Oh Kauai. How I wish we were still there. On vacation mode in Hawaii we’d be waking up (due to the natural sunlight streaming into our room of course), ready to hit the gym, then we’d enjoy a leisurely breakfast out on the terrace while listening to the waves crash before heading out into the sun all day.
Instead I’m in reality mode… the alarm went off at 6:15 am this morning (let me tell you: natural sunlight > alarm clock), it was pitch black outside, raining, foggy and cold. And instead of going to the gym, enjoying breakfast on the terrace and spending the day at the beach… I’ll be sitting at a desk, in an office building, working and breathing recycled air all day long.
Vacation I miss you already.
But onto the good stuff!
We were lucky enough to stay at the gorgeous Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. (The trip was a part of an incentive for our previous fiscal year, and then we extended our stay a few days to get in a proper vacation.) This place is amazing – the grounds are stunning (and huge!), the rooms are spacious with private terraces or lanai’s, the pools are plentiful, the drinks are strong, and the food is delicious.
Over the course of the week there was a snorkel cruise, plenty of delicious meals, relaxation, movie watching, ice cold Kona Longboards (and Coronas!), reading, a drive around the entire island, waterfalls, whale watching (SUCCESS!), beach and pool time, and even a private Maroon 5 concert.
Now that’s what I call a vacation!
We rented a car one of the days and drove up to Waimea Canyon, then to Wailua Falls, Opaekaa Falls, Hanalei Bay, Princeville (where we had an amazing and so fresh Acai Bowl and tropical fruit smoothie), and got a glimpse of the entire island.
We always try to spend a day exploring as much of the island we’re on as we can (on Maui we drove from Kapalua to Wailea, and on the Big Island we drove through Kona to Volcano to Hilo and back). You always find the best hidden gems that way, and really get to actually see Hawaii… not just your resort. (Although a healthy mix of both makes a vacation ideal!)
The island saw a lot of rain in the weekend leading up to (flooding up north!), and the weekend we were there, but thankfully the clouds parted and the sun came out in full force for our first few days and the last couple of days. Tans were successfully achieved.
Restaurant wise, we hit Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt (where we had some of the best crab cakes of our lives, Kalua pork pupusas, coconut shrimp and crab chowder, grilled Opah for me and seared Ahi for boyfriend), and the always delicious Roy’s in a nearby shopping center. We ordered room service, and bought groceries (a post of tips on making an expensive resort budget friendly is coming!) from a local market the other nights – we love to create “grazing platters” of fruit, cheese, prosciutto, hummus, chips, rotisserie chicken, poke, etc and enjoy it out on the patio with a couple of cold ones. By far my favorite type of vacation meal.
We also had a couple of catered (and amazing!) dinners and desserts on the nights that we were there with my company as well. They tend to do meals in a big, big delicious way, and we always fill our plates up!
Here’s hoping a trip back to the islands comes much sooner rather than later!