Maui: Trip 4

To ring in 2019 we headed to Maui to celebrate our friends getting married! We had a beautiful sunrise and some great views of Molokai and Lanai on our flight over.

 

We arrived on Saturday morning and had breakfast in Paia at Paia Inn Café.

After breakfast, we drove around and then headed to Lahaina to check in and get ready for dinner. We made reservations to visit our favorite restaurant, Mama’s Fish House, for dinner.

On Sunday, we walked around Lahaina and then met at Hale Pa’ahao Prison for the rehearsal before the rehearsal dinner at Old Lahaina Luau.

 

Monday was the big day! The girls started their day at the Royal Hawaiian getting ready for the ceremony. We all got to wear the most incredible flowers in our hair! Caitlin was just stunning and we had a blast getting beautiful!

Next stop, the prison! It was a beautiful ceremony with more unbelievable flowers. After the ceremony, we boarded a whale watching boat to cruise around Maui, Lanai, and Molokai. We saw whales and an incredibly sunset.

Next stop was Down the Hatch in Lahaina followed by dancing at Monkeypod to ring in the new year! It was such a wonderful day celebrating!

 

 

Moorea

After our cruise ended, we stayed an extra two days on Moorea in an overwater bungalow. This was an item on my bucket list that I never thought I’d have a chance to cross off. I don’t think I can truly put into words how awesome it was to stand on our deck and be able to see fish, stingrays, and sharks clearly. We spent every day walking outside, jumping into the water, and snorkeling for hours.

On our first day we checked in, grabbed lunch, and hopped in the water to snorkel. After snorkeling, we enjoyed some champagne, a sunset, and some pretty awesome stingray watching.

After our sunset, we headed to dinner at the crepe restaurant. At night, the blacktip reef sharks come to visit the restaurant so we had quite a few friends hanging out for dinner.

After dinner, we crashed after our big day and got some sleep so we could do it all over again!

 

We woke up on Friday and started our day on stand up paddleboards in the lagoon. We saw tons of fish, sharks, and took in some great views. After that, we grabbed our snorkel gear and jumped in the water. The day brought more fish, more sharks, and a snowflake eel!

We ate dinner again with the sharks and organized ourselves so we could spend the morning in the water before we had to check out!

 

We woke up on Saturday and made the most of the few hours we had left. We spent the morning in the water with some familiar fish. We went pretty far out in the lagoon and on our way back we encountered a giant moray eel…which is the scariest thing I’ve seen in the water snorkeling and diving. He was really annoyed at us and came pretty far out from the coral and made it known he was pissed by baring his teeth at us. Pictures do not do this thing justice. Pretty cool that we got to see this without an incident!

We checked out of our hotel, grabbed the ferry back to Tahiti, and headed to the airport to hang out until our flight left. No words can describe how incredible this trip was and the pictures only start to do everything justice. So thankful we were fortunate enough to see this part of the world! ❤

Cruise: Raiatea

Our next stop was Raiatea, where we actually docked vs. anchored in the bay. We were the very first people off the boat and rented another car to explore the island. We drove all the way around the island to see as much as we could.

After we circled the island, we walked through Uturoa and then had lunch on the boat. In the afternoon, we did a drift snorkel in a coral garden on Tahaa (Tahaa shares a lagoon with Raiatea). It was pouring rain when we left, which made for an adventurous boat ride across the lagoon. It cleared up and the snorkeling was incredible. We drifted right over a really shallow coral garden and saw a ton of fish and beautiful coral.

After an amazing afternoon, we were the last to board the boat. We caught an amazing sunset from our balcony before a delicious dinner.

Cruise: Bora Bora

Our next stop was Bora Bora, which is tied with Fakarava as my favorite stop on our trip. We were here for a day and a half, which was the longest port stay of the trip. We arrived in the afternoon and anchored off Vaitape. On our first evening there, we took a sunset cruise on a catamaran and explored the lagoon. It was an incredible evening and a great way to explore the water.

After our sunset sail, we ate dinner at the food trucks in Vaitape. We decided to split a HUGE portion of fish. It was quite delicious and we enjoyed spending a night off the boat!

After dinner, we took a tender boat back to the ship and headed to bed to prepare for our early morning start to explore Bora Bora.

We woke up the next morning pretty early to grab the earliest tender boat and get to shore to explore. We rented a car (Fiat Panda) and drove around the entire island. Our first stop was Matira Beach, which we had entirely to ourselves. We were standing there enjoying the view when all of a sudden a stingray swam just inches from the shore. This was our first stingray spotting of the trip and it was such an awesome sight to see! I will never forget standing there and glancing down to see it!

After a lengthy stop at Matira Beach we kept driving around the island. We stopped at various places to check out all of the views. We also had our first encounter with a land crab who was not overly pleased to see us!

After we drove around the entire island, we went back to have lunch at a restaurant off Matira Beach. We had a great view of the beach, ocean, and stingrays!

After lunch, we returned to Vaitape to return the car and meet up for our afternoon excursion of snorkeling. We spent quite the afternoon in the water. Our first stop was a coral garden where we saw a variety of fish, oysters, a huge stingray, and a blacktip reef shark. After that, we headed to our second stop to snorkel with stingrays and backtip reef sharks. It was shallow enough for us to stand the entire time as they swam around us. It was a surreal experience!

After our tour was over, we headed back to catch a tender boat back to the ship and just enjoyed room service after a long, fantastic day!

 

Cruise: Fakarava

Our second stop in French Polynesia was Fakarava in the Tuamotu Archipelago. This was up there as my most favorite place we stopped. Fakarava is one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia at 37 miles long. It is known for some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. We anchored offshore and took a tender boat to the town of Rotoava. We rented bikes and biked all the way north 9 kilometers to a beach and had it completely to ourselves. That spot on the beach is potentially the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. It looked like it was out of a magazine! We were hoping to snorkel but the wind was incredibly strong and the ocean was way too rough to snorkel that day.

Cruise: Honolulu, Hilo, & Days at Sea

Josh and I spent the first two and a half weeks of November on the most phenomenal vacation of our lives. We took a cruise that left from Honolulu and stopped in various places in French Polynesia ending in Tahiti.

We started in Honolulu on November 1st with a beautiful sunset and champagne followed by a steak dinner and cruising through the first night to Hilo.

We woke up on Friday to a gorgeous sunrise from our balcony. We enjoyed some delicious coffee and the view of The Big Island as we made our way to Hilo. We spent the day wandering Hilo with our friends who happened to be in Hilo for the weekend.

After leaving Hilo, we spent the next four days at sea heading toward the Marquesas Islands. Our days were filled with the gym, lots of delicious food and drinks, a fantastic massage, lounging by the pool, and reading. I think it was the most relaxed we’ve been in our lives!

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!

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!

 

 

Fourth of July!

We celebrated the fourth this year in pretty much the best way possible — grilling out with friends, pool time, and fireworks on the beach. It was a beautiful day and SO nice to get to relax and have some quality friend time!

 

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! ❤