This is post #3 in my series all about our honeymoon! If you haven’t already, make sure you read the other posts first – they’re listed chronologically here 🙂
Day 3 – Monday, February 5
After a long day of travel the day before, we were ready and excited to get up and explore Hawaii! And when we woke up, we were shocked to find THIS outside our hotel window:
The place completely TRANSFORMED in the day time! It was so dark the night before that we didn’t even know our little lanai had this stunning view of the mountains AND the ocean. We were so surprised and in awe when we opened the blinds – amazing!!!
We got up and going pretty quickly after picking up a little breakfast at our hotel! I mentioned this in my day 2 post, but we were staying at the cutest little locally-owned hotel. They had free breakfast every day and lots of beach equipment and stuff for free too, and everybody was so nice. We loved it there so much!
After our first breakfast we headed out to get second breakfast.
The place we went was this adorable little hut aptly named Kalapaki Beach Hut. It was literally walking distance from our hotel so we decided to go check it out.
It was also bright yellow so it really stood out amongst all the greenery! It had a gigantic menu that we took a long time looking at:
For breakfast/lunch, Chris got a breakfast egg sandwich and I got a burger.
Both were delicious but we particularly loved the egg sandwich!! They had a cute little upstairs area where you could go sit and look out at the ocean.
We had no plans for a while so we decided to just drive around and explore the island a little bit. It was our first full day in Hawaii and we were really in awe of everything and just kinda wanted to take it all in. We found some cute little beachfront parks in the area, including one right across the street from our hotel which was stunning!
Something nobody told us about Kauai before we visited was that the island is covered in…chickens?? Seriously, they’re everywhere! We thought it was so odd that there were just wild roosters and chickens crawling all over the place, but we would find out the story behind that in a bit. For now, more beach:
Finding an actual coconut cracked open on the ground was really something – between the beach, wild chickens and coconuts it felt like we were on Survivor haha
We headed to another beach a little ways away just to check it out and kill some time before our afternoon plans.
Before long it was time to head back towards our hotel and a little further, actually going back to the airport…because it was time for our helicopter tour of Kauai!!!!!!!!
Doing a helicopter tour in Hawaii was something I was most excited about for our honeymoon. It was pretty much a once in a lifetime kind of activity that we figured would be perfect for this special occasion. We were graciously gifted this as part of our honeymoon registry – thank you to everyone who contributed so that we were able to have this unforgettable experience!!
However, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing right from the start. We ended up getting a bit tied up in traffic on the way back and stuck in some bad weather (it was pouring rain) so when we arrived just a few minutes later than planned, all helicopter tours were put on a weather hold. Basically, for everyone’s safety they had to wait until the skies cleared up and the pilots gave the ok for us to go up in the air.
I was really scared at this point that we weren’t going to be able to go. I had read about the possibility of this happening in some Trip Advisor reviews, and everyone always said they got a refund or were able to reschedule for a different day – but we were only going to be on Kauai for one day, so rescheduling wasn’t really an option! We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best…and after about a half hour, we were given the all clear!!! We were soooo excited!
After a safety video and some instructions, we were out and ready to board our helicopter!!!!
They grouped all of the parties together in a strategic way and had us sit in specific assigned seats so the helicopters had an even weight distribution. Lucky for me I got a window seat!!
Once we were inside we were even more excited!!! We were only with one other group, a family of 5 that were really nice and equally excited to be there. Before long we were all loaded up and ready to go!
Once loaded on they gave us our headphones and buckled us in. Our pilot was an awesome guy named Tony who was thrilled to be there with us, and gave us some more safety tips before we left. He also explained how to use our microphones to ask any questions we might have on the flight.
Finally it was time to take off and the whole thing was SO unbelievable!!! Words truly cannot describe how insanely cool it was. We started off flying up and away from the airport. The initial sensation of flying was just unreal! Tony gave us a few minutes to collect ourselves before introducing himself again and then explaining how long he’s been flying and doing tours.
