The Big Island: Trip 4 – Day 3

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.

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.

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.

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!

 

Crouching Lion Mini Hike

This weekend Josh and I decided to try the Crouching Lion Mini hike. It’s been on our list since we lived here the last time so we were excited to try something new. We ended up going the harder way up and coming back down the easier way (not on purpose). We could not have asked for a more beautiful day or better weather!

Kauai: Trip 3 – Day 4

We had one day on Kauai to explore the rest of the island. We decided on breakfast in Hanalei (delicious) and then driving around the rest of the island. Our first stop after breakfast was Kilauea Lighthouse and seeing the bird sanctuary. We then made it to Waimea Canyon where we spent most of our time stopping to see the views. It looks so much like the Grand Canyon! We made it to the top of the Kalalau Valley lookout. It was so weird to think we were down there the day before. Our last stop before dinner was the glass beach. There were tiny bits of sea glass all over the beach. We treated ourselves to dinner at Duke’s in Lihue before catching our flight back to Oahu. Had such an amazing trip!

Kauai: Trip 3 – Day 3

On Sunday we woke up early to get started on our long hike back. I definitely did not sleep well the night before as I was dreading the hike and I was worried about the little black kitten. He turned out to be totally fine, but I was still dreading the hike. Once again, at about mile 9 I think we were all pretty done. It was a gorgeous day and much hotter than the hike in so we went through all of our water and had to stop and refill at the rivers. We were thrilled to make it to the last river and see people! It meant we were almost back. I was so happy to get off that trail and see our rental car! We all took showers and had a ton of food in Hanalei. This is the second hardest thing I’ve ever done (only being trumped by the first time I did it). Such a fun experience, but we were all thankful to sleep in a real bed that night!

Kauai: Trip 3 – Day 2

Day two started out with all of us being just a bit sore (maybe not so much Kyle) but the rest of us were feeling it. We made coffee and breakfast and then set out to explore! Our day consisted of checking out the the rocks at the end of the beach that had all sorts of things growing on them, walking the beach and visiting the caves at the end, lounging around camp (including in our tents when it decided to start raining) and then enjoying another beautiful sunset on the beach after it rained. We finished the evening by enjoying the stars. They were absolutely breathtaking. We also made friends with a black kitten. It took everything I had to not take him home with me. ❤

Kauai: Trip 3 – Day 1

A few weeks ago, my cousins Bailey and Kyle came to visit Josh and I. It was deja vu as four years ago they came to visit to celebrate Kyle’s graduation from high school and Bailey’s graduation from college. This time, it was Kyle celebrating graduation from college and Bailey celebrating graduating with her PhD.

They spent a couple weeks each on Oahu, but the highlight of their visit for all of us was hiking the Kalalau trail. This would be the hike that Josh and I did as our first date here he tried to kill me. It rained the entire time, which made crossing three rivers rather interesting and terrifying. Luckily, this time we didn’t run into that issue!

We spent the days before buying supplies, organizing our packs and making sure we had everything we needed.

We left on Thursday evening and checked into our Airbnb in Princeville. It was close to the trail so we didn’t have to drive too far on Friday morning to get started. We ate dinner at Barrel Chicken in Hanalei and then prepared for the next day.

We got up at 3:30 AM to have coffee, finish packing and arrive at the trail early. It was dark out when we started so we were able to enjoy the sunrise.

We made it to the first river and I was happy to find that I could hop along rocks to cross (very different than the last time). We made friends with a rooster who decided to cross it with us.

Around mile 6 we made it to the second river and stopped to have a snack. I also changed shoes as my feet were killing me. We were really psyching ourselves up for mile 7 and crawler’s ledge. Good news, is it was not as bad as we thought it might be!

We finally made it! The last three miles seemed to take days. But we crossed the final river and spotted the beach. We set up camp, then went to the waterfall at the end of the beach to refill water, made dinner and enjoyed the most incredible sunset ever on the beach. Not bad for the first day!

 

Molokai: Trip 3 – Day 2

On our first full day on Molokai we woke up to our incredible view of Maui. We sat and enjoyed coffee on our lanai and listened to the ocean. Quite the way to start our day!

Our morning view.

After a our leisurely start, we packed up the car to drive towards Halawa Valley. Our first stop was Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, another Saint Damien church.

It started raining on us, so we got back in the car and continued on our journey! The drive there was breathtaking and as we got closer, it stopped raining and we had a great view of the Halawa Falls.

We arrived in Halawa Valley and headed to Kalani’s Farm. We chatted with him for a bit and then we were able to sign waivers and hike to the falls since we had already gone on a tour with him a few years ago. We had the trail to ourselves for almost the entire way. Unfortunately for me, there were a ton of spiders (which I do not remember from the last time) so Josh took the lead and was in charge of knocking down webs. We made it to the river crossing but it was still flowing pretty fast. We decided to play it safe and head back. Sad we didn’t make it to the falls but it was a gorgeous hike.

When we got back to the farm, Kalani showed us some of his flowers and gave us two different types of bananas…which turned into an incident for Josh. One of Kalani’s ducks saw that we had bananas and she started racing towards Josh (apparently they are her favorite thing). This turned into Josh running from the duck and her flying at him (I was in tears). We went ahead and shared some with her :).

We were ready for lunch after our hike so we stopped at Manae Goods & Grindz for the best chicken katsu I’ve ever had. We ate lunch and then went back to our place to change and prepare for the rest of our afternoon.

After lunch, we drove to the West side of the island to show Linda around. Our final stop of the day was Papohaku Beach for sunset. Once again we had the beach to ourselves. The waves break really late here so Josh spent most of the time chasing the perfect picture. He did an awesome job (please see his work below 🙂 ).

Our first full day was packed and we were exhausted. We reluctantly left the beach for our long drive back. We weren’t super hungry due to our late lunch, so we stopped in Kaunakakai for some ice cream for dinner (my type of dinner). Great way to end our day!

Jan & Bob Visit Hawaii!

A couple weeks ago, my aunt Jan and uncle Bob came to visit. We did all sorts of fun things including hiking, snorkeling, kayaking and eating all sorts of food. So happy they were able to come spend some time with us. We had an amazing time!

 

Intense waves on our Kaena Point hike:

Waimano Falls

One of Krista’s bucket list items was to jump off a waterfall while in Hawaii. We decided to hike to Waimano Falls to accomplish that. This was a first for me (even though I didn’t jump). It was a great hike and I was so happy to try something new!

Krista & Don Visit Hawaii

A few weeks ago, my cousin Krista and her husband Don came to visit. We went on many hikes, ate a ton of food and caught a sunrise. Highlights below!