We flew through the air and landed in Paradise…Pinch me…Kauai is heavenly…

This type of scene we noticed along Highway 56 in Kauai could be found in many places on the mainland.

Without a doubt, Kauai may prove to be our favorite of the four islands we’ve visited in Hawaii. The four months, we’d anticipated that may be too long, will fly by too quickly. 

We arrive in Kauai on a gorgeous day. Excuse the date stamps on some of these photos. I’d failed to remove it after taking photos of the existing damage on the rental car when we picked it up.

Upon arriving at the Lihue, Kauai airport, we hauled all of our bags to the shuttle bus stop for a ride to the Dollar car rental. We lucked out. They agreed to rent us the vehicle for the entire four months, preventing us from the necessity of going back once a month to renew.

There are many shops along the highway, an attraction for the tourists as shown here today in the village of Wailua.

Most likely they gave us the oldest and cheapest car on the lot with over 31,000 miles and no automatic door locks.  When did automatic door locks become popular? Thirty years ago? At only $685 a month, we hardly complain.  

There appears to be several Mexican restaurants in Kauai.

After all, this is Hawaii and rental cars are notoriously high here. Having booked online enabled us to get this great price. We took no less than a dozen photos of all of the dings and scratches on the car saving them in our Kauai file for future reference and we were on our way. 

A pineapple and coconut stand.

We had to ditch our intent of shopping at Costco. There wasn’t room in that tiny vehicle for a single item sold at Costco when everything is the jumbo size and the car was packed with our stuff. Instead today, we’ll return to Lihui for a much-needed trip to Costco. 

The ever-popular Bubba’s, known for their burgers.

Finding the condo was a little tricky although driving through upscale Princeville was delightful. We’ve landed in the most exquisite area we’ve seen in the islands or perhaps on any island we’ve visited thus far in our travels.

Traveling along a two-lane highway makes photo-taking difficult while driving.

Our condo is located in a well maintained four-unit building. We’ve already met everyone in each unit including permanent residents photographer Ted and vacation home manager Gloria and, vacationing neighbors from Toronto, lovely couple Sarah, Mario, and baby Kayden, staying only a few days. We have a sense that making friends in Kauai will be easy.

We stopped at a scenic overlook on the way to Princeville.

The condo, although smaller than we’d anticipated, is perfect for us. Newly remodeled, it appears new with lush finishes, quality workmanship, and pleasing design.

A proud rooster meandering with his family in the parking lot of the scenic overlook.

While moving in with the doors open a zillion mosquitoes entered the condo requiring we leave the AC on overnight. Mosquitoes hide in cool air.  Today, the doors and windows will be wide open after we return from shopping.

Two hens were hanging out with the above rooster.

In a way, the condo is comparable to a two-bedroom hotel suite with a kitchen. The comfy memory foam bed, soft pillows, and covers created the best night’s sleep we’ve had in ages. The shower was ideal, an aspect we’ve really come to appreciate.

Views of the ocean are always appealing.

More than anything, the scenic views from our lanai and the front of the building are breathtaking as shown in these photos. A white sand beach is across the road where we can take beach chairs for whale watching.

Another scenic overlook.

Last night, we dined at a restaurant tucked away in a condo complex also across the road, the Hideaway, when neither of us felt like shopping and cooking. The food was mediocre, the ambiance was noisy and our table was wobbly. I doubt we’ll return with many other options in the area.

We stopped when we spotted this beach.

We’d mailed a package to ourselves with all of our leftover foodstuffs. To my error, I failed to ask the owner if we could do so and we simply used the address for the condo when we mailed it at the post office in Pahoa.  Later, the owner informed us that only UPS will deliver to the condo.

A beautiful beach scene. The contrast between greenery and sand is particularly appealing.

As a result, this morning, we’ll head to the post office to see if the package has arrived. If it hasn’t, we may decide to wait to go to Costco to avoid duplicating some of the items in the packed box. Then again, with four months here in Princeville, duplication may not be an issue.

Since our arrival, we’ve taken many photos to share. From what we’ve seen so far, we’ll never run out of photos to share on this island. Known as the “garden island” the abundance of birds and vegetation is unlike anything we’ve seen since Tuscany in the summer of 2013. 

A bar and restaurant along the highway.

This morning shortly after awakening we heard the pleasing crow of a rooster. More later on why Kauai is known for its many wild chickens freely roaming about. Yesterday, there were several in the rental car parking lot.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with photos of the condo and much more. Stay tuned, dear readers. The exploration of the garden island has just begun.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, January 16, 2014:

On our way to the Blyde River Canyon for a three-day mini holiday, we drove through Kruger National Park. We stopped at a distance to watch this elephant. She was obviously annoyed with our visit, moving to the road to come toward us. Luckily, we were back far enough and Tom quickly backed out to get out of her way. Finally, she backed off, content that we weren’t a threat. For details and more photos of our ride through Kruger, please click here.