The highlight of the Hawaiian Cruise, for me, was Kauai! Several friends told me I’d love Maui best and I did absolutely love Maui, but my hands down favorite was Kauai…..with Maui a very, very close second…..of course, I wouldn’t turn down a chance to be on any of the islands, so picking a favorite was like picking a favorite flower – most are beautiful in their own way and have their distinct differences, but there’s usually that one or two that seem to touch in a way the others don’t. That’s how Kauai was for me…….very different than the other islands and it touched my heart in a way the others didn’t. I’m sure one reason was that I have family living in Kauai, so I got to spend one of our days with them, but that wasn’t the whole reason. It had views that took my breath away and caused me to cry at the sight!
We spent two full days on Kauai. The first day my nephew and his wife met me at the gate as soon as we were cleared to leave the ship and I spent the entire day with them – just Sean and Anna at first and then their children, Lily and Luke, joined us when they got out of school. It was wonderful to see them – Sean is stationed at Nawiliwili, Kauai with the Coast Guard and they have a beautiful home in Kapaa. I told them where the tour I booked was going to take me the next day and they said that would be perfect because they were taking me to totally different places! They picked me up about 8:30 am and dropped me back at the ship about 7:30 pm……it was an awesome day!!! The weather mostly cooperated – we had a little downpour and some drizzle in the morning, but that resulted in the most beautiful rainbow I’ve ever seen in my entire life and then it got sunny and pretty.
Kauai is quite a bit different than the other main islands. They really only use the coastal areas – the interior is mostly uninhabitable with a big volcano and jungle-like terrain. As you look at the map, our ship was docked at Nawiliwili on the bottom right side. My nephew’s hone is about half way up the right side at Kapaa. The darken route is where the tour took me on the second day – more on that later. Sean and Anna took me in the opposite direction across the bottom to the left side and up to where you see Waimea Canyon just in from the left side about half way up. They also took me to their home and around town and some of their favorite beaches. Also, notice on the upper left hand side where it says Na Pali Coast – notice there are no roads going there on the map – well, they are steep cliffs that can only be seen by air or by boat and can not be accessed by land! That was supposed to be part of our cruise – we were to pull out of Nawiliwili and cruise up by the Na Pali Coast on our way back to Oahu, but the surf and winds were too rough and it was deemed to dangerous to take the ship by there. That made me sad – they say that is a remarkable sight!!! Maybe next time I go to Hawaii! 🙂
My Daily Balcony Selfie on the first day in Kauai……Kauai also had the most impressive first impression and views from the ship than any of the other islands.
This and the next several photos are of Waimea Canyon…….I was so overwhelmed with emotions at every lookout we stopped at — I can honestly say I have now seen the most beautiful place on earth!!!
It was a VERY windy day!!!
More wild roosters and chickens all over the place!!!
When the rain stopped, this amazing double rainbow came out to play! It was HUGE and we could see both ends!!! It was the brightest, most vivid color rainbow I’ve ever seen and it seemed so close that we could almost touch it!!!
My attempt at capturing the entire rainbow in a panoramic shot — it got it all, but made it look more tightly arched than it was……
The last lookout at the top of the canyon — we were right at the top of the rainbow almost looking down on it!!!
Then, we stopped at this beach to see the big waves!
Luke, Sean, and Anna
Me, in the strong wind……LOL
This is the Kong formation — see that second peak – it is a profile view of King Kong’s head…..not really, of course, cause it is a natural formation, but it sure looks like him!
We went for dinner at a local favorite – Saimin Dojo – the Hawaiian version of Ramon noodles – mine was Chicken Teriyaki and it was sooooooo good!!! I have no idea what those pinwheel looking things are, but they were delicious – an odd texture, but very good!
Then, we went to another local favorite called Kenji and had Litchi fruit flavored milk shakes — OMG — I am so sad that I may never get to have another one!!!
It was a long, amazing day…….the views were the highlight of the trip and the food was amazing and getting to spend time with my nephew and his family was the wonderful icing on the cake!!! When I called and told them I was coming, I hoped to maybe snatch an hour or two of their day for lunch or dinner…..but, they made time to spend the entire day with me and take me to their favorite places! I got back to the ship exhausted and slept like a baby!!! 🙂
After a good night’s sleep, I went on a bus tour called “Director’s Cut” – it took us to all the locations where well known movies were filmed.
My Daily Balcony Selfie on our second day in Kauai
Just a shot of some colorful buildings in a town from the bus window – I think this is Kapaa
Just before we got to each stop or drive by location, the tour guide would show a clip of the film or films that were shot there so we could see the background on the film and then in real life — it was really cool!!!
This is a young Bruno Mars as an tiny Elvis impersonator in the movie Honeymoon in Vegas
Scenes from Jurassic Park were filmed in this area…….most of where Jurassic Park was filmed was in the inaccessible areas in the interior of the island, so we couldn’t see it or go there, but there were a few places where she could point out scenes from the movie
The tour guide had a toy dinosaur that she had us do various poses with on our phones for us……this was mine – I’m supposed to be running, but I don’t run too good!!! hehehe
This is that same Kong formation that I showed you earlier in the post, but from the opposite side so he’s facing the other way!
Don’t ask me what movies most of these photos are from…..I don’t remember……but there were a LOT of stops and a huge list of movies!!! Kauai is a very popular location for production companies……it was used as the location for movies that were not even set in Hawaii, like Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar, George of the Jungle, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and more……plus all the ones that were set in Hawaii – some were filmed on the other islands, but Kauai has the most movies shot there!
This is the spot that inspired the song “Puff the Magic Dragon” – the guy who wrote it lived here or vacationed here or something!
This is the photo on the TV showing us how to “see” the dragon in the shape of the island
I think this was where one of the scenes from South Pacific was shot
We stopped for lunch across the street from that pier in the last photo and as soon as we got inside, the clouds let loose and it POURED the entire time we were there…….and then stopped just as we finished and went out to get back on the bus!
this is the spot where the 1963 John Wayne and Lee Marvin movie Donovan’s Reef was filmed
More wild roosters and a stray cat!!!
This used to be the famous Coco Palms Resort — very exclusive resort for celebrities, including Elvis! It burned and was never restored — several people over the years have shown an interest in it, but never went through with it! Sad!
While I was on my balcony waiting for time to go to dinner, I watched this huge barge full of trailers getting guided into port by two little tugs……..
This is a replica of the vessels used by the Polynesians when they came to settle on the Hawaiian Islands
Like I said earlier, we were supposed to leave Kauai late afternoon so we could cruise by the Na Pali Coast, but the weather wouldn’t permit it, so we stayed docked a couple extra hours so that we wouldn’t arrive in Oahu too early the next morning. This was our last day of the cruise. The next day we arrived in Oahu and disembarked from the ship for the last time. I took a bus tour that last day that ended at the airport so I could catch my 9:00 pm flight back home! I’ll do one last post with photos from that day before I’m done with my photos and stories from Hawaii!