Weddingmoon in Hawaii - March 2004

Day 0 - Monday, March 1st
We departed DFW and arrived in Honolulu. We departed Honolulu and arrived at Lihue, Kaua'i. We got our rental car from Thrifty, a purple Dodge Stratus. We picked up some sandwich stuff and beverages at the local Wal-Mart then headed, through the pouring rain, to our rental cottage, fearing we were lost the entire drive.  In short, we arrived.

Day 1 - Tuesday, March 2nd
We met our wedding planner at the Pono market, a tiny shop in Kapaa, where we obtained our marriage license. (While there we met two 90 year old people who were also getting their license. They were a sweet old couple and invited us to their upcoming nuptials.) Due to the rain that Kaua'i had been experiencing, our wedding location was changed to Hanalei Bay, as the wedding planner feared the bridges leading to our original location would be closed. She also mentioned that Hanalei Bay had a pavilion where we could be married in case it started raining again.

We wanted to go find a private location on Hanalei Bay for our wedding, so we decided to drive there and look around. Much to my dismay, the skies were dark gray, the water choppy, and the pavilion that had been mentioned by the wedding planner resembled the back of a prison cell. The only nice thing about the beach would have been the free the pavilion was a hangout for local beach bums. Kris saw my disappointment and decided we'd check out neighboring beaches to see if we could find a better one. We went to the Princeville Resort, where Hideaway Beach was located, and to Anini Beach, where we decided to hold the ceremony. We called the wedding planner to let her know of the change in our plans, and went back to Hanalei to grab a bite at Bubba's Burgers, before heading back to our lodging to get ready.

*A little side note here...many of the Kaua'i beaches allow camping. Anini is one such beach. Luckily for us, the beach is closed for camping on Tuesdays due to cleaning and general maintenance, and so it lacked crowds.

We met with the wedding planner, who acted as our witness, her husband, our photographer, and our minister, a Hawaiian spiritual leader, at 5:00pm. A few pictures were taken before the ceremony began so the photographer could familiarize himself with our digital camera. The ceremony began with the minister speaking of the sanctity of marriage and giving us a native Hawaiian wedding blessing. Kris and I said our own vows (and, while he'd probably kill me for saying so, I swear you would think these were vows from some incredibly romantic movie...they were that fantastic), exchanged rings, exchanged leis, and were pronounced married. Oddly enough, it didn't really hit me that we were (getting) married until the minister said to Kris "You may now kiss your wife".

I stood there through the entire ceremony, saying vows, etc... but until then, it was like I was watching the ceremony, not participating in it. Just one of those funny little things. While taking pictures afterward, we got a few congratulations by people walking lady even stopped and asked to take our picture. (I'd like to think we were the highlight of her vacation.)

For those of you who might care about these things, I followed the traditional something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue:

Old - Terri made my bouquet and used part of her veil to make a ribbon on the handle.
New - My wedding dress and pearl-lined flip-flops
Borrowed - Linda was nice enough to let me borrow her pearl earrings
Blue - My bouquet had some blue ribbon on it, and I had my toenails painted blue.

Before we had left, Wayland had told Kris that we were to go out for a nice wedding dinner. We decided on Zelo's, a restaurant in Hanalei's Chiang Young Village. Complimentary garlic bread was shared, and Kris and I found our dinners to be wonderful. We splurged and got a fantastic dessert called a Mud Pie.

The biggest mistake of our trip, however, had to be walking around the Hanalei shopping center after dinner. We were the unfortunate victims of Stanley that evening, a salesman of horrible proportions. He just wouldn't stop talking. (Stanley was one of those guys who set you up with an hour-and-a-half time-share lecture so you can get 2-for-1 deal coupons to local amusements/attractions.) Thankfully, my bladder was on my side for once and required that I seek out a bathroom. The one in the local shopping center was closed for the evening, so I actually had to go across the street to find one. When I got back from the restroom, Kris was still there. He couldn't have been actually interested in what the guy was saying, could he? (This is why Terri's advice should always be followed...say you are leaving tomorrow...always say you're leaving tomorrow.)  We were finally able to break away and head to our Riverview Retreat.

Day 2 - Wednesday, March 3rd
We had decided to take Wednesday easy. We were planning on doing a boat ride/snorkeling on Thursday and kayaking on Friday, and we didn't want to exhaust ourselves, so we found some local sites to explore. One such spot was the Maniniholo dry cave across from Ha'ena beach park. You are driving along the road, which is bordered by ocean on one end and green tropical mountains on the other, and right in the middle of a massive mountain is a huge hole, the Kaua'i dry cave. Naturally, we also checked out the beach. Moving further west near Lumaha'i beach the Waikanaloa wet cave was found. Before reaching this destination, you had to pass through a stream. (The Hawaiians were apparently too lazy to build another bridge for this one, which, while small, could cause major problems during heavy rain.)

