Greetings, my friends! Thanks for reading about our latest adventure! I tried something new this go-around. I held a contest on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram and sent post cards to the winners! No one played the Twitter contest, but make sure you “like” and “follow” me for your chance to win next time!
Happy anniversary to us! This year we celebrate two happy years of marriage. According to tradition, we are no longer newlyweds. But that won’t stop us from acting like it!
And to celebrate our graduation from newlyweddedness, we decided to spend our special weekend on Kaua’i, the Garden Island. This is by far the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. Look!
We arrived around 7:00pm Friday night and went straight to sleep when we checked into the hotel. It was 1:00am back home! And the next morning we awoke to this view:
We stayed at the Kauai Marriott Resort, which happens to have the largest pool on the island and one of the most beautiful bays, too! We were up early (I love jet lag flying west!), giving us time to enjoy some coffee in bed, put in some time at the gym, and plan out our day. First up, we had a reservation for a flight across the island to get aerial views of the Garden Island. Join us!
Up, up, and away we go! I got to sit in front! Marcus, our pilot, has only lived on Kauai about a year, but he was so knowledgeable! He told us all about the history and landmarks on the island, gave us advice on where and when to go places, etc. We flew over our hotel, around the coastline to the Na Pali Cliffs, then cut inland to see some frequently-filmed waterfalls and the Waimea Canyon! Oh, and we made sure to fly over the hundreds of acres of Kauai Coffee fields, too!
It looks fake, but it’s entirely real! The cliffs were formed with wind, water, and sand erosion over time. This is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, so it’s had the most time to be shaped so beautifully! I’m completely amazed that such rocky cliffs can have such lush greenery growing out of them. Kauai is home to the wettest place on Earth, and they get so much rain, practically anything can grow here!
The beach here is the Honoku Beach (Cathedral Beach). You are not allowed to land on or launch from this beach because it is sacred to the ancient Hawaiian culture. The only way to access it is by swimming–not even with a kayak or surfboard!
This is Tunnels Beach, where Bethany Hamilton lost her arm to a shark attack in 2003. If you don’t know who she is, she’s a professional surfer and mom who competed in The Amazing Race with her husband a couple of years ago. A missing left arm doesn’t stop her from anything, and she inspires me!
Jurassic Falls! That’s not the real name of the falls, but they are famous for being in the original (and probably all of the) Jurassic Park movies. While filming here during Hurricane Iniki in 1992, their helipad blew away three times!
And speaking of Hurricane Iniki, it was the worst one to ever hit the island. Our pilot claimed it’s been said the hurricane killed every tree on the island, but it’s so very lush and wet here, everything grew back in record time. Look how green! Kauai’s rainfall increases by 50 inches per year with every mile you go inland. Wow!
Also in regard to the island’s unspoiled look, a good part of Kauai is privately owned, so that means there are hundreds of acres that are untouched by the vast majority of visitors to the island. Also, the Na Pali Coast is too steep and rocky to build on, so no resorts or hotels are there to spoil it. That also means no roads cut through, so most of Kauai (I think our pilot said 75%!) is only visible from the air. Our tour with Wings Over Kauai–rated #1 on Trip Advisor–was entirely worthwhile!
This is Fantasy Island Falls–look how beautiful! I think those are coffee fields to the right. Water feature, coffee, greenery, my Love by my side… nothing could be finer!
Coming in for a landing! The little 4-seater planes get to use the same runway as the big planes! What a view to land with as well!
After a successful island tour, we decided the day was perfect enough to walk back to the hotel from the airport, less than 2.5 miles away. We saw chickens galore, along with gorgeous flowers and a beautifully manicured golf course. And then can you guess what time it was?
Beach time! Yes, they even have grass on some of their beaches! Those are my adorable, surgically-repaired feet! The rain came for a little while in the early afternoon, so we stopped into Duke’s for lunch. Duke Kahanamoku is the father of modern surfing, and there are several Duke’s restaurants in Hawaii and California. One of them happens to be at our hotel! It was a lovely place to spend our lunch time!
The rest of the day was spent hanging out at the pool and going to bed early. Tomorrow would be a big day because we planned to rent a car and head up to the North Shore. Be sure to check back soon so you can come along with us!