Thursday, January 5, 2017


We took our first trip to Hawaii this year, and it could not have been better timing as a huge snow storm was scheduled to hit Twin Falls just after we left. I was somewhat reluctant to travel to Hawaii as my opinion of it was in one word, "cliche" However, I immediately fell in love the moment I got there and cannot wait to go back again. People are right when they talk about the "aloha spirit" and I immediately felt this draw to immerse myself in Hawaiin culture and the beauty that surrounded me.


For the first part of our trip we traveled to Maui and stayed in this adorable condo right on the ocean. The beaches were gorgeous and we went on the most amazing snorkeling excursion with a company called Trilogy. During our excursion we saw humpback whales breeching, tropical fish, and five, yes FIVE, sea turtles! I almost died right then and there as soon as I spotted them snorkeling. In addition to the amazing sites, the staff and crew members were phenomenal, as was the food. It is definitely an excursion we recommend if you ever find yourself in Maui! We also enjoyed visiting the massive shield volcano Mount Haleakala ("House of the Sun"), where Hawaiians believes that Maui the demigod, lassoed the sun to slow its progression through the sky. Finally, we ended our stay at Maui traveling the Road to Hana where we stopped at several beautiful sites including waterfalls, roadside markets, gardens, and ended at Wai'anapanapa State Park where we saw the black sand beach and Wai'anapanapa cave. One of my all time favorite parts on the Road to Hana was seeing the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees. I've never seen anything like them! Also, if you travel this road, the banana bread is to die for, but so are the curves. So if you tend to get carsick, make sure to take Dramamine! 
Headed to the airport

Condo outlook

Wall just outside the condo where sea turtles swim up during the morning and afternoon hours

Wailea Beach

Sunset from the condo 
Trilogy snorkeling excursion-a flower goes above the left ear if you're married or taken

We saw several humpback whales breeching on our snorkeling excursion

Hike on our way up to see the volcanic crater-Haleakala

One secret to spiritual ascension...summit of sacred Haleakala ("house of the sun"), one of the tallest mountains on earth. At over 1 millions years old, this volcano is considered a sacred place (wao akua) where the demigod Maui lassoed the sun god La to persuade him to slow the sun's progression across the sky. Ceremonies were also performed in the crater. The views here are breathtaking and enlightening, and it's easy to see why Haleakala holds a reverenced place in Hawaiian history. 

Restaurant Fleetwood's on Front St.-owned by drummer Mick Fleetwood

Road to Hana

In my element 

Rainbow Eucalyptus trees-one of my favorite things we saw along this drive

Hawaiian shaved ice

Swimming hole

Roadside market

Black sand beach


As much as we loved Maui, we LOVED Kauai. The Marriott Beach Club Resort we stayed at was amazing and the pool was spectacular! I've never stayed at a resort, and having shopping, dining, a pool, etc. all in one place was amazing. It was also incredible to simply walk a few yards from the pool to the beach in a matter of seconds. We also loved exploring Kauai and the views are unlike anything you've ever seen. We went on a snorkeling excursion, took a helicopter ride, went golfing, visited a local farmers market, and hiked the Na' Pali Coast. Our excursion was on a small Zodiac boat and we were fortunate to see almost every animal imaginable! We saw manta rays, whales, a pod of over 100 dolphins, a mountain goat, fish, and a sea turtle. We even got to swim with the dolphins although it's technically illegal. Our guide had us jump out of the boat, then spun the boat around in huge circles to create a wake that the dolphins loved to jump in. It was unforgettable!