Tony also asked us each of our names and where we were from, little ice breaker type questions to get us used to using the microphones. He also would use our names later in the trip to make sure we could all see everything – it was neat when he would say “okay Kaela and Chris you guys see it ok on your side?” I really loved it!
We flew away from the airport and almost immediately we were over sprawling, gorgeous mountains. I especially loved seeing the little rivers and waterfalls – it doesn’t even look real!
This little spot with 5 different waterfalls is called the Five Sisters!
I love these photos that capture how we were IN the clouds – it was so incredible!!!
Tony told us lots of fun facts as we were flying over everything, pointing out cool views and teaching us about the island. He even mentioned the infamous chickens!! He explained that during Hurricane Iniki back in 1992, many chicken coops were destroyed and the chickens let loose on the island. Since then they’ve taken on a legacy of their own and can be found all over Kauai!
Next up was one of my favorite parts and probably the most breathtaking sight I’ve ever seen – we flew around to the coastline and this STUNNING view:
Unreal!!!! How is this a real place!!!!
We also flew a bit out over the water where we saw some whales!
Tony also told us how this mountainous coastline makes it impossible to drive around Kauai – it cuts off the top part of the island so there are no roads going fully around!
THIS LOOKS LIKE A POSTCARD!!!!! A STILL FROM A MOVIE!!!!
Speaking of movies…the next place that we flew over in particular has been featured in a LOT of movies:
It’s Jurassic Park!!! In real life!!!
Tony told us that this particular valley and lots of other things we saw were actually featured in a lot of movies, including Jurassic World, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean and a lot more.
We flew in and out of the valleys and Tony said that it was actually a perfect time to do this tour – because of the rain earlier there were a ton of tiny waterfalls that were flowing that didn’t always have water in them! The rain that almost didn’t let us go ended up adding to the experience even more.
Before we knew it, we started heading back towards the airport. I actually thought the tour length (about an hour) was just about perfect. I think any longer and I would have started to get an upset stomach haha
And just like that we were back on the ground!! After they unloaded us the guides took photos of each of us with the helicopter in the background which was cool.
In case you can’t tell – the whole experience was absolutely UNBELIEVABLY wonderful. Words truly cannot express how amazing it was and photos do not do it justice. I am so glad that we were able to do something so magnificently awesome. The company we toured with was Blue Hawaiian Helicopters and I would wholeheartedly recommend them. They were extremely professional and helpful and though we (read: Chris) was a bit uneasy about the whole riding in a helicopter thing, they made sure we always felt safe and secure about the whole experience. Our guide Tony was fabulous and made sure we all had a great time. The experience was a splurge for sure but I am SO glad we did it. Blue Hawaiian offers tours of other islands too and if given the chance if we ever return to Hawaii I would not hesitate to book them again!
After our tour we headed back inside where they had video of our tours available for purchase, and a spot to leave a review or note for your pilot. We did leave a nice review for Tony but did not opt to purchase our video – we thought our own photos and memories would suffice!
Once we finished we headed back out to our car and our hotel, and the skies had cleared up beautifully!
We didn’t have any major plans for the rest of the day until dinner, the helicopter tour obviously being the main thing – so we popped back over to Kalapaki Beach Hut for a quick snack.
There’s our little rental car. I had a smoothie and Chris grabbed a milkshake.
We got back to the room and I took some daytime pics of our adorable hotel:
Love our painted door!
Again this cuteness is the Garden Island Inn!
We had some time before dinner to go explore a little bit, so we regrouped and headed out to a little beach called Poipu Beach Park. The drive wasn’t too far and it was BEAUTIFUL outside:
Love that little rainbow!! Before long we were at the super cute beach.
There were a lot of people there but it wasn’t too crowded for us. We saw some people snorkeling, surfing, and lots just lounging around enjoying the perfect weather.
