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.
Enjoying my coffee as we arrive to Nuku Hiva!
Reminds me of Hawaii!
Checking out our tender boat for the next several stops.
Our transportation for our excursion.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Elementary School. Once the kids get older, they have to go to Tahiti for school.
Love this picture of the horses hanging out on the side of the road.
One of my favorite pictures from the day!
Every day a boat comes in to deliver fresh fish. The residents head out and pick what they want for the day.
Looking down on Taipivai Valley.
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!
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.
Enjoying champagne on the ship!
Enjoying more champagne and an incredible sunset.
Carmel popcorn ice cream…as good as it looks!
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.
Our fancy coffee we had every single morning!
Finally got to try mochi from Two Ladies Kitchen!
Josh trying out the SUP board with peddles.
Double rainbow leaving Hilo.
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!
Forcing Josh to drink a Piña Colada with me.
Dover sole with lemon caper sauce.
Josh’s chorizo scallops.
Fancy apple tart dessert. Just as delicious as it looks!
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!
Josh playing some games.
Ahi “Katsu” Rice Bowl: panko crusted medium rare tuna with white rice with wakame (ocean) salad, pickled ginger, carrot curls, shredded nori, sliced cucumber, sesame seeds and wasabi ginger beurre blanc
Island Fresh Fish Tacos: cheddar cheese, ancho chile crema, taco sauce, topped with tropical fruit salsa
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!
Blue Corn Panko Crusted Chile Relleno: filled with tiger prawns, diver scallops, monterey jack cheese on roasted sweet corn relish, avocado, crème fraîche, roasted tomato-ancho chile salsa
Opakapaka Fish Special: parmesan panko crusted over risotto, grilled shrimp, and beurre blanc
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.
We made it to the top!
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!
Maui Venison seared with roasted spices and honey lime sauce
Papa’s Sashimi: Ono: with lime, green chili oil, papaya and Maui pink sea salt. Ahi with ponzu, watermelon radish, red shiso and Kukui nut. Kanpachi with Maui onion-fig jam and Molokai black sea salt.
Opakapaka sauteed with Hamakua mushrooms, white wine and capers
Ono, Ahi and Kanpachi in Panang Curry with Macadamia nuts, banana, sambal and mango chutney
After dinner, we drove back to our hotels and called it a night!
A new sushi restaurant opened up in Kaneohe recently so Josh and I tried it Saturday night. We went early around 6:00 PM and got the last table. It was already full (reservations recommended) so we were lucky. It was absolutely delicious and I’m so excited to go back!
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!
We celebrated the fourth this year in pretty much the best way possible — grilling out with friends, pool time, and fireworks on the beach. It was a beautiful day and SO nice to get to relax and have some quality friend time!
Blueberry, strawberry, raspberry mojitos!
Quite a spread!
Josh and Andy blowing up the unicorn and the black swan!
My favorite…fruit pizza!
Enjoying the beach with hundreds of our closest friends.
After being gone for almost a month, I celebrated being back in town by going to dinner with Josh and friends! Our friends Andy and Anna took me out for the BEST belated birthday dinner ever at The Nook. The food and drinks were all delicious! Can’t wait to go back!