Our Hawaiian Vacation

My husband, Sean, and I got back recently from the most amazing vacation in Hawaii! We stayed on the big island and were there for 8 days. Hawaii in July was fantastic! It was 85 and sunny everyday; PERFECTION. If you want cooler weather you just drive up the mountain. We were very content with the mid 80’s heat down by the beach.

Sean and I have been to Hawaii before so I knew what I wanted to bring and what I forgot last time, that I know I needed this time around. I wore shorts more than skirts and dresses because of the wind. It is windy no matter where you are on the big island. I did not want to fuss with keeping my skirt or dress from blowing up. Maxi dresses and longer skirts are great though. Be mindful with the tanks that you choose. The sun is very intense and the more skin showing the more susceptible you are to getting sun burned or worse. With that being said, hats are a great way to protect your shoulders and they are a great finishing touch to any outfit. I suggest light layering with any outfit. If you have a kimono or light weight cardigan, bring it. When it rains it cools down a little and you may want it.

I live in the mid-west. Travel time to Hawaii is typically an entire day. Travel days consist of no makeup, lots of coffee and leggings. I travel in my most comfortable leggings from Jockey, which they no longer make, a long tunic top and either a sweatshirt or cardigan wrapped around my waist. I always wear tennis shoes because I hate my feet being exposed when traveling on planes. Plus my feet always get cold. I brought a hat in my carry on this time around because after a long travel day my hair does not look the best.

Day 0, Tuesday July 4th Our flight got in at 7:30 at night, Hawaii time, which is 12:30 in the morning back in Wisconsin. We picked up our rental car and drove to my husbands family’s house which is about an hour and a half from the airport. We fell asleep immediately after we arrived. It was such a long day of travel with two, four-hour layovers in Minneapolis and LA.

Day 1, Wednesday July 5th We were at the beach the entire day. I put on my suit, a wrap and grabbed a sun hat. We swam at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and had lunch at the pool. The first thing I ordered was a lilikoi smoothie. Lilikoi is passionfruit, my favorite! Sitting under the shade most of the day was a good idea. I would have hated to get sun  burned the first day. We stayed with family at their house up the mountain and it took about a half hour to get to the beach. Later that night we had dinner at Anna’s Ranch. There was a party with live music, a bunch of family and great Hawaiian BBQ. It was so great seeing family that we haven’t seen in years.

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Day 2, Thursday July 6th Another day filled with much-needed R&R. The jet lag is hard to get used to the first couple days. We woke up early for breakfast then got ready for the beach, again. This time we went to the public part of Hapuna beach. It was much more crowded but we found the coolest cave while swimming. Later that afternoon I did yoga, which puts you so much more at ease when you have a view of the ocean and mountains in the distance. For dinner we ordered pizza and had a poker night in with the family.

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Day 3, Friday July 7th Wedding day! The whole reason we went to Hawaii is for my husbands cousin’s wedding. I got up early with the guys to ride along at the Hapuna Golf Course. The golf courses have some of the best views. After golf we checked into the Fairmont Orchid Hotel and Resort where we stayed the remainder of the weekend. The ceremony was at 5:30 and it was just beautiful. They said ‘I do’ under an arch right by the ocean. The food was amazing and the reception went until 1. It was a long day but so much fun.

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View of the wedding area

Day 4, Saturday July 8th We got up at a decent time for a buffet breakfast and hung around until Sean went golfing. I had time to kill while they were gone so I hung out at the beach for a couple of hours with a piña colada and went and got a massage by the waterfalls. It was so peaceful and relaxing that I stuck around the spa area for hours. When they got back from golfing we hung out at the pool until dinner, which consisted of sushi. Lots and lots of sushi. We enjoyed dinner and watched the sunset over the horizon. To end the night we took a stroll along the beach. Walking on the beach at night, holding Sean’s hand, breathing in the warm ocean air is the best feeling in the world.

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Day 5, Sunday July 9th Room service for breakfast and blog post writing. Sean went golfing again in the morning so I had time to do some writing. We parked it by the pool the rest of the late morning and afternoon until dinner, grabbed a few cocktails, watched the sunset and then went off the resort for to a nice steakhouse and came back for the night. We rented out a cabana and ordered drinks and food poolside the entire day. I haven’t felt more on vacation than this day.

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Sunset view from the beach at the Fairmont Orchid

Day 6, Monday July 10th We stayed up in Paauilo and got up early and headed out to the  Pololu Valley. We’ve been to this valley before and loved it. It has the most beautiful fresh water area before it hits the black sand beach. We picked up stuff for a picnic and hiked down. We spend the day there for our anniversary. We ate lunch in the valley and went swimming the rest of the afternoon. The waves in this valley are huge and a little intimidating  but so much fun! It was really nice to get away from everyone and everything for a little while and enjoy us for the day. We headed back for a family dinner at my husband’s aunt and uncle’s house.

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On the way down to the valley
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Down in the valley. Mountains to the right, black sand beach to the left.

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We climbed down into the valley from the cliff on the left.

Day 7, Tuesday July 11th The only thing we had planned our whole trip was snorkeling! Before we went out on the boat for the afternoon, we drove to Kona to have lunch and do some shopping. Kona is filled with shop after shop. There are so many different restaurants in the area too. We went to snorkel at the Captain Cook Monument. The waves are almost non-existent in this bay which makes the water so clear. We saw so many colorful fish and coral. We didn’t see a turtle but we did see an octopus and dolphins on our way back. We had dinner by ourselves at a cute little Italian restaurant just up the coast before heading back to the house.

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Day 8, Wednesday July 12th We lounged around all day and it felt so nice. We packed our bags late afternoon, picked a pineapple to take home and headed to an early dinner. After we ate we headed towards the airport. On the way to Kona you are driving through lava rock. It is all black as far as the eye can see. People stop on the side of the road and walk through these tunnels that the lava carves out. It is the coolest thing. You can walk for miles underground. Sean loved this part of our trip. After our last sunset and hiking adventure we dropped off our rental car, headed for the airport and said goodbye to Hawaii. IMG_0868

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That wraps up our Hawaiian vacation. It was the best time! If you have not been to Hawaii before, it is a must. It is a more expensive place to visit but it is all worth it. Last time we visited we went zip lining which we would both highly recommend. Snokeling around the islands is so beautiful too. Most hotels let you rent snorkleing gear for an hour so ask your hotel concierge. Thank you all for reading. Until next time,

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