Monday, November 18, 2013


We were going to Kaua'i in mid-May because friends of ours were having a destination wedding.  My boyfriend, David, is from Hawai'i but hadn't been back in a few years and had never visited Kaua'i so we were both very excited to go.

Kaua'i is known as the garden island and for good reason.  It truly is a gardener's paradise.  It has one of those climates and soil richness that you put it in the ground and it will grow.  Lush is the word that best describes Kaua'i.

Wailua River State Park

Our flight with Hawaiian Air was really nice.  I would fly with them again.  It took about 5 hours to get to the Oahu and then we caught our next flight in less than an hour to get to Kaua'i.

We landed and were quickly bused to our car rental and the first thing we noticed is there were roosters everywhere!

The chickens and roosters are all over the island and were actually brought over by the original Polynesian settlers and have since bred with European chickens and that is what is around the island today.  Each morning you will hear a few roosters welcoming the new day's sun.

We stayed at one of the plantations that are found on the island.  Ours is called Kiahuna Plantation in the southern part of the island, about a 35 minute car ride from the airport.

It has multiple buildings and various types of apartments.  There were about 30 guests to the wedding and all of them were staying at the plantation.  We had a 2 bedroom plantation that was two floors and had a balcony on the second floor and a patio on the ground floor.  We looked out onto a massive tree and it kept our place relatively cool.

Kiahuna Plantation

The first thing we noticed were all the vegetation, birds singing, and the huge orchid garden they had next to the registration building.  The orchids were stunning and just growing outdoors with no care in the world.
And these are just a small fraction of the size of their orchid garden.  It is truly splendid.

Of course when you get on an island we want to explore it, see what it has to offer.  Its main offerings are its beauty.  The beaches, the resorts, the gardens, the mountains are all so breathtaking.  You just can't stop taking photos of everything because everything is just so beautiful.

Some basic facts about Kaua'i.  It is a volcanic island that is roughly 5 - 6 million years old.  It is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands.  It is a little over 560 square miles and is 25 miles long from north to south and 33 miles wide from east to west.  It has a population of around 69,100 people and its main source of income is tourism, with almost 1.3 million visitors a year or 18x greater than the population of this island!

Here is a brief history of Kauai's inhabitants: 

200 - 600 AD -- Early Marquesans arrived
1778 -- James Cook arrived at the shores of Kaua'i
1810 -- The Kingdom of Hawai'i was established under the rule of Kamehameha the Great, which included the island of Kaua'i after three battles, the third had Kaua'i surrender before any bloodshed
1820 -- The first mission house in Wiamea was built
Early 19th century -- Economic evolution surged due to the sugar and pineapple industries
1893 -- The Kingdom of Hawai'i was overthrown
1920s -- The tourism industry in Kauai was born
1959 -- Hawaii, along with Kauai, became the 50th state of the United States of America 

One of the beautiful places to visit is the National Tropical Botanical Garden.  It has a huge collection of local and exotic plants all within a short walk to the ocean.  The two gardens that are here are the Allerton and McBryde and are definitely worth a stop to spend time in this well-cared for gardens.

Water Lily at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kaua'i

Our next trip was to what is called the Canyon of the West or Lush Grand Canyon and boy was it!  The drive to Waimea Canyon took a few hours but we were surrounded by beautiful lushness and the ocean so along the drive so it was a pleasant few hours.  The temperature did drop by almost 20 degrees when we got to some of the higher elevations.  

Waimea Canyon is 14 miles long, one mile wide, and 3,600 feet deep.  You have multiple viewing spots and each one takes your breath away.  Below are just a few photos from this amazing canyon.

We kept driving and driving because we just couldn't get enough of the beautiful canyon and we thought we were seeing the most beautiful scenery in the world, until we came upon this!

 The Kalalau Lookout

To look from so high up onto a lush and glorious fjord like canyon that plunged into the bluest of blue seas with white fluffy clouds floating high above, it was truly a marvel.  Both of us couldn't get enough of this glorious place.

There is so much more I could talk about when it comes to Kaua'i but some things are better experienced in person.  So please give yourself the gift of the garden isle, go to Kaua'i.

Below are few pictures from my friend's wedding.  Congratulations to Charles and Sherrie, it was a truly unforgettable week!

Charles and Sherrie giving vows
The reception

Charles and Sherrie

The wedding cake


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