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Honeymoon in Kaua'i

*Pictures Below

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

8:30pm Kauai’

Our flight got into Lihue last night at 8pm, everything was dark and we almost got lost with the taxi driver trying to find our cottage. We found the Fern Grotto Inn - Canal Cottage A and were greeted with a path of rose petals and a heart on the bed with two whole roses inside. At this point it was 9:30pm (3:30am EST), so we fell asleep in the softest bed.

This morning we woke up at 4 or 4:30am, chatted for a while, played some Crazy Eights and then walked to a beach to watch the sun rise. We saw tons of tiny crabs coming out of holes in the sand and the sunrise was so beautiful. It was magical to finally see everything in the first light of the day.

We then walked up the main road to a diner called Kaua’i Family Cafe, which serves Filipino and Polynesian food. I had waffles with coconut syrup (omg, you guys, coconut syrup is AMAZING) and Zach had one waffle with eggs, hash browns and of course, spam.

We’ve seen two rainbows already and gotten rained on once (for 5 minutes) and seen a bunch of adorable tiny lizards. We may do some kayaking next, who knows.

1:20pm Kaua’i

After my last entry, we used the free kayak at our cottage to paddle around on the Wailua River. We actually went upstream and it was so easy and breathtakingly beautiful. We kayaked for a little over 3 hours and it was a blast. We went up the South Fork of the River and passed by or met many others, although we took a path less traveled to have the River mostly to ourselves. Some parts were shallow and we could see fish. The water felt amazing to dip your feet into.

We stopped around 11am to eat a snack and because we couldn’t go any further. There was a little rapids-like area that was super shallow. After our break, we turned around to come back, which was actually more strenuous than expected because of a strong breeze blowing against us.

7pm Kaua’i

We are about to go to bed, the sun went down 45 minutes ago and this time difference has us beat. We ate an early dinner at 3pm at a Mexican place called Monico’s. I had veggie enchiladas and Zach had fish tacos. We split a Grapefruit Jarritos, so yummy!

On our way back to the cottage we stopped at the beach to dip our toes in the water. It was lovely. We had a relaxing/lazy evening here, each showering the sweat and sunscreen off and then playing some cards.

The owner of the Fern Grotto Inn came and talked to us. His name is Paul and he is lovely. Sleep now, we are tired.

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

8pm Kaua’i

Today was another long day, although not filled with as much physical activity as all of the kayaking yesterday. We started our day at 4:45am when we woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. Around 6:30am, we tried to call a taxi with no luck, so we went to breakfast at a place called Passion Bakery Cafe, only a ten-minute walk from our cottage. We both had breakfast sandwiches on taro buns, which were sweet, soft and delicious. I got coffee, of course, and then we also bought a loaf of wheat bread.

We just sort of hung around our cottage for a couple hours and finally were able to take a cab into Lihue to get a rental car. Except we are new to traveling and did not have one reserved, so of course the place we went did not have any available. We took their free shuttle to the airport, got onto a different shuttle to a place that DID have a car, and finally we had wheels. It was a wild goose chase (or should I say rooster? There are tons of chickens roaming around this island, and roosters crowing all the time).

Finally, we had a car to give us more freedom and access to things on this amazing island. We drove up to Opeka’a Falls and stopped at a couple roadside scenic overlooks. The falls were gorgeous but the overlook is very far away from them. Still amazing to see such large falls on the side of a mountain.

Then, of course, it poured rain for a few minutes and we got slightly drenched. Once we got back to our cottage (only a 15 minute drive), we stripped out of our wet clothes and played more Crazy eights while it rained and rained. It was even raining when I wrote that sentence.

At 1:45pm we drove across the Canal to Smith’s Family Boat Tours to see the Fern Grotto. The boat ride was relaxing with two of the employees playing ukelele and one dancing hula. After about 20 minutes we arrived at the Grotto and it was absolutely breathtaking. A “small” cave with exposed rock towering up, and hanging ferns growing from cracks in the rocks. There was even a small waterfall. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The musicians played a “wedding song” for the visitors and then we got back on the boat to go back. Zach and I met an Australian couple from Melbourne who were really nice, so we chatted with them a bit.

After we left Smith’s, we drove to Tiki Tacos where we had the biggest tacos of our lives. I thought mine was delicious, and Zach liked his well enough. There was also a random dumpster cat hanging out by their restaurant, and I of course was petting this kitty. He was a tortie like Maple and kept meowing and purring. I loved him, until I noticed him toying with a dying lizard underneath our table… I guess dumpster kitties don’t play with mice on Kaua’i.

