To ring in 2019 we headed to Maui to celebrate our friends getting married! We had a beautiful sunrise and some great views of Molokai and Lanai on our flight over.
Windmills on West Maui.
We arrived on Saturday morning and had breakfast in Paia at Paia Inn Café.
Pineapple mint jalapeño juice. Delicious but so spicy!
Huevos Rancheros Verde: cumin black beans, two eggs, salsa verde, lime crema, queso fresco, with corn tortillas, and cilantro
After breakfast, we drove around and then headed to Lahaina to check in and get ready for dinner. We made reservations to visit our favorite restaurant, Mama’s Fish House, for dinner.
Crispy Mahi-Mahi Rolls with poha berry and Hamakua mushroom brandy sauce
Seared ahi special
Mama’s Stuffed Fish: Stuffed with lobster and crab, baked with a Macadamia nut crust
On Sunday, we walked around Lahaina and then met at Hale Pa’ahao Prison for the rehearsal before the rehearsal dinner at Old Lahaina Luau.
Hanging out at the prison!
Monday was the big day! The girls started their day at the Royal Hawaiian getting ready for the ceremony. We all got to wear the most incredible flowers in our hair! Caitlin was just stunning and we had a blast getting beautiful!
Beautiful rainbow to start our morning!
Can’t get over how beautiful the flowers were!
Next stop, the prison! It was a beautiful ceremony with more unbelievable flowers. After the ceremony, we boarded a whale watching boat to cruise around Maui, Lanai, and Molokai. We saw whales and an incredibly sunset.
Jake and Kersten!
Next stop was Down the Hatch in Lahaina followed by dancing at Monkeypod to ring in the new year! It was such a wonderful day celebrating!
Our next stop was Raiatea, where we actually docked vs. anchored in the bay. We were the very first people off the boat and rented another car to explore the island. We drove all the way around the island to see as much as we could.
After we circled the island, we walked through Uturoa and then had lunch on the boat. In the afternoon, we did a drift snorkel in a coral garden on Tahaa (Tahaa shares a lagoon with Raiatea). It was pouring rain when we left, which made for an adventurous boat ride across the lagoon. It cleared up and the snorkeling was incredible. We drifted right over a really shallow coral garden and saw a ton of fish and beautiful coral.
Enjoying some delicious fruit after our snorkel.
The water was so clear!
Bora Bora in the distance
After an amazing afternoon, we were the last to board the boat. We caught an amazing sunset from our balcony before a delicious dinner.
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.