July 7th – Oahu to Kauai

We woke up early on Sunday and took a long walk along Waikiki Beach. It was a great way to spend our last morning in Honolulu.

sunrise Collage

We had a nice time chatting and taking in the sights and sounds of the morning. We were both surprised that so many people were moving about before 6:00 AM, but apparently that is the norm in Hawaii. How can you not take advantage of the glorious views, beach and light?

sun on beach

After a leisurely breakfast, we spent some time in the room packing and getting organized for the second part of our trip (Kauai). We went to the airport and checked into our flight to Lihue on Hawaiian Airlines without major incident. The airport, however, was a disaster. Without belaboring the point, the airport is incredibly inefficient and isn’t laid out for frequent travelers or convenience. Once we landed in Lihue (after a 25 minute flight!) we rented a car and drove about an hour to get the St. Regis Princeville.

Kauai Sign

The drive was stunning. Dramatic coastline, staggering mountains and unbelievable water colors.  We quickly checked into our hotel (more on that later) and headed to nearby Hanalei for lunch.  Several friends and family members recommended that we eat at The Dolphin, so we did just that.

dolphin

The Dolphin is a dive that serves up comfort food in a laid back environment. The food, by the way, is phenomenal. I had the fish and chips and John had the fish tacos. We were both impressed. I also had a very delicious virgin pina colada.

dolphin Collage

After lunch, we went back to the hotel and settled into our room…then our final room hours later (more on this later). We had a gorgeous view from our room.

johnt taking in hotel view

We had cocktails on the bar terrace and watched the champagne sabering ceremony and the sunset. My drink (a virgin aloha mary) and the sunset were unbelievable. Truly.

happy hour Collage

We kept it super simple for dinner and went to another recommended spot in Hanalei — the Tahiti Nui. We ended up ordering a pizza from the adjacent Tikiman Pizza and we couldn’t have been more pleased. We had the “Spicy Hawaiian” and it was hands down the best pineapple pizza I’ve ever had. It was a great way to end a long day.

Pizza Collage

Fun Fact: “The Descendants” used Tahiti Nui as a scene location in the movie and apparently George Clooney and others frequented the spot during filming. There are photos on the wall to prove it!

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