We finished our adventures by going to the beach at Keila Beach, north of Tiki Tacos. We swam in the ocean for about a half hour before rinsing off and heading back. We never had to drove more than 15 minutes from our cottage to do all this cool stuff.

We showered and then laid around some more. Zach is actually already asleep while I write this, and it’s bedtime for me too. Aloha!

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

8am Kaua’i

Didn’t make an entry last night because I was too tired. Yesterday, we started our day by having breakfast at Kountry Style Kitchen, which is north of us. Zach LOVED his breakfast and mine was okay. The best part of my meal was the side of cornbread (two big pieces) that came with it. Best cornbread I’ve ever had (sorry, Granny Fan!!). I also had coffee and Zachery got a delicious chai latte.

After breakfast we drove to a trailhead for the NouNou Mountain (Sleeping Giant) trails. We attempted the east trail for 5 minutes when we turned around because it was way too difficult for me. So we went to the south entrance on Kuomoo Road, which was longer in distance (3 miles one way) but had a less intense slope. The last mile of the trail was the most difficult of them all. The entire trail was really muddy but the last mile was the slipperiest and the steepest. Zach made it through unscathed but I had mud on my butt, hands and legs at the end.

This trail was the most strenuous and dangerous that I’ve ever hiked, as well as the most beautiful and rewarding. Aside from a helicopter tour, I don’t think there is another way to get the view we had at the top. It was spectacular. The 6-mile hike took us almost 4 hours to complete and when we got back to our cottage we were totally zonked. We both showered off all the mud and sweat and just chilled around for the rest of the afternoon.

We did a load of laundry and then went to dinner around 4pm at a placed called Street Burger, which had an upscale atmosphere and a minimalist style. Zach had a burger that had spam and pineapple on it, and I had the best veggie burger of my life. They make the patty in-house and it came with goat cheese, pesto and tomato jam. Most delicious meal we’ve had so far. Both our burgers came with a ton of fries and their house-made ketchup. Zach had a coconut porter from Maui Brewing Company and I got a house-made root beer. Yum!

Afterwards, we checked out an antique store next to the restaurant. It was neat but nothing struck our fancy so we came back to our cottage and relaxed. We played a hysterically funny, 30-minute, game of Crazy Eights. It was a great day.

Currently we are getting ourselves ready to leave the Fern Grotto Inn and head up to Koke’e State Park for two nights in a cabin up there. We had breakfast today at Haole Girl Island Sweets where we both got stuffed croissants. And I had coffee of course.

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

6:30pm Kaua’i

After we finished cleaning up our cottage yesterday, we made the drive over to Spouting Horn Park in Koloa, on the South shore of the island. There were some little tents set up there with vendors selling typical Hawai’i tourist stuff. Even though I’m cutting my hair soon, I bought a hair stick with a shell on the end, and Zach got himself a carved, wooden sea turtle figurine for his desk at home. We spent some time looking at the beautiful Spouting Horn and then got back in the car to head to Waimea.

I should mention that the entire time we were on the road, the scenery was amazing.

When we arrived in Waimea, we checked in for our Koke’e cabin, but it wasn’t going to be ready for another couple hours. We had time to kill so we went into a store called Red Dirt Shirt (I think) to look for matching Hawaiian shirts. We scored big time with two green shirts with a white floral pattern on them. When we paid for them, the woman who rang us up told me I could take a flower hair clip as a gift. It was so sweet! The clip itself isn’t really anything special, the petals are made of foam and look spray painted (it was only marked as $3) but it is special to me because of how I came to have it. How cool.

After that we went right down the street to the Waimea Recreational Pier to just look at the ocean. There were all kinds of interpretive signs at places in Waimea because it has a lot of history regarding its discovery.

We went to a grocery store called Ishihara Market and the got some delicious shaved iced from a place called Jojo's Shave Ice. Mine had coconut, lychee and tapioca on the bottom and the ice was flavored with coconut syrup and cream. Zach’s had mac nut ice cream on the bottom with strawberry, banana and pina colada flavored syrup on the ice. They were super yummy, a nice refreshing treat.

Finally we were ready to make the 30 minute drive up the mountain to our cabin, named Ohe-Ohe (which is a type of tree). The road up to our cabin had a lot of remarkable views of the Waimea Canyon (called the Grand Canyon of Hawaii)so we made a lot of stops on the way up.

