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Kauai 2013 – Day 3

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A red-tailed tropic bird soars over the Kilauea Wildlife Refuge.

A clear morning view from our room at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

On our last morning at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, we took it easy for once! After we woke up, we headed to the Seaview Terrace for a light breakfast. They offer delicious pastries, coffee, and other cafe-style breakfast options, and there were plenty of comfortable couches to relax on while enjoying the great weather.

The Seaview Terrace and its awesome ocean view.

After breakfast, we headed over to the luxurious Anara Spa for a ‘Lōkahi Garden Couple’s Massage’ session.  The spa itself is a truly impressive location, and I recommend browsing their website to see all it offers. I didn’t take many photos while in the spa out of respect for the privacy of the other guests, but here is one shot of Ed I took before our massage:

Mr. White, ready for relaxation.

Once we checked in for our appointment, we were taken to the separate men and women’s locker rooms, fully stocked with supplies such as lotions, hair products, and even hair brushes! There were stations offering fresh juices, fruit-infused waters, and granola, and we were given soft robes and slippers to change into.  I particularly loved the outdoor lava rock showers, as I dream of having something similar should we ever buy a house!  The spa’s winding paths through its gardens are gorgeous, with waterfalls and flowers lining the walkway. After leaving our things in the locker room, Ed and I met up again and we were escorted by our massage therapists to a private hut for 50 minutes of amazing, relaxing massages. I got chided a bit by my therapist for how badly I treat my back (because between hauling gear around and hunching in front of my computer all day, I really do!), and was encouraged to do more yoga and get massages more often…which I definitely can’t complain about! The massage therapists we had were wonderful, and I highly recommend browsing all the spa’s services. Lunchtime was coming up, so we went to check out, and headed to meet the rest of the group at Gaylord’s Restaurant at Kilohana. I must have been so hungry that I forgot to take photos, because I don’t have anything except this Instagram photo of my lunch:

Caprese, with vine ripe tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil, vanilla bean infused balsamic syrup...so delicious!

Caprese, with vine ripe tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil, vanilla bean infused balsamic syrup…so delicious!

After lunch, Ed and I headed out on our own for some adventuring. We were originally going to Kapaa to shoot, but I wasn’t thrilled with how the light was at the time, so instead we headed up to the Kīlauea Point Wildlife Refuge to the excitement of my inner wildlife-conservation geek! It was late in the season for albatross chicks, but there were several shearwater chicks visible in and around their burrows, and tons of red-footed boobies, red-tailed tropic birds, and Great frigatebirds were constantly soaring overhead. There were also several Nēnē geese around the parking lot! Having grown up doing the Nēnē surveys at Haleakala National Park, it was exciting to see these endangered birds all over the North side of Kauai.

The beautiful view from Kilauea Point.

The Kilauea Point lighthouse isn’t very tall, but was quite striking against the deep blue sky.

The lighthouse.

Moku’ae’ae Island off of Kilauea Point.

Great frigatebird chasing a red-footed booby. I love the expression!

Great frigatebird and the moon.

Red-tailed tropic bird.

Red-footed booby.

Napping shearwater chick near the Visitor’s Center.

 

Tree full of boobies?

Nēnē fight!

Nēnē goose grazing.

It was super hot at the wildlife refuge, so after I’d had my fill of wildlife photography, we drove past Princeville and Hanalei to the end of the road. However, parking up there was a nightmare, and since we didn’t have much time left before we needed to check into our next hotel, we turned around and came back. We did stop at a lookout to take this photo of the gorgeous taro fields:

One of my goals is to do nighttime photos of the taro fields with the Milky Way overhead. :)

Our next hotel was the glorious St. Regis Princeville Resort. Before our stay, Ed and I were unfamiliar with the St. Regis style of personalized service, and we often feel luxury is wasted on philistines like us, but the experience was phenomenal, so we highly recommend the hotel to anyone who has the means to splurge on it!

The lobby of the St. Regis Princeville.

The lobby area’s design is classically beautiful.

The St. Regis bar has a spectacular sunset view, while the Makana Terrace offers views of the mountains and waterfalls.

Our ocean view room – the view of Hanalei Bay was so gorgeous it looked fake.

Soon after we arrived at our room, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries were delivered!

 

I’m a sucker for awesome bathrooms, and this one looked like a palace.

One of my favorite features of the room was that if we wanted to, we could shower while enjoying the view of Hanalei Bay…

…or, with the flip of a switch, the shower is once again private! Science is neat!

Once we were settled in, we met with the rest of our group for a sushi dinner at Bouchons Hanalei in Hanalei’s Ching Young Village.  I recommend the Geisha martini and the Cheeky Monkey specialty sushi roll. Once again we were dining in a dimly-lit restaurant so I didn’t take food photos, but I assure you that it was quite delicious.

Bouchon’s was great, and we also recommend Hanalei Pizza, which is in the same complex.

Our massage at Anara Spa, lunch at Gaylord’s at Kilohana, our stay at the St. Regis Princeville Resort, and dinner at Bouchons Hanalei were sponsored by the Kauai Visitor’s Bureau.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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