For Josh’s birthday I put together a few fun date ideas to do throughout the year as a present. One of them was the Make Your Own Chocolate class at Madre Chocolate in Chinatown. The store was really cute with a variety of samples to try of all their different chocolates.
We started in the back by tasting cacao in it’s raw form (the pulp is really sweet but the bean is bitter). Next, we went back to their garden which had cacao plants, orchids, cotton plants, and a variety of other trees and plants. After that, we went back inside to make our chocolate bars! Highly recommend this as a fun date night!
The back room where all the chocolate making magic happens!
Cacao in it’s raw form.
Cacao drying out in the garden outside.
View of the garden
Loved this shot!
Mixing the cacao with all the good things like sugar!
Josh adding coffee, cinnamon, and salt to his chocolate.
My chocolate bar with almonds, coconut, and salt.
Josh’s chocolate bar
They put the chocolate on this vibrating pan to distribute it evenly in the mold.
Getting to taste six different types of their chocolate. All were amazing!
Our last day started with a short hike to view Puu Pehe rock. Such a beautiful morning and we had it all to ourselves!
Decided to stop and explore the tide pools.
I wasn’t ready for the picture :). But what a good picture of Josh!
After our hike, we went back to the hotel, packed up our stuff, and checked out of the hotel. Our last stop on our trip was Shipwreck Beach. It was QUITE windy but we had a great view of the largest shipwreck!
After Shipwreck Beach, it was time to return the car and head to the airport. We had such an amazing time and packed a TON in to a weekend!
On our second day, we got up and had breakfast and coffee at the hotel and took full advantage of the big rocking chairs looking out over the front lawn. After breakfast, we packed up the Jeep for our adventures that day.
First stop was the Munro Trail. We didn’t do the whole thing, only the first couple of miles. We found a really cool swing and stopped at a lookout that had some lovely views of Maui and Molokai!
The view on the way to the Munro Trail. Just love those pine trees!
Stables at Koele. So beautiful.
We found a swing!
The next stop was Garden of the Gods. The trail there was insanely muddy with tons of potholes due to the amount of rain Hawaii saw in the early Spring. It made for quite the adventure!
After taking in the view for a bit, we kept going down to Polihua Beach. The last time Josh and I were here, it was SO windy we couldn’t even enjoy it. Luckily, this time it was perfect. We sat for a long time and just enjoyed the empty beach and sunshine!
Heading towards the beach!
I thought this was a really cool picture.
Jeep shot for Josh.
After plenty of sun, it was time to head back! It took us a little over an hour without any stops due to the rough terrain.
I made a friend.
The Lanai cat sanctuary needs to come find this guy!
Holding on for dear life!
Loved these flowers!
Once we got back, we wandered around Lanai City for a bit and relaxed before dinner at Lanai City Bar & Grille. Dinner was at our hotel, so quite convenient! We sat outside and listened to live music for a couple hours to end our night!
In April, we took a long weekend trip to Lanai with my mom and Tom. Josh and I left early in the morning on Friday so we could go visit the Lanai Cat Sanctuary, which we missed on our first trip. We picked up our jeep and went to Blue Ginger Cafe in Lanai City for breakfast. After that, we drove back towards the airport to go visit the kitties! We spent three hours (and I could have spent more) feeding them treats, playing with them, and giving them attention. The facility and staff were wonderful and I love their mission. We also sponsored a cat for a year (her name is Ava and she’s pictured below). She’s 11 and SO sweet! Can’t wait to go back!
They had tons of fun hiding places.
Ava! We sponsored her in place.
Just eating my sunglasses.
Naha escaped while we were leaving and wanted to come with us.
How to grow a cat.
They didn’t really want to be friends with us.
The welcome committee.
After we pulled ourselves away from the kitties, we checked in to Hotel Lanai and changed to go pick up Linda and Tom from the airport. After picking them up, we walked around Lanai City for a bit before heading to dinner at One Forty at The Four Seasons at Manele Bay. The dinner setting was beautiful and the food was delicious!
We visited the sunflowers on the North Shore this past weekend. It turned into quite an adventure as it happened to be raining and was incredibly muddy. The flowers were beautiful, even in the rain and it was a pretty fun day! We spent some time in Haleiwa and ended the day hanging out in the rain in the hot tub soaking off all of the mud!
Wednesday was our last full day on the island and we spent it relaxing and eating! We started by having breakfast at Daylight Mind Coffee Company.
After breakfast we relaxed and packed in preparation to leave the next day. For dinner that night, we celebrated Linda’s birthday again at ‘Ulu Sushi Lounge at The Four Seasons. The hotel was incredible and we got to enjoy one final sunset!
Of all the amazing days we had planned on our trip, I think I was most excited about this day/night because we had our Manta Ray night snorkel. This had been on my bucket list for a few years so I was REALLY looking forward to it!
The snorkel definitely did not disappoint. We went with Wahine Charters and I would highly recommend them to anyone! We took off from the harbor, had a half hour boat ride filled with stars and arrived at the site ready to hop in the water. We held on to these light boards and the manta rays were attracted to the plankton that are attracted to the light. They do somersaults and almost look like they are going to swim straight for you and turn at the last minute. It was so incredible it completely took my breath away.
On Monday we kayaked and snorkeled in Kealakekua Bay. Unfortunately, our Go Pro decided to not stay charged so we didn’t get any pictures. Huge bummer as we saw dolphins, tons of fish and an octopus! After a busy morning, we went back to the hotel and crashed before enjoying the sunset at Lava Lava Beach Club again.
We had a relaxing day planned for Sunday after our big Saturday (thank goodness). It was also Linda’s birthday! We woke up and had coffee on our lanai with our cats and left late morning to drive to Waipio Valley. It was a beautiful day and a great drive there!
Just trying to annoy Josh
Tom..he looks so small!
After enjoying the view, we drove to Honokaa for lunch. We wandered around a bit and then settled on Grandma’s Kitchen.
After lunch we drove down the coast and back toward Mauna Kea as our plan was to enjoy the sunset and check out the stars. It ended up being too cloudy so we decided to eat at Merriman’s in Waimea. On our way there we saw an owl…which was rather amazing!
Loved the view of this road
Merriman’s was maybe my favorite meal of the trip. The atmosphere was so great and the food was delicious. A great way to celebrate Linda!