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Originally, Maui was supposed to be my final Hawaiian destination, but then I changed my ticket so I could hang out a little longer at the Banana Bungalow. Around the time all my plans were changing, I saw on Facebook that my blogging buddy was in Kauai. Up until this point, our friendship was strictly virtual. But when I saw her uploading stunning Hawaii pictures on Facebook, I sent her a message. Our exchange went a little something like this:

Meihoukai: Angie! We’re both in Hawaii! Why don’t you come to Maui and we can meet in person and hang out!
Angie: Hey girl! Sounds awesome but my brother and I have this great condo here in Kauai and so we’re probably just going to hang out ’round these parts. You should really come visit us though!
(Ten minute pause)
Meihoukai: I hope you were serious, because I just bought a ticket. 

And that’s how I found myself flying to Kauai, an island I had no intention of visiting when I first landed in Hawaii. I admit I had some butterflies at the thought of crashing for five days with two people I had never actually met in person before — what if they hated me? What if they thought I was boring? What if Angie’s adorably charming online persona was a FARCE?!

Well. I worried for nothing, because within moments of Angie and Meihoukai (yes, this was a two Meihoukai trip) picking me up at the airport we were fast friends. Angie was even more adorable and charming than she comes off online, although I did confess to her that I pictured her voice sounding more like Minnie Mouse’s (isn’t it weird how we make up voices in our heads when reading books and blogs? No, that’s just me?)

With only a few days to see all that Hawaii’s reportedly most beautiful island had to offer, we set off straight for the airport for Waimea Canyon. At approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep, Waimea Canyon has pretty fair claim to its reputation as Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Having now seen the real thing as well, I can vouch that Kauai’s version stands up pretty well — if only for its location on a pristine tropical island.

And never ones to waste a Hawaiian day without lapping up any sunshine, we spent the afternoon napping and gossiping on the beach. Meihoukai was a great sport about feigning interest when Angie and I went on rants about contracts, conferences, Klout scores, and other intricacies of blogging and travel writing.

That first morning aside, the rest of my time in Kauai was dedicated to the North Shore, and most specifically Angie and Meihoukai’s fantastic Princeville condo. You can forgive us for not going much further afield when views like this were practically in the backyard though, can’t you?

I did manage to get a sweat on twice in Kauai — by hiking the Kalalau Trail and by paddleboarding in Hanalei Bay — but those deserve posts of their own, coming up this week. But in general, my days in Hawaii were numbered, and they were flying by fast. It was a very bittersweet aloha when it was finally time to go.

And a very special thanks again to Angie and Meihoukai for having me. I feel that I made two wonderful new friends, and what a better place than paradise. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Hawaii, a place that will always hold an incredibly special piece of my heart. After all — Hawaii brought me back to life.

Have you ever been to Kauai? Do you agree that its the most beautiful Hawaiian island?

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24 Comments...
  • Ashley of Ashley Abroad
    January 21 2013

    This is seriously some of your best photography yet! Sounds like a great week.
    Ashley of Ashley Abroad recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 22 2013

      Ashley I wish I could be flattered but I can’t take much credit — Kauai really is just that beautiful!

  • Kelly
    January 21 2013

    Beautiful pictures (as always)! I read Angie’s blog sometimes and really enjoy it. Awesome to see that you both met up! Keep up the great writing, picture taking, and living. 🙂

    • Meihoukai
      January 22 2013

      Thanks Kelly! Fun to know we have some overlapping readers here!

  • Ciara
    January 22 2013

    Meihoukai, I have been non-stop reading your posts about Hawaii: your stunning photographs and beautiful writing have blown me away. Currently thinking about going there this summer, thank you!
    Ciara recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 22 2013

      Thank you so much Ciara! So glad to hear you are thinking of visiting…. it’s not too far from Tokyo!

  • Shaun
    January 22 2013

    Since following your Hawaii trip, I think this place is has the most stunning landscape. Really, it’s all amazing but these seem extra special.

    Great call on switching your ticket!

  • Angie Away
    January 22 2013

    I love this post – and not just because I’m in it! We had so much fun with you and to this day I think your visit was my brother’s favorite part =) I can’t wait ’til this summer when we travel together again!
    Angie Away recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 22 2013

      I’m still bummed our master plan for his concert never came to fruition! Ha! And I’ve got two more Kauai posts coming up this week <3

      Yup, I just made a text heart.

