Josh and I spent most of March, April, and May staying inside and distancing ourselves in this crazy world. We finally started getting out a bit more at the end of May and beginning of June with socially distanced hiking and beach days. It’s been kind of nice to explore the island without the crowds! #luckywelivehawaii
A few weeks ago, we went to Lanai for long weekend to celebrate birthdays! We stayed at the Four Seasons, which was just an unbelievable experience. We landed on Friday afternoon, checked in, and had a late lunch.
After lunch, we relaxed in our room and enjoyed the sunset from our lanai before dinner at Nobu. Neither of us had eaten at a Nobu before, so we weren’t sure what to expect. It absolutely blew us away. Every single thing we ate was delicious and ended up being our best dinner of the weekend.
On Saturday, also Josh’s birthday, we started our morning with a walk to the bay. We were extremely lucky and caught a pod of dolphins entering the bay. After watching them for a bit, we went back to the hotel and had an açai bowl for breakfast. Pretty much the perfect morning.
After breakfast, we left for the Lanai Cat Sanctuary to spend the day with all the cute kitties!
After about four hours with the cats, we arrived back at the hotel to a surprise birthday cake for Josh in our room! We enjoyed a couple bites of cake and then got ready for dinner at Lanai City Grille.
On Sunday, we spent the morning and early afternoon at the beach. We relaxed, read books, snorkeled, and saw a few whales in the distance! Such a completely surreal place to spend the day.
After the most relaxing day, we enjoyed dinner at One Forty for our last evening on Lanai. We wanted to try a bunch of items so we ordered smaller plates and shared everything.
On Monday, we walked the beach, hiked to Pu’u Pehe, and enjoyed time by the pool before we had to (sadly) leave. We are ready to go back!
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! ❤
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!
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! ❤
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!