In August of 2015, we went to Hawaii. Oahu and Kauai, to be exact. We spent 24 hours on Oahu and then 7 epic (I don’t use that word lightly) days on Kauai.


Friday’s flight inspired the blog post: Long Flight? No problem.

We rented a car upon landing at Honolulu International, and we spent our first afternoon and evening driving around the island. We stopped at the Polynesian Cultural Center and saw a luau. The show was good, but it’s in an amphitheater type building. I would try to find a more authentic luau if I went back.

We stayed at the Pacific Beach Hotel Waikiki. It was nice, affordable, and centrally located in Waikiki. It also features a three-story aquarium in the lobby. Early Saturday morning, a bus picked us up from the hotel and took us to Pearl Harbor. We went to Waikiki Beach that afternoon, and caught an evening flight to Kauai.

USS Arizona Memorial


The oil that still rises from the ship. “The Black Tears”


Meeting Herb Weatherwax, a veteran and Pearl Harbor attack survivor. He passed away on December 12, 2016, at age 99.




Waikiki Beach





We landed late in Lihue, and checked into our condo golf resort in Princeville. The next day, we went had lunch at The Dolphin in Hanalei, where we saw Jada Pinkett Smith and her daughter, Willow. After lunch, we spent the afternoon at Hanalei Bay and it was magical.


Hanalei Lookout


Kaden and Willow


On Monday, we drove to Kauai’s southern coast to see Waimea Canyon (aka the Grand Canyon of the Pacific) and the Kaulalau Lookout, with a cruise around the famed Napali Coast scheduled for the afternoon. The whole day was awe-inducing, aside from the seasickness.

Doritos sandwich with a canyon view.

The Kaulalau Lookout was breathtaking. We just stood among the clouds in stunned silence.

Napali Coast

Kaulalau Beach. The beach is only accessible by boat or an 11-mile, one-way hike on the Kaulalau Trail.

A lady at our resort told us about some old sugar plantation flumes where she takes her family to go tubing, so on Tuesday, after attending a lei making and hula class, we set out to find this free activity. We didn’t find it. We ended up in the middle of the jungle, wandering around with pink and yellow and green and blue tubes around our waists. We did stumble upon the actual location of the Jurassic Park entrance used in the movies, which was cool.

Pretty sure the car rental company would not approve of driving through rivers.

The location of the Jurassic Park entrance.

The whole area felt otherworldly.

This is the center of Kauai, where a bunch of waterfalls flow, creating the wettest spot on the island.

Painted eucalyptus trees

Opaekaa Falls

We drove all around the island on Wednesday, making tons of stops along the way. What a fun day.

Waimea State Recreation Pier at black sand beach

Glass Beach

Spouting Horn

Dinner and drinks while enjoying the view of south Kauai and surfers in the water at The Beach House Restaurant.

Wailua Falls

We hiked part of the Kaulalau Trail to Hanakapiai Beach and Falls on Thursday. Full details on that hike can be found here: 8 Miles

Friday, everyone tried snuba, except me and Breely. She was too young. Then, we went to a place called Hidden Beach. It kinda felt like trespassing, going between fences and down steep paths to get there, but we weren’t. And we had almost the entire beach to ourselves for the afternoon.

We had to go home on Saturday, but we spent as much time as possible at Tunnel Beach before heading to the airport for an overnight flight home.

All photos original © jennifer crouch

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