Monday, March 31, 2014

Hawaii - Oahu and Kauai

What a trip! Two islands, nine days. Hustle bustle, relax.

If you haven't been to Oahu, you should know its not called "Waikiki" or "Honolulu". No folks, it's Oahu. It only took me until I actually left to call it by its real name. If you enjoy being in a bigger city, but close to the water, this is the island for you! The area known as Waikiki, is the beachfront neighbourhood of Honolulu, and is a great area to stay in, as the beach stretches two miles along the city. You can shop, dine and beach all in one day. We only spent four days here, which was NOT long enough, so take my advice and stay lonnnnger!  Here are some highlights:

1) Climb up top to Diamond Head. This hike is seen directly from Waikiki, and is a nice hike to do with friends!
2) Go to a luau. We chose Germaine's Luau and combined it with the bus pick up and drop off
3) Rent a car to drive around the island, and stop to check out the Northshore. Unfortunately, the one activity I was banking on doing (shark dive) was cancelled due extreme wind conditions, but it was really great to see the whole island on our own, and at our own pace!
4) Stay at the Hilton Waikiki Village or at least visit it! Right on the beach, beautiful views, and central.
5) Enjoy those ABC stores!
6) Try the pancakes from Eggs'n Things - especially don't forget the macadamian nuts on top!

Ta da. iphone series.

instagram hawaii photo

view from waikiki photo

flora on oahu photo

diamond head oahu photo

giovanni's shrimp truck oahu photo

dole pineapple photo
pineapple photo
dole pineapple photo

hawaii with friends photo

mad cow oahu photo

tilt shift hawaii photo

flora oahu photo

When arriving into Kauai, I was stunned by its beauty. Did you know Kauai is the wettest place on Earth? It was hard to believe with all the sun we had, but once you see the landscape, you know just how much rain falls here by how flourished it is.

Here are some interesting things I learned about Kauai:

- There are so many chickens! Like everywhere you look there is a chicken, rooster or wild turkey. They are protected here, and the wild rooster is known as Kauai's official bird.
- So many movies are filmed on Kauai because the island is so geographically diverse. Think white sandy beaches, lush rainforest, canyons and jagged cliffs. 
- I had so much fun in Kauai!

Besides my two fun facts I learned about Kauai - here are some must do's once on island:
1) A helicopter tour! You will see some magical places, just out of Jurassic Park I tell ya! But I would only recommend finding a company that will guarantee you a front seat if you pay a little extra ;)
2) Hiking! You can find a list and info. on all the state parks here, but I would highly recommend Waimea Canyon - best hike of my life! It is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Red rock, steep cliffs, waterfalls, S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G!!
3) Spend a couple days exploring the North Shore! It's lush, tropical, and like no other. Drive as far as you can on the North shore and hike the Kalalau Trail. 
4) Rent a car directly from the airport to get around. 
5) Eat fish tacos.
6) Paddleboard the Wailua River. At the end, pull your board on the beach and hike to the waterfall. Note: You MUST wear appropriate shoes for this one, and I wouldn't attempt it bare feet like we did - ouch! 

hawaii HDR photo

exploring kauai photo

hanalai beach photo

helicopter tour kauai photo

waimea canyon photo

waterfalls kauai photo

napali coastline photo

waimea canyon floral photo

waimea canyon photo

sand ocean feet water photo

trees plants kauai

most beautiful road in kauai photo

poipu beach photo