A Tropical Babymoon in Kauai, Hawaii
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I didn’t know how much I needed or wanted a babymoon until I actually went on one. The second we landed on Kauai the stress of the past year evaporated into the balmy air.

It’s not just that Kauai feels like a completely different country. It’s more than that. Kauai is the least-developed of Hawaii’s four major islands, and it’s a place where the clock seems to slow down.

And all I wanted was to slow time. To enjoy being with my husband, Nick, for just a little longer before we became a family of three.

At nearly six months pregnant, I was also still itching to be active. Kauai has some of the most stunning and tranquil beaches in Hawaii, but it also has some of the most scenic hiking trails that are perfect for every level, even a pregnant waddler like me.

But first we needed to check into the rustic and cozy Waimea Plantation Cottages. I wanted to be close enough to the sea that I could let the waves lull me to sleep and far enough away from a resort filled with kids. Even though I couldn’t wait for my baby to come, I wanted to cherish my last few months of relative silence. Waimea didn’t disappoint.

We slept luxuriously late the following day before heading to the North Shore of the island to take in the Na Pali coast, one of the main reasons I wanted to visit Kauai in the first place. We slowly ascended the first portion of the Kalalau Trail. The huffing and puffing was worth it, as we were greeted with the kind of majestic views I’d previously only encountered on screensavers.

After the hike, we returned to the blissful Ke’e Beach at the base of the trailhead and floated in the bathwater-warm inlet until the sun dissolved below the horizon.

Dinner that night was something I’d been looking forward to for months. Bar Acuda in Hanalei has become the destination restaurant on the island. The tapas, especially the seared sea scallops with Spanish chorizo vinaigrette, are to die for, but the one thing I still dream about is the soursop mint juice. It’s such a perfect mocktail that it made me forget that my husband was sipping mojitos with rum.

The next day we circled the other side of the island in a catamaran. Capt. Andy’s sailing trips make it easy for a pregnant lady to kick up her heels and peacefully take in the waterfalls and sea caves that are accessible only to boats and the most intrepid trekkers. I was required to do little else except gawk at the dolphins as they chased our catamaran.

We satisfied my appetite with a truck-size platter of Cajun peel-and-eat shrimp at the Shrimp Station on the Kamuali’i Highway in Waimea and a dessert of classic Hawaiian shave ice from JoJo’s down the road.

Our bellies full, we made it to the edge of Waimea Canyon just in time for another sunset. With the sun turning the rusty cliffs into a kaleidoscope of color, I leaned into Nick’s chest. As he wrapped his arms around my belly, I smiled and thought, “Someday we’ll bring our little boy here.”

By Jo Piazza

THE LOWDOWN

WHERE TO EAT
Bar Acuda
restaurantbaracuda.com

The Shrimp Station
theshrimpstation.net

WHERE TO STAY
Waimea Plantation Cottages
coasthotels.com

WHAT TO DO
Capt. Andy’s Sailing Trips
napali.com