10 Tips for Kauai Travel

We got back from an awesome vacation in Kauai about a week ago! This was my third trip to Hawaii, but my first time on the island of Kauai. The past two visits were to Maui. Maui is great for families – there are plenty of sandy beaches and activities to enjoy. Kauai, on the other hand, is smaller and less commercialized. The landscape is unbelievably lush and hiking is amazing on Kauai. I’ve come up with 10 tips to make the most of your visit.

1. Rent a convertible to enjoy the scenery! Be sure you know how to put the top up quickly in case of sudden showers… And back down for subsequent rainbows!

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Double rainbow!

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2. Stay in Poipu on the South shore, where the weather is sunnier than the North shore and sunrises are spectacular.

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We loved our stay at the Grand Hyatt, but a condo would be a more budget friendly option next time.

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3. Bring a blender. There’s a Costco and Walmart on the island and lots of roadside fruit stands for stocking up on smoothie ingredients. This will save money on dining out, since food on Kauai is expensive.

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I made that pineapple smoothie in our hotel room!

4. Hike the Kalalau trail to Hanakapiai falls. This was my favorite hike on the island! It starts out with 2 miles along cliffs overlooking the ocean and continues for 2 more miles inland through lush jungle. It’s like the garden of Eden. Take a dip under the 300 foot waterfall before hiking back out.

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We found a kitten in the jungle!

5. Have a drink at the St. Regis Princeville overlooking Hanalei Bay. This resort is very ritzy! You’ll feel fancy sipping on a cocktail here.

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6. Take a sunrise beachside yoga class or a killer interval training class with Ani at the Anara Spa. Getting a workout early in the morning will help you fully relax and enjoy being on island time the rest of the day.

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This trainer is 67 and legendary! She’s even on a t-shirt.

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7. Hike near Waimea Canyon. Check out the lookout at the very end of the diet road!

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8. Hike the sleeping giant trail for amazing views of the coconut coast.

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9. Take a cliffside nature walk at Mahaulepu and look for the sinkhole.

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10. After all the hiking, relax on the beach or beside one of the Grand Hyatt’s swimming pools. The Hyatt’s pools are amazing! Pools are connected by a lazy river and 150 foot water slide. At the bottom of the series of pools, you can relax by the salt water lagoon. Even if you don’t stay at the Hyatt, be sure to check out their pool!

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Colby and I loved the island of Kauai! We can’t wait to go back.

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Anniversary Dinner in Berkeley

After the last time I posted, Colby and I flew on a red eye flight from Kauai to Los Angeles and drove for 8 hours to Northern California. We made this drive on our 2 year anniversary! It was a rough drive after getting virtually no sleep on the flight, but I’m glad we got to spend the whole day together! Last year we were apart on our anniversary.

The day was made much better by meeting up for dinner with one of my best friends and her boyfriend. They took us to a wonderful restaurant in Berkeley, Gather. Gather is described as the “omnivore’s solution” and “a Micheal Pollan book come to life” because the food served is locally sourced and sustainably farmed. Our meal was beautiful and delicious!

The appetizer:

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It looked like a work of art!

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The pizzas were yummy too. I especially liked the sausage pizza with egg, but the zucchini pizza was delicious too!

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Yum yum yum! My friend never fails to pick an incredible restaurant to take us to in the Bay Area.

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After dinner we headed over to Ici for dessert and Jupiter for live music and silly conversation. I can’t believe we didn’t take any pictures together on this trip! I must have been delirious from lack of sleep. Here’s a shot of us from a few years ago when she visited me in Reno:

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This girl always makes me smile :)

The anniversary dinner Colby and I shared with our friends at Gather was only part of our trip. I’ll be posting a bit more about our travels to Kauai, Huntington Beach, and Reno. The vacation felt like a honeymoon! Being married to this man has been awesome, and now that he is finally finished with school, I am looking forward to more adventures together.

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Elevation Training Part 2

This afternoon and evening were awesome. I made lots of new Camp Rhino friends. We enjoyed a relaxing BBQ lunch and planned out revisions to the morning obstacle course. Next, we tackled the task of building obstacles and marking a trail through the forest.

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After a long day, we came back for hot showers, hammock time, and dinner. I loved that dinner was a huge family meal! And I felt very blessed to be the one to pray over our meal. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to be here this weekend with such nice people and beautiful surroundings.

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Yurt in for a treat!

I’ve decided that Colby and I are definitely coming back here for a relaxing weekend trip!

Check out these sweet yurts (tents).

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And the rooms are gorgeous too- just like a model home! The owner has put almost a million dollars into renovating Summit Mountain Lodge over the past 6 months. The outcome is a stunning fitness destination resort!

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Enough relaxing already! It’s time for some bootcamp tough training with Camp Rhino! Up next are a few hours of mystery adventure followed by picnic lunch (I’ll show you pictures) and then more adventures!

How to travel on a sugar detox

During this mystery trip, several people are assigned to cook each meal. I feel a little embarrassed bringing some of my own food and snacks for the sugar detox, but I think it will help my performance in the training tomorrow. I don’t want to waste 5 good days of sugar detox, either! Here’s what I brought:

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Green apples, chicken sausage, veggies, string cheese, pumpkin seeds, almonds, eggs, more veggies, And paleo bread for breakfast sandwiches.

