Saturday, June 1, 2013


Kauai is the northernmost and most epic island on the great state of Hawaii. Fragrant Husband and I, both Hawaii virgins, celebrated our honeymoon there.

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt down in Poipu. The best part about this seaside hotel is the constant sound of the waves breaking against the shore. We kept our balcony door open all the time (which automatically shut off the airconditioning), so we caught all the ocean breezes and the magnificent KA-BLOOSH, KA-BLOOSH of the Pacific. The ocean lulled us to sleep every night.

The worst part about the Grand Hyatt is the fact they designed its 52 acres in such a way that rooms are far, far away from the important spots: the sea, the pools, the bars, the restaurants, and the front desk. One time, I was chilling in our private cabana (free with honeymoon!) and ordered a mimosa. The lady said I needed my ID. Instead of marching the long and winding path back to my room, I decided to be a sad, sober panda. That's how far away it was.

But that story has a happy ending -- Fragrant Husband generously volunteered to go back for my ID. So I had three mimosas to honor his noble sacrifice. Least I could do.

Here are some of the fun things to do in Kauai:

^ Hike the Na Pali coast! Drive up north and head all the way west on the 560. When you run over hippies and chicken families, park your car and get started on the trail. You'll have breathtaking vistas such as the one above. You may also pass out from heat exhaustion. This trail is not for the weak of muscle.

^ Plunge into the ocean! Kauai has tons of glorious beaches, all state-owned, apparently. The one in the photo is off the Na Pali trail. We plunged in to cool off before the return hike. Some places have a mix of fresh water and saltwater near the shore, because of the runoffs from the falls.

^ Rappel down a waterfall after kayaking! Observe my dutiful L-form. I would do that again.

^ Hang upside down on a zip line!

^ Ride an ATV! ATV stands for "all-terrain vehicle," and it's basically the steroid lovechild of a golf cart and a motorcycle. The point of the activity was to try to hit as many mud holes as possible.

While on the ATVs, we stopped to check out the field from Jurassic Park, where Dr. Grant and the kids flee from a Gallimimus stampede. The tour guide made us pose for a picture with a plastic dinosaur (see upper left, above). I think Fragrant Husband and I did the best job pretending to be terrified. He's the one in the right, pointing, and I'm gripping his arm and yelling.


Activities not pictured:
  • driving up to the Waimea Canyon, aka "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific"; 
  • going on a helicopter ride around the island; 
  • going on a boat ride with dolphins swimming right beside you; 
  • visiting ancient ruins; and 
  • shopping!

As for the food, well -- neither of us lost weight, let me tell you that. Kauai, and I imagine all of Hawaii, does fish really well. Most of the restaurants served the freshest fish that ever freshed. We had spectacular fish tacos, fish sandwiches, fish specials, sushi, and whatever else has fish in it.

Kauai also has a lot of cows, and one of our tour guides pointed to one and joked, "That cow is royalty! It's Sir Loin!" Har har. The point is, the cows there are grass-fed and delicious.

We went to a luau on Kilohana Plantation. Fragrant Husband took full advantage of the open bar. They would have lost so much money if they served whiskey. The food was great, especially the pineapple chicken. The performance started out cheesy, but the dances were amazing. The fire dancer was impressive. And the live singing and music throughout was damn good.


Numerous though they are, the chickens on Kauai were outnumbered by the Ilocanos. The Ilocos region, north of the Philippines, has a fine tradition of sending its men and women to Pacific islands. Everywhere I looked, my mother's people smiled back at me. I chatted with a bunch of them, and we shared our life stories, as per protocol.

According to census results, the population on Kauai is about 30% Caucasian, 30% Asian, and 25% biracial; and there are Pacific Islanders and Hispanics also! Quite a mix!

I blended right in. Most locals knew me as a proud daughter of Gabriela Silang at a glance. One lady at a restaurant told Fragrant Husband, "Filipinas are at the top of the hierarchy for wives! They're so loyal! They'll never leave you, even when times are tough!"

Well, mahalo! My wife cred seems solid!


In conclusion: KAUAI IS AWESOME!!!

Inevitably, I must end this blog post with a hearty, "Alooooo-HA!"