Friday, August 31, 2012

Kauai - Part 2 - Catamaran Trip

Our most favorite thing we did in Kauai was by FAR snorkeling!  On day 2 of our trip I checked off #34. Snorkel off a tropical island.  We snorkeled right outside our house.  We learned a lot that day!  But it was on day 3 that we learned the magic of snorkeling.  We went on a chartered catamaran trip to the Napali Coast & Niihau Super Tour  with Holo Holo Charters.  A 7+ hour trip up the Napali Coast and over to Niihau(the forbidden island.), this was one of our big ticket excursions($175 each.)  It was worth EVERY penny! 
We weren't allowed to wear shoes on the boat...if you know me, you know that I wear shoes EVERY where, even in my bedroom.  After the initial moment I never thought about it again...well maybe when I was in the head. 
Sadly we never got a picture of the whole catamaran...not sure how that happened!?!  So we borrowed this one from the website:

 We were 2 of 22 passengers on the catamaran...the crew consisted of the captain and 2 crewman.  Captain Wendell had quite the swagger.  He was fun, and we enjoyed his running commentary and stories.
We sat on the bow of the boat for a long time as the water splashed over and sprayed was a gorgeous day so it felt good! 
As we zoomed up the Napali Coast look what we came upon:
Yep that's right, DOLPHINS - Spinner Dolphins to be exact! 
We were thrilled to watch them run alongside...
And nearly under the boat:
We knelt at the front of the boat on the trampoline like tarps watching the dolphins for quite sometime.  They were so unpredictable and gorgeous!

While the dolphins were there, we also saw flying fish...very cool...they literally jump and zoom across the top of the water.  Timothy got a few pictures of them, but you cannot tell at all what they are because they move so quickly.  Amazing though!
Things got pretty rough so we decided to go into the cabin for a few minutes.  Just after going in we hit this huge wave and where we had been sitting was drenched with a huge wall of water.  Perfect timing!  :)  They closed the bow, so we sat in the back for the remainder of the trip:
Once we reached the Northern end of the Napali coast we started a slower trip back down the breathtaking shoreline.  The cliffs are colorful and chizled.  If you've seen the movie The Descendents you know the lush beauty we saw:

The following is the cave that is seen in the movie The Pirates of the Caribbean.  The story goes that the crew canoed in, but Johnnie Depp of course arrived by helicopter.  The cave doesn't appear that large, but a helicopter flew through it for another movie:
 Another cave, where some famous person was married...we can't recall who though.
 Once down the coast we ventured over to the Forbidden Island - Niihau, where we drove right into what's called "The Keyhole.":

Do you see the faces?

We settled in on one end of the island, just below the bird sanctuary to snorkel:

 We purchased our own snorkel gear, and it turns out that was a great decision. 
We used it a lot, and you can see why we enjoyed it so much:

The water was crystal clear, and blue as can be:

 The reef was delicate and lovely:
And boy were we cute in our snorkel gear! 
Some of the young people on the trip dove down very deep:
We had a learning curve with the de-fogging solution...but eventually got it figured out:
Timothy was fond of using a noodle to support himself...the pictures speak for themselves!:
They gave us a small area to snorkel in...
and with 20 of us snorkeling there it got a little close sometimes:
So as we were snorkeling along this guy kept bumping into Timothy.  After about the 5th or 6th time he bumped into him, Timothy turned to give him a dirty look and found himself face to face with this guy:
It turns out it was none other than a Monk Seal:

I was SO impressed throughout our trip that Timothy had such presence of mind to have the camera on and ready every time something amazing happened!
We learned that the average monk seal weighs between 300 - 600 pounds.  This guy was much bigger than he appears in the pictures.  We were thrilled that he chose to swim with us!
It was fun taking pictures under the water.  The following was taken just as Timothy shot to the surface...the result remains as proof that we are getting old!  HA! 
We both agree that the catamaran trip was definitely one of the highlights of our trip, and again was well worth the money.  Every moment was filled with some exciting happening.  We absolutely will do that again when we are in Kauai next. 
This concludes part 2....MUCH more to come  T & J.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kauai - The Garden Island - Pt 1

10 days in paradise...and a million amazing experiences.  We saw it all, we did it all!  We sucked every single second of life out of this 25th anniversary trip, and along the way, I was able to cross 4 items off my 50 Before 50 list.
We started on Saturday by getting mani's, and pedi's.  I also got an eye-brow wax and I checked off #16. Get a Brazillian Wax(I would suggest if you are seriously considering getting this done that you Google it and know what you are getting into...I thought I knew...but I had NO idea how thorough it was.  Suffice to say CHECK!) HAHA! 
Our plane arrived in Hawaii in the early afternoon on Sunday.  This is our first view of our beloved Kauai:

This lovely lady greeted us:

And I checked off #30. Wear a real flower lei in Hawaii: 

 It was hot and humid in the airport...and we were smiling ear to ear!

Welcome to Kauai:

 This is the house where we stayed(this picture was taken standing on the sea wall.):

We rented the house on VRBO(Vacation Rental By Owner)  It really is as if you were borrowing a friend's beach cabin.  It's not fancy, but it is right on the beach, and was the place we created SO many wonderful memories of our time on Kauai.  Here is a thorough walk through of the house.

The stairs into the house:

The view from the doorway(Diningroom and one side of the livingroom...note the view!):

The Kitchen:

The other side of the livingroom:

Master Bedroom:

 Second Bedroom:


The Lanai:

The Outdoor Shower:

The Beach to the right of the house:

The first night we went into Kilauea to get dinner and a few groceries for breakfast. 
We saw this little guy:

We ate dinner at The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea.  Oh my goodness it was delicious!  Timothy fell in love with Mai Tai's here and we ate Purple sweet potato fries, as well as Mahi Mahi, and Ono!

We saw our first Fan Palm Tree! I loved these!
We also got caught with our convertible top down in a downpour. 
Lesson learned!   

We have SO much more to share...but this is where we will leave it for now.  More to come...  T & J