The weather on the mountain where our cabin was reminded us a lot of Michigan summers in the UP or northern Michigan. Like a Michigan cabin. They even had wood stoves to heat the cabins, which was not entirely necessary as the lows were only in the 50s and night (so not a survival need) but it was fun for us to use and made it very cozy in the cabin. We drove up the road (not even a mile) to the Koke’e Lodge, which is a gift shop and restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. We looked around there and then headed into the next building which is the Koke’e Museum. It had tons of info and artifacts on the plants and animals on Kaua’i. Once we were done looking around we came back to the cabin to relax and enjoy the quiet isolation. Our neighbors did have 8 dogs with them though, so it wasn’t TOO quiet. The wood stove was actually almost a little too warm.

When I woke up this morning it was 7am and poor Zachery had already been up for 3 hours. It’s been like that for the last few days.

For breakfast we had banana and papaya with granola and we both learned that we don’t enjoy raw papaya that much. I also had coffee that was provided by the cabin staff. It was a 10-cup pack though, so like a giant tea bag. Unfortunately, I only drink one cup a day so I had to dump most of it.

After breakfast we got ready to do some hiking. We purchased a trail map from the Lodge the night before so we planned out where we wanted to go. Our plans only included trails marked “easy” on the map because we tested ourselves on “moderate” trails enough on NouNou.

We first did the “Nature Trail” behind the museum, which is super short but had a lot of signage on the plants. It only took us 10 minutes and then we drove about a quarter mile up the road to the “Water Tank” trail head. That trail connects to “Berry Flat Trail” and together they make 3 miles.

About 10 minutes into our hike we came upon the Department of Education Discovery Center. We thought this was going to be some kind of museum but oddly enough, there were just a bunch of people sleeping there. We awkwardly got out of there and back onto the trail. It was just as wet as Sleeping Giant but had very different plants growing. A lot of the trees were conifers and it was a really neat hike.

Eventually, we came out of the trail onto a dirt road and there were a bunch of camo-clad people with like 10 hunting dogs. They didn’t seem to have any weapons so it was unclear to us if they were just training or doing actual hunting.

The walk on the road back to the car was another 3 miles and we did go the wrong way for about 15 minutes and had to turn around. We finally got back to the car around noon (so a 3 hour hike) and I was so relieved. My feet were killing me!

We knew we were done hiking ut we drove up the road a ways to a couple of lookout points. Then we also drove about halfway down the mountain to a couple more. We saw Kalalau, Pu’u o kila, and then Pu’uhinahina and Waimea Canyon Lookouts. At Kalalau, it was foggy on one side, like were were in an actual cloud. But then it cleared up so we had an amazing view and a rainbow formed right before our eyes! We were higher up in the sky than a rainbow and it was so cool. The view at Waimea Canyon was absolutely breaktaking and moved me almost to tears. I can totally see why they call it the Grand Canyon of Hawaii. At this lookout a man was set up in the parking lot selling fresh and dried fruits. We bought fresh mango, pineapple and purple dragonfruit, and then some dried pineapple and ginger. The dragon fruit was good although not as flavorful as I wanted it to be, but the mango and pineapple were the best I’ve ever had and the dried fruit was to die for. Soooo good.

After all that it was only 1pm and we were hungry so we drove to the Koke’e Lodge and got some sandwiches. We also got a slice of coconut mac nut pie for dessert. Then we got a couple of things from the Museum gift shop and came back to our cabin. Zach showered and I took a 2.5 hour nap. I woke up at 5pm and we’ve been warming by the stove. It’s now 8pm and I think we are going to bed soon. Aloha!

Monday, October 16th, 2017

5:30 pm Kaua’i

This morning we left our cabin at Koke’e State Park and meandered down the mountain. We hadn’t had breakfast yet so I became quite nauseous after looking at my phone (reading words makes me carsick sometimes) and the winding roads didn’t help that. We got back down to Waimea around 9:30am and weren’t sure where to go for breakfast. We ended up just going into the Big Save Market to see what we could get there. Lo and behold, they had fresh breakfast food! We each got scrambled eggs, mine with rice and Zach’s with Portuguese sausage. I also had a vanilla macadamia nut flavored coffee and it was a very delicious meal.

