Honeymoon - Part Two

 When we decided we wanted to go to Kaua'i for our honeymoon, we got some wary looks.  Some people told us to prepare for it to rain every day.  So we did our research and found a place to stay on the "dry side" of the island.  It also helped that July gets the least amount of rainfall of the year.  And you know what?  It only rained once the whole 8 days we were there.
 Our bed and breakfast was located in Waimea.  We drove along the coast through several little towns until we reached it.  I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the place- it was amazing.  Classic Hawaiian house.  It was blue with white posts, and a long porch that overlooked the beach.  There was even an outdoor kitchen- perfect for watching the sun set over the watery horizon.  As soon as we parked our hostess came out and greeted us the Hawaiian way- leis and all!
We loved where we stayed.  One good thing about bed and breakfasts is that you can get advice and tips from your hosts to find the real treasures.  They told us what the best hikes are, the best places to eat, etc.  They were great!  But Roy's style of vacation is to just go until you stumble across something.  Using a combination of these methods, we're convinced we experienced the best of Kaua'i.

One thing our hosts told us about was Snorkel Bob's.  There are two of them on the island.  You can rent snorkel gear for days and use them whenever you want.  It ended up being one of our favorite things to do on the island.
 For some reason the under-water camera doesn't really show colors very well, but the reefs around Kaua'i were definitely colorful.  On our random explorations we sometimes snorkeled in bays with nothing but sand and little toothpick sized fish.  But sometimes we discovered the most amazing things!  Even if we weren't specifically on the lookout for places to snorkel, we always kept our gear in the trunk just in case.

There were fish that kind of glowed in the dark, fish that swam backwards, and fish that I wasn't even sure were fish.  We also found an octopus and creepy moray eels that watched us with their mouths open.  The funniest moment was when I chased a cool looking fish under a rock.  I looked up through the water to get Roy's attention-I wanted him to see the fish too-but Roy was thrashing his arms through the water, pointing beneath me.  When I looked, an impossibly long sea snake was swimming around my ankles.  I got out of there fast!

Another favorite was going to Kamokila Village.  This was one of our random finds.  It's a recreated Hawaiian village just above the large bend in the Wailua River.  Some of it is original, though.  They have ruins from what they think was probably a kind of temple.  It was cool to learn some history of the island.  This village was the place where Kaumaualii, a King of Kaua'i, assembled his war canoes. 
So we tried out our own war canoe.  Kind of.  It was a rented kayak and we weren't really going to fight anybody.   This was the one time it rained.  So ignore my hair please.
  There was a place along the river that we stopped to cliff jump.  Nearby there was a family using a rope swing.  It looked fun, but I've never used a rope swing and they were jumping out of a tree with it.  Roy got the family to pressure me into trying it- haha!  I did, but I basically just belly flopped.  I tried a few more times after that and... I think I better start lifting weights...
Next we followed signs to the fern grotto.  It's a place where the Native Hawaiians used to honor their god of harvest. 
This was as close as we could get.  It's sacred ground for the Hawaiians.  Sorry that it's kind of hard to see in this picture, but it was gorgeous.  It was a shallow cave, about thirty feet in length, with water dripping down, keeping the face of the cliff constantly moist.  That's where the name "Fern Grotto" comes from I'm assuming.  Ferns were simply oozing down and dangling into the mouth of the cave.  Way cool.

Our last stop on the river was a two mile-long hike to a hidden waterfall.  By this time I was getting that arm workout that I was thinking I needed.  Kayaking is kinda difficult when you're pushing against the wind.  We knew this was a popular stop as soon as we got there.  Kayaks galore.
The hike was fun.  Aw, we are so cute!  Heart-shaped leaves.
 These were my favorite plants on the island.  We walked through them on the hike.  They're like tents!  Completely hallow on the inside! 
 Big roots!
 Notice the sign.  It says: Warning, falling rocks can be fatal.  Do not go beyond this point at all times.
SO- we didn't feel too guilty passing up the sign and swimming in the fresh water.  Even though it was freezing cold!!!  We swam right under the falls.  Then we hiked out and Roy kayaked us back to the village because... my arms had given out.

