We were plenty rested and ready to go for our first day on the island. We began at the concierge desk. Another fabulous Karen helped us plan some awesome tours and we were so excited to get started.
Our day began with a driving tour of Waimea Canyon. This canyon was referred to by Mark Twain as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. We drove the rim of the canyon as far as the road would let us go. Stopping for pictures along the way, we saw such a magnificent creation we could scarcely believe it was real! The concierge told us to go to the top and we could see several beautiful waterfalls. We were highly disappointed to get to the Kalalau Lookout and the rain began to pour down! The lookout was shrouded with clouds and there were no falls to be seen! Little did we know at this time, the good Lord was setting up the best part of the day for us. We had a 4:00 helicopter tour planned and headed back down the canyon, having lunch at a little hole in the wall called Shrimp Station. Very fresh and very good lunch! Next, we visited the Kauai Coffee plantation. This is a large coffee plantation right on the coast. When you get out of your car, you know you are in a coffee plantation. The coffee smell tells you so! We made our way back to Lihue and found Sunshine Helicopter Tours where we took flight….and found wonders only God could create! It was magnificent, tremendous, humbling, awe-inspiring, and a very special memory for Andy and me! We ended our evening at a hotel next door to ours in a restaurant called . A nice lady and gentleman played and sang Hawaiian music, we ate appetizers, and we soaked in another beautiful day of memories in a wonderful world!
Headed up Waimea Canyon Road...this is looking back at the town of Waimea.
Waimea Canyon....the Pacific Grand Canyon
Lunch in Waimea....Shrimp Station....YUM! You know, those "hole in the wall" places are just the best!
Kauai Coffee....a view of coffee trees with the Pacific Ocean in the background.
Mt. Wai'ale'ale...the wettest place on earth! This is a rare photo opportunity. This mountain is usually shroudded in clouds. Our helicopter tour would take us here, and little did we know when it was pouring rain at the Kalalau Lookout earlier in the day, that it would set up a rare opportunity to actually fly into the crater of this extinct volcano with hundreds of waterfalls to see! The helicopter company said this mountain top is visible about 10 days out of the year and that only about half of their helicopter tours can fly into the crater due to the low-hanging clouds.
This is the Jurassic Park waterfall....in the film Jurassic Park.
Back at Waimea Canyon...this time by air!
The Na'Pali coast....not accessible by car....only by air, sea or foot. We saw it by air today, and tomorrow we will see it by sea. Can't wait to see how tall these cliffs are from sea level!
Inside the Wai"ale"ale crater. This was one of those times when tears came into my eyes, and I whispered a prayer thanking God for His wondrous works! This is just a small glimpse of a huge crater filled with many of these waterfalls. Most often, these are just black lines going down the crater. When the rain comes, it has to go down, so it fills the crater with the falls....and more spectacularly, normally when this happens, it cannot be seen due to the low clouds that cover the view. God brought the rain, then parted the skies so that we might see this! He is so good!
Welcome....to Fantasy Island.....Niagara style! Yes, we know this waterfall as the one in Fantasy Island...."the plane, the plane"! (If you don't get this.....it's too bad you did not live in the 80's!) Normally this waterfall is not so brown and not so strong. This is Wailua Falls on the Wailua River and it is so huge due to all the morning rain. We stopped to see this fall on the way back to our hotel after the helicopter tour, but we also saw this fall from the air.
A picture of a picture....this is our "ride". Our pilot, Steve, is inside the chopper.
We ended our day here. This was a restaurant recommended to us by the concierge. Fabulous appetizers and beverages!
The view at dinner!
The entertainment at dinner. A local man told us this couple has been playing Hawaiian music together for 50 years. They were so sweet! Even gave me a beautiful flower lei....just like the ones they are wearing!