Tyler prefers to have activities planned for vacations while I prefer simple relaxation and time to chat with my lover, so we compromised by planning one activity for each day, and then leaving the rest of the day open to beach time or whatever. The first day's activity was a helicopter tour of the island, and it was by far the best activity of the trip!
A view from above shortly after taking off
Everything was soooo green and I can't tell you how many waterfalls we saw
1. Manawaiopuna Falls, also known as Jurassic Falls because it was used in the movie Jurassic Park, 2. Ty really excited to be in a helicopter, 3. Mt. Waialeale Crater, one of the wettest places on earth
Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific- one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen :)
Yay for helicopters! Ty was a little worried I'd get sick, but I actually really liked the feeling of flying in a helicopter. I seriously recommend this activity to everyone.
The famous Na Pali coast
More of the Na Pali coast- such gorgeous water!
Wailua Falls- we tried to drive to these falls after we landed and ended up at another, less pretty one :(
After the helicopter tour we wanted to check out a few things nearby that we had seen from the air so we drove towards Poipu to pass through the tunnel of eucalyptus trees that has grown over a section of the old highway. Then we tried to drive to Wailua Falls and ended up at Opaeka'a Falls.
At the end of the tunnel of trees
The rest of day we kicked back at the beach/pool & hot tub, found some really amazing garlic shrimp (well, I did), and then headed out for a movie. Sidenote- Tyler admitted post trip that one of his favorite parts was being able to see two movies at the last second without having to worry about a sitter. It's the small things :)
Day two we woke up early because, turns out, it's hard to sleep in very late when you're programmed to wake up at the crack of dawn. So we went out for breakfast and then headed up the North Shore to Princeville for a zip-lining adventure.
We look cool in helmets :)
1. Me on the sketchy suspension bridge between two zip-lines, 2. Waiting for our turn, 3. Me and my perfect zip-lining form
I ended up being a really bad action photographer on this trip, so there is Tyler really far away...
... and a slightly blurry Tyler coming in for a landing.
Standing at the base of the final zip-line tower- it was the highest and longest zip of the day, plus it is a tandem zip-line so we got to race each other, which is never fair when weight comes in to play.
After our zip-lining adventure we drove over to the Kilauea Lighthouse. The little bay and peninsula were covered in nesting seabirds and just below us we saw some fuzzy white chicks :) We also drove up to Hanalei to see the bay and Bali Hai from South Pacific, but it was raining so hard that I didn't bust out the camera. We grabbed lunch at a burger stand made just for Tyler in Hanalei, too- it was all about the meat and chili and had this notice on the bottom of the menu, "Add let and tom 1.00 (not recommended)".
Afterwards we went and hung out at the beach for a little while again and then showered up and went out for a nice dinner at Duke's, where I had the best, melt-in-your-mouth scallions ever! Then we caught another movie and crashed for the night.
The last morning we actually did sleep in a little bit and then lounged around the hotel/beach for a bit with some local bakery goodies for breakfast. We also remembered that living in a hotel for six months is awesome, because it means we are now platinum members at Marriott so they upgraded our room to hugeness with a private deck that went right out to the beach. It was really nice to literally roll out of bed and onto the beach :)
This photo was taken from our little deck
This photo was taken from just outside our front door and I'm convinced I need a hammock in my yard someday.
Our activity for the last day was taking a boat tour up the Wailua River to the Fern Grotto, which the boat company conveniently forgot to mention no longer really has any ferns because of a hurricane a few years ago. Oh, and you can't go into the grotto anymore because of said hurricane. So it was lame and you should not go there. Luckily, it was a pretty short tour (probably because their was nothing to see) so we had a little more time to lounge on the beach before we needed to head to the airport.
This is as close as you can get to the little cave you see, and although the rock face used to be covered in hanging ferns 15-20 feet long, there is only a smattering of short ferns alive now.
We got to the airport a little late only to find that our flight time had been bumped up, so we had missed it. No notification... thanks Island Air. So we were bumped to a flight on another airline an hour later, which got delayed another two hours and then cancelled. So they bumped us to another flight on another airline, and eventually we flew home. I was pretty bitter while we were at the airport, but we survived so I've moved on.
My lover and I right before we left the hotel- try to ignore the craze, frizz hair... it's Hawaii.