Thursday, January 30, 2014


Sigh. Looking out my window as the snow is softly falling, then looking back at these pictures, makes me long to go back. 
I'm so grateful Kevin & I had the opportunity to spend our 14 year anniversary on Kauai, Hawaii, with our great friends.
We had a wonderful week filled with laughter, fun, relaxation & adventure.
Thanks to the Coles for sharing some of your pics with us. ;)

This is the Princeville area where we stayed, on the north end of Kauai. The view is from the  Kilauea lighthouse.

Opaeka'a Falls

We went to the luau at the Gaylord Plantation. I loved the food, and it was great entertainment.
Wailua Falls

Poipu Beach

We were just exploring the tide pools when we stumbled upon this sleeping seal!

Kauai is covered in chickens & roosters. You see them everywhere. you. go.

This is the view from our condo, the Cliffs Club in Princeville. In the winter, the tides are HUGE here on the north end, and the waves sound like thunder.
More wildlife..... Oh, wait, that's just Frank climbing a tree.
We went to Kapa'a Beach & rented a tandem bike, and two single bikes. There's a nice bike trail there that rides right along the beach. It was awesome!
HIGHLY recommend Kapa'a Beach Shop. They were wonderful. We also rented snorkel gear from them.

Just the boys snorkeled at Anini Beach, where there were plenty of Sea Turtles!

Kilauea Lighthouse from Anini Beach

Ever since Kevin & I came to Kauai in 2010 and went on a boat tour where I first saw the Na'Pali Coast, I have wanted to come back & hike the trail the boat captain told us about. 
The Kalalau trail is an 11 mile trail along the Na'Pali Coast, that starts on the north end of the island, where the road ends, to Kalalau Beach. It's only accessible by hiking, helicopter, or boat. 
So this time, we did it! Frank & Heidi came with us the first 2 miles, to Hanakapi'ai Beach.
Arriving at the beach 2 miles in...
I was nervous about this part. A local had told us the night before that rains were expected overnight, (it rains a LOT there, especially in the winter), and if it did, the rivers rise quite a bit, and you can get swept out to the ocean, or just get trapped on the other side of the river. Luckily it wasn't bad when we got there. We crossed just fine.
At this point, we said our farewells to our friends, and set out for the last 9 miles to Kalalau.
It's one of the most breathtaking trails I've ever hiked in my life.
There was a herd of goats along the trail. Here you can see a couple of them right on the ridge....
I was also nervous about this part of the trail, which I had read about. It's about 8 miles in, and a few hundred feet above the ocean. When I saw it in person, I just about threw up. I was so nervous to hike that part.
Kevin didn't seem nervous at all. I was holding onto his pack & shaking a little bit.
It really looks scary, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I wouldn't recommend doing that part of the trail if it's raining. Or if you're drunk.

The Na'Pali Coast is a very popular helicopter tour area. So the whole time we were hiking, there were helicopters flying around us.
We made it!
We found little "living spaces" like this all over the place. There are people that live here for months at a time.
And we may or may not have seen some nudity.
This waterfall is at the very end of the trail. We camped right next to it. :)

Pictures don't do it justice, but those waves were HUGE!
You can see our little blue tent on the right, next to the waterfall.
We didn't sleep very well, because the waves were super loud, and I had forgotten my earplugs. I woke up several times and looked out the window. The stars were unreal. It was an unforgettable experience.
The night we got back, we ate at Kalypso. It was YUMMY.

We went on a Catamaran tour of the Na'Pali coast with Blue Dolphin Charters. Also highly recommended!
We saw SO. MANY. WHALES. They are humpback whales that migrate to the warmer waters of Hawaii each winter to breed & have their babies, then in the summer they go back to Alaska to feed.

It's hard to tell, but there are 2 whales (below), a mama & her baby....
This one was totally giving us a show. It smacked it's tail on the water at least 10 times. Who needs Sea World?
It was incredibly windy on the way out. The water would spray up in our faces, but it was worse for the people on the end...

There are a bunch of sea turtles on that beach.

It was fun to see this view of where Kevin & I had camped just a few nights before. You can see the waterfall on the lower right section of the pic...

The beautiful Kalalau valley...
Our captain. He was cool.
More views of Princeville, where we stayed. I don't know if it gets much more beautiful than this...

After we checked out, we visited Waimea Canyon, aka, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
Our flight didn't leave until 9pm.

the south end of the island...

We visited the spouting horn, and they had some fun shopping areas there as well.
I never did get a good shot of the spouting horn. The waves weren't that big right then.
And the grand finale.... we saw Evangeline Lilly at the airport! After we took these pics, she looked at us and kindly said, "Please don't do that. It's not very nice."