This first post is dedicated to my wife for both her tolerance and support of my travel exploits. For over 20 years she has been a tremendous traveling companion when she is with me while also being an encouragement for my adventures when I am traveling alone. Although I have wonder wanderings before marriage, it certainly is apropos to start with our honeymoon wandering.
The island of Kauai is a wonder of nature in and of itself. It is frequently referred to as “The Garden Island,” which is more than evident when you first arrive. Every vista or island exploration delivers the endless breath-taking flora that engulfs this amazing island.
With any honeymoon, you look to do things big and look to do things well. In looking to achieve that objective (and of course impress my new bride), I chose the Coco Palms Resort, which featured thatch-roofed cottages, outdoor lava showers, and giant clamshells serving as the sink basins. We were given the cottage next door to the one that Elvis had stayed in during the movie “Blue Hawaii.”
The Coco Palms was nestled in a grove of palm trees and neighbor to a lusciously landscaped lagoon while overlooking the beach and sunny skies. It was easily the most romantic setting and also recognized as the most famous resort in Kauai. Unfortunately, a year later it was destroyed by hurricane Iniki and has never reopened.
Although the entire island is amazing, two of the highlights would have to be Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast. There are a variety of ways to explore each of these with some being more adventurous and others being more relaxing. We opted for a little of “in-between.”
After rising early in the morning, we were bused up to the top of one of the peaks alongside Waimea Canyon. The bus towed a trailer full of bikes and equipment making our uphill journey stress free. For the next couple of hours we biked (coasted with no need for pedaling) down the mountain stopping at various vistas that allowed you to lookout over Waimea Canyon, which is affectionately known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
A second adventure started by leveraging a boat tour that would showcase the Na Pali coast. We left the marina and were immediately joined by dolphin that swam and jumped alongside our boat – it was unexpected but pleasant surprise encounter with ocean wildlife.
The Na Pali Coast is one of the most impressive shorelines in the world. It is so impressive that it has served as scenes in numerous movies and TV shows such as King Kong, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lost, and many others. Our boat followed the coastline giving us a face-to-face view of this incredibly luscious mountain shore. The captain stopped the boat and gave us the opportunity to snorkel the waters and experience the array of colorful fish and the crystal clear blue water. This was my wife’s first snorkeling experience and the catalyst for her new passion.
A third adventure took to the skies. We opted for the hour-long helicopter ride over the island. This was one of the most amazing adventures as the pilot navigated the walls of the canyons and mountains.
The hour long ride featured spectacular views of canyons, mountains, valleys and most of all waterfalls. This bird’s eye view of the island is a great way to capture the bountiful beauty that embellishes this island. Kauai is truly the epitome of paradise.
Wonder Wandering Warning:Kauai is an amazing, spectacular, luscious, beautiful and many more adjectives place, and then you add in the emotions of a honeymoon, you may find yourself seconds away from owning a timeshare in this magical paradise. I am not knocking time-shares; I am just highlighting the reality of Kauai and the necessity for being prepared to buy something versus getting caught with an “in the moment” purchase.
Thank you Kauai for serving as my inaugural wander of my wonder wanderings with my bride. Whenever I think about wonders that I have wandered, you are usually the first that comes to mind.