We turned in our key to the cabin and then drove our way over to Polihale Beach (thanks for the rec, Theresa!) which is the farthest you can go on the South Shore using a road. Closest to the Na Pali Coast. The beach is not recommended for swimming because of the rough water (and we didn’t have beach towels) so we just walked along the beach and got our feed and legs wet. It was gorgeous to see. The only way to get there is to take a 5-mile rough dirt road and while we were there we only saw four other people. So we waded and I collected a bunch of really cool shells, one of the coolest places we went for sure.

On our way to our next stop we went back to Ishihara market to get some treats and drinks for our stay in Hanalei. We hit the road and then stopped at Wailua Falls to the overlook. It was crowded but so worth it! A rainbow was almost constantly showing over the pond the falls feed into. What an amazing and surreal thing to see.

At some point in the day we also stopped at our rental car place to get new batteries in our key fob because it was dying.

After all that we made our way over to Hanalei to get some food and check into our last lodging on the island. We got some food at Tropical Taco on the main drag in Hanalei. There were a ton of people and it was hard to find parking (two factors that make for a grumpy Zachery) but the food was super good. I had a veggie burrito and Zach got more fish tacos, but were served with fresh chips. This was my favorite food so far tied with Street Burger.

We arrived at the Hanalei Colony Resort at about 3:15 to check in. Zach was skeptical at first because on the outside it just looks like old apartments. However, it’s very nice on the inside and probably the nicest place we’ve stayed so far here. The rooms are large and open with wood flooring, comfy furniture and a kitchen. We even have our own balcony, two bathrooms and a KING sized bed.

The Resort has a spa, a restaurant and a cafe/art gallery/shop on site and there’s a free shuttle that can take us places and pick us up. There’s also a pool and a jacuzzi, what a wonderful way to spend the last part of this awesome and magical trip.

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

12:30pm Kaua’i

Last night after we chilled out a little, we went down to the pool. It was kind of rainy but the rain cleared up for a little while. Save for one other couple, we were the only people there and it was dark out so it was pretty neat. The pool area was lit with tiki torches and the hot tub was so nice. We spend 30 minutes down there when it started pouring rain. After we came back up to our room I took a nice long shower and we played some cards. Around 8:30pm we went to bed, and even though our bed was giant and comfy, I couldn’t fall asleep. As usual Zachery fell asleep in two minutes and I tossed and turned forever.

When I woke up this morning it was 6:30am and Zach had been up since (you guessed it) 4am. We each had a small breakfast of toast with peanut butter and banana and then finished our fresh fruit from Waimea. After Zach finished his tea we went to the cafe so I could get some coffee. After drinking my lifeblood, we drove to Haena Beach up the road and saw the Dry Cave there. We walked along the beach where we were the only ones and we watched the waves together.

After spending time there we decided to drive up the road even more, until it ends (as far as you can drive on the North Shore) to Ke’e Beach. The Kalalau Trailhead is there and you can hike to the Na Pali Coast. It’s an 11-mile moderate to difficult hike though, so we just sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes to pass the time. It was so crowded even at 9am and at 9:30 we headed out to go to Limahuli Botanical Gardens for a self-guided tour.

What an astounding place. The Garden had so many interesting plants and so much information. Definitely one of my favorite places we have visited. We spent a couple hours there and then came back to the resort and stopped into the spa to make a reservation for a massage tomorrow. We stopped into the restaurant for lunch where I had a quinoa salad and Zach got a plate of 3 sliders, one fish, one beef and one pork. We are going to swim at the pool and then take the shuttle to the Farmers Market in Waipu.

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

7pm Kaua’i

Yesterday when we took the shuttle to the Farmers Market at the Waipu Foundation, I could hardly contain myself. There were so many vendors selling fresh tropical fruits! We took a few minutes to look at each booth before going back through to make purchases.

We started by sharing fresh coconut water - drinking it straight from the coconut! The guy who was selling them was peeling them and cutting them open out of the back of his truck. I still don’t think coconut water is that good, but it was pretty darn cool to drink it from a fresh coconut. We also got some ginger papaya juice, a mango jam (read more about this later), some star fruit, passion fruits, “apple bananas”, longan, sugarcane and some spring rolls that we ate while we were there. They were so delicious!

When we got back to our room we hung out and eventually drove to a place called Sushi Girl where you just order at a window and they make your sushi to go. I got a veggie roll and Zach has spicy Ahi. It was the best sushi I’ve ever had, and we got sides of sushi rice and seaweed salad. After dinner we placed more cards and relaxed until it was bed time.

