Hawaiian Honeymoon

After the wedding on Saturday, 6/15/2002, all of our out-of-town guests had left to return home, except for Mary's two sons, Ricky from Fort Worth, Texas and Michael and his wife from The Dalles. So Mary and I spent Sunday with them touring Mt. St. Helens. It was cool, windy and some rain, but we all managed to have a wonderful time exploring areas around the volcano.

Monday morning, Ricky, Mary and I left early for the airport. Mary and I were on our way to Hawaii for our honeymoon and Ricky was returning back to Fort Worth.

We spent a week on the beautiful "Garden Island" of Kauai. We arrived at Lihue airport in the afternoon with very few delays. After our lei greeting, we picked up our luggage, rented our Mustang convertible and drove to Lae Nani, in Wailua on the east coast of the island, where we had rented a condo for the week.

Our unit was on the third floor with a great view of the beach and ocean. The living room faced the ocean and had all glass on that side of the apartment. It also had a private balcony with table and chairs. Mary and I enjoyed sitting out on the balcony feeding the birds, watching the ocean and a few weddings out on the point by the ocean.

In the next 6 days, we did every"tourist" thing that people do. Monday after arriving, we relaxed from our long plane ride over to Hawaii and took in the beautiful view from our room.

Tuesday, we took the Wailua River Day Cruise to the Fern Grotto where Elvis sang the Hawaiian Wedding Song in the movie. While cruising the Wailua river, dancers and singers entertained us on the boat and at the Fern Grotto, they played and sang the wedding song for all of us. They also shared with us the fascinating legends of the area.

Of course, when in Hawaii, you've got to "do the luau". We did the Smith's Tropical Paradise Luau. Before the luau, we spent time walking around the gardens to see some of the statues, huts, and the many beautiful flowers they had. After exploring the gardens, we returned for the luau. The torches were lit, the evening was filled with music, and Smith family members gathered to bring us a casual, relaxing and romantic dining experience that started off with the Imu Ceremony - the unearthing of the traditional pig, cooked to perfection in an underground oven. Following dinner and the thirst-quenching cocktails, we were treated to a couple hours of colorful festive dances and songs showcasing the lively ethnic groups that have come to call Hawaii home over the centuries. This International Pageant depicted dances and songs from Tahiti, Hawaii, China, Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand and Samoa. It was great!

Thursday was the best! After some exploring during the day, we drove to Port Allen to pick up the Holoholo Na Pali Sunset Champagne Tour. It was a barefoot cruise, we took off our shoes and got aboard a 61' Catamaran. We left the dock about 3:00 pm and motored West out along the Na Pali coast. The views are nothing less then spectacular . . . steep cliffs and narrow valleys with a number of interesting rock formations and waterfalls, all laced with Hawaiian history.

On our return, about 3 1/2 hours later, the sun was just dipping into the water in the West, our boat stopped, faced the sun and we were served hors d'oeuvres and champagne. After the sun had set, and we were just turning toward shore, a dolphin jumped out of the water in front of us. The captain of the boat slowed down to about 5 knots and five or six dolphins began swimming right under the bow of the boat and occasionally swam out a little to do some acrobatics! That made the whole trip for us.

On Friday, we drove back to the airport where we climbed on a helicopter for a one hour trip around the island. We got a whole different perspective of Kauai.

On Saturday, we drove as far as we could up Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. There are some spectacular vistas from the road there. At the end of the road, there was a hiking trail which we attemped to take. It was so rough and muddy, we went only about a mile before we decided to turn back.

On Saturday evening, we had a great dinner at Duke's Canoe Club at the Marriott in Lihue, where we watched the sun set over the ocean. We also had singers at the clubs who roamed around singing Hawaiian songs for the people enjoying their meals at the restaurant.

On Sunday, we drove around to all the sights we thought we had missed, like Wailua Falls. So many beautiful sites to see on this garden island.

On Monday, it was time to return home. What an awesome honeymoon, it was a great place to visit, and we want to go back again, but both Mary and I were happy to return back home Oregon.