Aloha!

So first of all, I want to apologize that it’s been nearly a hundred years since we’ve posted any new content. Jana and I both got busy… you know life, work, life, work, and plus a little travel! Anyway, I recently saw a dear, lifelong friend of mine and who nonchalantly referenced my love for sushi in the blog and I was floored. I was so surprised people (other than my dad and KF) actually read our little blog. It was so sweet. So it reminded me that I should get back on top of things here.

So today we’re going to get caught up on a little family vacation we took to Hawaii!

We stayed in Kauai for six nights and then spent one night in Oahu. First of all, Kauai was gorgeous! I had been to Oahu once before and honestly wasn’t all that impressed. It is super commercialized and very touristy. It simply lacked that “lush tropical getaway” that I think most people imagine when they think of Hawaii. If you want seclusion, local feels, and epic views I HIGHLY recommend visiting Kauai. We stayed in a three bedroom condo on the beach (not far from the cove at Lydgate State Park).

The best way to start each day on vacay:

Hotels on the beach in Kauai aren’t exactly cheap, so we went with the Airbnb because we were able to get the view we wanted at a reasonable rate. Thanks to jetlag, I was able to watch the sunrise over the beach everyday and I was amazed by each and everyday. However, most local lodging doesn’t offer air conditioning and MAN OH MAN did I miss air conditioning. So if you’re one who is willing to splurge a little or if you’re simply one of those people that can’t live without air conditioning (looking at you, Dad) then go with the hotels vs. the local lodging. The Poipu area is supposed to be on point for hotels. The sea breeze kept the place cool during the day but the nights were HOT. I didn’t get a solid night’s sleep the entire time we were in Kauai.

But, you’re thinking, you did cool stuff in Hawaii though right? HELLZ YEA I did!
Top of the list? Helicopter ride! The views were so epic. If you have a weakness for motion sickness like me then I have to warn you, the heli ride is not your friend. I missed out on about half of the ride because I knew if I kept my eyes open my lunch would end up on my lap. Gross, I know, sorry. But I did get to partake with my eyes open during the first half of the ride and it was truly incredible. I can’t speak for the other islands, but Kauai is DEFINITELY a place you want to see by air. There’s just so much of it that isn’t accessible by car. We flew into Waimea Canyon, along the Napali Coast, it was a really unforgettable experience. I’m so glad I did it, but I also doubt I’ll ever ride a helicopter again.

“The helicopter is a fine way to travel. But it induces a view of the world only regularly seen by God and CEOS.”

If you’re planning a trip to Kauai and thinking “the helicopter ride sounds cool but I want to do something actually IN nature” then I have the perfect experience for you: Secret Falls. We started by arriving to the Kamikola Hawaiian village at 9am when they open, in order to make sure they kayaks didn’t sell out. The guys there are super chill and on most days sell fresh banana bread. Buy yourself a couple slices so you have a tasty snack at the waterfall. We rented our kayaks, kayaked down the Wailua a short bit, until we saw the spot where you bring your kayaks up to shore. We left them there, hiked about an hour through the jungle , and ended up at Secret Falls; an entirely remote waterfall ONLY accessible by foot! The water is COLD but you just have to go in and experience the waterfall for yourself. After you hike back to your kayak there are other areas to kayak before heading back to the village, like the fern grotto and the swimming hole. Everything is really easy to find, especially if you look at the map at the village before leaving.

Aside from those two excursions, we did all the usual stuff like swimming, eating, and going to a luau. Hanalei Bay was a nice spot to visit and it offered entertainment for our family as KF and I wandered along the Napali coast for a bit. We didn’t do the full hike as originally planned due to a shortage of time. I will say if you plan on hiking the Napali coast, come prepared. The incline is steep and very hard on the knees. We still got some great pictures and having my feet on the ground in addition to the views from the air made me feel like I experienced everything I wanted.

Yours truly at Hanalei Bay– a crescent shaped bay surround by mountains with beautiful water and the calmest of tides; super family friendly!

 

Seeing the Napali Coast from both the air and the ground really completed the trip for me.

As soon as we landed in Oahu we visited the AZ memorial which was a “must do” for some of the family. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki, and the remainder of my time there was spent enjoying poolside pina coladas. The hotel has a farmer’s market a couple nights a week and I was able to purchase handmade jewelry from the artist himself which was nice touch. Staying at a nicer hotel at the end of the trip was definitely the way to go. However brief our time was in Oahu, it delivered the luxury and relaxation needed to round out our trip.

If you have any questions or comments about this trip or any others, feel free to leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading,

Jenny

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