We visited three island: Kauai, Oahu, and Maui.
Kauai - The Garden Island:
This was my first visit to Kauai. We arrived at Lihue airport late on New Years Day. Our hotel, the Kauai Marriott, was a short shuttle ride from the airport. The hotel is attractive - despite the less than appealing entrance way.
I found this island a little more laid back than the others - so a great way to start a vacation. Work, Christmas and the ice-storm related damage to my house had left me in a severely over-stressed state. Kauai is the perfect cure for stress. Here is a view from the hotel:
We spent a day or two - can't exactly remember - enjoying the hotel pool and beach, playing Scrabble, and checking out the shops reachable on foot. With this R&R under our belts we were ready to explore - by car.
Our first trip took us north from Lihue and all the way to Hanlei Bay and as far as the road would reach. You would have seen view of Hanlei Bay in the movie "The Descendants'. The weather was 'cool' - meaning the locals feel chilly while tourists are happy wearing shorts and soaking in the sun. It was ideal for taking in the sights. The road and various vista points gives great view of the coast, and the mountain backdrop.
Here is a view looking south from near Hanlei Bay:
This is one of the many beaches:
This - I believe show a view over the bay: