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Saturday, November 15, 2014

The "Most Romantic Spot On Kauai" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Listening to a tender rendition of the "Hawaiian Wedding Song" as a young Hawaiian woman with a red flower in her hair dances to the enchanting music.  
Our riverboat ride awaits us. Click on photo to enlarge.
Boy, I'll tell you, when I read the brochure about the Fern Grotto on Kauai's East side Wailua River being a romantic destination, I thought how can a tourist spot be romantic.  Well, I was convinced about five seconds into the song while standing underneath the beautiful fern covered lava rocks with the water slowly cascading down from maybe 50 feet above us.  
Learning the moves of the Hula during our ride.
This would be a great place to be married!  Our guide told us all about the weddings that have taken place at the site as well as the fact that weddings can no longer be performed inside the Grotto due to the possibility that the ceiling could cave in and trap visitors.  
Just Sue and Carol practice their Hula moves.
It was on April 24, 2006 that the Grotto was closed by the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources for safety reasons.  Heavy rains the previous month caused a number of rocks and boulders to fall from the ceiling of the Grotto onto the viewing area below.  A year later reinforcement of the rock walls and installation of a viewing platform well below the Grotto allowed limited access to the natural wonder.  
The Fern Grotto.  The opening in the center is large
enough to allow people to stand in it.  Weddings once
were performed inside the opening, but since 2006
they have been prohibited because of rocks falling.
Weddings may be performed and viewed on the observation deck, but may no longer be performed inside the Grotto opening.  Our tour group is standing on the observation deck and I believe it would still be a romantic spot to hold a wedding.  
"The Wedding Song" is being sung to
music as the dancer does the Hula.
A little over a half hour ago we boarded a flat-bottomed riverboat and made our way down the sacred river towards the Fern Grotto.  Musicians serenaded us with Hawaiian melodies and a young girl taught the guests the movements of the Hula.  Off in the distance I could see the cloud-capped Mt. Waialeale.  Our boat pulled next to a dock in what looked like a tropical rain forest and we all departed, winding our way through the lush vegetation to the Fern Grotto observation deck.  You can feel the coolness of the air and smell the tropical flowers as you view the beautiful cave above us which is bathed in sunlight from rays coming through the trees.  
Someone has welcomed us to the Fern Grotto with a message
written on this flower along the pathway.
And then the song began.  I could feel goose bumps on my skin from the music echoing off the walls around us and the total silence of our tour group.  Then ….. the song ended with applause filling the air.  The trip back up the river wasn't as exciting, but we still got to see the many varieties of flowers and trees which lined the banks of the river.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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