This morning we had a delicious breakfast of peanut butter toast, fruit bowls (made with the banana, passion fruit and starfruit from yesterday) and some sushi rice. We got ready to venture out (after getting coffee of course) and we headed to the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. There isn’t really anything to do there, but we drove up a road to a trailhead (the Okolehao) and then drove back out. It was a beautiful short drive and the refuge is adjacent to some kalo (taro) farms.

Our next stop was the Hanalei Valley Lookout which basically looked out at the refuge and taro farms, but it was really cool to see from a different angle. Our final adventure destination of the day took us to Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and Lighthouse. I didn’t quite know what to expect but it was awesome and turned out to be one of my favorite places on the island. There were exhibits in a visitor center that featured various wildlife species, mostly birds, that you might find in Kilauea. Migratory birds were all over the place there, including the Wedge-Tailed Shearwater from Panama which was nesting. There were tons of Shearwater chicks nesting in these burrows in the ground. So cute and fluffy! But they were pretty big, about the size of a duck. Speaking of ducks, there’s also an endangered Hawaiian Goose called a Nene, which I obviously love.

The whole draw to going here was the lighthouse, but we didn’t end up going in it because we didn’t sign up for the tour soon enough and the next one wasn’t for another hour. We didn’t want to wait so we just took a bunch of photos and looked at the birds. It was still worth it to learn about the importance of the refuge and all the migratory birds and the coastal ecosystem there. And of course we bought some things in the gift shop. All of this fun stuff and it actually wasn’t even noon yet.

We made our way back to the resort and relaxed, snacked and went for a swim at the pool. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but there’s a cat that hangs out by the pool here. A gorgeous black and grey tiger stripe/tabby boy. He looks healthy so I wonder if he belongs to someone. There were traces of dry cat food in the grassy areas so someone at the resort must be feeding him. He let us give him lots of pets and even let us rub his belly! He was purring and kneading and kept meowing at us. Made us miss our own kitty babies.

After hanging around the pool for an hour we came up to our room to shower and play cards before our couples massage at 4pm. Oh my gosh the massage!!! We got a 50 minute couples massage, mine with deep tissue. It was also supposed to be beachside but the winds were too strong. It was amazing nonetheless and I still feel relaxed from it and now it’s 7:40! Zach said he liked his but didn’t LOVE it the way I did. A very Zach response.

We meandered next door to the restaurant again to have dinner. I had a veggie risotto (um, yum!) and Zach had a burger. His burger came with fries that had parmesan curls and truffle oil. Talk about melt in your mouth.

We came up to our room to use the bathroom and planned on walking along the beach while the sun set, but as soon as we got into our room it started downpouring and the winds picked up a lot. It had been a really windy few days in Hanalei with high surf advisories on all the coasts of the island. We are so glad we stayed here though.

Tomorrow we check out at 11 and then we’ll grab lunch in Hanalei and find our way back to Lihue for our flight at 9:15pm. It is going to be a long day. We are both happy to be going home and sad that our magical honeymoon vacation is ending. How bittersweet.

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

7:45am Michigan

Our final day in Kaua’i was kind of a strange one. We both awoke at the usual times, Zachery at 4 and me at 7 something and we had a small breakfast. We at the rest of our fresh fruit from Waipa and I got coffee from the cafe one last time. We packed up all our belongings and headed to the pool to say goodbye to Pool Kitty/Whiney Baby.

After we hung out with him for a while and got some pictures we went down to the beach so I could be THAT tourist and get a jar of sand to take home. We checked out at the front desk and we were on our merry way!

Being that it was only 10am and we had 9 hours to kill before needing to be at the airport, we decided to head into Hanalei to eat lunch and check out some shops. We had lunch at Hanalei Gourmet, which was a bar/diner with probably the lowest priced food we’d had all trip. It was also pretty good. We spent quite a bit of time looking around different shops, mostly just browsing, but I did buy a decorative tile (made in Kaua’i) from a shop called Hula Moon.

We got back on the road and drove towards Lihue. We decided, because we had SO much time, to go back to Opeka’a Falls and Wailua Falls. I am so glad we did because it was gorgeous even the second time around, and the view was much clearer at Opeka’a. After Wailua we still had 5 or 6 hours left so we drove to Koloa to spend time at Poipu Beach Park. We sat on a picnic table reading our books and watching the chickens and other birds fight over a sandwich that some guy accidentally dropped.

