With all my gocco cards safely shipped out all across the world (I have swap mates in Australia and the UK, crazy, eh?), I can finally come back and resume our Kauai countdown!
Let's see where we left things off...
No. 6: Ihona Cottage Rocks!
When we saw this property on vrbo.com, we were skeptical at first... a beautiful cottage tugged away in the picturesque Kauai mountains for $85/night? Tired of the resort scene and having spent all our money on helicopter rides and zipline tours (oops, gave that away), we decided to give it a shot.
We couldn't be happier with this find! The Ihona Cottage turns out to be perfect for us. It's located in a quiet residential neighborhood (well, quiet except for the roosters) near the Sleeping Giant Mountains, is beautifully decorated, and has everything you'll need (and more)- snorkel gear, boogie boards, maps, DVD player, guidebooks, beach towels/mats/umbrellas, bug spray, sunburn lotion (which we took full advantage of), a well-stocked kitchen, washer/dryer, etc etc...
It even comes with the nicest owners, who drop us off fresh fruits on our steps that they'd grown in their backyard. And my fav's hands down their avocados! These avocados are HUGE- they're easily twice the size of a regular Hass avocado, and even more avocado-y if you can imagine that.
I know not everyone's into avocado (some say it's like eating butter- and what's wrong with that?), but if you're an avocado fan like me, you must try this avocado smoothie- just scoop out half an avocado, add ice, low-fat vanilla icecream (+ mango sorbet if you're not too crazy about drinking pure avocado), sugar (I used Splenda) and blend, blend, blend! Uh, sooooo good. I still dream about it.
No. 5: "Hey! I've seen that in Jurassic Park!"
The Waimea Canyon and neighboring Kalalau Valley is the backdrop of countless Hollywood movies- Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, 6 Days 7 Nights, you name it. And we can see why when we got there.
Even when you're standing there with red dirt beneath your feet, breathing in the misty mountain air, and looking down at the sprawling valley and silky waterfalls below you, it feels like you're looking at a movie set. It's so breathtaking it looks unreal.
No. 4: Zippeeee!!!
If you've watched Amazing Race, I'm sure you've seen their contestants ziplining and screaming their lungs out and think, "wow, I gotta try this some day".
Well, when we heard that they offer ziplining tours in Kauai, we booked ours weeks before we even bought our plane tickets!
We joined a company called the Princeville Adventure Ranch, their zip n' dip tour offers 8 zip lines with a refreshing dip in a river and a boxed lunch in between zips. And even though it isn't the fastest or most picturesque in the world, it still involves jumping off a cliff and zipping at 30+ mph over valleys and rivers (x8 times!).
The scariest part is probably when you first jump off and free fall for a little bit (due to the slack in the line). But once you got cruising, the rush you get is beyond description. That's Jacques doing a backward zip below:
We've only got our little pocket camera with us, but we got to use it to shoot some grainy videos. First, I tried it out shooting Jacques going down one of the shorter zips. No problemo, piece of cake:
With that success, I thought, "Hey, I can shoot one of myself going down. No problemo." But no, I have a tendency to overestimate my dexterity. And with the risk of totally embarrassing myself, here's the result:
(I don't know how to edit out the yakking before and after the zip, feel free to ignore that. And warning- you may want to turn the volume down).
Whew! Sorry for the long post, easy to get carried away savoring every bit of your vacation. Top 3 to follow!