Sunday, October 14, 2012


Aloha!  We got back from our 10-day vacation late this past Sunday, and we all had to hit the ground running on Monday morning with school and work.  (Our schools were open on Columbus Day)  It was a busy week, and I needed to get my house clean and other boring stuff like that.  ;-)

My husband and I were part of a large group of other employees from his company, and we were all treated to a 6-day stay on the island of Kauai.  (Our girls were not allowed on this trip, so they stayed with my mom in Texas) We stayed at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu, and what a gorgeous hotel it is.  The grounds and the views are beyond breathtaking!  At the resort, the air is positively perfumed with exotic flowers and plants, and photo ops are literally around every corner.

We traveled all day to get to Kauai, and by the time we checked in it was dark.  Though it was only about 7:30 in the evening, our bodies were on Eastern Standard Time, so it felt like 1:30 AM to us.  Talk about tired!!  This is what we saw while walking to the public areas to grab a bite to eat:

The moon was full that night.  The grounds are lit so beautifully, and torches are everywhere.
The next morning, we saw this sunrise from our balcony.  We could see the ocean from there.  It's just beyond the palm tree line to the right:

I walked around with my camera that day, snapping shots here and there and everywhere.  It's a slice of Heaven.

Looks like a golf course, but it's not.  It's a lawn on the Hyatt's property.

Looking up at a Plumeria tree.
Plumeria blossoms on my pool lounge chair.  They look fake to me, they are that perfect.
Stephanotis, the wedding flower.  Smells absolutely heavenly.
This is a tree whose name I do not know, but love the interesting pendulous flowers.

The above two flowers are hibiscus.  The bushes are everywhere you look.
When we arrived the first day, we each received an orchid lei, and a kukui nut lei too.
This is Duke, and he lives in the Hyatt's Lobby Atrium along with many other birds.  Duke's 18 years old.

We took a helicopter ride of the island.  It's magnificent, and hard to describe completely in words.  

Famous movies were filmed here, such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, The Descendants, South Pacific, and more.  We flew over many of those areas.  These photos were taken from the helicopter:

The next day, we took an ATV tour of a working ranch.  It was interesting, and DIRTY!  LOL  The red dirt of Hawaii gets EVERYwhere while you are riding, and even after showering, it still rubbed off on the towels.  :-)  Our guides joked that the spray tans are free with the tour.  ;)

I'm afraid to ride my own ATV, so my husband drove the Rhino, while I took pictures.  Here we are, posing in front of our vehicle:

Because we drove in a bigger vehicle, it meant that we needed to be at the tail end of the group, with a guide behind us.  The dirt kicked up by so many ATVs and blown back toward us made us dirtier than anyone else, I'm convinced!  LOL  I also asked for three bandannas to cover my face, instead of the customary one.

This is a driveway lined with ironwood trees.  They have an interesting shape, rather like a bottlebrush.
Several times during the tour, we'd all park our vehicles, get out and take pictures and hear a bit about what we were seeing.  This is a view from further up the mountain.

Can you see the ironwood tree-lined drive way out in the distance?  A road lined with trees in this manner is a sign that you are on royal property.  This cattle ranch was once owned by
 Princess Ruth, the great granddaughter of King Kamehameha I.  
My 'spray tan'.
During our tour, we stopped along a riverbank where Raiders of the Lost Ark was filmed.  Indiana Jones himself swung on this rope swing.  This is my husband taking the plunge.  I stayed onshore.  :-)
This was our final sight on our ATV tour.  It's also where they filmed part of The Descendants.
My husband's company entertained us each night, with lavish dinner parties.  One night, we were asked to dress up for a Masquerade.  They supplied the masks for us, too.

See the Tree Man behind us?  He was in costume, on stilts.
Another night, there was a living statue to behold while we had cocktails and hors d'oeuvres:

Her lips were glittered red, and water streamed from her fingertips.  Fascinating!
Each morning, we had breakfast at the Tidepools restaurant, overlooking a man-made lagoon.  Pure tranquility!

Boy, if only I could see this every morning of my life, with the koi fish swimming in the water beneath my feet.  Sigh.

There were many pools for swimming at the Hyatt.  One of our favorites is a saltwater lagoon.  Its bottom is  part-sand, part-lava rock, and is located closest to the ocean.  See the red flag in the photo below, on the far right?  We saw that red flag every day, which meant swimming in the ocean was not safe.  :(  That's okay, because the pools were incredible.

The pools are all located on a slope, and it's laid out so nicely.  Here's a view from up top, where the Adult Pool and Winding River are located:

One day, while my husband played golf with his co-workers, I went to the spa and had an acupressure massage in an outdoor room like this one, overlooking a private garden with lava-rock outdoor shower:

Of all the places I've had massages, this one tops them all.  What a treat.  The whole spa experience there is indescribable.  A girl can get used to this life!

This is me and my favorite guy, dressed up for the last evening event:

On the beach, one last time:

Thank you SO much for letting me share my vacation with you.  The beauty of Hawaii is so unique, and it's all in technicolor.  I hope you've enjoyed my pictures.  Hugs!



Lesley said...

Wow Colleen! How awesome! The photos are spectacular and you two look like you had a great time!!!

Marisa said...

I love Hawaii. Much easier for us to get there than you. We honeymooned on Maui and I just love the lush, tropical feel, the fabulous fruits you can eat and the gorgeous flowers. Always brings me back to my childhood dyas in Costa Rica.

