Since they were funding their own wedding, Brandon, a tech-support manager, and Jacqueline, an online media coordinator, thought their dream vacation would stay just that -- a dream. But then Brandonâ€™s family swooped in, fairy godmotherâ€“style: His uncle offered his time-share on Kauai, and Brandonâ€™s parents sprang for the flight. So a week after their April 2011 wedding in Gilbert, Arizona, the newlyweds headed west to find â€śbeauty that we had no idea existed in the United States,â€ť says Jacqueline.
Here, the just-married pair smile as wide as Waimea Canyon behind them.
Stay: 1 week
Airline: Hawaiian Airlines
Flight Time: 6 hours
Best Excursion: â€śWe took a tour with Catamaran Kahanu along the Napali Coast, and the landscape -- cascading waterfalls, lush valleys, and massive cliffs -- was unreal,â€ť says Brandon. â€śAnd while we were out there, a family of humpback whales put on a show for us.â€ť
Must-See Shore: â€śThe crystal-blue waters at Keâ€™e Beach seriously brought tears to our eyes,â€ť says Jacqueline. â€śItâ€™s a fantastic snorkel site with reef fish and turtles, but we got there late in the day with no gear. Next time!â€ť
Brandon and Jacqueline â€śhad to haveâ€ť these jade necklaces from Auntie Lyndaâ€™s Treasures.
Local Eats: â€śWe had banana-macadamia-nut-coconut pancakes at the Ono Family Restaurant, hot dogs with tropical relishes at Puka Dog, and shave ice, which is like a snow cone, at Jo Joâ€™s Shave Ice -- yum!â€ť says Jacqueline. â€śOur favorite dish, though, was definitely loco moco at the Kalapaki Beach Hut. Itâ€™s a traditional breakfast of rice topped with a beef patty, fried egg, and brown gravy, but we totally ate it for dinner a few times.â€ť
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