Humans weren’t the only ones we saw lounging…!! We stumbled upon this sign next to a roped off area:
And sure enough there were seals sleeping there on the beach!! Aaaaaaaahhhhhh
It was amazing!! How iconic that they just lay there and make everyone swim around them. Goals. It was really cool to see the dedication to keeping the seals and other animals safe from human influence. And I’ve definitely never seen sleeping seals on Florida beaches!!
We found a nice spot to take a quick dip in the water (which was freezing) and then just took in the spectacular scene.
I’m obsessed! It was so lovely.
As an aside: on this beach visit I got a chance to try out my new silicone ring as well! We purchased a set of these from Enso for our honeymoon so that we could still wear something when we went to the beach or other places where we didn’t want to damage our rings. I got the rose gold which is really pretty! I ended up using mine a lot and I’m glad I bought it for the trip.
Anyway! Once we’d gotten our fill we headed back to the car to get back to our hotel and prep for dinner!
One of the notorious roosters of Kauai!
And another scenic drive home ❤
At the hotel we took a little nap as we had some time before dinner. Once we were rested and ready we headed out to a super fun restaurant called Duke’s Kauai. In our planning and research people raved about this place so we decided to give it a go.
It was clearly very popular as it was quite busy when we arrived! We were seated quickly though – they were busy but efficient. The menu was full of fun choices:
And I had my eye on the drink menu as well:
We placed our orders and enjoyed taking the place in. The whole restaurant was beautiful and I particularly loved their cute chairs:
It was also an open air restaurant which I loved – it was so cool to me in Hawaii how many buildings were open like that. It was so refreshing and pleasant! I kept thinking how we could never do that in Florida because it’s so ungodly hot all the time.
I ordered this super cute and photogenic drink, the Lava Flow, which was blended fresh pineapple, coconut syrup, strawberries and rum.
It was delicious!!
Soon our entrees arrived! I ordered the Huli Huli Chicken and Chris got Kushiyaki, which was a selection of skewers with teriyaki sauce.
Both were SO good! I had read about the Huli Huli chicken before our trip and knew it was something I wanted to try, and it did not disappoint. I’m a sucker for a good sauce and it was so amazing 😭 Chris’s was great too – he loves teriyaki so of course he loved it!
Mid-meal I stumbled upon this bird of paradise hanging out in the ladies’ room:
And also discovered that the restaurant had great light for a ring photo:
After we enjoyed our dinner we had to try dessert! Duke’s has a specialty dessert that they’re known for called Hula Pie:
Literally every review I read about this place said you have to try the Hula Pie so we did! It’s got a chocolate cookie crust, macadamia nut ice cream, hot fudge, roasted macadamia nuts, and whipped cream. And it was MONSTROUS!!
It was SO delicious! I can see why people raved about this because we absolutely loved it. The hot fudge combined with the macadamia ice cream made a super tasty mix of hot and cold and we really loved it. It was a perfect end to a great meal.
Once we were stuffed full we headed out! We really loved Duke’s and it made a perfect “first night” meal in Hawaii (not counting our Pizza Hut from yesterday!!). The atmosphere was super cute and the food was great. We headed back to the hotel to settle in for the night. It was our second night there but already our last, and I was going to miss the super cute and quaint little place!
Even though it was still early, we were still getting used to the time difference so we fell asleep pretty quickly! We had to get back up and sleepily get ready for bed hahaha and I also had a midnight snack that consisted of finishing off our pizza. We got all our stuff packed up so we’d be ready to depart the next day and then we were off to sleep!
And that’s the end of day 3 of our honeymoon and our first full day in Hawaii! It was an amazing day and the helicopter tour remains one of my favorite parts of the trip, and one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. We were so excited to see what other fun adventures we would get up to in Hawaii…you’ll have to wait and see 🙂 Thank you for reading this post and I hope you’re enjoying this honeymoon series so far! Until next time,