One of my favorite things about getting married was how we did the honeymoon.  Drew planned the entire thing and I didnt know where we were going until we showed up at the airport that morning.  All I knew was that it was a tropical destination and Drew did the rest.  It was so exciting getting to the airport that morning and finally finding out where we were going after months of secrecy!!!  Let’s rewind for a second to leaving the reception.  The limo took us to the Westin in Grapevine, TX.  It was really close to the airport and they offered a free shuttle.  We arrived still in wedding dress and tuxedo, which ended up scoring us an upgrade to the honeymoon suite.  My favorite part of the room was the double headed shower!  We had to get up super early because we needed to be at the airport by 5am.  As we were gathering all our things we realized Drew had forgotten his bag of nice clothes at his parents house.  Luckily, they live very close and were willing to get up before the crack of dawn and drop them off (and then also take us to the airport).  We arrived and Drew let me do the self check-in.  I put in our information and Lihue comes up as the destination.  I  completely mispronounce the  word (LEE-WAY??) asking Drew where the heck we were going.  FINALLY I find out we are going Kauai, Hawaii.

Drew picked Hawaii because it was hurricane season in the Caribbean.  He narrowed his search down to either Maui or Kauai but ended up picking Kauai because it was supposed to be more lush.  I loved his pick!!!  He did a great job and it was by far the best vacation I have ever been on.

So I am getting ahead of myself, as we waited at DFW airport Drew showed me all the cool stuff we were going to do.  He had even made me a “guide” to Kauai!  We flew into LA and had almost a whole day layover so Drew had rented a car and we headed out on the town.  We went to the Santa Monica Pier and sat on the beach and to Rodeo Drive.

Drew got me a wedding gift from this store 🙂

After our fun day in LA, we returned the rental car and went back to the airport for the long flight over to Kauai.  When we got there Drew had arranged for someone to meet us with leis.  We picked up our rental car and headed to the Grand Hyatt.  If you ever go to Kauai, I highly recommend this hotel; it was AMAZING!!!  Below is a pic we snapped after a long day of travel.  We just hit the sack when we got there because we were so exhausted!

Day 1 – Lounging at the hotel

After our long day of travel the day before we decided to relax around the hotel on our first day.  It was paradise.  We started the morning with the breakfast buffet and then the swim suits were on and we were off to explore!  There were fresh water pools, salt water lagoons and of course the ocean!  Since we were there in late October the ocean was pretty rough but we had fun watching the surfers.

The view from our garden view room — nice and private

These bungalows would become our favorite place!  It was the restaurant in the hotel called Tide Pools.  Best.Food.Ever.

The pools at the hotel had lots of natural rock that made caves you could swim in

This was the salt water lagoon

The cliff jutting out was on our hotel property.  We climbed up and walked around.  Later we found out it was the cliff used in the movie 6 Days, 7 Nights with Harrison Ford and Anne Heche.  The one that they jump off when they are getting chased by pirates.  We werent brave enough to jump off but we did see a lot of other people give it a try!

We loved this natural cave because it looked like a heart!

Going to eat at Tide Pools

My meal was so good I had to take a picture.  It was Hawaiian Moon Fish (Opah) and it was the best seafood I have ever had.

Day 2 – Catamaran to the Napali Coast

We woke up early and drove over to catch our catamaran.  We were going to see the Napali Coast (and doing some snorkeling along the way).  The Napali coast can only be reached by helicopter or boat, there are no roads that lead there.  The coastline is supposed to be so breathtaking we decided he had to see it!


The first part of the day was a lot of fun.  The water got pretty rough after our snorkeling and most of the people on the boat were not doing so well (Drew and myself included).  Drew did manage to snap a couple pics of the coastline though:

Day 3 – Hike and Luau

We drove to the north side of the island to Ke’e Beach to do a day hike.  I had two favorite parts of the whole trip and this hike was one of them.  It was so beautiful!

In the next few pictures we were able to capture the start of the Napali Coast (Northeastern edge)

Drew, before the blisters

We didnt go swimming 🙂

This is probably why they dont recommend swimming, the waves were HUGE

Funny story about these rocks, Drew and I both wore our keens for the hike.  They got a little wet from walking through the water.  We decided we needed to dry them out before the long hike back (to prevent more blisters).  I strategically placed mine in a safe location and Drew just put his on these rocks.  I told him I didnt think that was far enough back from the waves but my little engineer said it was.  Drew ended up hiking back with wet shoes and mine were nice, dry, and toasty.

