Lunch that day was an outing to Hamarin Saimain, which we had stopped at earlier in the week trying to get some of the Halo Halo shave ice, which was closed the day we visited. On this trip the shave ice was open so I really enjoyed my special saimain dish knowing it would be followed by shave ice.
The saimain was delish of course and the long line of locals spoke to the prices and authentic preparations of all their food. If you go here, get there early or you’ll have a wait. We had a group of six and had to split to grab the seats as they became available. I should have shared my order with Mom; I had too much food to finish by myself. It made for tasty leftovers though.
We grabbed our awesome shave ice from the Halo Halo counter and walked outside while enjoying our refreshing treats.
A mandatory stop at the Hilo Hattie followed lunch.
Back at the condo Hubby and I packed our suitcases and began our drive up to Princeville where we’d stay at the Westin for two nights.
We were on the road by 2:00 that afternoon so we took our time driving up to Princeville. We stopped by the Kilauea Lighthouse and got plenty of gorgeous pictures. The visitors’ center has binoculars you can check out for free to view all the birds that use the mountainside for nesting.
All of the white dots are birds!
Although we weren’t hungry we had to stop at Banana Joe’s after hearing so many great reviews on TripAdvisor.com You can pick up local produce at Banana Joe’s and this was the only spot I saw with Kauai Nut Roasters brand nuts. We snatched up a package of the tropical nut mix and it was so good. We also indulged in two of the frosties from Banana Joe’s. That day they were serving banana or papaya/banana. Their frosties are frozen fruit, put through a juicer. We should have shared one because they were very rich and filling. It was too much for us since we weren’t even hungry to begin with. I wish they had been serving pineapple that day; I was looking forward to it. The papaya was a bit much for my taste, very earthy and well, papaya-ie. We had fun with the stop though and I’m glad we took it.
We arrived at the Westin Princeville and crashed for a half hour to relax before heading out to Bar Acuda for dinner. Look to the next post for my review of the Westin.
We went for a late dinner at Bar Acuda and walked the shops in Hanalei. I really enjoyed Hanalei. I would go there again to stay and spend more time. I didn’t get nearly enough time in their shops because we spent most of our time at the beach while up north. Walking the Hanalei shops was something I wish we had taken more time to do.
Bar Acuda was a fun splurge for us. We went late at night, dressed up a bit (meaning I actually put on mascara for the first time that week) and enjoyed having a dining experience. Their drinks were okay but overpriced at $13. For that price I expected more. The tapas were wonderful and the dessert was divine. Our favorites were the banderillas (flank steak) and macadamia nut torte with honey ice cream. I’ve read reviews that the restaurant was too loud and it’s definitely loud inside the main dining area with the bar, music and a video playing on the far wall. I enjoyed the atmosphere though. It created our own little cocoon to feel like we were dining by ourselves even though we were surrounded by people. I took a few pictures in the restaurant but they turned out too dark, I’ll just have to lock away the picture of sharing bites with Hubby by candlelight into my memory