The Big Island: Trip 5

A couple weekends ago, we met our friends Lindsay and Channa on The Big Island for a quick trip. They were visiting from Seattle so we decided to crash their vacation for a couple days.

Saturday was a bit rainy so we slept in and then walked into Kailua for brunch. We ate at Daylight Mind Coffee Company (which was delicious) and then wandered back to our hotel.

After eating plenty of food, we decided to go on a short walk to the End of the Earth. We watched a few people jump off the rocks and enjoyed the spectacular view of the ocean.

After a relaxing day, we walked to dinner and enjoyed the evening!

On Sunday we decided to go snorkeling at Two Step. Great location with tons of fish! Videos below!

After lots of snorkeling, we worked up an appetite. We ate lunch at Da Poke Shack before saying bye and venturing back to Oahu! The poke was DELICIOUS.

 

Sunflowers

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!

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 6

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.

 

 

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 4

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!

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!

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!

 

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 3

On Sunday we woke up early to get started on our long hike back. I definitely did not sleep well the night before as I was dreading the hike and I was worried about the little black kitten. He turned out to be totally fine, but I was still dreading the hike. Once again, at about mile 9 I think we were all pretty done. It was a gorgeous day and much hotter than the hike in so we went through all of our water and had to stop and refill at the rivers. We were thrilled to make it to the last river and see people! It meant we were almost back. I was so happy to get off that trail and see our rental car! We all took showers and had a ton of food in Hanalei. This is the second hardest thing I’ve ever done (only being trumped by the first time I did it). Such a fun experience, but we were all thankful to sleep in a real bed that night!

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!