We visited the sunflowers on the North Shore this past weekend. It turned into quite an adventure as it happened to be raining and was incredibly muddy. The flowers were beautiful, even in the rain and it was a pretty fun day! We spent some time in Haleiwa and ended the day hanging out in the rain in the hot tub soaking off all of the mud!
Wednesday was our last full day on the island and we spent it relaxing and eating! We started by having breakfast at Daylight Mind Coffee Company.
After breakfast we relaxed and packed in preparation to leave the next day. For dinner that night, we celebrated Linda’s birthday again at ‘Ulu Sushi Lounge at The Four Seasons. The hotel was incredible and we got to enjoy one final sunset!
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.
On Monday we kayaked and snorkeled in Kealakekua Bay. Unfortunately, our Go Pro decided to not stay charged so we didn’t get any pictures. Huge bummer as we saw dolphins, tons of fish and an octopus! After a busy morning, we went back to the hotel and crashed before enjoying the sunset at Lava Lava Beach Club again.
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!
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!
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!