After our plans to go to Italy were put on hold (we’ll take this trip one day soon!), Gary and I decided to travel to Hawaii for our honeymoon. We both had always wanted to visit, but it always seemed so far away like some distant island (our first thoughts were Jurassic Park or something similar). Although I had my sights set on visiting the Vatican and the Trevi Fountain, I’m so happy we ended up in Hawaii. Hawaii is truly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.
We left for Atlanta right after our reception ended and didn’t make it there until 12:30 a.m. We slept for a total of 30 minutes because we had to repack our bags and be up at 4 a.m. to get to the airport on time for our flight out at 7 a.m. Due to the excitement of the days before, we had no problems sleeping most of the way to Seattle. Once in Seattle, we had a 6 or 7 hour layover. We could hardly keep ourselves awake, but we tried so hard to by staying busy with reading or working on different things. Around 8:00 p.m. Seattle time, we headed to our gate for our flight to Hawaii. The flight to Kauai was the longest I’ve ever been on, so I was really happy to be landing in Kauai around 9:30 p.m. Hawaiian time.
On our first day in Hawaii, we woke up and headed straight to Kukuiula Market for an açaí bowl. If you ever end up in Kauai, I highly suggest you visit this little stand in the back of the market for an açaí bowl. They are just so good! Afterwards, we headed to Big Save for groceries to stock up for the entire week. We spent the rest of our day at what we like to call “our beach,” otherwise known as Shipwreck Beach. This beach is primo for three reasons in my book: #1, it’s technically on the Grand Hyatt’s property, so the grounds are really nice; #2, there are tide pools on the side closest to our condo, so we were able to watch fish swimming around and dip our feet in without having to worry about huge waves crashing on us; #3, there is a cliff that faces the ocean and we could watch locals jump from it, which was awesome. For dinner, we went to Da Crack for some excellent Mexican food.
On our second day in Kauai, we woke up early and headed to Kauai Surf School. Our instructor, Allen, was so rad! We discussed everything from his friendship with Bethany Hamilton and her husband, his son (who is pretty much Instagram famous), and Kelly Slater’s new wave pool, which his friend actually got to visit. Overall, it was such a fun (and tiring) experience! I would highly recommend doing it as a fun activity if you’re visiting the island. After surf school, Gary and I headed to Spouting Horn Park, which is an incredible natural blowhole. Basically, the surf channels into a natural lava tube, which releases a large spout of water. Once we had watched the blowhole for quite some time, we drove to The Fresh Shave and ordered two shaved ices. I ordered the Professor and Gary ordered the Fu Manchu. This was the best shaved ice I’ve ever had! For lunch, we visited the Kauai Food Truck in Koloa Town.
On day three, we stopped at Sugar Cane Snax to pick up a few treats before embarking on the Waimea Canyon drive, which was about 4 hours round-trip. We had the best time getting out of the car at every single lookout to see the awe-inspiring canyon. If you go, make sure you drive all the way up to mile marker 18! After getting in and out of the car and walking on a few short hikes, we made our way back down the mountains for lunch at Kauai Ramen. The gyoza was excellent!
On day four, we got up really early for a Na Pali Coast Tour. Although somewhat expensive relative to other island activities, this tour was worth every single penny. I’ve truly never seen anything so beautiful (except for the Waimea Canyon) as the Na Pali Coast. I had so much fun seeing all the waterfalls, cliffs, and sights where countless movies were filmed (King Kong, Jurassic Park, and The Descendants, to name a few). We spent several hours on the water and were so tired afterwards. After heading back to the condo and relaxing for a bit, we grabbed two flavorful hot dogs at Puka Dog (featured on The Travel Channel!) followed by some great ice cream at Koloa Mill Ice Cream and Coffee. Everything was beyond good!
Stay tuned for part 2 of our trip to Kauai!