Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Little French Cat Goes to Kauai, Hawaii

It’s been one of the longest breaks I’ve had from a true vacation in a long time due to the terrible economy. I did finally manage to get away to Hawaii after finding some hotel deals and using frequent flyer miles.  I arrived in Kauai just as Johnny Depp and the rest of the crew filming a Pirates of Caribbean sequel left for the other islands. I stayed at the Kaua'i Marriott Resort which has the largest pool in all of Hawaii and it's conveniently located close to the airport and major shops. They just completed a major renovation so all the rooms are up to date with modern amenities and extremely comfortable beds and pillows.   If you are ever in Hawaii make sure to try a lava flow drink, preferably from Duke's which can usually be found on each island. It's similar to a pina colada but the strawberry swirl inside is delectable. My favorite island drink of all time.

the pool at the Kauai Marriott

When you arrive in Kauai, it soon becomes evident that the locals have given up trying to contain the wild chickens that roam all around the island. Really, they are everywhere, from the airport, to the roads, and even shopping and eating at Costco.
hunting wild chickens in Kauai
Kauai is known as the 'garden isle', but I was surprised to discover that there is a remarkable canyon that rivals the views seen from the Grand Canyon. The Waimea Canyon isn't nearly as large nor as deep as the Grand Canyon, but the views are much more colorful.

Waimea Canyon

The north side of the island is known for some amazing snorkeling and lavish resorts. The view from the St. Regis at Princeville is truly a wonder to behold and the photos can't begin to capture the beauty of the view from the hotel built on a cliff overlooking a clear coral filled bay sheltered with lush green mountains.
view from the deck at the St. Regis 
After getting some advice from a scuba/snorkel guide for the best snorkeling on the island I headed to tunnels beach which is around the area of mountains seen directly behind me in the photo above.  On my to tunnels beach I stopped around Hanalei where I saw a clear river flowing into the ocean.

by the river
I finally made it to tunnels beach which was a short hike from the parking lot.  I think the beach gets its name from the coral which has hundreds of tunnel like passages running beneath and through it.  I spent alot of time snorkeling there with the fishes and even swam with 3 or 4 sea turtles.

tunnels beach filled with sea turtles and fish
The other main resort area on Kauai is located in Poipu on the southern coast of the island. The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is lovely and I probably would have stayed here if I didn't get such a good deal at the Marriott. The resort is more remote and the nearest major shops and restaurants are more of a trek away.  Where the Marriott has an enormous pool, the Grand Hyatt has several larger and smaller pools scattered around their property.

by the pool at the Grand Hyatt Kauai

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