We woke up with the roosters and the sun was shining and the clouds were gone! (Weather men get it wrong here too...) After watching a little NFL football (starting bright and early at 8 AM) and a quick breakfast, Christine and I hit the road for a ATV tour. We did a 3.5 hour tour of Kauai's south shore - it was very muddy due to the rain, but a lot of fun. We actually road in a "Mud Bug" which is a two-seater dune buggy which was nice because we could ride together and talk. I only "almost" killed us once (our buggy did a 360 after slipping on the mud in a particularly challenging section). Our guides assured us this happens all the time, but Christine believes that they were just trying to make me feel better.
In addition to getting to fly through mud, we got to see a lot of the island that you can't see otherwise and learned a bit along the way from our guides. Turns out that Steve Case actually owns a lot of Kauai (he is the second largest property owner) - including the trails that we were traveling over. According to our guides, he wants to preserve Kauai and prevent it from becoming like Honolulu (not sure what that means for my impending trip there tomorrow), but he is also doing a fair amount of economic revival (yes, Steve gets credit for the Jamba Juice and the Starbucks).
We also got to see where a bunch of movies were filmed (including Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Harrison Ford/Anne Heche thriller/romance 6 Days 7 Nights). I'd have to watch the movies again to see if I recognize the area, I didn't really get the epiphany "I've seen this before" feeling, but it was still cool. In any event, we took a ton of pictures.
After our ride, we went to check out Spouting Horn (a cool Old Faithful-like "natural wonder") and had lunch on Poipu Beach (which had a lot of nice bed-and-breakfasts and homes along it).
Since the sun was still shining we decided to hit the beach (Kalapaki Beach, a mere 2 miles from Christine's house).
The beach itself was a bit of a mess (due to the storm) and there was an exposed drainage pipe (that a bunch of kids were playing in), but the sun still worked so we stole some chairs from the Marriott and I worked on my "base tan."
For dinner Christine's mom made us loco moco - a local Hawaiian "grind" consisting of rice (fried or white), hamburger, fried onions, gravy and a fried egg. Good stuff, hearty, filled the belly nicely.
All in all, a full Hawaiian day! We're off to Honolulu tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed that the weather holds up...