Poipu was very busy with families and snorkelers because there is a lot of sea life and a calm area of the beach perfect for kiddos. We didn’t swim at all but we did walk along the beach. We even got to see a Hawaiian Monk Seal, which are endangered. It was just laying on a sand bar/island out a bit from the beach, and we weren’t even sure it was a seal until it lifted its head up. I was so excited!! Even from far away it was a fun thing to see.

Eventually, we watched the sunset from our picnic table. How fitting that we started our trip off with a sunrise and now were ending it with a sunset. We headed to dinner at Puka Dog (apparently featured on the Travel Channel) where they serve hot dogs in taro buns that have been toasted via a hole poked in them with a metal rod. They even do a veggie dog! Hallelujah! It was a delicious way to finish up our vacation. Then the real saga began.

After we returned our rental car and took the shuttle to the airport it was about 7:15pm. Our flight was at 9:15 so we had a reasonable amount of time to get through security and all that. Little did we know we needed almost all that time. The first thing you have to do at the Lihue Airport is go through a USDA ag check to make sure you don’t spread invasive plants or pests or whatever (I think). Our suitcase went through the x ray and the woman asked if we had sand or salt in there. We said yes and she needed to see it. So we unlocked and unzipped our suitcase and took like an entire 60 seconds to find the dang sand. As soon as she saw it, she said it was fine. Okay, cool let’s check in.

We check in at the kiosk thing, all good. Get in line for baggage check, not good, not fine. Our bag somehow gained TEN FREAKING POUNDS since we got here. No way, dude. It was also 7 pounds overweight, so the woman working the scale suggested we step back and take some stuff out to put in our (already stuffed) carry-ons. We removed the sand and a few other things. Re-weighed and it was exactly the same. At this point we should’ve asked to use a new scale but we are new to traveling and hindsight is 20/20. So we try again to remove things, but had to resort to literally throwing our shit into the garbage. We tossed all the liquids we could: lotion, shampoos, body wash, all the hotel shampoo and stuff that I collected, our leftover peanut butter, sunscreen and bugspray, anything we could… STILL overweight by 4 pounds. The woman probably pitied us and she basically let us off and lied on the scale, making our bag 50 pounds instead of 54. Apparently an overweight bag is $100 extra, lovely isn’t it? So thankful for her sympathy/pity.

Okay we think the worst is over, and get in the TSA check line. I am trying to ungrumpify myself and mostly succeed until my bag gets stopped after the x ray. They actually never said why it was stopped, but a man with gloves on rubbed this dry piece of paper in it and made some comment about my Game of Thrones book. Then Zach’s bag gets stopped too and we are asked if there is sand in there. We say yes, so they need to take a peek at it. We had to sprinkle some on these paper strips and the guy did a chemical test. That is all totally understandable, I had no issue with that. Then he asked if we had any jam or jelly in the bag. I said no because in the chaos of everything I forgot that we did indeed put our $10 jar of raw mango/honey jam that was homegrown and homemade into Zach’s bag. He pulls out the jam and said, very sympathetically and with pity in his face, that it needs to be checked. Do you want to check the jam? No, we do not need to do that, I say with sadness and exasperation. Are you sure? It must’ve been expensive. Do you want to at least open it and eat some? The answer was no, and then we watched him throw it into the trash and we walked to our gate. As much as I wanted that $10 homemade delicious tropical jam, I TWICE as much did not want to go BACK to and do more airport shit.

At this point, I was fighting back tears out of sheer exhaustion and the fact that my GAD makes it hard for me to shake things like that off.

We find our gate and have to do another USDA ag check. They need to see the sand again. It’s fine, again and we go into the gate waiting area where they are no two seats next to each other. There are tons of single seats open, but apparently strangers cannot sit next to each other. So Zach and I are both grumpy and unpleasant with each other and get into an argument about who should sit in the chair we decided to have. So I sit on the floor like I wanted to and this old woman decided to let me have her chair. It was a very kind thing, and her granddaughter said she can’t sit for very long so she really did have to walk around. However, the guilt of this cracked me wide open and actual real tears started coming out of my eyeballs.

Crying in public is my second least favorite place to cry (after the workplace), so naturally this makes me want to cry even more.

