Last Sunday (November 3, 2013), I returned from a nine-day trip to the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Quite frankly, the trip was awesome. Kauai is an amazing place with a perfect combination of awe-inspiring scenery, lush, tropical foliage, nearly perfect weather, endless recreational opportunities, and a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere devoid of the seedy party culture you’ll find on many other tropical islands (in the Caribbean, for example). And then there are the smells. Kauai smells! Sometimes it’s the pungent odor of fermenting fruits, but mostly it’s the sweet aroma of whatever tropical foliage happens to be prevalent in that particular area. I’ll never forget all of Kauai’s different smells.

While I can certainly continue to wax poetic on Kauai’s amazing characteristics, instead I’ll dive into some details about the trip. We kept ourselves very busy. In fact, I didn’t see the beach in front of the hotel (Kalapaki Beach) during the daytime until the fourth day of the trip because we were always out exploring the island.

We visited beaches (Lumahai, Kalapaki, Pu’u Poa, Lawai, Ke’e, Kekaha, Shipwreck and Hanakapiai), hiked 22 miles of trails (Awa’awapuhi and parts of Kalalau twice), went on a Na Pali Coast sunset dinner cruise, visited roadside attractions (Waimea Canyon, Kalalau Lookout, Pu’u o Kila Lookout, Wailua Falls, Opaeka’a Falls and Kilauea Lighthouse), visited resorts (Kauai Marriott, Grand Hyatt Kauai and St. Regis Princeville), golfed (Kauai Lagoons), visited towns (Lihue, Kapa’a, Poipu, Waimea, Kilauea, Princeville and Hanalei), watched sunsets (from Kekaha Beach, Ke’e Beach, the Kalalau Trail, Shipwreck Beach and the Pacific Ocean), ate at cool restaurants (The Beach House, Duke’s Barefoot Bar and Bubba’s Burgers), and even fell asleep on a beach one night (Kalapaki Beach).

There were certainly plenty of things we wanted to do that we did not do (Kayaking, more hiking, possibly a helicopter tour, perhaps surfing and paddleboarding, et al.), but I have no regrets. This trip was about as perfect as a vacation can get. Enjoy the photos!

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