I married my best friend, adventure soul mate, and my other half last month. We had a budget friendly wedding so that we could go on an awesome honeymoon. Our wedding was perfect, seriously so much fun, and we didn't break the bank!
We saved our pennies and decided to honeymoon to Kauai; the oldest and most lush Hawaiian Island.
O. M. G. It was amazingly gorgeous. Like, straight out of a fairytale. I had been to the Caribbean many times, and wondered just how different Hawaii would actually be… I mean it’s just like any island out in the ocean right?..
It’s. Completely. Different. At least Kauai is. (I can’t speak for the other Hawaiian Islands).
Everything about the culture, the people, the gorgeous views, the unique qualities, and the overall VIBE is something I never knew existed. And I covet it SO HARD. It’s currently my favorite place on earth.
I could go on and on, and read you my entire journal of the 8 day trip, but I won't. I did, however, include a few excerpts from it under each photo below.
Anyways, because I take photos for a living, I definitely took my camera along to capture the honeymoon with my honey! I was excited to photograph Hawaiian life and the beautiful landscapes that seem to go on forever. It made for a fun change in my normal pace of taking portraits of people. And I took a LOT of photos…. A lot.
I would love to share our trip with you through a few of my favorite images, along with snippets from my journal. So just bear with me for this blog post, and I hope you can appreciate the 21 photos I’ve presented below!
1. Sailboats in Hanalei Bay
“We then stopped at Hanalei beach to see the pier, but there was so much more to see there. Part of the Na Pali coast was in the background with hillsides showing off their luscious greens and rusty volcanic dirt. What a beautiful view! We walked along the pier, observed a group of school kids singing Hawaiian songs in chorus, and walked along the beach testing out the perfect temperature of the water. Surfers and sailboats dotted the bay.”
2. Crab on Lumahai Lava Rocks
“On our drive we found an amazing beach with lava rocks. It was called Lumahai, and the volcanic rocks were something I've never seen before with huge waves crashing up against them. There were cool tide pools with crabs (dead and alive) everywhere.”
3. Kilauea Lighthouse
“Another stop on our trip back to Lihue was at the Kilauea Lighthouse and nature preserve. It was closed the day we visited, so we couldn’t get down to see it close up, but the view at the top was beautiful. A large mass of land jutted out from the island and there at the edge sat a lighthouse."
4. Na Pali Coast by Catamaran
“It was an exciting and worth it ride, because when we got to the famous Na Pali the views were unreal. We got so close to one of the cliffs and got right under a small waterfall flowing off of it! We snapped some gorgeous pictures of the coast while the crew put the sails up. We sailed away while grabbing sandwiches and pasta salad for lunch on the catamaran. We enjoyed boobies, dolphins, and flying fish dive, swim, and fly all around us.”
5. Spouting Horn
"We headed off to see Spouting Horn. When the waves crash along the rocks, there is an opening where the water gets trapped and shoots up like 'Ole Faithful! It also makes a low whistling sound whenever the water shoots out through the opening. We spotted some sea turtles along the shore here too."
6. Waimea Canyon
“What an amazingly beautiful drive. Constant twists and turns made it so fun to drive and the scenery was spectacular. One side was ocean and valleys and the other was mountains towering over the Waimea canyon. We laughed at our crappy little Chevy Spark rental car as it was having trouble chugging up the steep grade. Every once in awhile Zach would chant 'Chevy Spaaaaaark!!' And this became something we did throughout the week, laughing every time. We stopped to admire the carved out landscape of Waimea Canyon which was a wild panoramic view. It’s been called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific...only much greener."
7. Wild Roosters and Chickens
“We've seen so many wild animals here! The most common and FREQUENT are the chickens and roosters that are literally everywhere. It's hilarious to be standing over a giant serene canyon that's quiet as can be, and then all of a sudden you hear a rooster crow off in the distance; the sound echoing off every rock till it bounces to you! “
8. Beautiful Flora
"The big leaves and plants were very tropical. Their vibrant and the unique flowers were so intricate and fun to look at.”
9. Hiking Through the Jungle Near Cliff Edges
“This trail was 3.8 miles round-trip. 3.8 miles...we were like 'well that's nothing, we do this all the time! We'll get through it fast.' Boy, we were so wrong. This was more dangerous than any trail I've ever been on, and it took much longer than we'd anticipated. But it was so worth it. It was one of those hikes that I yearn for. It was exciting! The beginning felt like a jungle, and there were steep, red, sandy slopes with lots of roots along the path.”
