Another island-hopping day trip awaited us, this time to the island of Kauai, also known as the Garden Isle. If getting up at 4 in the morning for the Maui trip wasn’t bad enough, we had to rise and shine at 3 am this time. It didn’t help that we both got a nasty sunburn from yesterday’s water adventure at Kailua. After meeting the shuttle bus at 4 am, we flew over to Kauai, where our tour guide greeted us. We loved the Maui trip, so we were hoping this was going to be as good, if not better. The 10 of us set off on our excursion as we traversed up a mountain road towards Waimea Canyon. Since we were making
good time, our driver drove up further pass the canyon lookout to another higher lookout that had some spectacular views of the canyon and its surrounding areas. We then made our way back down the mountain, stopping at the famed Waimea Canyon, nicknamed ‘the Grand Canyon of the Pacific’. Another stunning panoramic view rivaling the Pali Lookout on Oahu, this incredible landscape really showed off how beautiful of an island Kauai is. The shining sun and the bleating mountain goats (we could hear them but couldn’t see them) only added to the mystic of this magical place.
Unfortunately, the goats and the sun started to fade away, as the clouds rolled in and a slight drizzle took over the island. We continued to stop and here and there, taking more photos but the weather wasn’t cooperating as we had hoped it would. We made our way to the other side of the island, where we enjoyed a riverboat ride along the Wailua River. We were serenaded by a fun little Hawaiian band while we cruised over to the famous Fern Grotto, a fern-lined cave that has hosted over 19,000 weddings over the last 50 years. Up until a few years ago, the cave was open to the public to go in and explore but after 42 straight days of rain in 2006, the cave got flooded, and to this day, is still full of water. As we made our way back to the dock, we floated by several beautiful areas where many a movie has been filmed, including ‘Outbreak’ starring Dustin Hoffman, ‘Six Days Seven Nights’ with Anne Heche and Harrison Ford, and another little-known Harrison Ford flick called ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (you may have heard of it?).
A popular blowhole called the Spouting Horn was next on the agenda. And she was more than eager to show off her mighty power, as spout upon powerful spout shot skyward, sometimes as tall as 50 feet. Next up was at the Opaekaa Falls Lookout – a 150-foot waterfall that looks like 2 waterfalls right next to each other. Our long day and trip was nearing an end as we drove by the sacred site of Holo-holo Ku Heiau. Though our tour guide wasn’t as funny as our Maui one, he definitely knew his facts and told us many fascinating tales of not only the Garden Isle but of Hawaii itself and its famed history.
Spouting Horn in Po’ipu, Kauai:
Upon our return to our hotel in Oahu, we were ready for food again, and heard of an excellent restaurant at the Embassy Suites but neither of us could remember where we saw it. So after a nice stroll around downtown with no restaurant in sight, we asked a local where it was. Go figure – it was directly across from our hotel, and took like a minute to get there. We finally found Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine, which was recommended by a couple on the bus tour. The food was incredible and the best meal we’ve had on our trip, and though it was a bit pricey, it was oh so worth it.
After dinner, C-Lo took it easy while I meandered around downtown Waikiki to do so more gift-shopping and sight-seeing. As I walked along the beach back towards the hotel, while soaking in the nighttime atmosphere, a steady mist poured down on me while I looked out into the ocean. With a hotel spotlight casting a palm tree shadow upon the turquoise water, I happened to look up into the rain, and it almost seemed like it was snowing over the ocean. As badly as I wanted to get my camera out to take a picture of this, I also knew that would probably mark the death of my camera, and I had a few more days of photo-taking to do. Once again, an underwater camera may have just done the trick.