The Big Island: Trip 4 – Day 7

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!

What a way to end such a special week! ❤

 

The Big Island: Trip 4 – Day 5

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.

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!

 

 

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!

Oahu 2016

Only about four months late in posting this, but Josh and I went back to Hawaii for his spring break in March. After a long flight, we got some poke and then crashed.

The next day I volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club. It was so wonderful to see how much the kids have grown and for them all to jump up to ask to be in my group for the field trip. Oh how I missed them! After a day full of volunteering, we headed to the Farmers’ Market for dinner.

Friday I was off for a day at the beach with the kids. Unfortunately it ended up being a rather rainy day so we headed back a bit early. After volunteering, we tried Uahai Island Grill for dinner (new place for us!).

On Saturday we met up with my dear friend Jenn in Diamond Head for some lunch and an açai bowl. We decided to drive around the island and dream about where we would live when we moved back on day. We finished the day with my favorite, shabu shabu!

Sunday we headed up to the North Shore to watch the waves. First stop, was Giovanni’s for shrimp. After stuffing ourselves, we sat on the beach and watched the waves and just relaxed. We tried Tokoname (recommended by our Airbnb hostess) for dinner — another new place for us!

Monday was my last day to volunteer and we spent it at the clubhouse doing crafts. Always so hard to say goodbye! For dinner, we met our friends Tia and Mark to catch up!

Tuesday I finally had some time to hike (and it was of course raining). To wait out the rain, we had Lanikai juice for breakfast and just relaxed. After being stuck inside, we ventured out for lunch at Buzz’s Lani Kai. It finally stopped raining, so we did a quick hike to Makapu’u Lighthouse. I’ve done this more times than I can count and it never gets old.

Wednesday we got to hike the Pāli Puka! This had been on our list when we lived there but we were never able to complete it. The views were absolutely gorgeous (helped that we had a perfect day as well). For lunch, we went to Kalapawai cafe in Kailua then home to shower for a night in Waikiki.

On our last full day, we hiked up to Lanikai pillboxes. It was SUPER hot and incredibly crowded. We treated ourselves to a poke bowl as a reward for lunch and went to hang out on the beach. We packed up to leave on Friday and then went to the Farmers’ Market for dinner to meet some friends.

On our last day, we packed up and checked out of our Airbnb. Our last meal was shabu shabu (of course).

And with that, another Hawaii trip in the books! A hui ho!

Oahu: Part 4

Thursday was our North Shore day. Our tentative plan was to stop at some of our favorite places (for both food and scenery). First stop was Giovanni’s shrimp shack in Kahuku…quickly followed by delicious corn on the cob.

We continued on to Haleiwa..and along the way we stopped at one of the beaches for our third monk seal sighting of the trip!

We made it to Haleiwa (which has changed quite a bit..new shops, restaurants, etc). Even with all of the new stuff to choose from, we decided to share a Matsumoto’s Shave Ice.

Cherry, Grape and Pineapple

Cherry, Grape and Pineapple

After walking around and enjoying Haleiwa, we started our way back to town. On our drive back we saw yet ANOTHER monk seal..making our total for the trip four! Which is a lot considering they are critically endangered with about 1,100 left. We also got a glimpse of Sacred Falls on our drive back!

We made it home to shower, change and make the sunset at the Tantalus lookout. It was a bit cloudy, but we still got some great pictures.

After a beautiful sunset, we met Kevin, Saki and Kion (Kevin is Josh’s friend from the Marines) for dinner at Sweet Home Cafe. The restaurant is a Taiwanese-style hot pot and shave ice place. It was absolutely delicious!

On Friday, our last full day there, we hiked the Hanauma Bay ridge. This was another new hike for us and it completely blew away all of our expectations. It was a gorgeous day and we could once again see Molokai, Maui and Lanai. I think the pictures will do a better job of describing how gorgeous it was! The waves were quit insane…Josh took an awesome video!

After that incredible hike, we drove around the east side of the island for the last time and got some poke at Hibachi again in Kailua.

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After my last poke bowl, we went back to our apartment to shower, change and get ready for dinner at Duke’s!

On our last day (so sad), we checked out of our airbnb at 10:00 AM and went to Diamond Head Cove Health Bar for one last açai bowl.

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After enjoying the deliciousness, we drove around the area a bit checking out all of the cool houses and then had an early lunch of Shabu Shabu (my fave).

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We then headed to the airport to catch our flight. It was absolutely amazing to be back and Josh and I left there even more determined to do our best to live there again one day (especially since it was 43 degrees and raining when we landed in Chicago). I am so thankful we were able to go back and see our friends, get outside after SUCH a long winter and enjoy some of our favorite foods! 🙂