Yokohama Bay & Kaena Point

We took advantage of the long holiday weekend and drove out to Yokohama Bay and Kaena Point. Lucky for us, the beach was empty and the hike wasn’t crowded at all. Highlights from the hike (besides the unreal views) include a Hawaiian Monk Seal swimming up on us as we dangled our feet in the water completely oblivious, the baby albatrosses, spotting a baby needle fish and a sea cucumber. Quite the wildlife adventure! We rewarded ourselves with some fantastic Puerto Rican food!




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 3 & 4

On Sunday, we got up and enjoyed coffee on our lanai again. After that, we picked up Brick and Danielle and headed to Paia for lunch and to walk around the town. After that, we decided we had enough time to head up to Haleakala. It was a really clear day so the views were stunning!

After that, we drove back to our hotels for the evening and relaxed and packed up to leave the next day. Josh and I enjoyed the most gorgeous sunset from our lanai. So many different colors!

On our last day, we once again enjoyed coffee on our lanai and took in the view one last time. Josh also played some Hawaiian games on the lawn of the hotel before we left. Our last stop of the trip was Lahaina to wander around the town. We had lunch with Danielle and Brick on the water at Lahaina Fish Co. before heading to the airport. Such a wonderful trip!

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 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!


The Big Island: Trip 4 – Day 1 & Day 2

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!



Maui: Trip 2 – Day 3

Laura and Jim’s Wedding Day!!!

On Monday, we woke up and headed down to have breakfast at the resort. After that, Josh and I drove to La Perouse Bay to hike around and see what it was all about. It was beautiful, but very windy. Snorkeling is supposed to be great in the bay, but the ocean was pretty rough. On our walk, we saw several goats just hanging out on the beach and in the wooded area. It was kind of hilarious to see goats hanging out on the beach. I feel like that would happen only in Hawaii.

After we got done with La Perouse Bay, we went back to the hotel to grab lunch at the pool bar and then got ready for the wedding! We went to the wedding around 4:00. It was in such a gorgeous location! Everyone looked so beautiful and it could not have been more perfect! I am so incredibly happy for both of them :). Towards the end of the night, Laura and I even got to dance to our song (Wouldn’t It Be Nice by the Beach Boys). The night could not have been more perfect for the two of them!

The Big Island: Trip 2 – Day 2

On Sunday, Josh and I woke up at 3:15 a.m. to head to our sunrise lava boat tour. Our tour was leaving at 5:00 a.m. from Isaac Hale Beach Park and we had to be there a half hour early to check in. We booked our tour through Lava Ocean Aventures and it was well worth it! Our boat was open on all sides so we were prepared to get wet and be cold! The coast we traveled on has some of the roughest waters in Hawaii. Part of the reason we chose the sunrise tour is that it would be the calmest time of day.

The amusing thing about this tour was that we all boarded the boat in the middle of a parking lot. They towed the boat to us and we all climbed up via a ladder. Once we were all on board, they towed us to the boat ramp and launched us…then we were off!

It took about 35 minutes to get to the lava ocean entry. It was pitch black and you couldn’t see anything…kind of scary! You could see the glow of the lava 10 minutes before we got there…amazing! Once we got there, you could instantly feel it getting warmer. The water around where the lava was entering the ocean was 180 degrees. Even 25 feet out, the water was still about 75 degrees. They stuck a bucket in the ocean to get some water so we could all feel how warm it was. The Captain got us within a couple yards of the flowing lava…it was SO close that we could hear the lava hissing when it hit the ocean. Pictures and videos below!

Lava Boat Tour Video 1
Lava Boat Tour Video 2
Lava Boat Tour Video 3
Lava Boat Tour Video 4


After hanging out at the lava for a little over an hour we headed back. I was SO seasick at this point, so I was thankful to start moving again. We got back to the park and headed back to Hilo, showered and slept for two hours until we had to check out. I was dying from being so seasick, so I was quite happy to sleep for a few hours. We checked out of our hotel and had lunch at Café Pesto before going to the airport to catch our flight out. I was quite happy to have some good food and a diet coke. After our amazing weekend, I think Josh and I can mark off the volcano area of the big island. It was so worth the two trips and a once in a lifetime experience!

