Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 7: Secret Gardens

{Jurassic Park trees}

This morning we headed to the McBride & Allerton Garden tour, part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. This was not something that I initially wanted to do because I thought $45 to tour some garden sounded ridiculous. Well as it turns out it was only $35 per person and well worth the price. I was amazed by everything I saw. Our tour guide was Frank and he did a lovely job telling us about the gardens and you could really tell he was passionate about his job.

{this sprout of bamboo was 3 days old and 6.5' ft tall!}

The McBride garden serves as a research and conservation garden where they do amazing work with toxins in common plants to help cancer research. You can tour this garden only for a smaller fee. But take the guided tour of both, it's worth it.
{from Whoville?}

The Allerton garden is named after Robert Allerton who purchased part of Queen Emma of Hawaii's estate on the southern shore of Kauai. Allerton had a passion for landscape architecture, sculpture and design. Along with is life companion, John, whom he legally adopted, they began designing individual "rooms" for the 80 acre garden. You might recognize some of these rooms since they are featured in the opening scene of Gilligan's Island, scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and of course Jurassic Park. The famous trees you see above are only 63 years old! If they were growing in the natural habitat to be that big they would be 300 years old! They are Moreton Bay Fig trees.

After the gardens we headed to Lihue to enjoy our helicopter ride. We chose to ride with Safari helicopters since their prices were low and I didn’t see any bad things about them (although their DVD is not worth buying). Kauai was beautiful from above! The morning started out kind of cloudy but the skies cleared before we took off. Unless you are an avid/hardcore hiker you wouldn’t be able to see most of Kauai unless you see it from above. And we were almost able to see the top of Mt. Wai'ale'ale (Wai'ale'ale gets an average of 400+ inches of rain a year!).

After our helicopter flight we headed back to the hotel for a couples cabana massage. HOLY MOLY was that wonderful! Neither one of us had ever had a massage before so that plus the sound of the waves crashing on the beach…it was just so relaxing!
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