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!
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!
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!
This past weekend, we went out to dinner at MW Restaurant to celebrate my birthday a bit early. The food was delicious and everyone that waited on us wished me a Happy Birthday. We ordered off of their pre fixe menu and each got an appetizer taster, entree, and dessert. They also brought out a special dessert to celebrate (which we ended up taking home because we were SO full). Definitely a place that makes you feel special if you’re celebrating something!
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 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!
Saturday we woke up and had coffee on our lanai before embarking on a long haul to the Hilo side of the island for a packed day. We drove through the middle of the island and stopped at Kaumana caves first.
Exploring the caves.
After exploring the caves, we drove a few minutes down the road to Rainbow Falls. We spent some time enjoying the falls and the banyan trees.
After exploring, we decided it was time for breakfast at Ken’s House of Pancakes. The goal was to eat enough so we could make it through the day to our late dinner after our hike. We definitely achieved that goal!
After breakfast, we drove through the Puna area and stopped at MacKenzie State Park and to watch some turtles.
Such a neat shot.
We finally pulled ourselves away from the turtles so we could meet up for our lava hike at Kalapana Cultural Tours! Josh and I went with this company before and they are so wonderful. The hike was different than a few years ago (as expected) and we started by riding bikes a couple miles down a gravel road and then hiked the remainder of the way to the surface flow. We lucked out as there were quite a few breakouts. After that, we hiked back to the ocean entry to check that out before hopping on our bikes for the ride back.
Walking out through the baby palm trees to the black sand beach.
Such a pretty black sand beach.
After our hike, we were all pretty hungry and ready to relax. We drove back to Hilo and stopped at Pineapples for dinner before driving back to the other side of the island. It was perfect after our long day — good food, good drinks and open air seating!
After dinner, we drove back and completely crashed after much needed hot showers…very excited to sleep in the next day!
In the beginning of September, Josh, my mom, Tom and I all took a much needed vacation to The Big Island for a whole WEEK. This is the first trip to another island that lasted longer than a few days for Josh and I…which was wonderful!
Josh and I met them at the airport and we all flew to Kona together. We checked into our hotel in Waikoloa (which was lovely) and then headed to Lava Lava Beach Club for drinks, dinner and a beautiful sunset.
The next day, we didn’t have a ton planned (on purpose) so we could relax and explore where we were staying. We had coffee on our lanai and then my mom and I went on a walk to explore. It was a gorgeous day and we had the walk along the beach mostly to ourselves. After that, we ran to the grocery, took a nap and then got dressed for dinner at Roy’s. Linda had two restaurants that she wanted to eat at and this was one of them. The food did not disappoint and we lucked out with a corner table surrounded by water!