Friday, July 2, 2010

Colas in Kauai: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

While the first few days of our honeymoon were pretty relaxing, the middle part of our honeymoon was action packed!

On day four we drove all the way back down to the airport to go on a helicopter tour of the island. All the travel planning sites touted a helicopter tour as the only way to properly see the island, and I completely agree with them! Even Mr. Cola was stoked after our trip, and he wasn't even very excited about it to begin with, because it is on the expensive side. For our ~65 minute tour around the whole island it was $458 for both of us, but well worth it in my opinion.

I think this next set of photos from our tour deserves a little mood music. We literally flew over a rainbow in the helicopter, although it didn't really photograph up close.


After taking off, our pilot told us some of the history of the island, and some neat tidbits on the many movies filmed on Kauai. In my opinion he did a great job of balancing informing us with letting us enjoy the scenery in quiet. Also, Mr. Cola and I had the two best seats on the helicopter, in the front row, and there was a neat window near the floor on the front that we could look down through.

I'll spare you the over 500 pictures I took on our tour, but here are a few of my favorites, starting with us in the helicopter!

One of probably over a hundred waterfalls we saw from the air. This is the falls featured in the Jurassic Park movie.

Flying over Waimea Canyon, aka the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

Over the Na Pali coast. This coastline makes up about 1/5th of Kauai, and there are no roads along this entire stretch, so you can't actually drive around the whole island.

The small bay in the middle of the below picture is Ke'e Beach, the further medium sized bay is Tunnels Beach, and the big bay at the top of the picture is Hanalei Bay. Our house was about half way between Hanalei and Tunnels.

A closer view above our adorable beach house.

Wailua Falls from the air.

Posing with our helicopter. They recommend you wear dark clothing so you don't see the reflection of what you're wearing as much in the windows.

After our amazing helicopter ride, we decided to do a little sightseeing as we traveled the 1 1/4 hours back to our house. Here's Mr. Cola by Wailua Falls that we had just flown over 20 minutes prior.
'Opeaka'a Falls.
We sampled the best pulled pork on the island for lunch at Scotty's BBQ in Kappa'a, and then I had to go check out the palm trees on the beach!

On our way back after lunch we stopped at the Kilauea Lighthouse and the cliffs next to it, which is a seabird preserve.

That night we walked even further down the beach to see yet another beautiful sunset. But notice the dark clouds gathering....

We went from looking like this:

To this, in a matter of minutes!

In Kauai there are several daily showers, usually in the morning or early evening, and usually only sprinkles or misting for 5 minutes or less. Not a big deal, usually. But we happened to get caught in a massive dumping of the sky, and hiding under the sparse trees next to the beach wasn't going to protect us! So we had to duck under one of the many empty, raised homes being built next to the beach to wait out the rain. It was quite hilarious actually, because we were soaked and stranded under a house, which we joked belonged to Craig T. Nelson.

[Ok, sidebar for inside joke] Our helicopter pilot had mentioned Craig T. was a homeowner near where we were on the island, and when I was about 4 years old I'd had a big crush on him. I was convinced at the time that he wasn't going to get any older, he was going to "wait for me." So in our completely wet and dripping state, it was cracking us up to think we might be cowering under the home of my former star crush!

Anyway, after the rain ended about 10 minutes later, we came out of hiding and ate dinner at the resort down the road. They didn't seem to mind that we were wet, for as much as it rains in Kauai, I'm sure we weren't their first wet diners.

The next morning it was time to check out Tunnel's beach, with has some of the best snorkeling on the island.

Later that night we had the best crab cakes of the trip at Postcards Cafe in Hanalei for dinner. (Sorry, I'm one of those people who likes to take pictures of yummy food!)

And they even give diners a postcard when you pay your bill!

Coming up next, the Na Pali coast from a boat and stalking sea turtles!

(all pictures in this post are personal photos)


  1. Awesome! We saw a lot of these fun sites, too, and I really loved sailing up the Na Pali coast on our ship. Can't wait to see pictures from your boat trip!

  2. All of these photographs are amazing! I've never gone on a helicopter tour before, but it does seem like the best way to see the island if you can't drive around the whole thing.

    The flash floods remind me of all my travels in Central America. I got soaked in Costa Rica on a three-mile hike to a nature preserve, and in Belize we missed a huge tropical storm that hit 30 seconds after we got back to the house we rented. The locals can tell by the wind when it's going to rain, so we learned to trust them and ask how much time we had to "get home." If we couldn't make it back, we would stay wherever we were and wait out the storm.

    I love that you had to duck under a stilted house to hide!

  3. A crush on Craig T Nelson is hilarious! :)

    The photos you took are incredible...I've always thought about a helicopter tour but Mr Fix It is afraid of heights and freaks out on a big plane...imagine what he'd be like on a heli? And on top of that, we've heard that those aren't totally safe when it comes to safety regulations and we saw a special on the accidents those things have...beautiful but don't think we'll ever do one :)

    I'm not sure why you were trying to climb a palm tree, but it's funny!

  4. Looks fantastic; I would have loved to have done that!

    We could have done a seaplane tour of the maldives but it was $2500!!!