Danielle & Brick Visit!

Josh and I kicked off 2020 with our lovely friends visiting. Unfortunately, our weather wasn’t exactly cooperating for their trip. However, we were able to squeeze in a beach walk, lots of good food, Pearl Harbor, and a couple hikes. Ready for them to come back!

 

The Big Island: Trip 6

In September, our friends Andy and Anna got married on The Big Island! My immediate family all came so we spent some quality time exploring new parts of the island along with celebrating our friends!

We arrived to Kona early on Thursday. We stopped at Daylight Minds for some coffee before heading to Da Poke Shack for some delicious poke. We checked in to our hotel and relaxed for a bit. Then headed to the coffee farm where they were getting married for a BBQ.

The next day, we got up early to hike to Papakōlea Beach (also known as Green Sand Beach). This had been on our list for years and we were so excited to finally get to see it! The hike was beautiful and even though it was completely exposed to the sun, it was such a windy day that it was pretty comfortable. The downside is that we were totally covered in dust/sand from head to toe because of the wind.

After we hiked back, we were all very ready for lunch. We stopped at Punalu’u Bake Shop for lunch and some malasadas (which were amazing). We then continued on to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park since Linda and Tom had never been there. We saw the steam vents and the caldera (but couldn’t see the green lake that’s forming).

We arrived back at the hotel and took much needed showers. We then decided to go to dinner and enjoy the sunset along the coast at the Four Seasons. We were all really excited to go back as we were fortunate enough to have dinner there two years earlier. Such a beautiful sunset!

On Saturday, we decided to relax at the hotel before the big celebration that night! We arrived at the coffee farm in time for cocktails with a side of misty rain and a beautiful sunset. The weather cleared up and we had an AMAZING time! So much fun eating, drinking, and dancing!

On Sunday, we spent some time enjoying the lovely view before heading to the airport to part ways. Such a fun, packed weekend! ❤

Maui: Trip 3 – Days 1 & 2

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!

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.

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!

After dinner, we drove back to our hotels and called it a night!

 

 

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 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!