Exploring Paradise | Kaua'i, Hawai'i

When my amazing friend Becca came to visit a few weeks ago, she had grandeous visions of the islands of Hawai'i being perfectly "untouched".  Someone greeting her at the airport with the hula and a mai-tai (I had a lei!  It may have given her an allergic reaction, but, I had one!).  You know, like with sailors walking around.  Like when Cook first claimed the island.  Walking along beaches without a soul in sight, just her and God's creation. I love Rebecca for this, her romanticism, and I was sad to be the bearer of bad news. O'ahu is incredible with some of the best scenic views, it's far from an uninhabited paradise.  In fact, it's the most populated and rated number one for traffic over Los Angeles!    So when I suggested visiting another island for the day, she was on board, and generously sprung for our airfare.  Up bright and early without much other thought involved, we reserved a Jeep rental (gotta have a jeep!) and boarded our flight to Kaua'i for the day (one that accidentally took us to south to Maui and then back north to Kaua'i, but also gave us some incredible aerial tours!).  The local at the rental company marked lines and circles on our driving map, and with our backpacks filled with towels and camera gear, we trekked along the island, driving up the Leeward side to the vast Waimea Canyon, back around the Windward side as far as we could into the lush, tropical resort areas.  It's my goal to visit all the Hawaiian islands while we live here, so I am thankful Becca got me onto a plane for the day to see some new sites.  Airplanes are how you have to do road trips around here. I don't mind. Serene, ultra laid back and slow-paced, Kaua'i is beautifully maintained, a charming resort type for a vacationer's paradise.  Although I loved the island with it's small shops and luxe tropical feel  and have booked a romantic get-a-way for Marshall and I,  I am going to go out on a limb and say it wasn't what I was expecting!  It definitely felt like an expensive version of a manicured island, less local, more for exclusive travelers.  Okay, fine, I'll say it:  we joked that it felt like white people's version of Hawai'i.

Now shoot me.

But, I still loved it.  You could guess that it's because I am white, but I'm looking forward to going back.  It's just not the preserved type land and enact local culture I was expecting. I appreciate the local style in O'ahu and didn't get that feeling in Kaua'i. But shew, are there some gorgeous places, quaint shops, and cute eateries! And Rooster population through the ROOF!   I see why the inhabitants are so stress-free, it's a gorgeous island.  And only 20 minutes away.  You know I'll be back, I have more exploring to do.  It's another paradise.

 

 

Glass beach.  Pretty cool!  There are pebbles of soft, rounded glass made from, ready for it...?  Dumped soda bottles, windshields, and junk!  It takes the ocean 30 years just to make a rounded piece of sea glass, and the beach is full of pieces.  Depending on tide, if you're lucky, you can spot red and aqua colored pieces amongst the amber.

THIS MAN!  Rebecca and I almost witnessed him die, I swear.  He was taking photos and stepped to the edge of the canyon, then WIGGLED, lost his footing, and honestly almost fell.  It. Was. Petrifying.  PHOTOGRAPHERS!  What they will do to get the shot... ;)