Looks like you had a vacation to remember! Who does you hubby work for? Nice of them to treat them so well.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

What a gorgeous vacation! I loveeeeeeeee all the photos!!!

Andrea Ewen said...

Wow...I feel like I've just been to Hawaii! What wonderful pictures and it looks like you two had a blast! Can't wait to get together and talk all about it!

maria f. said...

Wow! Can you say "lucky girl"? AWESOME - said in a true California-girlish-slang.
Thanks for sharing all the photos. Now I feel like I've been there. Gorgeous shot of you and hubby all snazzed up. And I have to say the first shot of your "heaven" - with the too cool tree trunk shadows... Look at that again. The shadows look like big feathery birds. Like ostrich(e)s. Very cool.

Lisa Elton said...

So happy you had a nice vacation Colleen, and thanks for sharing the pretty pics! My fav is the last one of the two of cute! Some day we hope to get there too ~ might skip the dusty ATV ride LOL!

nwilliams6 said...

Wow - how fun! Your pictures are wonderful and I can tell you had an awesome time. I love seeing the pictures of you and your husband - ya'll look great! Fun - TFS!!! Hugz!

Kylie said...

ooooo, Colleen wonderful pics. My family took a holiday to Hawaii back in January. It was a 10.5 hour flight for us!! We loved it too. We took a 7 day cruise around all the islands and everything was just spectacular! I loved looking at your post as it brought back all my awesome memories!! Aloha!!

Anonymous said...

Loved all your photos Colleen! What a great trip! Wow! It looks like you had a trip of a lifetime with you hubby! So happy for you! Hugs, Joanna

Martha Herrera said...

WOW! Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous pictures! The acupressure massage sounds wonderful!!! Glad you had a wonderful time with your husband!

Carole said...

Fantastic vacation and great photos. Wonderful memories. I've got to wonder why the ocean wasn't safe, sharks? or pollution?

Benzi said...

I want to be there now... and all winter! Ha
The pictures are beautiful and I know you had the best time ever. Such a beautiful place.
BTW, I like that spray tan. :-)

Unknown said...

Oh Colleen thank you so much for sharing the pictures. I have visited every island EXCEPT Kauai! Hawaii is one of my favorite spots on earth and I would go as often as possible but hubby will not fly there again :(

Like you, my trips were company events and we were treated like royalty. You can get spoiled on those trips! I'm so happy you had a great trip. You will remember it forever!

Vicki Dutcher said...

FAB.U.LOUS!! Sounds like a wonderful time you had!! Beautiful photos mf -- thanks for sharing~ I felt I was at the beach :)

Jinny Newlin said...

WOW, Colleen! What a trip! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful vacation with us! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

FANTASTIC!!!!! Pretty much sums it all up!

Chris R. from Iowa

Jennifer said...

Welcome back! Kauai is truly a magically happy you got to visit there! I was lucky enough to honeymoon at the Hyatt (almost 6 years ago) and it looks just as gorgeous now as it did then. Great pictures of you and DH!

Holly AKA KopyKat said...

wow, I feel like I was there with you, lol. Thanks for all the beautiful photo's! AMAZING! Love the spray tan and all the fabulous pictures and deets. I don't think I've ever seen Hawii like this, thanks! Glad you got to go and had a wonderful time.

Sandie said...

Oh my!!!! I'm so envious. Colleen, how magical is this place.....I had so much fun just reading and looking at your photos. Thanks so much for sharing with us...

PennyLine said...

How fun, What a great vacation.
Great pictures.

Carol Hurlock said...

Believe it or not I was here yesterday with my Anniversary wishes for you and your dear husband. Unfortunately I had it all typed and tried to post and could not sign in to blogger and got an "Ooops" So I am back today to wish the two of you many more happy years together. What a great looking couple the two of you are!!! Your pictures of Kauai. It took me back many years ago to my visit there. I was lucky enough to visit 4 of the islands and Kauai was on of them. Just to hint at how long ago it was, my pictures are Loved your pictures. What a dream vacation-it looks beautiful. Glad you enjoyed yourself.
Bear Hugs,

~ Kendra ~ said...

Amazing photos, thanks for sharing! We went to Hawaii last year and I LOVED it!! Happy 18th Anniversary to you and your husband!!

Adrienne Crist said...

How fabulous! Hawaii is one of the most indescribable places! We are fulfilling a dream of mine in December, we are taking our three children to North Shore, Oahu,! I can't wait to make those memories with them!

Congratulations to your hubby and you for earning the trip,

Maria said... wonderful to visit Hawaii! We were there in 2005 on the Big Island. It's a paradise, so beautiful! I'm glad that you had a fabulous time! Thanks for sharing all the photos!

Emily Keaton said...

Colleen, I LOVED seeing each and every one of your Hawaii photos. They are all magnificently taken and framed. GORGEOUS! I loved hearing all about your trip last week, and seeing these photos were the icing on the cake. I know you've been scrambling to catch up since you returned, but I hope you feel it was all worth it. Everything looked and sounded like a fairy tale!! Thanks so much for sharing your vacation photos. :D

Savannah O'Gwynn said...

OHHHH! I cannot wait to go to Hawaii!!! Looks like you guys had so much fun!!! LOVE your spray tan!

Janetcraft said...

wow Colleen, great fantastic photos!
Love all your trip with exciitng adventurous moment!

Linda Callahan said...

Wow~indescribably beautiful! What a fabulous trip!

Donna B. said...

Amazing photos! Looks like you had a SUPER trip!! It's been so long since I was in Hawaii I can barely remember. Makes me want to go back to refresh my memory!

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