We started our third day of the honeymoon with a helicopter ride around the island– the very first activity we booked and one of our most anticipated Kauai experiences. Our excitement was just a bit dampened when we were placed onto the back row of seats, which had less visibility than the front. Oh well, better luck next time!
For the next hour, I was floating in paradise – I didn’t even notice the time pass. We flew over rolling hills and clear waterfalls (see the really thin waterfall on the right in the photo below?)
We got stunning views of Kauai’s most famous sights: the Napali Coast….
…and the Waimea Canyon.
And finished with a last look at the lush greenery and bountiful waterfalls of the island.
The ride went by too fast, but on the bright side, we still had the whole day left to explore. First, though, we stopped for lunch at a place called Keoki’s Paradise. The restaurant looked like something out of South Pacific the musical – in other words, a completely unrealistic but nevertheless beautiful conception of the island lifestyle.
I ordered a fancy sounding appetizer; sadly it turned out to be the shrimp version of a corn dog.
As we ate, we discussed options for the rest of the day and decided to drive to the west side of the island for the first time to explore the Waimea Canyon. After catching a glimpse of “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific” on the helicopter, I couldn’t wait to see more.
And for the rest of the day, that’s exactly what we did. We drove the long, winding road up to the canyon, stopping periodically to play in the bright red earth.
The landscape was like nothing I’d seen before – I felt like we could have been walking on Mars.
At the top of our drive, we stopped at a few lookout points to take in the views.
Then, we did a hike that took you out right into the canyon. No protective railings or tourists – just us and the incredible red green vastness of the cliffs.
We were exhausted by the time darkness came, and my once-white pants had turned red. So we called it a night pretty early. The next day, we’d have to get up at 5AM for our biggest adventure yet.