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News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

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News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

My husband and I returned home on Saturday after spending 10 wonderful days on the gloriously beautiful island of Kauai in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary. With a 6 hr time difference, my body (and my soul) are still on Kauai time. Mahalo for the many, many helpful tips received through fellow TA reports. The journey was intended to be a completely relaxing 2nd honeymoon, and that's exactly what Kauai provided.

We stayed at the Hideaway Cove Villas at Brenneke's Beach/Poipu Beach in Poipu, which is located just 1 block behind the waterfront (just east of the boogie boarding beach), with a beautiful view from the 2nd floor balcony. We had the Dolphin Studio unit on the ground floor, and I can't express how sincerely pleased we were with our "home away from home". So clean and beautiful, the unit provided all we needed for our stay. The air-conditioned units have a complete kitchen, barbeque, beach gear provided (towels, chairs, straw mats, umbrella and cooler), laundry facility at the corner of the building (with detergent and dryer sheets), and our rental snorkel package was waiting for us (with boogie boards too). We will definitely return to our little paradise, and will not be waiting another 20 years to do so.

The only planned events we had were (1) snorkel/tour with Na Pali Explorers, (2) anniversary sunset dinner at the Beach House and (3) Smith's Family Luau. The remainder of our days were spent snorkeling, exploring, snorkeling, sitting on the beach, snorkeling, enjoying the Mango smoothies, snorkeling, shopping, snorkeling, and enjoying the sights, the sounds and the smells of Kauai. This truly is a breathtaking island. With no buildings taller than the coconut trees, and unobstructed views of the mountains and the sea, I couldn't have wished for anything more.

The Smith's Luau was great fun and an enjoyable colourful way to enjoy the luau food (lots of it - with as many free Mai Tai's as you wanted), and to enjoy the show.

The dinner at the Beach House was exactly as was hoped for. We were seated at a prime table outside under the shade of the canopy, listening to the sounds of the sea and watching the surfers and sea turtles. It was very romantic. If you're celebrating a special event, ask to be seated outside also as you're not bothered by the noise or movement of those inside the restaurant. Dinner was delectable - complete to the chocolate dessert that other TA's have also raved about. We actually visited the Beach House grounds on another 2 evenings, just to sit on their manicured lawn and watch the surfers and enjoy the sunset.

The highlight of our trip was the snorkel/boat tour with Na Pali Exploers. Although I can't compare it to any other company, I would highly recommend it to all readers. We were blessed by the most perfect weather, with extremely calm seas for our day out. Captain Rob commented that in his 10 years of tours, he could count the number of similarly calm days on one hand. As the seas were so calm, Captain Rob, Justin and Gary were able tour us up the entire length of the Na Pali - and I mean entire coastline!! We left the small boat harbour just north of Salt Pond Beach, past the pod of swimming dolphins (with a football-sized baby), all the way past Ke'e Beach to see the Princeville Resort and the Lighthouse in the distance, stopping a few times to enter the sea caves on the journey there. Returning part way, we stopped and snorkeled and ate a tasty picnic lunch on the boat. But the best part - snorkeling with the Hanu (sea turtles). That was my goal for the trip, and I am so thankful that I was able to swim with 2 turtles. They are the most graceful creatures I have ever seen.

While I had been searching the world through TA since July 2005 to find the perfect location for my husband and I to celebrate our 20th anniversary, we were blessed to have have found Kauai and the Hideaway Cove Villas. Upon our return home, we told our boys (16 & 13) that we would be returning - as a family this time - in 5 years. Although the journey there, and to return home is very long (11 & 1/2 hr flight time from Ontario, Canada + any stops along the way), we will definitely do this trip again.

Mahalo for your helpful assistance in this special celebration!

SLC, Utah
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1. Re: News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

What a nice positive post to read. i'm sitting here at work on lunch break and I very much enjoyed reading it.

Sounds like everything was just perfect for you two.

Where did you get the mango smoothies?? That sounds so good!

We will be returning to Kauai in Oct and I can't wait.

How lucky to have seen the dolphins!! I hope I'm that lucky when we are there. I did see a pod of dolphins off in the distance on Maui one year.

Kauai, Hawaii
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2. Re: News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

What a wonderfully spirited report! Mahalo!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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3. Re: News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

Just a lovely report . . . mahalo for sharing with us . . . :) It's hard to recommend anywhere else after staying on Kauai! :)

Windsor, CA
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4. Re: News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

What a nice trip report! I'm so glad you had such a nice time! We are going to Kauai in Oct and reading your report made me even more excited!

Dallas, Texas
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5. Re: News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

20anniv, what was your favorite thing to do in Kauai? What would you say to avoid and a waste of time? We are going to be there for only 7 days and I don't want to waste my time! I plan on doing a Na Pali coast tour and a luau. Other than those activities, I'm leaving it up to fate.

Please tell us about your eatting experiences. I am planning on cooking freshly bought fish/poke, and local fruits and vegetables for most of my meals in the condo/cottage, and eatting out a few meals (probably lunch) in an effort to save money. What was your best experience? What was not worth the money?

Thanks for all the info, as it's invaluable.

Mahalo, Galveston Gal.

BC Canada
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6. Re: News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

----20anniv, what was your favorite thing to do in Kauai? What would you say to avoid and a waste of time? We are going to be there for only 7 days and I don't want to waste my time----

Galvestongal - I found your question intriguing. After spending 7 weeks on Kauai in the last 3 years, I was trying to decide what we wish we had avoided or what we considered a waste of time. Hmmmm thats a tough one.

There are some restaurants we might have avoided - the Japanese place and the Mexican place in the Harbour Center Mall come to mind. With all the hype Roy's was a waste of time -- if the food was good, the service and location far overshadowed that. The Beachhouse is 1000% better.

Other than that, any activities we chose were well worth it - snorkelling (anywhere), beaches (anywhere), the tube ride, kayaking, beach walks, hiking, helicopter tour, whale watching, sunset watching......there is absolutely no activity that we did, that we thought was a waste of time.

Have a great time Galvestongirl and I can't wait for my next trip!

Everett, Washington
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7. Re: News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

Ahhh... what a wonderful report! I am so excited to hear that your trip was so memorable. I've only been to Kauai once (just got back, in fact) and all I can think about is going again. I totally agree with all your insights and I am filing all your recommendations for the day when I get to return to the island. Happy Anniversary!

Indianapolis...
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8. Re: News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

Your report feels so smooth and full, like a gentle swell at a Kauai beach. Thank you for sharing and happy anniversary! We're going to consider Hideaway Cove Villas for next time. Our lodging felt like an oven at night, so we're moving A/C up the list for next time.

Mahalo and I'm so happy with you that you also experienced the miracle of sea turtles! We did last week too!

Jersey Shore
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9. Re: News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

Welcome Home 20 Anniver,

I re, remember last month when you were anxiously awaiting the trip to Kauai. Now you are back and the joy of a great experience comes through loud and clear in your words. I agree with the above posts...how enjoyable to read such a positive report. We all take a few moments to use our imaginations and put ourselves back in Kauai. Congratulations on your 20th and don't wait too long before going back!!!!

Mobile, Alabama
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10. Re: News from Canada - Absolutely Breathtaking!

Thanks so much for sharing, 20anniv! I wholeheartedly agree with DowntheShore - sharing your experiences transports us all to Kauai for a brief time & kindles happy memories & hopes for "memories to come".