A few months ago my parents offered to let us use some of their timeshare points as our Christmas/birthday/everything gifts for the year. Let's think about that for a second... YES. So to Kauai we went. It really was paradise and the escape from real life we so desperately needed. We have both been to Oahu and Maui, but I think Kauai is by far my favorite island. It's a lot less touristy with endless amounts of adventures (ie hiking, kayaking, camping, etc.). Of course you still have the option to go lay on beautiful beaches (which we most definitely did). The island is breathtaking! I feel like every turn you make leads you to another amazing vista with rainbows, mountains, ocean and greenery everywhere. I apologize for the picture overload. It took all I had to narrow them down! So... without further ado...
One of our favorite things we did was kayak 2 miles down the Wailua river and hike one mile to "the Secret Falls." The below picture is one of my favorites of Russ taken on our way to the waterfall.
The water fall was absolutely amazing! (and huge!! See little Russ in the right hand corner?)
We even got to swim under it!
Here's a shot of the Chacos getting a Hawaiian experience on the way back from the Secret Falls
... and I must include Russ's ultimate "tough/extreme guy" action shot.
On the second night there we actually backpacked and camped overnight down in Waimea Canyon, which is basically the grand canyon of Hawaii. This hike was KILLER! 2,300 feet elevation change in 2.5 miles! Ouch! We definitely earned our lazy beach time with this hike!
I think this picture is funny. We turned the corner to see an amazing view with the sun coming through the canyon... and then a tractor. Ummm... one of these things does not belong. Mostly we were confused how they got this tractor down here! It seriously must have been helicoptered in or something.
These guys were everywhere! We thought they were pretty fun, until they would wake us up at 5 in the morning. Yeah. Not cool rooster.
Kileaua Lighthouse! So lovely!
I loved all of the exotic flowers!
Russ is the snorkel master! He is seriously the happiest person in the world when he is doing anything in the ocean. I am the opposite as I am actually quite terrified of the ocean. This picture was taken on Tunnels beach on the north shore. While Russ was way out there looking at fish, I was laying on the beach reading my book. I knew that Bethany Hamilton (aka Soul Surfer -- you know, the pro surfer who got her arm chomped off by a shark while surfing) was from Kauai, but I was curious where it happened. Well what do I find out? It was Tunnels beach. The beach my husband is swimming in right this second. Bah!
One day we took a boat to see the Nepali Coast (where movies such as Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed). There are no roads to see this coast, so it has to be seen from the water! We also got to snorkel off the coast. It was pretty magical (even for someone who doesn't like the ocean :).
The next day we did a hike called the Alakai Swamp trail that lets you see the Nepali coast from up top. It was a pretty long hike so we ended up running a lot of it to get it over with faster. After we hiked the 4 miles to the "lookout," we had to laugh when all we saw was one big giant cloud. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. At least we got this one view on the way!
One of our favorite sunsets was on the south side of the island at Poipu beach. I wish I could see this view every day of my life!
Standing in front of Wailea Falls, right before we headed to the airport (I guess you can't actually see the falls! oops!). We were feeling a bit sad about our adventure being over! You know how by the end of some vacations you are ready to come home? Yeah, this wasn't one of them. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. :)
Thank you, Kauai, for being the perfect getaway! We hope to see you again!