Aloha! We left for Kauai on New Years Day – the perfect way to kick off the New Year! Personally, I am not a big fan of New Years Day as it is always cold and usually just spent lying around and watching TV…the holidays are officially over…it’s ideal to have someplace warm and exciting to really start the new year right. My whole family went, which made it even more fun! Dan and I absolutely love Maui – we had an amazing honeymoon there and were lucky to go back in 2014 – so we were really excited to check out another island. We stayed in Lihue at the Marriott, which is really nice for several reasons: it has a beautiful beach, awesome pool, is close to the airport and is overall a really nice property that we were able to take several excursions from. That said, if I were going back I would try to stay in Princeville or Hanalei, as that is the lusher side (the north side) of the island and just looked like what you expect Kauai to – think Jurassic Park with incredible beaches (no dinos). We went to Tunnels Beach two days in a row it was so unbelievably gorgeous. It was also near the entrance to a hike of the Napali coast if you want to do that sort of thing :) I would have been up for that another time, but it is supposed to be an expert-level hike, so it wasn’t going to happen this trip what with me carrying baby boy and all! Also, Chris and Hillary took a helicopter ride which looked incredible (in fact they got engaged up there!!!) – Dan and I didn’t do it this time since we did a helicopter ride on our honeymoon, but I think it is absolutely worth doing.
We rented kayaks on the Wailua River and took them to three places: cliff jumping, the fern grotto and the Secret Falls (shown above). It was really fun – we rented the kayaks from Kamokila Hawaiian Village (we did a self guided tour which was better I think). The hike to the falls was a mile each way and had some slippery/muddy areas as well as a few river crossings. It wasn’t hard necessarily, but we were expecting it to be a lot easier so I would just be prepared that ‘easy and flat’ in Hawaii is harder than in the midwest to say the least. More photos below!
We also went to a few beaches which were nice but do not hold a candle to Tunnels: Poi Pu Beach and Salt Pond Beach. They had some snorkeling and were sunny so that was good (sometimes you have to chase the sun in Kauai). We also saw our only whale from Poi Pu which was awesome! It was playing and breached several times. We saw it from lunch at Brenneckes.
Moving on to Tunnels Beach below:
To close us out, this is a site you don’t get to see very often – true natural beauty:
Aloha and Mahalo! I love you Hawaii!