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Kauai 2013 – Day 5

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View of Niihau at sunset from Waimea Beach.

Our last full day on Kauai began with a breakfast buffet at the Makana Terrace.  I love buffets for breakfast because I prefer savory to sweet carbohydrates as my first meal of the day, and this buffet allowed me to get a sweet little waffle as a dessert to top off my meal.

Breakast at the St. Regis’ Makana Terrace.

Delicious breakfast buffet options at the Makana Terrace.

Even cloudy views are gorgeous on Kauai!

After breakfast, we checked out of the St. Regis Princeville and headed toward Lihue for our helicopter tour with Jack Harter Helicopters.  I’d been looking forward to this activity in particular ever since it had been scheduled, as I have a long history with helicopters.  Unfortunately, when we got ourselves all checked in for the flight, it turned out some other guests hadn’t been accurate with their weights when making their reservations, so I was assigned a non-window seat for the sake of balancing the helicopter – even though we had specifically requested a no-doors flight for the sake of me taking photos! Luckily, my very sympathetic and understanding husband gave up his seat in order to re-arrange all the passengers in a way that would grant me a window seat – now I owe him another helicopter ride next time we’re on Kauai, which will hopefully be soon!

The sweet husband, after he gave up his seat to guarantee me a window seat for the sake of photos.

Now, as one would expect, I took a LOT of photos during the helicopter tour. However, I am not going to caption them all with the various locations – just sit back, scroll through, and enjoy…and then go visit Kauai and Jack Harter Helicopters to get the real tour with all the information! ;)  This was the 60-minute tour, though the company also offers a 90-minute option, which I may have to invest in next time.

Remnants of the Hawaiian villages that lived in these valleys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite the on-and-off rain, the helicopter tour was absolutely breathtaking! I was sad when it was over, but it was time to pile in the group van and drive down to Waimea, where we were staying for our final Kauai night. Our lodging was the Aston Waimea Plantation Cottages, a lovely cluster of authentic plantation cottages tucked away next to the beach. The one we stayed in had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and a full kitchen.

 

 

After we unpacked our stuff, we decided to take a dip in the pool before dinner.  Even though it was cloudy, the pool was warm and a great way to relax in the afternoon.

The pool with the beach view at the Waimea Plantation Cottages.

Once we were all done with the pool, we showered off and got ready for dinner – but because we were early, we took to the black sand beach adjacent to the property to watch the sun set behind Niihau, the Forbidden Isle.

Black sand beaches are always awesome, but they are even better with dramatic clouds!

A boat sailing into the beam of light coming down.

After the sun set, we headed to the main building for a porch dinner, catered by the amazing Chef Mark Oyama of Contemporary Flavors Catering. (The Waimea Plantation Cottages’ own dining option is currently under renovations)  I used to be really good about photographing my food, but as I get older, I’ve been putting down my camera more and just enjoying the food and wine given to me. Even though we’d had another amazing dinner the night before, this one was just as, if not more, spectacular.  For anyone planning on getting married at the Cottages, I highly recommend having Chef Oyama catering the dinner!

 

First appetizer was "a play on breakfast"...and while I wish I could remember the components, I was done documenting the food after consuming this - everything was too delicious!

First appetizer was “a play on breakfast”…and while I wish I could remember the components, I was done documenting the food after consuming this – everything was too delicious!

After two days of rainy weather, the clouds finally cleared enough for me to enjoy Kauai’s starry skies. On the way back to our cottage, I stopped to take a few night scenes before heading to bed.

Our helicopter tour with Jack Harter Helicopters, and our stay and dinner at the Aston Waimea Plantation Cottages were sponsored by the Kauai Visitor’s Bureau.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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