10. Rewarding Views After a Steep and Jaw-Dropping Hike
"We hiked way up to the top of a bald ridge where you could see so far out into the valley in between two mountainous cliffs. Further out was the vast ocean peeping out from the other side of this small island. Steep drops and sand made up the entire walking path so we tried to stay far from the edge. We sat here for a while hydrating, snacking, and taking it all in.
11. On Top of Waipoo Falls
"We walked down into some more jungly growth that then opened up into a huge panorama. We had found the end of the trail. A waterfall formed a small pool where we stood and then literally fell off the side of the giant 800 foot cliff. This was probably the most unique view as we were literally on the edge of a cliff, at the top of a waterfall, with jungle leaves behind us, and sweeping mountain/valley/ocean views... Just a little bit of everything.”
12. One of the Wettest Spots on Earth
"This trail was really cool. It was a wide path of rock and sand and the views around every corner were of the Na Pali coast. Which, if you hadn't guessed yet, are spectacular. Although we didn’t hike to the 'highest swamp in the world', we did see a sign calling it 'one of the wettest spots on Earth'. We later learned it receives ~450 inches of rain a year!”
13. Kalalau View From Pihea Trail
“Pihea trail was gorgeous. Even more than the dangerous Canyon trail hike we did yesterday. The jagged mountains framed a low valley with nothing but miles of ocean ahead. It felt like we were at the edge of the world, and we agreed this was easily the best view we’ve ever seen. The photos can never do it justice, and they only capture a small window of it all."
14. Hotel Sunrise
"We woke up at 6:15 with no alarm and could hear the many roosters off on the distance crowing. I went to the open air porch out in the hallway to see what was left of the sunrise. Turns out it doesn’t peak until about 6:27 so I didn’t miss it at all and it was beautiful!! Anxious to get out there and explore some more.”
15. Gold Dust Day Gecko
"We went to a bright pink shack called JoJos for shave ice. I got guava, lilikoi (passionfruit), and mango topped with haupia (coconut cream), and Zach got pineapple, passion orange, and papaya. They were both served on top of macadamia nut ice cream which sounds so weird, but this was literally one of the best desserts I've ever had. While we were enjoying our treat, a bright green gecko creeped up the wall behind Zach and I got a picture of him staring at me with his beady eyes. He was pretty adorable.”
16. Western Beach at Sunset
“We drove to find a beach to sit at and watch the sun go down at the western-most point on the island. It wasn't hard to find one since the outside edge of the island is literally one giant sand playground. We watched the sun set over the water along with a few other couples that had also found their way to this enormous beach."
17. Trees at Ke’e Beach
“We headed towards 'the end of the road' which is literally where the road stops before the jagged Na Pali coast takes over and roads are not build-able. The beach is called Ke'e and we spent a while relaxing there. Really big trees sat along the shady edge with huge exposed roots which made for a really unique site. We sat under one of the giant intertwined roots for shade and watched the chickens peck around."
18. Fish Tacos
“We stopped in at a little shop to rent two full snorkel sets for $5 each for the whole day, and found lunch nearby at Federico’s Hanalei. We both got chipotle fish tacos with rice and beans and Zach got a garlic shrimp taco as well. Delicious!”
19. Exploring the Beach for Snorkeling
“This beach is near the end of the road but not quite all the way there. It goes for a long way, and the water here was the most turquoise I’ve ever seen. Ahead of you is beautiful water and white sandy beach, and behind you are luscious jungly mountains. Paradise. We walked a long way down the beach until we found the perfect area to set our things down and go snorkeling.
We strapped our gear on, made some pitiful attempts at putting our flippers on in the water, and finally flopped out there. Right away we could see tons of varieties of fish just steps from where the water meets the sand. We were not expecting to see much, so this was awesome! Huge, tiny, weird, and colorful fish... We even saw Hawaii's state fish; the 'humuhumunukunukuapua’a.'"
20. HAWAIIAN. SHAVE. ICE.
“We attempted to get Jojo's shave ice again but this location was closed today so we settled for Wishing Well shave ice. Pretty good, but NOT like what we had at Jojo's the first time in Waimea. I’m coming back someday just for Jojo’s Shave Ice.
21. Plants of Hawaii
“Unique and beautiful plants and wildlife are seen everywhere in Kauai. The bright colors always put me in the happiest possible mood. I don’t ever want to leave.“ :(