In October, we decided to take advantage of cheaper airfare and the notion of not being able to travel anywhere exotic for a while. I was seven months pregnant, and desperately wanted to go to a place where I could dig a hole in some soft sand and bury my belly in it. I hate to say it, but I never had a strong desire to go to Hawaii because of my preconceived notions that it was very touristy, expensive and overhyped. Now I can say it was the most beautiful, intoxicating and relaxing place I’ve ever been! I’m already pining to go back someday.
We first arrived in Honolulu and booked a last minute hotel in downtown Waikiki. It was a bit overwhelming after a long flight, and definitely not what I expected. It was fun, but we were looking for some good peace and rest. My dear friend Catherine, who lives on the island, met up with us and let us borrow her car for the couple of days we were on Oahu, so the next day we headed up through Manoa Valley to stay in Kailua and explore the north shore. It was insanely beautiful!
We then went to Kauai for the next five days, where we rented a car and stayed at Kauai Beach Resort. It was the perfect spot to stay because we could drive to either side of the island and explore to our hearts content. I definitely understand why it’s called the “garden island." Everything about this island was so lush and beautiful. We drove to a private beach in a residential area, where we saw a monk seal on the shore! A friend on the island later told us it was an extremely rare sighting, because they are endangered. We also made our rounds to the Kilauea lighthouse, hiked a little in Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast State Park.
We also headed up to the north coast and explored a little bit on the Kalalau Trail, where we stumbled upon a stunning viewpoint in a little clearing. We also found lots of rock piles and handmade leis strewn about, and we knew we were in a very sacred place. It was so peaceful and breathtaking! Later, our friend told us that exact spot was where hula actually originated, and they still use it for the same purpose today. So awesome! We were also able to visit said friend and her family with a picnic at a park.
We also headed to the west side of the island, where we went off the beaten path and found a huge and deserted stretch of beach. We swam a bit and then a storm rolled through. We had no chance of staying dry, so we waded in the ocean up to our eyes and got pelted with heavy rain for a few minutes! After that, we drove to the northernmost point on the west coast and watched the sunset.
This was definitely a trip I'll remember forever! Can't wait to go back one day, maybe with two kids in tow...