Fifty shades of grey

The gratuitous headline actually fits the photo below perfectly. This is February in the Midwest—cold, often cloudy, always monochromatic.

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Compare and contrast to the vibrant colors one experiences on the islands of Hawaii—reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, indigoes and violets. Yes, a rainbow of colors wherever one turns. Even in the rain, there is usually a rainbow to be discovered.

The minute you step off the plane it’s apparent. It doesn’t matter if you land in Honolulu on Oahu, Kona or Hilo on the Big Island, Lihue on Kauai, Kahului on Maui, or if your final destination is via a smaller aircraft to the Lanai or Molokai airports.

Kua Beach

This photo above, from March 2014, was taken at Kua Beach on the Big Island—officially known as Manini’owali Beach. It’s a gem of a beach with crystal clear waters, white sand, sea turtles, reefs for snorkeling. This photo, taken on a whim from my cell phone, shows the entrance area to a walkway to the beach. I love how a coconut near the rustic, weathered picnic table looks as if it was positioned there on purpose. When we returned from this trip, I sent this one off to Canvas on Demand, so that I could hang in on my wall for days like this when it’s 3 degrees outside.

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This quintessential beach above is in front of Mama’s Fish House on Maui. The palm trees provide just enough shade from the sun. If you stop for lunch or dinner, this is the view.

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On Kauai, home to one of the rainiest spots on earth at the summit of Mount Waialeale, beautiful color is everywhere—even in the rain. This photo is from a lookout near Princeville. I love the serene colors and landscape. So peaceful.

On Lanai, the landscape has its own beauty and is completely different on the shore as it is in upcountry Lanai. This view below is of the lush gardens at the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele. The air is crisp here. The manicured Japanese gardens are stunning. Icing on the cake is the orchid house they have onsite. Rain or shine, gorgeous.

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Pick an island, any island. Really, you can’t go wrong. Need. To. Go. Back. Soon.

Princeville on the North Shore of Kauai

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Located on the North Shore on the island of Kauai, Princevile is lush, green and gorgeous. It is home to the St. Regis Princeville Resort, which overlooks the beautiful beach of Hanalei Bay. This is also a paradise for golfers.

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The cliffs on some parts of this side of the island are 200 feet above the Pacific, offering panoramic views of the ocean. It’s often rainy in Princeville, but you don’t seem to mind when you look in the distance and see the lush valley of Hanalei.  With an average rainfall of 85 inches a year, the rain is welcome as it usually tends to fall during the evenings and the showers are typically brief.

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Green everywhere you look. Lush plants and trees surround you. Enjoy the views of mountains with waterfalls in the distance.  Here, you’ll find temperate weather with highs in the 80s during the summer months and 70s in the winter months. The rain doesn’t distract from the beauty of Kauai, it adds to it. And, quite often, you will be greeted with a rainbow in the distance.

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After the rain

The average precipitation in Princeville, Kauai is a little more than 71 inches each year with the most rain falling in the month of December. Yes, it is rainy, which also means that it is lush and green. And gorgeous. This much rain also means that there are plenty of rainbows to be found. They seem to be everywhere. In waterfalls, in the sky. If lucky, you will see a double rainbow. Spectacular. It’s difficult to capture the beauty of a rainbow in Kauai. Someday, perhaps, that will be a goal. This is a rainbow seen from the Princeville Golf Course. Five minutes after this photo was taken, it was sunny and the rain stopped for the afternoon. IMG_2788

The legendary beauty of Kauai

IMG_2688Kauai is gorgeous, breathtaking and lush—living up to its name of the Garden Isle.

It is the home of Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and the breathtaking Na Pali Coast. From the crashing waves of Poipu to the lush Princeville on the north shore, Kauai offers scenic vistas, countless waterfalls and one of the wettest places on earth at the top of Mt Wai’ale’ale, which reportedly receives rain almost every day of the year. Kauai is a nature lover’s paradise.

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The first time I drove on the Kuhio Highway, I was speechless. Just when you think the island couldn’t be more picturesque, there is another view to take your breath away, such as the Hanalei Valley. Rainbows seem to greet you at every turn.

Kauai is the greenest and oldest of the Hawaiin islands. Many movies have been filmed in its natural beauty. When you visit, you instantly see why. It also maintains a somewhat rural feel and exudes old Hawaii. The entire island feels like a botanical garden.IMG_2727

It is easy to navigate as it is just 30 miles at its widest, but it’s best to take your sweet time when exploring this island to enjoy the awe and wonder of Kauai.