Back from paradise.

Hello hello hello again! I’ve just gotten back from the whirlwind that is getting married and then spending 10 days in Hawaii. It was a long trip back to Boston but we’ve finally arrived and are just trying to stave off jetlag long enough to celebrate my new hubby’s birthday which happens to be today!

Anyways, there’s so much I want to share with you – and finally can share with you – now that the wedding is over. Of course we are still waiting for the professional pictures to come in, so why don’t we start with the most recent event – our beautiful honeymoon in Kauai!

Back when I was researching honeymoon options, I didn’t know if we’d be able to afford Hawaii. But after one of my ever helpful bridesmaids discovered Home Away, a vacation rental website, I was lucky to happen upon this beautiful condo on the north shore of Kauai in Princeville. By staying in a condo, we enjoyed the convenience of far more space and privacy, a large lanai with ocean and mountain views, and a full kitchen, all for less than $200/night (during the off season when we went, just $160/night).

View from our lanai plus a visitor {author’s photo}

Kauai is the oldest and one of the least commercial of the Hawaiian islands. It is known as the “Garden Isle” and for good reason: it is green and lush and home to some of the world’s greatest natural features, including Mount Waialeale (known as the wettest place on earth, receiving up to 600 annual inches of rainfall) and Waimea Canyon (dubbed by Mark Twain as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”) – not to mention some of the best beaches in the U.S.!

There is no end to the number of nature-based activities available on Kauai, including kayaking, waterskiing, hiking, horseback riding, snorkeling, tubing, and ziplining, as well as touring the island by air in a helicopter (which we were fortunate enough to do)! All of these things drew us to Kauai. We knew we’d have plenty to do but would also have a chance to relax.

north shore of kauai by helicopter
North shore of Kauai by helicopter {author’s photo}

In addition to the helicopter tour (I recommend Blue Hawaiian tours), we also went mountain tubing through hand-carved tunnels and irrigation ditches leftover from Kauai’s sugar plantation heyday, whizzed through air and water going ziplining and waterskiing, relaxed on beaches we found just by exploring, swung from a rope swing into a waterfall pool in the jungle, bought art, explored some historic sights, and enjoyed some wonderful meals together including a beautiful luau at Kilohana Plantation.

Most of all, we just spent quality time together as husband and wife and relished the first real chance to unplug and unwind since we got engaged. We fully appreciated that our time away on our honeymoon was a gift and so we made each day count.

On a beach we discovered {author’s photo}

If you are planning your honeymoon, I’d highly recommend Kauai and our condo in Princeville. And if you’ve already settled on Kauai, I’d be more than happy to point you toward some of the restaurants, tours and beaches we enjoyed the most. No matter where you’re headed, definitely look into vacation rentals. They’re a great way to save money and truly make your stay during your honeymoon feel like a home away from home. Aloha!