we moved on to Coconut Marketplace, and even it didn’t seem quite the same as before. Still, we enjoyed a traditional Hawaiian plate lunch, did some shopping, and even found the perfect shirt and hat for Rich – it was in the famous Kauai Red Dirt design but with the Hawaiian state fish on it – the Humuhumukununukuapua – or “Humuhumu” for short as we call it.

This was also the name of the restaurant at the Grand Wailea on Maui where we had the best honeymoon dinner – very similar to Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt. Anybody see a connection to our favorite resorts – all have the word “Grand” in them? 🙂

About Kathy

Author of Cruise and Travel-Themed Novels ("Real Women Wear Red" / "Real Women Sing the Blues"), Songwriter & Poet