I handle myself by suppressing my emotions and we board the plane. It takes off at 9 whatever and it was awful. So uncomfortable and we couldn’t sleep, but at least we were miserable together. We ended up watching Wonder Woman (for free, thanks Delta!) the last two hours of the flight and we landed at LAX at 5:50am PST. Sidenote: Delta is awesome. Aside from our seats being kind of uncomfy and the fact we had to fly overnight, our flights were pretty great in every other way.

Okay so we landed at 5:50am and were basically dried up zombies. We found drinking fountains and bathrooms and then got some hot food to eat. We actually barely had time to eat it before boarding for our 7am flight. This one was MUCH better because I popped a Zzquil and was just so tired from being awake for 20 hours.

We arrived at DTW at 2:30pm. How exciting, except the icing on the cake was that ½ liter of water from my water bottle leaked all over my backpack, soaking the back of it and ruining the book I brought with me. Not even my book, it’s a borrowed one from someone, part of a box freaking set (AJ, I will buy you a new A Clash of Kings).

We got our luggage and got the heck out of there, stopped at Taco Hell on the way home and finally, at 5:30pm we arrived home to our kitties. I accidentally fell asleep at 6:30pm, woke up at 11pm and didn’t go back to sleep until 2am. Then proceeded to wake up at 6:30am to get ready for a 10 hour work day.

Marriage has been a great adventure so far. Kaua’i was a dream and we are so lucky to have been able to go there! I hope we can go back some day, and although I hated the travel process, it could’ve been so much worse, so I’m thankful for how well it actually went.

Honeymoon Pictures

I was too lazy to make a slideshow...sorry. Click an image to see full size, will open in new tab. Pictures are in chronological order.

Driving to DTW

YAY Excited


LAX getting us excited for Kaua'i

Fern Grotto Inn

Fern Grotto Inn Bed

Flowers here and there

We all float down here

Complimentary beer and water




Even pooping is relaxing here, also they had a bidet

Zach almost met this guy with his face

A sunrise to remember

Our first beachside interaction

Sunrise selfie


Really seeing the island for the first time

A gorgeous sight

flowers are everywhere here

cool geology

whoa look at that bird

I am a dork

Sleeping Giant

Rain rain

Our first Kauai rainbow




Lizards are everywhere


Fern Grotto Inn cabin

We cute

the Hao blossom

Kayak adventures

It is my favorite

yummy beers



a cool tiled wall along a shop



too cute





tiny gecko stuck in our cabin

I will save you mister gecko

the Wailua River

A giant snail

Hi Gary

A giant frog


Kisses on Kauai



He tried to sell us insurance

The view from Poliahu Heiau







The Fern Grotto itself


Smith Family Boat Tours Wedding Song


Dumpster Kitty

This cat was my bff until it was playing with a half alive lizard

A nice place to swim

The Pacific Ocean not taking any of Zachs shit

We tried this trail and it was too hard

This trail was much easier

What in the world is this cool plant

any dinosaurs in there


Spot the toad

halfway up the mountain



more bamboo

Totoro are you in there




It really was worth the climb up

we are so happy


This sign was made of succulent garden boxes

a tree tunnel

Spouting Horn



Waimea Recreational Pier


Gotta maintain the cheesy tourist stuff

Our drive up the mountain had a lot of cool views



cloud shaddows






OMG we are on a mountain



Koke'e Cabin






Best chips everrr

A taro chip

This isn't the UP, it's really Kaua'i

Roosters everywhere even on the top of a mountain

Waimea Canyon

I was nauseous on the winding mountain road

The coolest beach we visited


A surreal view of Wailua Falls

Hanalei Colony Resort


Zach in a dry cave

Caves are neat man

Haena Beach

Taro at Limahuli Garden

We watched this guy eat a giant bug

chomp chomp

A guy with a machete was peeling and selling coocnut water from the back of his truck at the farmers market in Waipu and it was cool

another random kitty at Hanalei Colony Resort

very yummy sushi

Kilauea Point

A Wedge Tailed Shearwater chick

The endangered Hawaiian Goose

A very windy few days in Hanalei

after a deep tissue massage

HCR Pool


The lady who fed him told us she named him Whiney Baby which is perfect for this vocal dude

He loved Zachs pets

Koi Pond

Mr Tiki is my friend

I can make the face too

Love these roosters

A crabby friend

Goodbye Hanalei

on the road to Poipu Beach

Opeka'a Falls

There is an endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal on that sand bar how awesome