November 2021 Matt and I took a trip to Kauai, Hawaii. His family had booked a trip to Maui in February, but since I would be weeks away from my due date we decided to book our own Hawaii trip sooner. I had been to Maui once in 2016 with some friends and thought it was pretty, but felt like it was a little more "farm-like" and I was expecting more Jurassic Park jungle views. When I would tell people this they would always say "then you should go to Kauai." Matt on the other hand had been to Maui and a couple other Hawaiian islands, but he had never been to Kauai. Since he's done a lot more traveling than me, I was excited to go somewhere we had both never been.
My dad agreed to come out to San Diego to watch our dog while we were away, and even though we hate leaving her we knew this would be the last vacation as just the two of us before the baby came. Matt was kind enough to book first class tickets (which I had never experienced), but since we flew Alaskan air it basically meant we had wider seats at the front of the plane. I was happy to be near the bathroom since I have to pee more often these days, and of course to be able to get off the plane right away once we landed.
Going to Hawaii at this time was a little different than say flying to New York, because the state requires you to requester your vaccine information (or get tested) prior to boarding your flight. We also learned we had to get wrist bands to prove this at the airport, but thankfully they let us board and we went through a 2nd security check when we arrived in Hawaii. In California they had lifted the mask mandate in the summer, but in Hawaii it was still in full effect, so we had to get used to having our masks with us for any indoor place we went into.
Originally, we booked an Airbnb type of place on the island. One of my yoga clients lives in Kauai part of the year and had offered to let us stay there. When booking the trip we compared her prices to the other options we found online and decided to book with her. However, when we arrived we immediately changed our minds. At the time I was 6 months pregnant and would get hot very easily. Since Hawaii is humid and tropical I should have considered not having air conditioning might be a problem. Her place was pretty central when it came to the location on the island, but it was also pretty remote and hidden away from the main road. When I thought about trying to find it in the dark I feared we'd have some issues. Although the place was super charming and would give someone an experience of "island life" it did not feel like the right fit for the type of vacation we wanted. Thankfully she was kind enough to refund part of what I paid, and we booked a hotel room about 15 minutes south of her place.
The resort was clean and the staff was friendly. I appreciated that there was air conditioning and that there would be fresh towels. If you've ever showered somewhere it's humid it's nice to have new dry towels to use since they don't really dry after you use them. The resort was right on the ocean and close to the airport and our balcony had a nice view. It was a little strange our room didn't have a coffee maker, and frustrating that I had to spend money every morning walking down to the gift shop to buy it, but overall I thought the resort was nice. We got settled into our room, and then took a trip to the local Walmart to buy the food & drinks we'd need for the week. Before we had left Matt had ordered and installed security cameras around the house which ended up being a blessing, because then we could check on our dog, make sure my dad had not fallen down the stairs, and that everything at home was ok while we were away.
During our trip we'd leave the hotel around 10am and come back around 4pm since the island typically gets a little rainy early in the evenings. Most days we'd find a new beach to explore and Matt would surf and I would lay out and read or listen to music. Each place we drove by or stopped at was just as beautiful as the next, and we were both impressed with the landscape and beauty of the island.
Overall we had a great time exploring a new place together and relaxing away from our computers and work back home. We missed our dog, our bed, and to be honest our routine but knew it was important to experience something new. I appreciate that we are the same when it comes to vacationing, and that he doesn't try to cram too many activities into the day and as weird as it might sound misses home and our bed even if we're in a beautiful and comfortable place.
If you are considering booking a trip to Hawaii I would highly suggest going to Kauai over Maui. Even though we mostly just chilled, there are so many activities available to experience this island in its full capacity. Whether you like to hike, kayak, lay out, eat out, or take a helicopter ride this island has so much beauty to see. And yes! If you want to geek out and feel like you're at Jurassic Park make sure you put this location on your list of places to travel. Some of the views (especially the north part of the island) looked identical to the movie :)
Questions about my trip? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org