Thursday, June 15, 2017

kauai


Island #2:  Kauai.

John and I flew took a 45 min flight first thing Monday morning to Kauai.  Let me tell you, quick easy flight, but try and sit in the window seat on the left side of the plane.  It has the better view, we just had the window seat on the right side.  Any who, we grabbed our rental car and immediately took to exploring since we weren't going to be able to check in to our AirBnB until later.  As we drove up to Wailua State Park where we stumbled upon a kayaking excursion.  It was great, because we were able to take our time and explore.  It included a fern grotto area, a swimming hole in two locations including the falls and a tropical trail walk that included our first of two river crossings.  This being the easier one as it had a rope to hang on too.  The falls did not disappoint and we even caught it for a few moments before it became too busy!  It was one of our favorite days on the island as it was so unexpected!  Afterward we headed back to Wailua where we rented a condo.  It was right down the road from the old Coco Palms Resort where all the celebrities back in the day flocked to.  They hope to restore the hotel back to it's glory.  It'd be really cool to see when complete.


Tuesday we headed up north along the coastline with a couple of stops of course.  We popped in to the Kilauea Lighthouse and watched the whales all along the coastline.  I literally could be mesmerized forever watching them.




We drove into Princeville, which seemed to be an old person resort/retirement community, but we knew right where we were going.  To hike the most scariest, but shortest hike, but longest because it was so slippery/hard to walk hike ever, Queen's Bath.  It was stunning and you could view the Napali Coast!  I didn't pack my suit and I was a bit too nervous, but John jumped right in for a quick dip.  The bath had the waves rolling in over the edge so you had to be very careful especially during high tide!!!  After our harrowing hike we headed into the St. Regis, which was a gorgeous location with amazing views.  We picnicked on the beach before a shower quickly rolled in.


Heading further up the coast, which was a gorgeous drive, we hit the Napali Coast.  It was getting late in the day, so we had to hustle on our hike.  The hike was gorgeous, stopping often, but not for too long.  It took us about 3-4 hours to get to there and back, but we managed to make it to the Hanakapi' ai Beach, only after crossing the deathly stream with hand holding and a stick.  Definitely not worth it just to be on that little beach, but the rest of the hike was perfect.  However, I guess you have to cross it to continue on to see the falls too.  The end of our hike we were greeted with a beautiful rainbow.



Wednesday ended up being a relaxing day.  We took to Poipu Beach and were able to see a seal and turtle sunbathing on the beach.  We snorkeled around the reefs, which were gorgeous, but a little tricky as many fish would swim right up to you as they have become so familiar with humans.  I found out later that they will sell fish food near the beach, which is why the fish are so friendly!  After hours on the beach we tried the Puka Dogs - not so great if you love a good Chicago style dog.  Then we swung by the Spouting Horn.  That was pretty cool to see and I wish I had a chance to get closer.  Wednesday evening we attended the Smith Family Garden Luau.  It was a fun experience, and I definitely recommend trying a luau in Hawaii, but I guess I expected a bit more.


Thursday we ended up doing a helicopter ride which was amazing, but also a little nauseating!  The views were outstanding and I wish we had the open door so you could get better photos, but it was so cool!  We definitely checked this off our bucket list!  Lastly we drove up the southern coastline to Waimea Canyon.  It was just as outstanding as the helicopter ride.  We did another scary shortish hike into the canyon - it took us to two of the three falls with some harrowing cliff edges that you're not sure what is underneath you, if anything really at all!  We grabbed dinner at a delicious Mexican restaurant, Monico's Taqueria - I would definitely recommend!

Friday, we wrapped up the condo with a beach day before flying out that afternoon back to Oahu and then back home Saturday.  Overall it was a beautiful trip and I hope we have the opportunity to travel out there again and go to a couple new islands as well!

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