This evening was my first major craving challenge… Pizza!!! SO MUCH PIZZA. And that happens to be my favorite food.

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Guess what, though? I stayed strong and had some chicken and asparagus instead. It was hard to pass up the pizza, but I’ll be happy about it tomorrow.

I’m also really glad that my bunk mate, Carrie, brought her vitamix along! I’ll definitely be having a green smoothie with breakfast before our grueling workout.

So far I hear rumors that we will be doing an 8 hour long workout and eating some MRE’s along the way. Good thing I packed snacks.

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The Five Love Languages

Colby and I shared our second ever Valentine’s Day together this year! I can’t believe we’ve been married for six months and this is only our second time celebrating this holiday as a couple. It feels like we’ve been together for much longer. Last year, Colby took me out to a (terrible) Italian restaurant at Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson. I remember I had some overpriced chicken that looked like roadkill and tasted about as dry as roadkill probably is. I swear, it was just a flattened chicken with tread marks on it. The dessert was almost unmentionably phallic. Picture it: a chocolate lump, dragging behind it a streak of red raspberry sauce, with some stewed cherries hanging out at the end like testicles. Yum?

This year’s Valentine’s Day was much better! We spent it at Green Valley Ranch again, but this time got a room for the night at the resort. I wanted to show Colby how much I love him, so I got inspired by Gary Chapman’s five love languages. The love languages are the primary ways in which different people receive love. Different people feel loved through different ‘languages.’ I decided to play it safe by using ALL FIVE!

#1- Gifts:

Colby’s gifts were DELICIOUS homemade baked goods from our fundraiser bake sale at work. Check out the goodies!

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This only represents a small fraction of the treats my co-workers brought in. Colby actually baked some very tasty cookies for the bake sale too. Here’s the recipe; definitely make these if you can decipher it:

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Colby’s hershey kiss cookies were SO good, I ended up buying back all the leftovers Smile I guess I sortof gifted him the cookies he made… does that mean I re-gifted? He also got one of everything else at the bake sale; I couldn’t resist!

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Does it surprise you at all that I ended up eating all of these treats besides the snickerdoodle? I should have known I wouldn’t be able to control myself! Colby is the kind of guy who snacks on grape tomatoes at night. What kind of guy is that? An adorably healthy one, says the dietitian with a killer sweet tooth Winking smile As for me, I really loved the tiramisu, marble cake, s’mores cupcake, peanut butter cup cupcake, cheesecake… sigh… Stay tuned for a post about “binge control.”

#2 Affirmation

I wrote Colby a love letter to remind him that he’s awesome. I think he knows he is, but I wanted to be sure!

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#3 Acts of Service

Colby got two acts of service: I returned the stupid overdue DVD from Blockbuster Express that he had rented 3 days before. We never even watched the movie he rented, Puncture. Returning the DVD was a huge pain because the Blockbuster box ended up being broken, so I had to call customer service. Oh the things we do for people we love…

The second act of service was cooking a surprise dinner for him. It was lots of fun to put together! I bought a Valentine’s Day Pizza Kit from Sammy’s Woodfired pizza, Colby’s favorite pizzeria.

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Inside, I found instructions for making a tasty love pizza:

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…And all the basic ingredients needed in perfect portions for a hungry husband:

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I added some extra ingredients of my own to recreate Colby’s favorite BBQ chicken pizza…

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Delicious!! I made a spinach salad to keep myself from attacking HIS dinner.

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It was actually pretty satisfying… I guess.

#4 Quality Time

After dinner, we were excited to get to the Green Valley Ranch to check into our stay-cation room! Colby skipped all of his classes on Wednesday and I had the day off from work, so we got to fully enjoy our time together. The next morning, we hurried down to the fitness center and spa. The Green Valley Ranch spa is rated among the top 3 in Las Vegas! I wasn’t surprised after experiencing a long morning there.

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Colby swam in the heated lap pool while I took a relaxing yoga class. We had a bit of time apart when we were each enjoying the amenities in the men’s and women’s spa areas: sauna, steam room, waterfall showers… Aside from that, we spent almost every minute of the day together, enjoying mimosas, brunch, and each other’s company.

#5 Physical Touch

Don’t worry, I won’t get graphic here. I was actually very sick with a sinus infection on Valentine’s Day this year, so coming in physical contact with Colby was a bad idea. I’ve been so contagious that probably even high-fiving him would have gotten him sick. Sigh. I was super lame and fell asleep as soon as we got to our very spacious and luxurious room. Of course, slipping into a Nyquil-induced coma was not the plan for a romantic Valentine’s Day evening, but it was a necessary sacrifice to enjoy a full day of activities the next morning.

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I think Colby really enjoyed all of the love languages! See how happy he looks?

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Awww… and he got all dressed up, thinking we were going to go out for dinner! What are your top love languages? Do you prefer to be loved with gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, or physical touch? I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s day with someone sweet!