Sunday, December 11, 2016

Enjoying a holiday season trip to the tropical paradise of Kauai...

This year as an early birthday present and to help us relax our way into the holiday season we decided to jet off to the tropical haven of Kauai in Hawaii for the first time.

Guava mimosa to start the day? Don't mind if I do!
Guava mimosa cocktail Kauai
We've visited Maui and the North Shore of Oahu before, and I've even run the Honolulu Marathon in the past, but our mission this trip was pure rest and relaxation.

St. Regis room with a view
St Regis resort view Princeville Kauai
With that in mind we splurged on four nights at the St. Regis resort in Princeville on the north side of the small island.

Lounging poolside
Poolside St Regis Princeville Kauai
We're not the best travelers and very rarely plan what we'll be doing before we arrive at our destination, using the days before a holiday are a big rush, so we're happy to sort it all out when we get there.

Essential holiday reading
Tales of the City books Kauai Holiday reading
This time around we were happy to just lounge by the pool reading, taking in the spectacular view of the mountains and ever-changing weather, and sipping mai tais, just relaxing into island time.

Waimea Canyon Lookout view
Waimea Canyon Lookout view Kauai
With all the lush vegetation on the island we knew that we'd probably see our fair share of rain and clouds, so we took our hire car to see more of Kauai, traveling around the the west coast of the island to see the sights of Waimea Canyon and the other delights of all the state parks.
Waimea Canyon Lookout view
You can see why they call it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific as it's an amazing sight, whatever the weather, with all the different colours and amazing views from the high altitude.

Waterfalls abound in Kauai with all the rainfall
Waipo'o Falls Canyon view Kauai
Seeing the tropical mountaintops wreathed in cloud was also a beautiful sight, whether it be from out room at the hotel or at the end of the 550 highway in the Napali State Park.
Napali State Park view Kauai
One thing you're bound to notice as you drive around the island is the abundance of wild chickens, waterfalls and churches on Kauai.

Feral chickens and cockerels run wild on the island
Wild chickens Koke'e Museum Kauai
After the long drive around the island we spent the rest of the time closer to home exploring the infamous Hanalei Bay (where South Pacific, Jurassic World, Avatar and more were filmed), Tunnels Beach and nearby wet and dry caves.

Exploring caves on Kauai's North Shore
Inside dry cave Kauai
If we'd had more time and there hadn't been such heavy rains the week before we arrived we would have ventured further along the islands trials, but that's an adventure we can save for future visits.
Wet Cave Kauai
To say the beaches, ocean views, lush foliage and quieter pace of life was a tonic from L.A. living is a huge understatement.
North Shore Beach Kauai
When we were walking along one of the beaches we even mistook a giant turtle for a bit of driftwood, so when it started scampering down the beach at some speed we were a bit surprised and delighted at the same time.
Turtle Tunnels Beach Kauai
Besdies the marine life i was also fascinated by some of the gnarly tree roots along the shore which reminded me of something out of an Alien movie of H.R. Giger drawing.
Back at the hotel when we weren't being awoken in the morning by the island's natural alarm clock, a rooster cry, we were also being visited on our terrace by Hawaiian geese, the nene, and other birds indigenous to the islands.

A feathered caller at our door
Nene goose Kauai
On our last morning in this tropical paradise we were greeted by a beautiful rainbow to say Aloha and brighten our final day.
Rainbow Kauai North Shore
The staff at the hotel were so friendly and made us feel very welcome, and the sun even came out for us to enjoy our last few hours poolside with a cocktail or two before we flew home.

Just one more Mai Tai to end the holiday
Mai Tai Poolside St Regis Princeville Kauai
Now that we're back in La La Land it's time to trim our own Christmas Tree and get ready to enjoy the rest of the festive season.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in Hawaii
St Regis Christmas Tree Princeville Kauai
I'm sure this won't be the last time we'll be visiting Kauai, so it's Aloha for now, but I have a feeling we won't be gone long...

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