Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hawaii Vacation 2016!

 When I checked my birthday week on my calendar a few weeks ago I saw that it was completely open so I decided to book a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii since its been over 20 years since I was there... What started out as a trip for two soon became a trip for four but so happy Garrett and Grayson could join us!

SUNDAY, July 24 - Flew to Kona and checked into Hilton Waikoloa Village for 3 nights...

MONDAY, July 25 - The boys talked us into getting a soft-top jeep and by the end of the trip we wondered how we could've enjoyed ourselves as much without it!

Went on a kayaking, snorkeling, sea cave and cliff jumping adventure at Keauhou Bay...

TUESDAY, July 26 - Enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Hawaiian Style Cafe in Waimea with Coconut Cream and Banana Macadamia Nut pancakes!

Drove to Waipio Valley and enjoyed the gorgeous lookout and then John and I walked the 1.5 miles down to the beach while the boys drove the jeep down so we wouldn't have to walk back up. Saw several wild horses on the beach, beautiful waterfalls and the boys happy faces as they drove through rivers and mud.

Got back to the hotel and enjoyed the lush surroundings and massive grounds. The hotel is situated on 62 acres so they provide monorail and boat transportation to get around. There was also a dolphin pool so we watched them being fed and trained throughout our stay.

WEDNESDAY - July 27 - My 51st birthday started with a cute text from Angela with a picture of Cooper wishing me a happy birthday. We checked out of our hotel and drove to Hilo to stay one night. I had a delicious birthday lunch at Pineapples, hiked to Rainbow Falls and went Zip Lining at Akaka Falls. Fun day!!

THURSDAY, July 28 - Enjoyed a 5-mile walk with John in the morning around our hotel and watched the sunrise over Mauna Kea volcano. 

Headed to Volcano National Park to bike around the Kilauea crater which is active and has lava flowing. The bike ride was a fun way to see the volcano and we would stop and visit lava tubes and lookouts along the way.

Headed to the southern tip of the island to Punaluu Black Sand Beach and did some jeep trekking near the Green Sand Beach. Ended the trip with a visit to the Kona Temple and then left late that night on our red-eye flight home. What an awesome trip and a memorable birthday week for sure!

The day after we got home John and I went for an 8-mile hike with our friend Shawn in the mountains just above our house. Sometimes I forget that where I live is as beautiful as the places I visit... 

 ...and I had dusty, filthy feet to prove it!!!

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