Vu and I went to Kauai, Hawaii last week. It was my first time to Hawaii, and just so happened to be the last state that I haven’t been too yet. So I have finally been to all 50 states in the U.S.! I am so happy that Kauai was the island that we went to first (because yes I plan on going to the others some day). I loved it! I love all the mountains and vegetation and waterfalls and how remote everything was. Vu didn’t quite love the remoteness of is. I promised him next time we could do the whole resort thing. We stayed in the town of Waimea, on the south side, in these cute little old cottages that used to be on a sugar plantation.
They had all of these trees with these beautiful white and yellow flowers, that was exactly how I imagined Hawaii to be.
Our first day there we bought some beach chairs and an umbrella and drove out to the end of the road past Waimea, then through a 5 mile dirt road to get to Polihole state park. It is a 14 mile beach right next to the start of the Na Pali coast line and there was no one there. It was perfect. We hung out and read. It was very relaxing. Unfortunately I only put on a little bit of sunscreen because I thought I was safe being covered by the umbrella almost the whole time. Apparently you can get sunburned from the sand glare though, because I got burned really really badly. It was pretty sad to get so burned the first day there.
Also, Vu is the only person I know that goes to the beach in jeans…
That night we had dinner at “The Beach House” in Poipu and they had all open air seating, so we could watch the surfers while we ate.
On Tuesday we drove up Waimea canyon (what they call the grand canyon of the Pacific), which was amazing. Vu even conceded that it was pretty impressive.
My very favorite part of the drive was at the end of the canyon, the view point of the Na Pali coast line. I have wanted to see the Na Pali coast line FOR.EV.ER. And it was the final deciding factor in choosing to go to Kauai first.
And of course we got some Hawaiian shaved ice afterwards because it was so hot.
On Wednesday we took a doors off Helicopter ride around the island. I know that this is too expensive for a lot of people to want to do, but it was my favorite thing we did, and one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. I loved cresting over the top of a ridge and feeling the helicopter gliding down on the wind. It was amazing. And everything looks so beautiful from the sky. We saw the Jurassic park waterfall which Vu was so excited about, you can kind of tell how big his grin is.
Another reason I loved the helicopter ride was because Kauai has so many amazing waterfalls, that you can’t access any other way.
And of course it is one of the only ways to see the Na Pali coast line. You can go by boat as well, but one of us gets very, very seasick… and spends the whole boat ride not caring about anything going on around… too busy “looking” down… so no boat rides for us.
And Hanalei bay from the Helicopter.
That night we went to the Smith Family Luau, which we heard was the best on the island. They sure did use this to full advantage. There were so many people. It was fun though, we got so see them do their little digging up the kalua pig ritual, then had dinner followed by a show of all kinds of different dances. We talked to a couple that said they liked the one at the Polynesian Culture Center on Oahu better, so we will have to go to that one of course, when we do the whole resort thing. We also got a flat tire on the way home from the Luau at 11:00 pm. That was fun.
On Thursday we were pretty low key, reading at the beach, shopping and driving around a bit. We went to the Kilauea lighthouse. It was much shorter than all the ones I saw in North Carolina, since it is already up high on a rock outcropping.
We had some friends that randomly happened to be in Kauai at the same time and they invited us over for a BBQ that night, which was really fun.
We definitely got more relaxed as the week went by, and did a lot more sitting on the beach. On Friday in the afternoon we went into Poipu and found these food trucks that were one of our favorite meals on the island. I got an Acai bowl, which was sooo good. Vu got some Kalua Pork loco moco. We tried to go back the next day, but the Acai truck was closed. I was seriously so sad. I have to figure out how to make it at home.
We drove around a little bit after that stopping at a few scenic overlooks.
Saturday we mostly stayed in Waimea and hung out. We got these Kalua Pork and cabbage bowls for lunch, which was my second favorite meal we had. I think I had Kalua pork for almost every single lunch and dinner while we were there. I do love it.
Sunday was our last day there, and we checked out of the hotel and went up to Hanalei and Kaapa and hung out before our flight.
Also there are chickens, mostly roosters, EVERYWHERE.
Aloha Hawaii! We’ll be back soon!