Sunday, November 11, 2012

Did I mention we went to Hawaii?

Kauai, to be exact. After a lot of different plans for trips to various places and after a lot of trying to find someone to watch our kids, we finally found a brief window in which my mom could come down so J and I could get away before baby girl makes her grand appearance. Now it seems like months ago, so I figured I'd better blog a recap before I forget even more.

Day 1: Traveling--after renting our Jeep, we drove to the North Shore, checked into the Westin, and grabbed some fish and chips for dinner.

Day 2: Open-door helicopter tour of the island.  This was completely amazing. We learned a lot about Kauai, flew into craters and valleys, next to waterfalls. Gorgeous and amazing. Then we headed back to the hotel for pool and beach time.

Waimea Canyon

The Napoli Coast, inaccessible by car

This is along the North Shore, where our hotel was. On our last day, we snorkeled by this reef that you can see in the pic below.

The beach we shared with St. Regis, complete with pineapple-carrying servers.

Day 3:  We spent the morning on a kayak/hiking tour, up the Wailua River and through the rain forest to the Sacred Falls, which, because of the drought, we more like a Sacred Trickle. It was still pretty, though. We had a picnic lunch and swam in the cold pool beneath the falls.

We headed to the beach/pool for the afternoon and then went to the Smith Family Luau. We loved the traditions and the surroundings, we liked the food (it was good, but not fabulous), and we enjoyed the entertainment. 

 Day 4: Waimea Canyon:  Kauai's "Little Grand Canyon".  We drove all the way to the west side of the island, where it's drier, to see the Waimea Canyon. It was beautiful, of course. We hiked a little, and had a hard time getting any good pics because the fog would roll in from the mountains in a matter of minutes.

 We drove to the end of the road and further, out onto the beach. No roads go beyond this point because the Napoli Coast is so inaccessible. Joe took the opportunity to cool off.

 And I took the opportunity to savor a true Hawaiian shaved ice, which has vanilla ice cream in the center and vanilla cream over the top. Delish!

Day 5: Golfing at the Princeville course. J convinced me that he could NOT go to Kauai and NOT golf the Princeville course, which is one of the top 100 courses in the world. The scenery was gorgeous, and the course was pretty fancy schmancy, with personalized GPS systems in the carts and people bringing us pineapple. I rode along for the first 9 holes and then split to do some window shopping in Hanalei Bay. After  another delicious lunch of fish and chips, we tried out the Hanalei Bay beach for the afternoon.  

Hanalei Bay

One of the highlights of the bay--lying on my stomach after months of being confined to my side.  The freedom. I dug myself a little belly hole. Or a big belly hole, I guess.
That night we had the best dinner of the trip--at the Dolphin restaurant. I had to forego the swordfish and ahi tuna because of mercury content, but my other fish--Opa--was soooo delish, as was my smoothie and bacon and cheese-wrapped asparagus. Yum.I'm salivating just thinking about it.
Day 6: We started the day out by hiking the Kalalau Trail along the Napoli Coast. We drove to the end of the road and then set out to hike the 2 miles into a secluded beach. We could have gone 2 more miles to a waterfall, but the hike was really difficult--lots of elevation changes and rocky terrain. Despite the fact that I've been working out throughout my pregnancy, the 4-mile-roundtrip hike to the beach was plenty for a 29-week pregnant woman.

 After the hike, some smoothies, and pulled pork sandwiches, we crashed on the beach (after walking around the seals!). We managed to snorkel a bit later and then headed back to the hotel to get ready to go to the airport. On the way to the airport, we stopped by a couple of waterfalls and ate our last authentic Hawaiian food.

Our plane left at 8:30, and you'd think that with all the hiking and snorkeling, that we'd sleep well on our red eye, but the flight was miserable. MISERABLE. Neither of us could get comfortable and we landed early in LAX at 1:30am Kauai time for a freezing cold 3 1/2 hr layover. What a terrible way to end such a fun, relaxing vacation. We got home around 11am, dead on our feet, happy to have made it, glad to see our kids, and very thankful for my mom for all she did to help us have such a wonderful getaway.  As you can see, the kids didn't suffer while we were gone :)

No comments: