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Kauai 2013 – Day 1

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The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is a truly impressive property!

“Where do people in Hawaii go for vacation?”

Well, I can assure you that Kauai is probably my #1 recommendation. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the islands, and have favorite things about each and every one. I’m a Maui girl myself, and my favorite place in the entire world is Haleakala National Park, but there is something about Kauai that brings me and others from all over the world back to the Garden Isle for the chance to ‘get away’.

Now, what we got back from wasn’t truly a vacation – it was a press trip fully sponsored by our friends, the Kauai Visitor’s Bureau, so I will be detailing the accommodations and activities we were treated to over the six days we were there.  The theme of the trip was ‘romance’, and thus Ed and I treated it as a sort of “working-honeymoon-that’s-not-really-a-honeymoon-because-he-still-owes-me-a-real-one” – though Kauai would definitely be on the list of possibilities for when that finally happens!

That being said, let’s get to the trip recap: Our latest Kauai adventure began with a midday flight, which we rushed to after making a quick stop in Waikiki to hit up 2Chillies Swimwear shop in Waikiki for a cover-up shirt and tank top. The flight to Kauai on Hawaiian Airlines was quick and easy as usual, and we were met at the Lihue airport by Dara, who then drove us to our first hotel, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. Now, as a child of Hawaii who was fortunate to have had a dad who would travel inter-island for work and bring his family with him, I’ve been to numerous Hawaii resorts in my time, but the husband and I agreed that the Grand Hyatt Kauai was an exceptionally lovely resort.

A view of the gardens along the way to our room.

Our room featured a pretty ocean view and a Washlet toilet (which we’ve missed since Japan!)

After settling into our room, the first thing we did was seek out lunch, as we’d managed to miss breakfast that morning. Knowing we had a welcome reception in the early evening, we didn’t want to eat too big a meal, so we decided to grab food at the The Dock, the hotel’s poolside restaurant.

The Dock had a classic lunchtime menu. The prices weren’t bad, but the portions were on the smaller side, though that suited our needs! Service was quite good, too.  Yes, my phone screen is cracked.

Ed was happy to be finally eating. “Take a photo of me so I look like my head is huge!”

After lunch, we decided to walk around the property a bit. The beach in front of the resort is called “Shipwreck’s Beach“, and because of the shore break, the water is more suited for experienced surfers. However, there is plenty of sand for relaxing on, and a hiking trail that starts at the beach.

Looking east on Shipwreck’s Beach.

Looking west on Shipwreck’s beach, with one of the Hyatt’s rentable cabana’s visible on the right.

The Grand Hyatt Kauai’s saltwater lagoon, serving as a alternative to swimming in the ocean during the rougher winter months.

Once we were done exploring the property’s oceanfront, we headed back to our room to get ready for the Kauai Visitor’s Bureau’s outdoor welcome reception.  We were treated to a delicious buffet, great Hawaiian music, and a welcoming oli chant by Stella Burgess, the director of Hawaiian culture and community relations at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.  I was too (and it was a bit too dark) to take photos of our dinner, but I did manage this one shot as the moon and sun set together:

Looking west toward the last pink cloud in the sky, and the waxing crescent moon.

On our walk back to our room after saying goodnight to everyone, I was grumbling about my wearing heels, but then looked up and was treated to the clearest night sky I’d seen in months. Kauai has a limited amount of light pollution due to efforts to avoid confusing young seabirds flying at night, so it is easily one of the best islands for shooting the night sky. We shed our classy dinner garb for more practical clothing, and went out into the night to shoot a bit around the property before the clouds rolled in.

The main building shot from one of the many pathways. There was a luau going on at the lawn to the left.  Yes, my lens was quite dirty.

The salt water lagoon by night. This is one exposure, with only a few spots of blow highlights!

The Grand Hyatt Kauai’s Tidepools restaurant by night. This is an HDR shot.

Finally, after offloading images and getting our gear ready for the next day’s adventure, we went to sleep. Click here to see Day 2!

Read about our previous Kauai trip here!

Kauai 2013 Day 2

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