Sunday, July 7, 2013

Twenty-five and Counting...

I guess I extended my hiatus a bit longer than I planned.  We inadvertently left the camera battery and its charger in the outlet of the hotel in Hawaii! Fortunately security found it and are sending it to us at no charge. I am just hoping they get it to me before I head to China on Wednesday.  My other excuse(s) are that I still don't have a "real" working computer, plus I have felt quite lazy overwhelmed with laundry and packing for China that I just haven't gotten around to it until now. I will recap the highlights of each day.

First of all, the reason for the trip in the first place was for our 25th anniversary. Before we even left my parents house, they gave us a low key dessert party. In my mom's typical fashion though, the decor and desserts were delicious. My parents, brother and sister-in-law had this adorable sign made for us.
When we arrived at the Kauai airport, we found our friends had arranged for this warm welcome...

The other welcome we got in Kauai was that of wild roosters and chickens all over the island, and we mean ALL OVER!
Here was the incredible view from our hotel room. We started our day off every morning drinking coffee on our deck, and finished with this view every evening. The hotel would shine the lights on the breaking waves until 10:00 every night, which made them look as though they glowed.
Our first full day was probably our toughest days, that of hiking on the Hanakapiai Trail to Hanakapiai Beach, then another two miles to the gorgeous Hanakapiai Falls. It was muddy and a tough hike, but so worth it for the gorgeous views. Here is Mike on the hike to the beach. Don't let the flatness of this area fool you. Note the red dirt...anyone who touches it takes home a little of Hawaii in their shoes, clothes, etc. You literally can't get rid of it!
We began the hike at sea level, climbed up and down for a couple miles, then came to this gorgeous beach.  Swimming is definitely not recommended here.
Now the hike got super slippery, rocky, etc. What made it even more dangerous is that you wanted to look around at all the incredibly colorful flowers and scenery, so that you increased the likeliness of tripping as you hiked. This photo is the first glimpse of the 300 foot waterfall we were heading towards.
Breathtaking view! The water was so powerful coming over the falls. It was loud and windy; note the water on the lens from the mist.  The hike out was much quicker, but hotter too. A stop for local bbq on the way home finished off a great day.
The next morning, which was our actual anniversary, we headed out for an early catamaran trip.  Fortunately neither of us had any ocean troubles, and we could enjoy the trip and food. Unfortunately for some families, they wasted a lot of money on a trip they never got to enjoy. The trip went up the west side of the island, along the beautiful Napali Coast. We got to see the area we hiked the previous day, but only this time from the water side.

We also stopped and did some snorkeling along the way. We were entertained by Spinner Dolphins several times. One time there was easily over 20 of them. They would swim right in front of the catamaran. The photo is not very good, but you can see how close they were to us. They get their name from when they jump out of the water and spin.
We continued the celebration that night with dinner at Keoki's Paradise. It was a beautiful setting and just a short walk from our hotel.  We also got free dessert for the second night in a row!

The next day was the most low key of the entire trip. We did a little shopping, rented snorkel gear for the rest of the week, then headed north for a luau. Another gorgeous spot on the island (but then again, what isn't), as the luau took place at a botanical garden.  Since the actual dance part was at night, and I was too cheap to pay $20 for the professional photo they shot of us and some dancers as we walked in, I only have some photos from the gardens.

So only three more days to recap, and I will do so in another post. Stay tuned for more exciting photos, and an especially thrilling video. I know you can't wait!

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