The furthest point west capable of being reached by road is Ke'e beach, where we spent much of Wednesday. Walking the length of the beach, until reaching residences, we made many a discovery. From beautiful coral that was washed up to a Monk Seal sleeping on the sand, an endangered animal I might add, Ke'e was quite nice to explore. We also saw one of the most interesting couples I've ever seen in my life. It sure was funny to see a full-grown man with his hair up in a pony-tail scurry up a tree to chop down coconuts. His barefoot wife/girlfriend was on the jagged rocks below barefoot holding an infant. Crazy stuff.

We later went shopping at the shopping area in Hanalei (no Stanley, phew) and bought Shaved Ice to enjoy. We also, with a bit of trouble, finally located a post office in which to mail the postcards we had written out. Kris made an executive decision to just have dinner at our suite. We dined on leftovers from the evening before and relaxed in our private hot tub.

Day 3 - Thursday, March 4th
We had planned a boat ride on the Na Pali Explorer for Thursday, and, being it was on the opposite side of the island, we had to wake up and leave pretty early to get there in time. We would soon find out that our boat for the day was the Na Pali Explorer II which boasts "superior comfort on the largest boat of its type in the US. - a 48', 35 passenger Explorer class adventure craft featuring smooth ride quality and the lowest seasickness rate on the island." I was pretty worried about the weather, as we awoke to someone dark skies on our side of the island, but we called into the boat company and all things were a go. When we got to the Na Pali Explorer headquarters, there were pastries and banana bread waiting for us, as well as some morning beverages. After checking in, we were all instructed on how to get to the boat dock to begin our trip.

The boat ride started decent enough, with our captain, Rob, giving a bit of Kaua'i history and a view of a decent sized sea turtle. Nerve-racking, however, was the knowledge that as we were heading out, many other boats were heading back to shore. Pretty close to the beginning on the trip began our 45 minutes of snorkeling. They anchored the boat near a sugar cane factory, and explained a bit about snorkeling...making sure to remind everyone that we were in the ocean, and there are things that bite in the ocean. While we were all sitting there waiting for snorkel gear to be passed out and listening to Captain Rob's spiel, I experienced my first touch of queasiness. Luckily, pretty soon we were able to jump off the boat and begin snorkeling.

While visibility wasn't perfect, we were able to see quite a few pretty fish. The yellow and black Angelfish were the easiest to spot. We were near a small bed of coral that had many neat discoveries, if you were patient. Our snorkel time was over before we knew it, and we were all washing off with the hose at the back of our boat. (They called it a freshwater shower.) Huddling beneath towels, we all faced the chill of the wind as our boat began heading toward the Na Pali Coast. It wasn't long before there were ooohs and ahhhs heard throughout our boat. We had found an area filled with Spinner Dolphins. I love marine life, and dolphins are truly my favorite animals. It was so amazing to see them in their natural habitat. Here they were, in an enormous family group, swimming around in pairs, threes, and even in sixes. A few would show off and jump in the air. When they got pretty comfortable with our being there, one jumped into the air and showed off his spin. It was amazing. We also got to see a Humpback breech.

The captain made an executive decision as we went toward the Na Pali coast to turn around. Due to the weather, he felt as though going forward would be dangerous. He offered us free t-shirts as a consolation. The waves were quite rough at this point and Kris got pretty drenched. I got my fair share of water in the face too. We headed back to the dolphin location for lunch. After they broke out the food, I was forced to go to the back of the boat. Smelling the food was just a little too harsh on my weak stomach. Kris was concerned for me and kept coming back to check on me in my nauseous state. He told me that whenever I passed by, people looked nervous. It made me chuckle. In the end, I held onto my innards.

After we docked, about an hour and a half prior to schedule, Kris and I walked around and looked at a few of the shops in the town. We also stopped for Shaved Ice at Jo Jo's. After enjoying our snowcones, we headed toward the Na Pali HQ where we received our free shirts. One of the guys that had been a helper on the boat asked me if I was feeling better and if I'd like lunch, since I couldn't eat on the boat. I declined his offer (as I had had Kris grab a sandwich for me for that exact reason). We changed from our swimsuits into our new shirts and some shorts and headed for the road that lead to the Waimea Canyon.

The Waimea Canyon road was quite a curvy road. Kris seemed certain that as we ventured up the mountain we wouldn't see any of the roosters/chickens that have populated the island.

*Side note here. There is an overabundance of chickens on Kaua'i. Kris kept pointing out each rooster we saw on our trip. He also made a point to take pictures of them. Each time he'd see another one he'd yell out "Rooster" as though he'd never seen one in his life. What puzzles me is with so many chickens running around, why isn't chicken cheaper?

Driving back down the canyon made me sick to my stomach again.

