Faith and I celebrated our 25th anniversary on February 10th with a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. We honeymooned in the Hawaiian Islands and 10 years ago we decided to make a trip out there every 5 years for our anniversary. On our honeymoon we visited Oahu and Maui and really liked Maui. 10 years ago we tried the Big Island of Hawaii and didn’t enjoy it as much as we had enjoyed Maui. There is nothing wrong with the Big Island, but we didn’t find it as enjoyable as Maui. The Big Island is less developed, more rural and quite large and we felt somewhat lonely there.
5 years ago we decided to try the Garden Isle of Kauai. We absolutely loved that island and decided to return there again this year. We enjoyed this trip immensely and will likely visit Kauai again on our next visit to the Hawaiian Islands.
Kauai is beautiful with lush landscapes, fabulous vistas and plenty of resorts and activities. Kauai is also less populated than Oahu and Maui so it doesn’t have the commercial feel that the other islands have. There are plenty of hiking trails on Kauai, water activities, beautiful resorts, gorgeous beaches and wonderful restaurants. Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands and I think it has the most character and tranquility. Click the images to view larger.
Our trip started with a short hop from Orlando to Atlanta aboard Delta Airlines. Of course Faith had to stop off in the concourse in Orlando for a Starbucks coffee to properly kick off the trip.
We flew first class courtesy of my Delta frequent flyer points. Hey! If you have to travel for your job, you might as well enjoy some perks along the way! Faith really enjoyed the flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles as the first class cabin featured lay-flat seats and a rockin’ entertainment console to pass along the time.
As night fell on Los Angeles we started our final leg out to Lihue on the island of Kauai. It was a 5 1/2 hour flight, and by the time we got there we had been traveling for 17 hours.
When we arrived in Lihue, Faith was surprised to find a nice Hawaiian woman waiting for her in the arrivals area with Faith’s name on a placard. Faith stopped and identified herself and the woman put a gorgeous plumeria lei around her neck. I had arranged for the lei greeting for her upon arrival, and after 17 hours of flying, this really brightened up Faith’s spirits. This was just a quick iPhone shot right as she arrived. I have a much better one I’ll share in the next post.
For our first two nights we stayed at the Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach (thanks to my Marriott Rewards points) which is quite a beautiful resort. The front desk gave us a complimentary room upgrade to a king suite which was a nice treat. The room was huge with a small bar area, living area, dining area, bedroom and huge bathroom. The room also came with its own rubber ducky! The hotel also let Faith choose a perk from a large stack of complimentary perks that the hotel offers to Marriott Rewards members. She selected an envelop and we learned that she had selected a free pool cabana rental for the next day. Sweet!
All those nights in the Marriott Courtyards in Atlanta and Rancho Cucamonga paid off! While we couldn’t really see what sort of view we had when we arrived, sunrise the next morning provided all the proof we needed that this was indeed a sweet suite upgrade!
It was a long day but we were glad to have arrived. We have 8 full days of paradise in front of us, but first, a day of rest to recover. More on that and and our trip to the Hawaiian Islands in my next post.