Hard to believe that this year is already coming to an end! 2017 has been a whirlwind, with a lot of great memories, some sadness, including the loss of our cat Uli, and lots of excitement around our new addition. Wyatt and I know that our lives are about to change immensely and we’ve been trying to spend as much time together as possible–in that spirit, we decided to plan a babymoon in November to celebrate and enjoy our last solo trip as a couple. Kauai seemed like a natural choice as it’s been on our travel list for a long time and is one of the few places without Zika risk (if that’s even a real thing). We’d heard amazing things about the beauty and low-key vibes of the island, and having spent a lot of time on Oahu, we were looking forward to a more relaxed, less-touristy experience.
We chose to stay on the South Shore of Kauai on Poipu beach which we heard was sunnier than the North Shore and has some amazing beaches. We still got some short rain showers each day, but mostly the reviews were correct, the clouds always cleared and the days were sunny and perfect, ending with cooler evenings and frequent rainbow sightings.
Our stay at the Grand Hyatt was memorable and we were generally impressed with the resort. However, in full transparency, we’ve been pretty spoiled by amazing hotels around the world so I’m not sure I would call it a 5-star experience. The rooms are a bit dated and the food was just ok at the resort itself. I’d definitely recommend eating at the Tidepools restaurant which stood out as our favorite of the dinner options within the resort. Our room had a great view but felt somewhat corporate and worn and was quite a trek from the lobby and main pool. However, let’s talk about pools. These are definitely the highlight of the resort but we were disappointed to learn when we arrived that the salt water lagoon was under construction, which, it turns out, is a huge chunk of the property, and also came with tons of construction noise. It’s also important to note that there is no beach seating at this resort as the beach is public. The gym and spa were great however and we both had awesome spa treatments including an awesome prenatal massage! Anyways, definitely some STP (spoiled traveler problems), just want to be upfront with anyone reading this that while we liked the hotel, it certainly wasn’t our favorite (check out this post and this one for a few of my fave hotels around the World)
Here are a few of the highlights from our time in Kauai:
1. Day Trip to the North Shore– If you stay on the South Shore you have to take a day trip to the North Shore! The two sides of the island are really very different with the most epic views in the North, and, as mentioned, more sunny dry days in the South. The St. Regis, another hotel that we considered staying at, was absolutely incredible. The views are unreal and the hotel is very elegant, but like the Hyatt also really big. We hit the popular sightseeing spots as well including the Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge and lighthouse and some amazing waterfalls all along the coast.
2. Shopping, food trucks and shaved ice in Hanalei Bay- Another highlight on our day trip to the North Shore was a stopover at Hanalei Bay to eat at some adorable food trucks and shop at a few really cute boutiques. We’d also never tried a shaved ice and it may just be because I’m pregnant, but it was SOOO good!
3. Pool Time + Reading Catch-Up- Relaxing by the pool is definitely different while pregnant, (Wyatt was militant about keeping me mostly out of the sun) but still so relaxing and such a great reset. I read a few great books during the trip as well, including Big Magic By Elizabeth Gilbert, Hillbilly Elegy and The Forty Rules of Love.
4. Farmers Market Visit- I’ve got a lot of love for my husband who always allows me to drag him to check out the local foodie scene wherever we go. I love seeing farmers markets around the world, it’s so enlightening to see how locals live and eat and the fruit at this market was definitely the highlight, along with giant avocados and some local honey that we took home with us. Everyone told us we had to try the sugarloaf pineapple as well which is served fresh or frozen and is so sweet and tasty! Don’t miss it if you go!
5. Local eateries- We definitely had some great food while in Kauai. I think the smaller, local eateries were my favorite, including Da Crack, a local grab and go Mexican joint, Anake’s juice bar and Tortilla Republic in the little shopping village just a few minutes from the Grand Hyatt.
6. Maternity photo shoot with Megan Moura– I was very reluctant to do a maternity photo shoot. Most of the photos I saw were super cheesy and I can’t handle the belly kissing shots and flowing belly-baring, laying in the waves, beach shots, but hey, to each their own! I found Megan on Instagram and really loved the style of her photos and how authentic and simple they were. After speaking to Megan I was really excited to shoot with her and we set a date and decided to shoot on the beach near our hotel. Megan also helped me find a local pro to do my hair who was also amazing and made me feel gorgeous for my photos, shout out to Brit, for the last minute hair support! Wyatt and I had so much fun taking professional pics together for the first time since our wedding and I know we’ll cherish these forever. We also got a perfect sunset which didn’t hurt :).
Here are our faves!
Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays!