United States of America · 7 Days · 6 Moments · February 2018

Aloha from Hawaii!

28 February 2018

We are about to leave the island and head back to the mainland. Our last few days were spent surfing (or attempting to surf) on Waikiki, almost blowing away on Kailua beach, and today we visited Hickman Air Force Base and saw some incredible history from the Pearl Harbor attack. The flag pictured was flying on base the day of the attack. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to Pearl Harbor like we originally planned, but that’s just another good reason to come back sooner rather than later! We had the most wonderful week in Hawaii and experienced the true island meaning of “aloha”. We can’t wait to get back to squeeze our girls and see everyone!

26 February 2018

We finally had a relaxing beach day today! Alex and I rode bikes around Kailua this morning and took a nice long stroll on the beach. It was still cloudy as heck but we were spared from the rain, save for a few sprinkles in the afternoon, so we were as happy as could be. We had more poke for lunch and then shave ice at Island Snow (delish!), which has been frequented by Barack Obama (!!!) This evening, we attended a luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center, complete with traditional kalua pork and hula dancers. The highlight of the night was the “HA, Breath of Life” show and you guys, it was INCREDIBLE. I don’t have pictures or videos because they asked us not to record, but also because I wanted to experience it fully without a screen. Traditional dances, songs, and clothing from all the Polynesian Islands, fire dancing, story telling.....just unreal. I would highly recommend it to anyone who visits O’ahu.

25 February 2018

Mother Nature rained out our North Shore beach day, so we had a food day instead. We ventured up north from Kailua and the sites were still beautiful, despite the dense fog and the brown ocean waters. Yes, the massive amounts of rain and the subsequent runoffs have caused crystal blue waters to appear brown in some areas. Jose and Alex went to dive with sharks, which they said was an awesome experience. We’ll share the GoPro photos later, but you can see a photo of a whale they saw on the way out to the dive site. I also got to visit an old grad school friend, Amy, who now lives in Honolulu. Other than that, we basically ate amazing Hawaiian food all day - famous shrimp scampi and sticky rice at Giovanni’s, Açaí bowls, orange basil kombucha, Dole pineapple whips, kalua pork burritos, local Hawaiian food at Rainbow Drive-Inn, poke, malasadas at Leonard’s bakery, roasted green tea lattes at the Japanese market..we won’t need to eat for a week when we get home!

23 February 2018

Today was filled with many “have to see to believe” moments. We stopped at Kona Joes coffee on the way and the views were spectacular! We made our way to the south end of the island and stopped at Punalu’u Black Sands Beach. Then we made it to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where we hiked the Kilauea Iki Crater, the remnants of a volcano that erupted between 1969-1974. We also walked through Lava Tubes, which is what happens when molten lava flows underground. The highlight of the day was our bike ride and hike to see flowing lava. An eruption wiped out an entire community in the early ‘90’s. It was unbelievable to see hardened lava where so many homes once stood, but even more so the few homes the locals have rebuilt over the lava rock. We opted not to finish the very dangerous hike closer to the flowing lava and enjoyed the view from afar. Our Big Island guidebook gave a lot of interesting history on this community, but hearing all about it directly from a local was truly amazing.

22 February 2018

We arrived in Kailua-Kona, on the Big Island today. It sprinkled a bit throughout the day, but we made the most of it (also, I know I shouldn’t complain about weather to those of you in the Midwest right now! 😉) Alex got an upgrade on our rental car to a Mustang convertible so naturally he was a tad bit excited. We visited Kahalu’u Bay (2nd and 3rd pictures), which is a 2 minute walk from where we’re staying, and we snorkeled in really calm waters. Unfortunately we didn’t see any huge sea turtles that are known to frequent this bay. You can also surf in the bay on some pretty awesome waves - how cool is it that you can both in the same small area. The lava on all the shores really is something to see. Now we relax and eat Thai food in our Airbnb and prepare for Volcanoes National Park tomorrow!

21 February 2018

We made it to Oahu! Jose greeted us at the airport with the most beautiful and fragrant leis. We’re looking forward to a bit of exploring and dinner with the Zambranos tonight, and then off to the Big Island tomorrow morning!