I hope you guys have been enjoying Hawaii week. We got home a few weeks ago, so it's been nice to go back through my pictures and wish myself back to this beautiful place. In addition to all the great food on Oahu and Kauai, we did some really fun things as well! Here are some of the highlights from our trip.
One day on Oahu, Josh and I walked down to the Waikiki Aquarium. Now, being a vegan, I'm not a fan of zoos or the circus, but some aquariums I've seen have been quite beautiful. I'm surely not here to get into a debate about their ethics. All I know is that I'm a nerd, and I like to learn about things. The aquarium was a little small, but they had pretty neat interactive displays on coral and various fish in the area. There were several neat exhibits, but for the most part, it was pretty small.
Honolulu has a large shopping mall just west of Waikiki beach, and nested inside is Shirokiya. This store is a two level Japanese paradise. The lower floor has goods, treats, and books, and the upper floor has a food court and a beer garden. We had just eaten when we got there, but we had a beer after our multiple mile walk.
We spent quite awhile drooling over all the neat sets we couldn't afford, but we did take home a few Simpson's pieces.
A free and enjoyable activity on Oahu is to walk along Waikiki Beach. There are tons of sidewalks and beautiful sights. Josh and I particularly enjoyed the trees.
These trees were everywhere along the beach, and they were so beautiful! The vegetation in Hawaii was pretty amazing overall.
The Royal Hawaiian is one of the oldest hotels on Waikiki, and it's breathtaking. The beautiful, pink towers hug the beach and boast amazing views. We slipped into the bar to have a cocktail in this historic place.
A bonus is the yummy wasabi and sweet peas they have free at the bar. The cocktails are really pricey, but it was a fun experience.
We swam a little on Waikiki, but we saved the snorkeling for Kauai. We had a tropical storm come through mid-trip, so the water was pretty choppy on the beaches. I think that might also just be the norm for the island. We snorkeled one day at the St. Regis, a gorgeous 5 star hotel with a private beach. We went out to Ke'e Beach one day, but the water looked too choppy and the beach was packed. We did the best snorkeling at Tunnels Beach. It was a really pretty beach, and the snorkeling was very close to the beach. The coral reefs looked pretty dead, which was disappointing, but we did see very pretty fish.
Josh and I aren't beach people, so we did a lot more driving, sight seeing, and pool time than we did on the sand. It was gorgeous, though. I think when we go back, we'll spend more time at the beaches on the south side of the island. They seemed much more calm.
Yoga on the Edge of a Cliff
At our Westin Resort, I got up one morning and did Kundalini yoga in this beautiful papa'i (cabana). I'm not really used to that style of yoga, which is repetitive with a lot of breath work, but it was still a neat experience. There was another woman from Texas there and a very eccentric teacher.
I would have loved to do more yoga. There seemed to be tons of studios around Kauai. Next time, I'll check out some off resort.
We had a blast the day we drove from Princeville all the way to Waimea Canyon. We climbed 5000 feet above sea level, and we saw the gorgeous, vast canyon, as well as several look outs. If you keep going past the Waimea Canyon lookouts, you'll enter a national park with several more lookouts that view the west side of the island.
We couldn't even see at this lookout, it was that cloudy!
We did a little hiking this day, but overall we didn't do many strenuous hiking on this trip. I definitely want to go back in better shape and crawl all over the island.
Do not miss Waimea Canyon on Kauai. It's such a beautiful place. You can't really understand how vast it is until you spot a helicopter way in the distance and realize how small it appears.
Spouting Horn is a rock formation on the south side of the island where the waves blow huge bursts of water through the rock. It was raining, and the waves weren't very big, when we went. It was still neat.
This garden tour was the highlight of our trip. It's part of a chain of botanical gardens, and we took the 3 hour garden tour through the mid-century creation of Robert Allerton and his partner, John. It was a lush landscape dotted with 5 formal garden "rooms," which were reminiscent of an English garden. I loved it so much, and I took about 500 pictures. Here are the highlights.
We got a little star struck by these trees. They made an appearance in Jurassic Park! The film shot that scene here, as well as the rest of the movie on Kauai. We were constantly singing the theme song.
Life... finds a way.
Beautiful, right? I am so in love with Hawaii, and I can't wait to go back!
For a bonus, you can play "count the chicken" on Kauai. They are EVERYWHERE. It's pretty crazy to see so many wild birds that you typically see on farms here. These guys rule the land, and it's pretty funny.
Are you inspired to take a trip? Do you love seeing interesting trees? Leave me a comment!