Forgive me for being just a smidge behind on writing this blog- but my motto is better late than never! On the flight home from our Hawaii honeymoon, I knew I wanted to remember every moment of the ten days we spent there, so I wrote a letter to our families telling them all about the trip. I figured there was no better way to describe our time there than direct excerpts from that letter- so keep on scrolling to read my vivid memories and descriptions of the best vacation we’ve ever taken- Kauai, Hawaii.
“We left our venue on Sunday afternoon with some friends and headed to the Atlanta airport. As we should have guessed, we got stuck in a ton of traffic and it was a close call catching our flight to Los Angeles, California! By the time we landed, it was 1:00am Georgia time and we were SO exhausted from the wedding week- we couldn’t WAIT to get into the hotel and get some rest because our flight to Hawaii left at 8:00am the next day. Unfortunately the airport shuttle was having some issues and was seriously delayed, so we waited about thirty minutes before…. Justin realized he left his camera equipment on the airplane!!! We ran as fast as we could to get to guest services, but the plane had just taken off to New Mexico. We filed a report and hoped for the best… and praise God the camera weren’t stolen and were shipped to our hotel in Hawaii 5 days later!”
“We were buzzing from excitement when we landed in Kauai, and were thrilled to just ride around in our rental car with the top down, exploring the island! We eventually checked into our absolutely stunning hotel, the Ko’a Kea resort. Our ocean view and a bottle of champagne were the perfect way to begin the honeymoon. This hotel is one of our all time favorite places we’ve stayed, because it was very small and intimate. It was mostly filled with couples on a honeymoon or anniversary trip looking for a quiet vacation by the water! Everyone who worked there seemed to remember your name and the service was un-matched. The first night we headed to the beach to watch the sunset, and as we walked along the sand we nearly tripped over an enormous sea turtle taking a snooze! We were absolutely mesmerized and couldn’t believe we were staring at this beautiful creature up close and personal.”
“We woke up at 5:45 the next morning and walked to the beach once again for sunrise. We were excited to see the sand once again filled with turtles, and a volunteer told us they hunt all night and like taking naps on the beaches in the afternoon. We brought our bible out to the beach and began the book of Jeremiah under a palm tree next to the ocean.”
We then headed back to the room to get ready for our first adventure- an ATV tour of Kipu ranch! This turned out to be one of our favorite things we did on our entire trip. For three hours we drove our own ATV on a guided tour through the mountains of the ranch and learned a ton of history on the property, viewing private beaches, and places where they filmed movies like King Kong and Jurassic park. We even got to swing on a rope that was used by Indiana Jones!
“The next day we woke up again for sunrise and bible time, and this time we were greeted by monk seals playing in the ocean directly in front of us!”
“We then took Justin’s favorite adventure- a 60 minute door-less helicopter ride over the entire island. Of course this is where we saw the most breathtaking views. We zoomed through valleys, over mountains, and past countless Na Pali coast waterfalls. We couldn’t seem to get the lumps out of our throats as we marveled at God’s creation (and also held on for dear life!)”
“After the helicopter we drove to Waimea Canyon, which some call the grand canyon of the Pacific. We took a four mile hike headed to Waipo’o falls, and even saw some mountain goats balancing on ledges across the canyon!”
“Finally, we drove to the Kalalau lookout and saw the most beautiful view of the trip. The way the mountains and peaks are formed in Hawaii is truly other-worldly! To reward ourselves for our hike we enjoyed Bubba Burgers and Lappert’s Ice cream- two local favorites that did not disappoint.”
“Day four of our trip brought rest and then a four hour Blue Dolphin Charter catamaran boat cruise… which I have to say was our least favorite choice of the trip. Can you say SEASICK! The ride was so bumpy due to the giant waves, and there were a whole cluster of people stuck on the boat, sick, the entire time. The main positive side of this choice was the up close views of the Na Pali coast and the sunset complete with a vivid rainbow. Wouldn’t suggest this for anyone without some ginger ale and Dramamine!”
Some other highlights of our trip:
- Shave ice and Acai bowls around every corner
- Hanalei Bay kayaking
- Paco’s Tacos (our favorite restaurant on the north side of the island, and crazy affordable!)
- And finally, our favorite part of the trip- The 8 mile hike along the Kalalau trail! The trail was super muddy, windy, and steep, which made for a great rush and a feeling of adventure! The trail turned into a rainforest basically, and we crossed rivers and walked through puddles to be rewarded with an epic waterfall. We were blessed on this hike with the most amazing views and the best sunset of the trip (it was worth mud up to the knees!).
We truly had the best two weeks of our entire lives between the wedding and honeymoon, and would highly suggest taking a honeymoon or vacation to the island of Kauai! We are itching to go back again- but Iceland is up first!