The Big Island: Trip 2 – Day 1

Josh and I headed back to the Big Island this weekend with two purposes: to see lava (since we got rained out a few weeks ago) and to see Belinda and Ted (two people who have known me most of my life and were visiting Hawaii for vacation). I am so very happy to say it was a HUGE success!

We landed late Friday evening and headed to Ken’s House of Pancakes for dinner since it was the only place open past 9 p.m. in Hilo. I had a fantastic curry chicken salad sandwich and Josh had a conglomeration of things (pictured below). After that, we checked in to our hotel which was on Hilo Bay and crashed in preparation for our big weekend ahead.


We got up on Saturday, grabbed a small to-go breakfast and coffee and headed to Honoli’i Beach Park. It is a black sand beach full of surfers. It is just north of downtown Hilo and is on a beautiful, scenic road.


After our slight detour, we headed north to the small town of Honokaa to meet Belinda and Ted for lunch. Honokaa was about halfway between where we were staying and where they were staying. We had a wonderful lunch at an Italian Pizzeria called Café Il Mondo. We then headed to Tex Drive In to introduce them to malasadas. They were pretty amazing!


We then drove down to where our hike was starting in Kalapana (fingers crossed the entire time that the weather would stay nice). We arrived around 3:00 p.m. and took off around 3:30 p.m. with our guide. Our group had nine people in it, which was a great size to be hiking with. We started off heading towards where a surface flow might be. From what our guide said, it didn’t sound like we would get to see one but he wanted to try anyways to see if there was any action. The terrain was definitely rough on the ankles and feet. It was amazing to hike on the different types of lava from over the years. You could tell a huge difference between ten year old lava, three year old lava and month old lava. The newer stuff was much looser and easier to slip on (luckily, neither of us fell). The lava is super sharp (kind of like glass) and can cut you if you fall on it. We could see the different areas where the steam was rising from the lava tubes on the hillside. It appeared that there would be lava to see there, but it was all underneath the top layer flowing in the tubes to the ocean. After about three miles, we reached a surface flow and it was amazing! At first, there wasn’t much action and we spotted just a faint glow. But once we got there, there were a few different areas opening up and flowing. I have never seen or experienced anything like it in my life….the sound alone of it hissing was just insane! The lava was 3,000 degrees and if you got close enough, it felt like your face was melting. The closest I got was about two feet and I couldn’t stand it after that. It was incredible. Pictures and videos below describe it much better than I ever could.

Lava Surface Flow Video 1
Lava Surface Flow Video 2
Lava Surface Flow Video 3
Lava Surface Flow Video 4
Lava Surface Flow Video 5


After spending about 45 minutes at the surface flow, we headed to the ocean entry area to see the lava flowing there. On our way there, we stepped over a crack that was glowing orange…amazing and scary at the same time to think about what you are walking on! There was tons of lava pouring into the ocean! There were about four different areas…it was so hard to see because of all the steam, but you could see the glow through the steam.

Lava Ocean Entry Video


After about a half hour, we headed back toward where our shuttle would come to pick us up. Walking back on the lava at night was pretty rough and I was so thankful for my headlamp. The lava was so incredibly beautiful under the light…super shiny and sparkly. We finally made it back after about an hour and a half hike from the ocean entry point. In total, our hike was 5.6 miles. Our hike was through Kalapana Cultural Tours and they were AWESOME.

After profusely thanking our tour guide, we headed back to Hilo for a quick dinner before crashing. We decided to try a new place instead of going to Ken’s, since it was Saturday night and places were open past 9:00 p.m.! We ended up at a restaurant called Ponds close to our hotel. We had a corner table that was surrounded by water on both sides. It was very nice and relaxing. I had a pasta dish and Josh had fish. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to go to bed. We had to get up at 3:15 a.m. for our lava boat tour the next day!