PHOTO BLOG: A SPONTANEOUS WEEK IN KAUA'I

 

“Hi mom. I know it’s super early in the morning, but I was just playing around on Google Flights and found a ridiculous deal for Kaua’i. Next month. You have 5 seconds to decide if you’re in or not, because I’m definitely going to buy a ticket.”

I was able to spend a week in Kaua’i with my mom because I love playing on Google Flights. As we taxied toward the gate at Lihu’e airport, I reassured my mom that the rainy weather would pass over, all the while crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t be another washout like I’d experienced in March.

We crammed a lot of exploring into that perfectly sunny week. Here are the highlights of that week - in photo form, because let’s be real - Hawaii is best experienced visually.

Battling jet lag, we set out in the evening to see the first night of the beloved Festival of Lights. It was a lovely way to spend a quick evening - and force ourselves to stay awake past 7.

Battling jet lag, we set out in the evening to see the first night of the beloved Festival of Lights. It was a lovely way to spend a quick evening - and force ourselves to stay awake past 7.

Sunday morning was spent supporting the locals, wandering around the Kalalea ANAHOLA Farmer’s Market. The views at the market did not disappoint.

Sunday morning was spent supporting the locals, wandering around the Kalalea ANAHOLA Farmer’s Market. The views at the market did not disappoint.

We sampled Kava - a root commonly used in Polynesian cultures to calm nerves and promote relaxation.

We sampled Kava - a root commonly used in Polynesian cultures to calm nerves and promote relaxation.

My mom enjoyed a Hawaiian step massage at the market. The cost? A hug!

My mom enjoyed a Hawaiian step massage at the market. The cost? A hug!

Ah, the crown jewel of the trip. After our morning at the market, we floated through the clouds with Jack Harter Helicopters. We even felt the breeze through our hair - since the helicopter had no doors!

Ah, the crown jewel of the trip. After our morning at the market, we floated through the clouds with Jack Harter Helicopters. We even felt the breeze through our hair - since the helicopter had no doors!

No filter needed here - the colors of the Na Pali are incredible.

No filter needed here - the colors of the Na Pali are incredible.

We were up bright and early Monday morning, cruising along the iconic coastline in a zodiac raft with Captain Andy’s. Spinner dolphins joined us as we headed up the coast.

We were up bright and early Monday morning, cruising along the iconic coastline in a zodiac raft with Captain Andy’s. Spinner dolphins joined us as we headed up the coast.

Seeing the Na Pali from the water makes you realize just how small you are.

Seeing the Na Pali from the water makes you realize just how small you are.

Truly one of the most stunning landscapes in Hawaii. This section of the coast is known as the “Cathedrals.”

Truly one of the most stunning landscapes in Hawaii. This section of the coast is known as the “Cathedrals.”

The next morning, we leisurely wound our way up through Waimea to take in the views of the canyon.

The next morning, we leisurely wound our way up through Waimea to take in the views of the canyon.

A lot of people stop at the Kalalau Valley Lookout, but if you drive an extra few minutes, the views from Pu’u O Kila Lookout are much better.

A lot of people stop at the Kalalau Valley Lookout, but if you drive an extra few minutes, the views from Pu’u O Kila Lookout are much better.

On our way back from Waimea, we stopped in Hanapepe to grab a few bags of taro chips from a hidden gem known as Chips and Dale.

On our way back from Waimea, we stopped in Hanapepe to grab a few bags of taro chips from a hidden gem known as Chips and Dale.

I stocked up on some books about Hawaii at the westernmost bookstore in the U.S. - Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe.

I stocked up on some books about Hawaii at the westernmost bookstore in the U.S. - Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe.

Midweek, we headed north to Hanalei. A pitstop at the Hanalei Valley Overlook was a great reason to stretch our legs and take some beautiful photos.

Midweek, we headed north to Hanalei. A pitstop at the Hanalei Valley Overlook was a great reason to stretch our legs and take some beautiful photos.

Most of the day was spent wandering through all of the shops in Hanalei.

Most of the day was spent wandering through all of the shops in Hanalei.

We took a break from shopping to relax on the beach at Hanalei Bay.

We took a break from shopping to relax on the beach at Hanalei Bay.

We finished our day on the North Shore with an incredible meal at Postcards Cafe.

We finished our day on the North Shore with an incredible meal at Postcards Cafe.

Our last full day was spent learning to surf. Because if you visit Hawaii and don’t learn how to surf, did you really even visit Hawaii?

Our last full day was spent learning to surf. Because if you visit Hawaii and don’t learn how to surf, did you really even visit Hawaii?

Don’t let this photo fool you - surfing is quite the workout! We were both incredibly sore the next day - but it was so worth it.

Don’t let this photo fool you - surfing is quite the workout! We were both incredibly sore the next day - but it was so worth it.

After a week like that, it’s easy to see why I can’t stop checking Google Flights for another crazy last minute deal. Have you ever taken a spontaneous last minute trip?

During our sunny week in Kaua’i, we were sure to SPF responsibly with reef safe sunscreen. Click the button below to download a list of reef safe sunscreens for your next tropical adventure. The coral will thank you!