On one of our drives we found a place called Spouting Horn.  Each time the waves crashed against the rocks, water jetted out of a hole further up on the shore- spewing water 40, sometimes 50 feet into the air!  I spent a lot of time trying to catch the perfect picture.  Roy was ready to go after not too long.  I couldn't understand why he wasn't as impressed as I was.  Turns out there is a "spouting horn" in Newport too.  COOL!  I made sure to see it when we went to Newport for Thanksgiving.  :-) 
 But there was a sea turtle hanging out by this spouting horn.  In fact, I think I mentioned, these waters were infested!  Sea turtles were everywhere!  You couldn't get into the water without running into one.  Seriously, when Roy was boogie boarding he accidentally kicked one.  Don't worry, we're pretty sure it was fine.  Roy had a nice gash on his foot from his shell.
Boogie boarding was one of Roy's favorite things to do, as you can tell from his very excited expression.
 I liked it too, but not in the same way.  Roy wanted to be like the locals, who were way out in the ocean with the biggest, scariest waves.  They knew exactly how to catch the crest, and then they knew how to roll into the wave before they slammed into the rocks or got washed into the shallow parts (where I was floating around with two sea lions).  Roy wasn't a pro, but for him it was go big or go home.  For me it was go home alive.  Although I might have been in just as much danger with those sea lions popping up from beneath the sandy water.  They never stayed in the same place.  I REALLY didn't want to kick a sea lion. 
 Without a doubt the coolest part of the trip was when we took a tour of the Na Pali cliffs!  They cannot be reached by road- only by the sea and a few difficult hiking trails.  Although kayaking would have been fun (haha, maybe I'll try that after a few years of weight training) we took a zodiac raft.
 We saw, of course, lots of sea turtles.  Seriously- who says those things are endangered anyway?  But we also saw two different pods of dolphins.  The babies would jump and spin out of the water.
 Our guide was very skilled.  He backed us into several caves and tight spaces. 
 This is called "Lover's Cave" because far in the back, in thick darkness, there is a bank of sand. 
 How gorgeous are those cliffs?
 Tons of movies have been filmed here, including the newest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
 Someday we hope we can come back and go camping here.  Anyone want to come?
There are a few difficult trails you can hike to get to these cliffs too!  I think I'd pick that over kayaking.
 We parked the raft and took a lunch break.
 And after eating sandwiches (which of course were filled with ham, so I actually had two slices of bread for lunch) we went on a little hike to some ancient Hawaiian ruins.  One section was actually a graveyard for royalty.  If I had been a Native Hawaiian, I would have totally lived here, nestled between the steep Na Pali cliffs. 
 On Sunday we decided we wanted to go to church.  It was close enough to our bed and breakfast to walk.  The moment we walked into the door we felt welcome.  The members were so friendly- almost everyone told us "Aloha!"  There was such a strong spirit of love and you could tell everyone was truly like family.  At the end of the meeting the Bishop announced that one of their members was getting ready to leave for college at BYU-Hawaii which, if you'll remember, is on the island of Oahu.  So they closed the meeting singing "Aloha Oe."  Thank goodness they had the lyrics because even though I've heard that song so many times, I don't know the Hawaiian words.  But we thought it was so cool that we got to experience that farewell song.  Good experience.
Funny thing about Kauai...
There are chickens everywhere!!!!  Whether you are on an expensive resort or you are inland at some McDonalds... these chickens are the only "wild animal" on land!  I laughed every time we saw them.


We thought this little old town was awesome and stopped for some pictures and shopping.
 It has a rich of history, being a sugar plantation town- the first in Hawaii. 
 We didn't need to pay for ukulele lessons because we already got some for free at the Polynesian Cultural Center.  But this sign was cute :-)

From the town we followed signs to this church.  It was constructed in 1856, making it the oldest church on the Hawaiian islands.  Roman Catholic, I think.  It was completely deserted, but the doors were open and we took a look.
 And of course I insisted we check out the graveyard. 
See the little black-and-white pictures on the headstones?  Fascinating. 
 And there was this cool grotto.
 I could go on forever about Kauai.  We went to a festival in the town that inspired Lilo & Stitch, we went to the the United States' most western bookstore (of course), we went to the farmer's market and bought fresh pineapple, we hiked what Mark Twain called "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific", we found a secret waterfall, we had picnics on deserted beaches- we had the time of our lives!








 Look at that local kid up there in the branches.  Yeah he fell.  But miraculously he was laughing when he surfaced.
 And that's me after jumping off the waterfall.  That moldy, creaky ladder was the scariest part.





 Kaua'i has all the vegetation you can imagine.
 Some Buddhist place, I'm not sure, but we passed it a few times.

And then the airport.  As we shuffled onto the plane along with the rest of the passengers, I noticed that no one was talking.  Or even smiling!  It was like a funeral procession.  Who can blame us?  No one wants to leave Hawaii.








3 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a great time! So fun! We'll go back with ya! Always up to a fun sunny vacay.

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  2. Your whole blog is adorable! I had to read your honeymoon story first because it sounded exciting and it was! You do such a great job telling a story and your pictures were way fun to see. Oh, and we would totally go camping with you in Hawaii:)

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