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30 in Kauai, Kauai

Birthday dinner in Kauai

On the last night in Kauai, we ate at the Beach House for my official birthday dinner – we heard it had the best view for watching the sunset on the south shore, and the freshest food in Poipu {thanks for the recommendation, Olive!}. We were not disappointed! This was definitely one of my favorite nights, sitting with my hubby and sister on that patio, talking about our favorites moments from the trip, smelling the ocean air, watching the surfers, drinking that INCREDIBLE Merlot, eating fresh ceviche and calamari, then the main courses, and more talk about the upcoming year. Maybe the best night of the trip. I felt so blessed to have spent my birthday dinner with these two. Love them so much. And, the Hawaiian carrot cake rocked my world. It was the perfect birthday dinner. Thank you, God, for creating Hawaii. I can’t wait to go back.

30 in Kauai, Kauai

Smith’s Tropical Paradise Luau

As soon as we got to Kauai, we started asking around for the best luau on the island. 100% of the locals said the Smith Tropical Paradise Luau was the best, so we booked it! The night we went, rainbows lined the sky. There was a slight mist but it stopped as soon as we got to the plantation. Peacocks welcomed us right at the entrance, and as soon as we walked through they took us for a motorized tour of the gardens. They raised the pig and called the horns for dinner. First was cocktail hour with mai tais and the open bar. Then we feasted! The food was AMAZING: pulled pork, and teriyaki beef, salad, Okinawan potatoes, garlic cake and pineapple cake -just to name some. The show after FLOORED us. Poor Rob was still a little drugged out from our Na Pali coast tour, and kept falling asleep during all the hula dancing. But Pam and I were bright-eyed and entertained the whole time. They brought a different dance in from each heritage that had come to Hawaii those years ago. It was magical. Highly recommend this luau to any of you going to Kauai!

30 in Kauai, Kauai

Na Pali coast

On the 2nd day in Kauai we went for a boat/snorkel tour along the Na Pali Coast with Captain Andy’s. Seriously one of the most beautiful coasts I’ve ever seen. So lush, and green. That water, those waterfalls! The crew turned on the island music and we laid back and took in the surroundings.

Pam & Rob felt a little sicky at times, so they snacked on crackers and let the bonine kick in {maybe a little too much for Rob. Poor guy was out of it for most of the day}.

I was a little chilly from our splash seats at the front of the catamaran, so I passed on the snorkeling so my lips and body could warm up. Rob got in though and enjoyed the water and all the fishies!

Captain Andy’s rocks. Breakfast & lunch was served, and later in the day cold beers and cookies.  It was fun to mingle with the captain and crew, and talk with the other vacationers. Pam and I loved just lounging on the top of the boat and taking in the beautiful day. Rob ended up lounging, too {the bonine fully kicked in, ha}.

The best part of the tour for me were the dolphins. They swam with us the whole time. . . right up along the boat. They were so playful and jumpy. I see dolphins here in Santa Cruz, but not like this. Oh, to be a dolphin!

30 in Kauai, Kauai

I got dirty for my thirty

I’ve been wanting to go mud-bugging for what seems like forever. I heard about Kauai ATV through a friend of my sister’s about 4 years ago and have been obsessed over it ever since. The perfect thing to do for my 30th – get dirty! Kauai ATV puts on the BEST excursion. We signed up for their 4-hour waterfall tour, which took us on a mud-trail through Kauai’s south shore back lands to a gorgeous set of waterfalls and pools for lunch. Our tour guides were great – we did a little intro to meet everyone in our group, heard a little about the history of Kauai and even stopped by the popular film site/field for Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, it was a rather dry day so we didn’t get as muddy as I thought we would. It’s definitely better to plan a mud-bugging trip the day of a rain or a day AFTER a good rain {not that you can really control the weather, ha}. Nonetheless, it was still an awesome experience. My favorite part was diving and swimming in the waterfall pools {could you tell?}.

{my pretty sister}

{Pam and I drove a mud-bug, and Robby drove a mud-bunny — so fun!}

{Rob got the best splash!}

{Jurassic Park!!}

30 in Kauai, Kauai

Vintage hawaii

We picked the BEST day for our vintage hawaii day in Kauai. We spent the whole day just relaxing on the beach, sipping mai tais and pina coladas and going for dips in the ocean. This was EXACTLY what I wanted to do for my birthday. Just lounge, listen to the waves, smell the heavenly Hawaiian air, and soak in time with my sister. The perfect birthday gift if you ask me. This day will go down as one of the happiest days of my life. I love these two people so much. I was pretty pleased with our suits and accessories for my vintage beach theme, too. And, I LOVED my bathing suit. LOVED IT.

Then we got a little silly. Hahahaha.

I spent the afternoon writing notes to friends on vintage postcards. The perfect end to a perfect birthday.