In March 2009, Aaron and I spent a 3-day weekend in Kaua’i.
The Hawaii ITT trip was an all-inclusive (plane, hotel, rental car, meals) and Ni’ihau helicopter tour!
I don’t remember it costing more than $500 for all of it. It was an amazing weekend, the two us, alone. We’ve never had a weekend alone, before or since.
The helicopter tour was about 30 minutes from Kaua’i to Ni’ihau. Then we had a couple hours to explore, ate a picnic lunch, and flew back to Kaua’i.
Keith Robinson and his brother, Bruce, own the approximately 70-square-mile island of Ni’ihau in the Hawaiian island chain, which has been in the private possession of their family since their great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth McHutchinson Sinclair (1800–92), purchased it from King Kamehameha V for US$10,000 in gold. He is also the manager of a private botanical garden on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi. Robinson makes his home on Kaua’i, but visits Ni’ihau at least once per week on average.
We flew in the helicopter from Kaua’i to Ni’ihau.
I’d never been in a helicopter before!
We zoomed all around the island…saw whales near the surface, the lovely Lehua Crater, and wild horses!
I love how all the Hawaiian islands have their own interesting and original landscape.
We landed and were given our instructions.
We had only a couple hours to explore. It was chilly and rainy.
As soon as we landed, I rushed over to see the beach!
The water was pretty chilly.
There were seals sunning themselves and a couple turtles bobbing in the waves.
We walked along the beach, exploring and gathering shells.
The shells on Ni’ihau are exquisite and the jewelry made with them are very expensive.
Common colors are ke‘oke‘o (white), ‘ākala (pink), lenalena (yellow), and ‘ōma‘oma‘o (green). Shades of colors are often identified as ‘āhiehie (light) or ikaika (dark). A few other terms include kahakaha (striped), ‘ōnikiniki (spotted), ‘āpu‘upu‘u (bumpy), and even waha ‘ula‘ula (red mouth).