Wedding Recap: Our Kauai Honeymoon

Monday, November 1, 2010 | by Newlywed | Labels: |

So, how do we recap nearly a week in heaven? In short, our honeymoon to Kauai was everything we could ask for -- romantic, beautiful, relaxing, adventurous and truly memorable. Hawaii was the perfect place to cap off our wedding. Our wedding was a celebration of our Asian/Polynesian backgrounds and Hawaii's eclectic cultural vibe surely encompasses that. My hubby's parents met and got married in Hawaii. So we set our sights on Garden Isle of Kauai, an island we both had not been to before and, from we were told, is considered the most beautiful of the islands.

But, if you have been reading my blog for awhile, we weren't initially headed to Hawaii for our honeymoon. Actually, we thought we were headed to the Caribbean when I won a complimentary lodging package to a resort in St. Thomas at a bridal expo. Sadly, the package expired a week before our wedding and the company that awarded me the package could not extend the deadline for us. Great...what was unbelievable good luck had become stinky luck!

But no worries. Not long after that fiasco, we found a great deal for a week stay in Kauai. Even better! ('s not free, but it's Hawaii!)

So here it is, our faves of our honeymoon in Kauai
1.The Island Life:
We arrived in Kauai the Monday after our wedding, giving us a little time to pack and recoup after Saturday's festivities. We both had been to other Hawaiian islands before (I had been to Oahu and my hubby had also been to the Big Island), but Kauai struck us as the most laid back and rural of them all. If you thought Hawaii was slow-paced, then go to Kauai and you'll feel like everything is at a crawl!

And we liked it that way! We weren't interested in late-night clubhopping or raging night scenes. All we needed was romantic scenery (check), the sound of crashing waves (check) and a comfortable bed (er..more on that later). We wanted peace and quiet, not crowded beaches you would probably find in Oahu. Sure, there might be some downsides to this, which to us were slight inconveniences, but the slow, quiet island life was what we craved.

2. Our View
We checked into our condominium resort, the Outrigger at Lae Nani in Kapaa. The room? It was comfy, but kinda generic. The bed? A little too firm and flat for me. Oh, and there wasn't any AC. Apparently, there aren't too many resorts in Kauai with AC and it does get pretty warm and humid (hey, it's a tropical island!). But the suite came equipped with plenty of fans that went on full blast nearly the entire week.

But what the room lacked, it made up for it with it's breathtaking view. Seriously, who wouldn't want to wake up to this each morning?

We decided that candlelit dinners on our balcony patio listening to the waves and feeling the island breeze were so much more priceless than going to a posh, pricey restaurant.

3. The Beaches
You can spend an entire week in Kauai just scoping out the island's beaches. The beaches on the northern side of the island were our favorite, less crowded and touristy as you would see in the southern side. But head out toward the north shore and there are dozens of secluded beaches just waiting to be explored. Most beaches aren't even marked -- no signs alerting passerbys on the road--just trust your adventurous side, park your car and explore.

4. The Adventure
If there was anything we splurged on, it was excursions. Most guided tours come with a pricey tag, so we limited our adventures to the ones that came most recommended. First was the kayak excursion on the Wailua River and jungle hike to Secret Falls. I have to admit, the view of the Wailua as you kayak right along it is amazing -- picture a winding river headed deep into a lush tropical forest below a large green mountain jutting through a blanket of low white clouds. All the while you listen to the foreign sounds of island birds and animals emanating from the trees and bush as you float by... truly a life experience! But we're pretty uncoordinated when it comes to kayaking. And just getting to our destination was a challenge! The hike in the muddy terrain was even more difficult as we didn't have the right hiking shoes (uh, I know it should be a no brainer, but make sure to pack real hiking shoes if you plan on going for a a tropical jungle!)
But the views were gorgeous!

 But none more thrilling than coming to our final destination: Secret Falls.

OK, so it's not exactly a secret (there are dozens of group tours to the falls each day), but a chance to swim and bathe at the base of a Hawaiian waterfall...check!

Another excursion that most people take when visiting Kauai is an island helicopter tour. Most parts of the island is not accessible by land, so the only other way to see the rest of the island is by air. Sure, it wasn't cheap, but we decided, why not? Despite coming down with motion sickness, the views helped me fight off the urge to use that barf bag.

But one fun adventure that didn't cost us a thing (well, maybe a tank of gas)? A drive to Waimea Canyon!

Think of it as Hawaii's Grand Canyon.

5. Food
The best thing about having a room with a kitchen was that we could cook our own meals. We made the best of the island's fresh produce (the fruits are amazingly juicy and sweet). But when we did eat out, we stuck to the local fare. Our favorite local Hawaiian food is always the plate lunch. Simply put, it's just rice, a main entree (usually some kind of grilled or BBQ meat) and a side dish (mac salad is quite popular). Simple, but oh so delicious...and cheap! A few dollars and you have yourself a hearty meal.
Word from a Hawaiian friend was that Pono Market in Kapaa served the best plate lunch, and the tip did not disappoint!
The hubby tried fried chicken and mac salad, a combo that's always good!

I went a little more authentic...pork laulau (pork baked in luau leaves) and lomi lomi salmon. The laulau was juicy and tender with a smoky flavor. Quite delicious!
We trusted another local tip for breakfast. Word was Ono Family Restaurant had some of the best macadamia nut pancakes.

Drizzle some warm coconut syrup...(this is where my mouth starts watering!)

After our tiring hike and river kayak on the Wailua, our tour guide told us where to get the best smoothies on the island. The place had no name, and the person responsible for the best smoothies on the island was known simply as "the smoothie lady." We were told to just look for the purple shack next to the furniture store at the end of town. Sure enough, we found the purple shack and the smoothie lady!

And, yes, the best smoothies on the island!
6. Sharing it all with Each Other
But the best part of our honeymoon?

Each other.

After the craziness of wedding planning, and the whirlwind of the wedding day, spending some time to unwind and enjoy each other is truly priceless.

That is what it was all about, really. From beginning to end and ever after.
 Each other.  

Not so favorites:
Thankfully, there isn't too much to bitch about our trip. Just remember, Hawaii is expensive. No, really expensive! We saved a ton of money shopping at the local supermarket and making most of our dinners and meals.
For excursions, we called around and price compared.
We talked to the locals and asked about the best deals, like where is the cheapest place to get gas. Overall, we pretty much stayed within our budget of $3,000 (including airfare and lodging for two, rental car, gas, food, excursions and souveniers).
Oh, and these cute little chickens...

...are Everywhere! Not cool if you nearly crash trying to avoid these suckers on the road!


Nicole-Lynn said...

Great pictures! Glad you had a nice time! It looks so pretty there! We're also honeymooning in Hawaii, but going to Oahu and Maui, and stopping in southern CA for a couple days on our way back to Florida.

Thanks for the tips; we're definitey saving for the trip! I hear it's very expensive! :)

Kelly said...

Gorgeous! I visited Hawaii recently with the boyfriend - it is pricey! But asking locals was the best route. Plus, it feels like an exotic location, but it's still the US! Comforting in its own way :)

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

those pics are amazing!!! your blog is so fun too... glad i stopped by!

Post a Comment