When we got back to the car we had to “bathe” in Ke’e beach because we didnt have time to make it back to the hotel and then get to the Luau.  Nothing like a salt and sand water bath to make you feel nice and clean!

Imu oven (underground oven to cook the pig).  Before the show we were treated to a feast!

Day 4 – ATV Adventure

Drew got in trouble for riding his too fast…imagine that

The mountain ridge behind us was the back drop of Jurassic Park

This was the actual rope swing used by Indiana Jones at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark

Drew taking a go at it

My turn didnt look as graceful, but it sure was fun!

After the rope swing fun we rode to a hidden waterfall.  They said we could swim here also but it didnt look too appealing to me.

Day 5 – Kayaking the Wailua River

The other favorite on the trip for me was our kayaking adventure (I took more pictures than actually kayaking); it was a blast!!!!  We rented our kayak and went upstream to a place to dock.  Then we hiked to Secret Falls!

Before we set out on the days adventure we took a picture in the lobby of our hotel.  We loved that huge open air window!

Grand Prix strapped down with the kayak!

The oar was for decoration only

Hiking to Secret Falls

Swimming in the falls, it was FREEZING!

Near our hotel there was a geyser called Spouting Horn.  When the water would fill up it sounded like a horn.

Since it was our honeymoon the hotel let us choose a night to have a complimentary bottle of champagne, neither of us are champagne drinkers but the thought was nice.  We just drank a little and then took pictures of it instead

Day 6 – North side excursion

Our hotel was on the south side of the island on Poipu beach.  There was a lot to do around there but today we decided to jump in the car and head the the north side.  Kauai is a very small island and there is only one road that wraps around from the south to east to north (no road on the west side because of Napali Coast). It took a couple hours to drive up the single highway to the north side of the island.

We arrived at the Princeville resort area and hiked to Queens Bath

This area was all lava rock

Me swimming in Queens Bath.  We also brought our snorkel gear and saw some cool fish here.

Next we went to Secret Beach.  Drew made Mahalo (thank you in Hawaiian).  We made this into a thank you card but didnt finish it in time to use.

This beach really was secret, we were the only ones there!

On the drive back to our hotel we stopped and took pictures of some of the amazing scenery.

This was (supposed to be) our last night in Kauai, so Drew had made reservations at a fancy restaurant called The Beach House.

We set the tripod up after dinner and got a few pics of us all dressed up.

Day 7 – Waimea Canyon and hotel

We woke up early (and I mean early) on our last day.  Drew wanted to get some pictures of the sunrise:

After breakfast we drove up to Waimea Canyon.  All the turns on the way up were a little much but the view from the top was stunning.

When we got back from the canyon we spent the rest of the day playing in the pools at the hotel.

We were so sad it was time to pack but we had to catch our 9pm flight that night.  We waited in the airport forever because our flight was several hours delayed.  It had to land on the big island to fix some mechanical difficulties.  By the time it finally got to us it was after 11pm.  We boarded the flight and started taxiing down the runway.  We hear the jet engines kick into high gear and then just turn off.  Minutes later the pilot gets on the PA, “well folks we just cant fly this plane tonight, we are going to put you up in the Marriott for the night.”  No one really knew what was going on.  The flight crew had no idea when they would be able to get the plan out the next day.  Drew used his platinum status to book the next flight out (9pm the next day). This was nice because we now we wouldnt have to be waiting around the next day for our current plane to be fixed.  We didnt get checked into the hotel and in our room until after 2am, but we got another whole day in paradise!!!!!

Day 8 – Extra day at the Marriott

We ended up getting a free room and food vouchers for the day.  We had such a fun day and the Marriott was very nice too!  The best thing about the Marriott was its beach was in a cove so the water was a lot more calm.  We were actually able to swim in the ocean!  We rented boogie boards and had a blast!

Bird of Paradise flower

The Marriott pools

Bye, Bye Kauai.  We will miss you and hope to come back!

Below is the picture montage Drew put together:


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