On the way home we decided to stop in Lihue to eat and shop at Hilo Hattie's. Almost every brochure we got in Hawaii mentioned Hilo Hattie's, so I felt it necessary to stop in. Good thing too, as I found a t-shirt there that I liked and Kris was able to buy himself a ukulele. We asked the cashier for a dinner recommendation, and, with her recommendation, went to JJ's Steak & Seafood for dinner. They have an upstairs formal steak and seafood menu and downstairs casual dining. We decided to eat downstairs since I couldn't find anything I would eat on the upstairs menu. I ordered a chicken teriyaki sandwich and fries. Kris said the waitress made a face when I ordered it. Kris ordered the coconut shrimp. The waitress said, "good choice." When our meals came out, I had a plate full of food. Kris got six pieces of shrimp. I was really hungry, and my meal tasted really good. Poor Kris wasn't too fond of the shrimp, and it didn't come close to filling him up. Luckily for him, I got full and was able to share the rest of my meal with him. He later commented that my meal, the one that the waitress seemed to disapprove of, was better than his. We decided to head back for some R&R. We'd had a busy and tiring day.

Day 4 - Friday, March 5th
While we were on the Na Pali Explorer, one of the guides suggested snorkeling at Lydgate Park. We decided to forgo the kayaking we had planned and go snorkeling instead. We headed for Lydgate Park, and, while sunscreening up, saw a couple that had been on the boat with us the day before. Kris and I had left our snorkel set down in Houston from when Terri and I went on the cruise, and so Kris had bought another set from Wal-Mart before we left. Unfortunately, the set was a piece of junk, so, after trying for quite some time to make my mask work, I gave up. Instead I headed for the car and amused myself by taking pictures of Kris snorkeling. Regardless of whether you were able to snorkel or just walk around in the water, Lydgate's visibility was fantastic. You could see clear to the bottom of the ocean from where I was walking, and I got to see schools of huge fish, a few pretty yellow fish, and a bottom sucker. After Kris was finished snorkeling, we went to the restroom/shower to rinse off and change.

We noticed that we still had over an hour to kill before Kris's All-you-can-eat Shrimp and Steak for $11.99 began (from 3-6pm), so we headed over to the Coconut Marketplace, the biggest shopping center on Kaua'i. For the entire trip in Hawaii I had been eyeing the black pearl jewelry they have. These pearls are quite pretty, and, due to Linda's loan, I have become quite partial to pearls. Unfortunately, the black pearl is also very expensive and generally only set in gold, not white gold. While walking around the Coconut Marketplace in Kapaa, Kris convinced me to stop at pretty much each shop/booth and see what their selection was like. I rarely have an interest in jewelry, so I thought I should take advantage of my interest and have a life-long souvenir of our Kaua'i vacation. The final stop we made, I found a gorgeous set of pearl earrings in a lavender color. They are set in 14k white gold and were quite reasonably priced, so I got them. It was off to the Wailua Family Restaurant for Kris.

After eating, we decided we would head toward Ke'e beach and see the sun set. When we got there the parking lot didn't seem as crowded as it had the time we'd gone before, but the beach was more crowded. We walked down the beach to find a good spot to watch the sunset and passed a wedding on our way. Kris and I plopped down in the shade at the beach to wait, and Kris took a bit of a nap.

He woke up and decided to go exploring in the woods. While he was gone, I watched a windsurfer struggle with his equipment. It was quite amusing. Kris came back full of bug bites. They hurt/itched so much he tried to bury his feet in the sand thinking it would help. He failed, but the sunset was gorgeous. While waiting I drew funny things in the sand. Kris drew his infamous Queetar character. Kris also found a sea urchin which he brought up the beach to show me. He put it in the sand, and it was really neat to watch him move. After a few pictures and a mini-movie, Kris set him free. After the sun set, we decided to go back to Riverview to clean up. We thought since we'd had a late lunch, we would just go eat dessert somewhere nice.

Bamboo Bamboo was the restaurant chosen for dessert. They had been nice enough to let me use their bathroom the night of the wedding, and I thought it looked like a nice place. We got this really neat padded corner booth and glanced at the menu. Kris was actually sort of hungry by then, so he proposed the idea of splitting an appetizer and dessert. After perusing the menu, we thought we'd get a brick-oven pizza instead of an appetizer. With the fresh bread that came complimentary and the huge pizza, we wound up not getting dessert, but it was quite delicious anyway. We spent our last night at the Riverview Retreat relaxing in the Jacuzzi.

Day 5 - Saturday, March 6th
Our final day on the beautiful island of Kaua'i came too fast. We showered and packed and were out of the Riverview Retreat by eleven, at the request of Ray. I had eaten our leftover pizza for breakfast; Kris finished off the last of our bread and had PB&J sandwiches.

Our destination was Poipu to see the Eucalyptus Tree Tunnel and Spouting Horn. We also stopped by the Poipu Shopping Village where we bought a card for Wayland, a baseball cap for my mother, and had intended on grabbing a burger. We didn't get the burger. Being we had time, Kris and I headed to Wailua Falls. Not only did we see the falls, but I got to pet a baby Hawaiian pig, pre-luau.

We returned our faithful Stratus and awaited our departure. We arrived back in DFW on Sunday at 5 am.

Two weeks later, Terri and Wayland graciously threw a wedding reception for us.  It was a big bbq reception complete with cake.  They are so amazing.  I'm a lucky lady to have them for in-laws.