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!

 

 

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!

 

Kauai: Trip 3 – Day 4

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!

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. ❤

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!

Waimano Falls

One of Krista’s bucket list items was to jump off a waterfall while in Hawaii. We decided to hike to Waimano Falls to accomplish that. This was a first for me (even though I didn’t jump). It was a great hike and I was so happy to try something new!

Family Fun at Manoa Falls

As one of our last activities before Jan and John left, we hiked to Manoa Falls and enjoyed the birds, flowers and waterfall. As someone who usually hikes this pretty fast to get to the endpoint, it was so good to hike with Jan and John. Since they had never hiked it before, they took the time and kept their eyes open for exotic flowers, plants, etc., which made me slow down as well!

Kauai: Trip 2 – Day 2

On Sunday, Josh and I got up super early to hike to Hanakapi’ai Falls. The hike is about eight miles round trip and we wanted to have enough time to come back and shower before we checked out. We were both really excited to be back on the Kalalau trail for the first time since our “first date”. We had MUCH better weather this time…no rain at all! The first two miles of the trail, we had already hiked when we hiked to Kalalau beach last year. The views of the Na Pali coast are stunning even a half mile in.

We made it to Hanakapi’ai Beach in about an hour. It was amazing to see the beach as it was completely covered by the ocean in the winter when we hiked last year. It was practically empty when we got there.

After we crossed the river, we veered to the left instead of the right to hike to Hanakapi’ai Falls. The hike itself wasn’t too bad…we crossed the river about three more times on our way to the falls and it took us about an hour and a half to get there. The waterfall itself was absolutely amazing. The most beautiful waterfall we have hiked to yet (and we’ve hiked to A LOT). It was HUGE! Definitely worth waking up early for! We spent about 15 minutes at the falls and then started on our way back. Most people hike there to swim and enjoy the pool, but we didn’t have time to stay that long. Maybe next time!

After we finished our hike, we headed back to the hotel to quickly shower and change. We were both starving, so we visited Kauai pasta. It was so delicious, but we were so hungry I completely forgot to take pictures of our amazing food! After stuffing ourselves, we headed north again to visit the Kilauea lighthouse. We visited this last year, but it was under renovation. I wanted to go back and see it now that all the renovations were completed. Surrounding the lighthouse is a bird sanctuary. It’s absolutely stunning with water on all three sides of the lighthouse and beautiful birds flying all around!

After that, we headed to the airport to catch an earlier flight than planned. We were exhausted and ready to come home!

Kauai: Trip 2 – Day 1

This past weekend, Josh and I took our fourth trip to Kauai (which I believe we have 100% determined to be our favorite island). This time, we ventured there to take a boat tour of the Na Pali coast and to hike to Hanakapi’ai Falls.

Our Saturday morning started out bright and early as we had an hour drive to the boat harbor where we would be departing on our tour. We left at 7:00 a.m. and headed towards the Na Pali coast. Our guide told us that there had been a really large swell the past few days that made it impossible to go in the caves and snorkel as well as, made the boat ride an extremely rough one. We lucked out! We were able to do all of the above and had an amazing experience.

One of the things I was incredibly excited about was the chance that we would get to see Hawaiian spinner dolphins. I have wanted to see dolphins out in the open water since I’ve lived here, but hadn’t gotten to experience that yet. I definitely fixed that on this trip! We saw TONS of them on multiple occasions. Our first encounter provided us with a small pod that had a few babies in it. One of them was the size of a football and was so incredibly cute. They were on all sides of our boat and periodically jumped out of the water to spin. It was amazing!

After getting to experience the dolphins, we continued on to the indescribable beauty of the cliffs of the Na Pali coast. To see it from this angle was, to put it mildly, absolutely stunning. Every time I see this landscape, I always think I’m prepared because I have seen it multiple times before…and I will no longer experience the awe of what I am taking in. However, it never disappoints. Every single time it nearly takes my breath away.

After we made it down the whole coast, we turned around to head back. On our trip back, we got to venture inside the sea caves and get a little closer to the coast.

After touring the sea caves and taking more pictures of the coast, we were able to stop and snorkel for a little bit. Oddly enough, only Josh and I snorkeled out of the six people on our tour. It was a little rough, but there were some pretty big fish. Josh also got to see a HUGE sea turtle. I unfortunately got out about five minutes before he did and missed it! He got great footage of it though!

Na Pali Coast Snorkel

After having some snacks and drying off, we headed back to the harbor. On our way back we came across about five times as many dolphins as we had encountered in the beginning of our tour. They were jumping out of the water everywhere, surfing our wake and just swimming all around us.

After seeing dolphins for the second time, we made it back to the harbor around noon. We were both pretty exhausted and starving. We made it back to our hotel and grabbed a bite to eat. After that, we took a ridiculously long nap (I had taken dramamine and was seasick and we were both exhausted from lack of sleep). We woke up, grabbed dinner at the restaurant we ate at after we hiked the Kalalau Trail last year and headed back to our hotel. We packed up our stuff and headed to bed in preparation for another early morning!