Maui: Trip 4

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.

 

We arrived on Saturday morning and had breakfast in Paia at Paia Inn Café.

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.

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.

 

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!

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.

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!

 

 

Moorea

After our cruise ended, we stayed an extra two days on Moorea in an overwater bungalow. This was an item on my bucket list that I never thought I’d have a chance to cross off. I don’t think I can truly put into words how awesome it was to stand on our deck and be able to see fish, stingrays, and sharks clearly. We spent every day walking outside, jumping into the water, and snorkeling for hours.

On our first day we checked in, grabbed lunch, and hopped in the water to snorkel. After snorkeling, we enjoyed some champagne, a sunset, and some pretty awesome stingray watching.

After our sunset, we headed to dinner at the crepe restaurant. At night, the blacktip reef sharks come to visit the restaurant so we had quite a few friends hanging out for dinner.

After dinner, we crashed after our big day and got some sleep so we could do it all over again!

 

We woke up on Friday and started our day on stand up paddleboards in the lagoon. We saw tons of fish, sharks, and took in some great views. After that, we grabbed our snorkel gear and jumped in the water. The day brought more fish, more sharks, and a snowflake eel!

We ate dinner again with the sharks and organized ourselves so we could spend the morning in the water before we had to check out!

 

We woke up on Saturday and made the most of the few hours we had left. We spent the morning in the water with some familiar fish. We went pretty far out in the lagoon and on our way back we encountered a giant moray eel…which is the scariest thing I’ve seen in the water snorkeling and diving. He was really annoyed at us and came pretty far out from the coral and made it known he was pissed by baring his teeth at us. Pictures do not do this thing justice. Pretty cool that we got to see this without an incident!

We checked out of our hotel, grabbed the ferry back to Tahiti, and headed to the airport to hang out until our flight left. No words can describe how incredible this trip was and the pictures only start to do everything justice. So thankful we were fortunate enough to see this part of the world! ❤

Cruise: Taihiti

Our last stop on our cruise was Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia. We had one full day there and took full advantage of it. We started the day by having a lovely breakfast in our room, wandering around Papeete and visiting the market, then renting a car to drive around part of the island. Once we picked up the car, we headed North to start our trip around Tahiti Nui (we only had time to drive around the larger part of the island).

After stopping at a black sand beach and waterfall, we continued our rainy drive by a bright colored church and stopped at a botanical garden. Unfortunately the botanical garden seemed pretty desolate. However, we did see a Galapagos turtle but we were somewhat concerned since no one seemed to be there.

Our final stop on our tour of the island was the Maraa grotto. It was pouring down rain but well worth the stop. We met the cutest kitten and wished we could have taken her home with us!

After a decent amount of time at the caves, we drove back to Papeete to return the car and explore more. We walked around the city, visited the market for lunch and souvenirs, and eventually made our way back to the ship to eat dinner and pack our bags for an early morning departure.

 

 

 

Cruise: Raiatea

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.

After an amazing afternoon, we were the last to board the boat. We caught an amazing sunset from our balcony before a delicious dinner.

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!

 

Lanai: Trip 2 – Day 3

Our last day started with a short hike to view Puu Pehe rock. Such a beautiful morning and we had it all to ourselves!

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!

The Big Island: Trip 5

A couple weekends ago, we met our friends Lindsay and Channa on The Big Island for a quick trip. They were visiting from Seattle so we decided to crash their vacation for a couple days.

Saturday was a bit rainy so we slept in and then walked into Kailua for brunch. We ate at Daylight Mind Coffee Company (which was delicious) and then wandered back to our hotel.

After eating plenty of food, we decided to go on a short walk to the End of the Earth. We watched a few people jump off the rocks and enjoyed the spectacular view of the ocean.

After a relaxing day, we walked to dinner and enjoyed the evening!

On Sunday we decided to go snorkeling at Two Step. Great location with tons of fish! Videos below!

After lots of snorkeling, we worked up an appetite. We ate lunch at Da Poke Shack before saying bye and venturing back to Oahu! The poke was DELICIOUS.

 

The Big Island: Trip 4 – Day 6

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.

 

 

Byodo-In Temple

While my mom was visiting, we decided to visit the Byodo-In Temple. It was absolutely beautiful and we felt like we were in another country. My favorite were the black swans!