Anyone who knows me or follows my travels probably expects that my honeymoon would be no different than other trips I take: full of adventure. As I mentioned in part one, honeymoons should be all about what the couple loves doing most. And for Mr. and Mrs. Strange, that is exploring.
For our honeymoon, we decided to island hop within Hawaii. Since we knew we were about to move soon, we kept the honeymoon small and affordable, yet still managed to pack in a lot of fun and adventure. We spent four days in Kaua’i and three days in Maui, and it will always be the most memorable trip of my life.
Now normally, I always tell people not to commit to someone until you’ve experienced traveling with them. Being in a new environment and dealing with the challenges that come with travel are always the ultimate tests of compatibility. And if you’re a travel aficionado like myself, making sure your partner is also a great travel buddy is obviously very important. So it may shock some of my readers to learn that this was my first time traveling with my husband, Judah. Yes, you heard that right. I married a man without knowing what kind of travel buddy he is. But over the last year, I have become very confident in how compatible and similar we are, and how much fun we have no matter what we are doing, so I was certain traveling together wouldn’t be an issue. Since travel is such a big part of my life and who I am, I wouldn’t have married him otherwise! Turns out, I was right. Judah is the absolute best companion ever for traveling. Score!
So here is the scoop on how our honeymoon went and what we did each day!
Day 1: Kauai’s North Shore
We took an early flight from Honolulu to Lihue, which takes only 30 minutes. Once we arrived on the beautiful island of Kauai, we picked up our rental car (a Jeep, which was super fun to drive!) and hit the road. We were headed to Kauai’s North Shore, with a few stops along the way. Basically, we did a ton of driving on this trip to explore different areas and just enjoy the scenery along the way. Kaua’i is known as the Garden Isle and it has earned this title with lush green mountains and an abundance of tropical flowers and exotic plants in every landscape.
We first stopped at a little bakery for a quick breakfast, then drove to the Kilauea lighthouse, which we discovered is actually a National Park and bird sanctuary with beautiful views.
Next, we did a short but very muddy hike to visit the infamous Queen’s Bath, which is a natural tide pool formed by water from the ocean in a rock formation. Although many people have died or gotten hurt here, the water was calm so I decided to take a swim, which was awesome.
Finally, we checked out Hanalei Bay for dinner and some beautiful views in the surrounding areas before heading back down to Lihue to check into our hotel, the Kauai Beach Resort. We absolutely loved our stay here and cannot recommend it enough. Once checked in, we settled into our room and relaxed for the night.
Day 2: Tubing
We woke up early to have breakfast at what came to be my favorite coffee shop, Java Kai.
Then we headed to Kaua’i Backcountry Adventures to go on our tubing excursion. Our awesome tour guides explained that the historic sugar cane plantations here resulted in an irrigation system with several tunnels that is basically now a lazy river perfect for tubing. We had such a blast floating along the calm current and enjoying the views. Judah had this at the top of his bucket list and had been looking forward to it for some time, so this was his favorite part of the trip by far.
Afterwards, we visited Wailua Falls for an absolutely amazing waterfall view complete with a rainbow!
After this, we had lunch at a really awesome little Mexican place that is a hidden gem in Kapa’a called Verde. Then we headed back to our room to take a little nap and later on, drove about 30 minutes away to the southern town of Po’ipu for our reservations at Keoki’s of Paradise, where we enjoyed a decadent and delicious meal including Hula pie for dessert. Definitely a great day for food, as every meal was perfection!
Day 3: South Kaua’i and the Na Pali Coast
On our third day, we ventured back to Po’ipu for a yummy breakfast at Anuenue Cafe. Then we made our way to see Waimea Canyon, which is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. The views were stunning, and it is totally incomprehensible to imagine how this canyon was seemingly chiseled so perfectly and beautifully.
Then, we made a small stop on our way to our next destination to check out glass beach, where the sand is mixed with pieces of perfectly smooth sea glass.
Finally, we set sail on our dinner cruise. The world famous Na Pali coast on the west side of Kaua’i is only accessible by helicopter (hell no), by hiking/camping for about 2 days (maybe next time), and by boat. This is considered one of the top things to do in Kaua’i so we were very eager and excited for this. Unfortunately, I got more seasick than I’ve ever been in my life so I did not get to enjoy this at all. The water is pretty rough so for those who get severe motion sickness like me, not even dramamine will save you. Even despite this, the views were breathtaking and I am so glad we got to experience it. Luckily, Judah managed to snag a few photos while taking good care of me.
Day 4: Relaxation
I was determined to have one day on our trip where we did not do much. We both work stressful jobs and needed a bit of time to rest and relax in the midst of our adventures. So on day 4, we had a nice breakfast at Java Kai before our 80 minute couples massage, which was glorious. Then we chilled at the pool for several hours and soaked in some sun. We took a long nap and stayed in the room for the rest of the evening, ordering room service for dinner. Out of everything we did, I have to say this was my favorite day because of how much bonding we got to do. We talked a lot, laughed constantly, and even started reading The Five Love Languages together. This was probably the most “typical honeymoon” day of our trip and it was amazing.
Day 5: Island Hopping
On our last day in Kaua’i, we woke up super early to try snorkeling at Lydgate Beach, where we saw tons of fish and even eel.
We grabbed a quick breakfast at Java Kai (again), showered, and then packed up our belongings to check out of the hotel and make our way to the next island, Maui. After a 45 minute flight, we arrived. Unfortunately, Judah wasn’t feeling his best since he had water in his ear from snorkeling that was painful and making it difficult to hear. So we did not do much once we arrived in Maui. We did get to have an incredible lunch on the way to our hotel at this place called The Mill House, which was an old sugar cane plantation turned into a farm and dining area. The views were stunning and the food was not only delicious, but one of the freshest meals we’ve ever had. After that, we went to bed super early for our big adventure the next day.
Day 6: Haleakala
We woke up at 1:30 AM in order to depart at 2:00 AM and make the long journey up Haleakala Mountain in time to watch the legendary sunrise there from above the clouds at 10,000 feet. It was definitely worth the hassle for this bucket list experience.
After that, we headed back to the hotel to sleep for a bit and then took it easy for the rest of the day. We had some delicious pot pies at Leoada’s, window shopped at Whaler’s Village and then watched the sunset from Kaanapali beach. It doesn’t get more romantic than watching both the sunrise and sunset in the same day.
Day 7: Headed Home
On our last day, we slept in a bit and packed up our stuff to check out. Being the foodie I am, there was one more restaurant I was determined to try on Maui, even despite the fact that it was a 45 minute drive. But it was totally worth it for amazing Greek food. Then we made our way back to Kahului to catch our flight back to our home island of Oahu.
Overall, this trip was the perfect mix of romance, relaxing and adventure. We crossed off a lot of items on our bucket lists, like tubing, seeing the Na Pali coast, and a Haleakala sunrise. We ate some epic meals. We learned how fun it will be to travel together on many future trips. But best of all, we got to spend some quality time together and strengthen our bond even more.
As I mentioned in part one, the honeymoon did not end for us once we returned home. We have a lifetime ahead of us to make beautiful memories and keep the passion alive. However, I can now say I finally understand why honeymoons are so important. There is simply no greater way to start your marriage than by traveling the world side by side.