Cruise: Bora Bora

Our next stop was Bora Bora, which is tied with Fakarava as my favorite stop on our trip. We were here for a day and a half, which was the longest port stay of the trip. We arrived in the afternoon and anchored off Vaitape. On our first evening there, we took a sunset cruise on a catamaran and explored the lagoon. It was an incredible evening and a great way to explore the water.

After our sunset sail, we ate dinner at the food trucks in Vaitape. We decided to split a HUGE portion of fish. It was quite delicious and we enjoyed spending a night off the boat!

After dinner, we took a tender boat back to the ship and headed to bed to prepare for our early morning start to explore Bora Bora.

We woke up the next morning pretty early to grab the earliest tender boat and get to shore to explore. We rented a car (Fiat Panda) and drove around the entire island. Our first stop was Matira Beach, which we had entirely to ourselves. We were standing there enjoying the view when all of a sudden a stingray swam just inches from the shore. This was our first stingray spotting of the trip and it was such an awesome sight to see! I will never forget standing there and glancing down to see it!

After a lengthy stop at Matira Beach we kept driving around the island. We stopped at various places to check out all of the views. We also had our first encounter with a land crab who was not overly pleased to see us!

After we drove around the entire island, we went back to have lunch at a restaurant off Matira Beach. We had a great view of the beach, ocean, and stingrays!

After lunch, we returned to Vaitape to return the car and meet up for our afternoon excursion of snorkeling. We spent quite the afternoon in the water. Our first stop was a coral garden where we saw a variety of fish, oysters, a huge stingray, and a blacktip reef shark. After that, we headed to our second stop to snorkel with stingrays and backtip reef sharks. It was shallow enough for us to stand the entire time as they swam around us. It was a surreal experience!

After our tour was over, we headed back to catch a tender boat back to the ship and just enjoyed room service after a long, fantastic day!

 

Cruise: Fakarava

Our second stop in French Polynesia was Fakarava in the Tuamotu Archipelago. This was up there as my most favorite place we stopped. Fakarava is one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia at 37 miles long. It is known for some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. We anchored offshore and took a tender boat to the town of Rotoava. We rented bikes and biked all the way north 9 kilometers to a beach and had it completely to ourselves. That spot on the beach is potentially the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. It looked like it was out of a magazine! We were hoping to snorkel but the wind was incredibly strong and the ocean was way too rough to snorkel that day.

Cruise: Nuku Hiva

After four days at sea and crossing the equator for the first time, we made it to Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands! Nuku Hiva is the second largest island in French Polynesia after Tahiti and is the most populated island in the Marquesas Islands. We anchored in the bay near Taiohae on the southern coast, which is where most of the population (less than 3,000) lives on the island.

We took a tour to Taipivai Valley for a large chunk of the day. The excursion started in Taiohae and we road with a local across the mountains to the valley. We stopped in the valley and watched some of the locals at work carving different wood sculptures (Nuku Hiva is known for their wood carvings). We enjoyed some local fruit and a stop at the beach as well.

After a full day on Nuku Hiva, we had another day at sea as we headed towards Fakarava in the Tuamotu Archipelago. On our day at sea, we had another delicious dinner with the fanciest dessert yet!

Cruise: Honolulu, Hilo, & Days at Sea

Josh and I spent the first two and a half weeks of November on the most phenomenal vacation of our lives. We took a cruise that left from Honolulu and stopped in various places in French Polynesia ending in Tahiti.

We started in Honolulu on November 1st with a beautiful sunset and champagne followed by a steak dinner and cruising through the first night to Hilo.

We woke up on Friday to a gorgeous sunrise from our balcony. We enjoyed some delicious coffee and the view of The Big Island as we made our way to Hilo. We spent the day wandering Hilo with our friends who happened to be in Hilo for the weekend.

After leaving Hilo, we spent the next four days at sea heading toward the Marquesas Islands. Our days were filled with the gym, lots of delicious food and drinks, a fantastic massage, lounging by the pool, and reading. I think it was the most relaxed we’ve been in our lives!

Scratch Kitchen

A few weeks ago we tried Scratch Kitchen for brunch. All three dishes were wonderful (and incredibly filling). Excited to go back and try something different!

 

Maui: Trip 3 – Days 3 & 4

On Sunday, we got up and enjoyed coffee on our lanai again. After that, we picked up Brick and Danielle and headed to Paia for lunch and to walk around the town. After that, we decided we had enough time to head up to Haleakala. It was a really clear day so the views were stunning!

After that, we drove back to our hotels for the evening and relaxed and packed up to leave the next day. Josh and I enjoyed the most gorgeous sunset from our lanai. So many different colors!

On our last day, we once again enjoyed coffee on our lanai and took in the view one last time. Josh also played some Hawaiian games on the lawn of the hotel before we left. Our last stop of the trip was Lahaina to wander around the town. We had lunch with Danielle and Brick on the water at Lahaina Fish Co. before heading to the airport. Such a wonderful trip!

Maui: Trip 3 – Days 1 & 2

For Labor Day, Josh and I went to Maui to meet up with my friend Danielle and her fiancé Brick. We started our trip by making it to the hotel just in time for an incredible sunset. After we changed and got ready for dinner, we went into Lahaina to eat at Lahaina Grill. A beautiful sunset and delicious dinner were a great way to start our long weekend!

On Saturday, we got up and had coffee on our lanai and met Danielle and Brick to hike Waihe’e Ridge Trail.

We had about an hour drive to the Northwest side of Maui before making it to the start of the trail. It was an absolutely gorgeous day to hike and our views were stunning. At one point, we had waterfalls on both sides of us.

After our hike, we drove around West Maui. We stopped for some banana bread and to take in the incredible views.

After quite a lovely morning and early afternoon, we went back to our hotels to rest and get ready for dinner at Mama’s Fish House.

If you ask Josh and I what the best meal of our lives is we both say “Mama’s Fish House”. Needless to say, we were pretty excited to go back and it lived up to our memories!

After dinner, we drove back to our hotels and called it a night!

 

 

Casablanca

Last week, we finally tried the Moroccan restaurant in Kailua that had been on our list for a few months. This was my first time trying Moroccan and it definitely did not disappoint!

Madre Chocolate

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!