  • Camels & Chocolate
    January 22 2013

    I’m telling you: The island life sure suits you two beautiful ladies! So glad you got to hang out together, and I love forward to our trip altogether (which WILL happen this year, yes?).
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 23 2013

      Heck yes it will! I think Angie’s trying to arrange it at the moment…

  • Jonny Miller
    January 22 2013

    Definitely, having spent 2 weeks camping on Hanalei beach and surfing in the bay…one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life! Hope to return sometime…
    Jonny Miller recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 23 2013

      That sounds like an awesome way to experience Hawaii! Definitely would make it into a more affordable destination as well.

  • What’s prettier? You two or Kauai??? Kauai is my favorite island! Gorgeous shots!!!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 23 2013

      I love that your comments are always compliments 🙂 Thanks Andi!

  • TammyOnTheMove
    January 23 2013

    Stunning, stunning pictures! What a beautiful island!
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    • Meihoukai
      January 23 2013

      It really was! And more to come 🙂

  • Dani
    January 24 2013

    Kauai looks amazing – seriously, your photos are fabulous – and isn’t it great when virtual friendships turn into ‘real’ ones? Love it! 🙂
    Dani recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      January 24 2013

      I’ve been so lucky, so far all my online friends that I’ve met in “real life”, we’ve clicked as well as we did online. I mean, no one will understand our situation like other bloggers will, right?!

  • Martin
    May 22 2014

    “Have you ever been to Kauai? Do you agree that its the most beautiful Hawaiian island?”

    I have been there, and I really, really liked it, but I rank it third of the Hawaiian Islands!

    4. Oahu (5/10)
    Meh. Touristy. Fakey Waikiki Beach with sand imported from other islands.
    3. Kauai (8/10)
    Really nice actually. Waimea Canyon is nice. Beaches are cool. Spotted a turtle just by walking at a beach. Now forgive me for not remembering the name right now, but that west coast of Kauai is so beautiful. We zodiaced it and that was awesome. So yeah, I really like Kauai. I just like the other two islands even better!
    2. Big Island Hawaii (9/10)
    Vulcanoes!!! Woohoo. Even without live lava, seeing all the black lava is awesome, covering the road in the south end of the N.P. Also the red glow of the vulcano at night is awesome. And what about renting a 4×4 and driving all the way up to Mauna Kea… Hiking (well on flip flops, so probably walking) up to its highest point at 13,000 some ft. Watching sunset above the clouds, then watching a million stars.. So awesome!! Too bad my reservation with the manta-diving failed; divers shine their light on the sea and plankton comes to the light, and then manta rays feed on that.. But I missed out on that. Sad panda. But still. Awesome island.
    1. Maui (9.5/10)
    I saw a freaking large ray with snorkeling 🙂 And some turtles. And some sharks with scuba diving. The Road to Hana is so beautiful with hidden lagoons of fresh water, filled by waterfalls. Black sand beaches. Beautiful landscapes.

    So, there you have it, my opinion on Hawaii 🙂 The most beautiful of all 50 US States (I say after visiting 25 + DC) but that’s a bit cheating because of the location.

    Easily the most beautiful place I have been sofar.

    • Meihoukai
      May 25 2014

      Enjoyed reading your rankings, Martin! I’d have a hard time doing the same as my experiences on each island were so different and special. Glad you loved Maui so much since that’s the one I’m back on now! 🙂

  • Gianna
    November 18 2014

    Hi Meihoukai!

    Just wondering what time of the year you went. I found really inexpensive flights for the end of January/beginning of February. I then realized it’s the winter/rainy season!

    I’m really looking forward to visiting Princeville and Kauai in general, and then noticed it’s extra rainy there at that time haha!

    Would your advice be to go for it, or pay extra and go in May when the weather is probably nicer?

    • Meihoukai
      November 18 2014

      Hey Gianna, I was in Kauai in late October. Having only experienced those five days there, I don’t feel qualified to offer any advice on other parts of the year and what the seasons might be like. Sorry! I’d check the historical info on weather.com, that helps me make decisions like this sometimes 🙂 Good luck!