When we were planning our trip, we were trying to decide which island to visit and since I had never been before, R recommended Kauai. He has been fortunate enough to visit Hawaii at least half a dozen times in his lifetime because he grew up in sunny Southern California. I, on the other hand, grew up in Maryland so a trip to Hawaii for my family would mean 15+ hours of travel time...it just wasn't going to happen.
I think one of my favorite parts of planning the trip was that we didn't plan THAT much. At least we booked our flights and hotel ahead of time, but we didn't have every minute of every day planned out. We made a Google Doc of things we wanted to do while we were on the island, but if we didn't get to all of them we were both totally okay with that.
We left Seattle Wednesday night and returned early Wednesday morning this week. The trip was hands down the best vacation I have ever had - one of the big contributing factors to how great it was is probably R and how great of a travel buddy he is!
Many of you have asked what we did ..... here ya go!
For the first few days, we stayed up in Princeville (on the North Shore of Kauai). It was definitely more gray and rainy than we were expecting, but we were still able to get out and do a great 8 mile hike to an amazing waterfall, eat the most delicious sushi either of us have ever had, and get luxurious massages at the St. Regis hotel.
The biggest mistake we made was get those massages right before our island tour via helicopter with no doors. I honestly don't remember much from the massages but I do remember the helicopter tour pretty vividly. R got some amazing pictures and you will find them on our respective Facebook pages. I think the most memorable part of the helicopter ride (besides thinking I was going to fall out of it constantly) was probably the views of the Napali Coast (where we had hiked the day prior). I had seen pictures of it and experienced it on the ground but it was definitely the most gorgeous land I have ever seen.
The second half of the trip, we were down in Poipu Beach, definitely a much more resort-y area. Our hotel was brand new and we literally had a penthouse suite - it was insane. There were a lot more touristy things to do in that part of the island, so we took part. We went snorkeling, lounged on the beach, got sunburnt, watched the sunset, ate delicious poke, had our Valentine's Dinner almost a month late, discovered Kauai Chocolate Company & Coffee Company, as well as Port Allen/Kauai Brewery, went whale watching (and actually saw humpback whales!), saw a cool lighthouse, and saw Queen's Bath.
I wish we didn't have to leave. I would go back in a heartbeat. I loved how remote the island was and how there were tourists, but it wasn't overwhelming. Most of them were honeymooners or old folks! Glad we chose the serene atmosphere, it was so relaxing.
When we boarded our flight, we were both exhausted but we can't wait to go on our next adventure!
Pro Tip #1: Do NOT, under any conditions, devour your first cheeseburger in 5 months right before your helicopter ride. You will regret that pretty much instantaneously.
Pro Tip #2: For food, we always went to Yelp first. The great part about that was we were able to try some local options that we would never have known about if people didn't say such great things about them.