Thanks to Andrew's dad and step mom we got to go to Hawaii the day after Christmas! Can I just say it is the best feeling to pack summer clothes and swimsuits in the middle of winter! Luckily I slept just about the entire way there. I woke up just in time to see the lava rock filled ground below. And much to our surprise Berta from Two and a Half Men was on our flight! The airport in Kona is literally surrounded by nothing but black lava rock and weeds. Not exactly how I pictured Hawaii. But as we drove further into town it got greener, more tropical, and absolutely beautiful. Our first night there we went out to dinner and then the exhaustion took over and we headed back to our hotel for some sleep. Kona is three hours behind Utah. I didn't think that only 3 hours would make that big of a difference, but it did! We got so tired around 9 every night and kept waking up at 5.
The next day was Andrew's Birthday. Happy Birthday Andrew!!! Who gets to spend their 24th birthday in Hawaii?? This spoiled kid and his eternal plus one. During the day we hung out at the beach and Andrew and his dad did some snorkeling. I'm not much of a water person.. ok lets be honest, big bodies of water terrify me so I spent most of my time relaxing on the beach and loved every second. But by end of the beach trip I got brave and walked waist deep into the water, with Andrew holding my hand and I saw a huge sea turtle! It was so cute and just floating along with the waves. That night we went to a luau for Andrew's birthday celebration. We watched as they dug the pig out of the pit. It was nasty looking, but really tasted very good. As we ate we watched the hula girls dance away and the fire throwers do some amazing tricks. It was a really fun experience.
Happy Birthday to my best friend and the most amazing person I know!I was in love with this little hut at the luau.
We decided to take a road trip to the other side of the island, Hilo, which is where the waterfalls and volcanoes are. It took about three hours to get there. It really is the exact opposite of Kona. Hilo is very wet, muggy, and rainforesty. We hiked through the rainforest and saw the huge waterfall. It was really neat! There are some crazy cool plants there that I have never ever seen anywhere else. It was beautiful!
We had made an appointment to do a session at the temple. We could see the tip of it from our hotel so we decided we would walk there. The walk was literally up hill for 20 minutes straight! A very steep hill. At nine in the morning it was already bloody hot and here we are trying to run up this hill, because (a) we didn't really know where we were going and (b) we were running late... as usual. But we finally made it! The temple is absolutley beautiful, and very small. There were a total of 9 people in our session. Much different than what we're used to here in SLC. But it was still very powerful and spiritual and I am so glad we had the opportunity to go.
I went and got a massage one morning, and it was just what I needed! Andrew got to lay in bed for one whole hour watching basketball and football without any interruptions, which is just what he needed! Then we headed back out to the beach. You can never have enough naps on the beach.
We went out for a romantic oceanside burger dinner. With the ocean and tiki torches in the background it was magical.
After dinner we drove to a spot where there are often mantarays hanging out. They shine light into the ocean at night which brings up the mantarays. Some crazy people even snorkel out there with them. Let me tell you they were enourmous! Their wing span was like 6 feet. It was pretty neat.
Saturday was our last day in paradise. We went out with one last bang. We kayaked about a mile or more across the ocean to this little bay where we snorkeled. Let me rephrase that: as we were kayaking I was trying very hard not to have a panic attack. I was trying not to think about shark attacks and being tipped over and eaten to death. I wanted to enjoy the fun excursion. It was exhausting! At one point I was feeling sorry for myself because my arms were about to fall off and I hear Andrew behind me say, "You're doing great, we're almost there keep going." I thought, hmm how nice of him to support me because I am on the verge of freaking out here. And I look back and he has his ore on his lap, his hands behind his head, his eyes are closed and he's enjoying the ride!!! lol. Such a terd! Who knows how long I paddled all by myself. Other times our oars would collide, or he would lift his so high he would hit me on the back of the head (purposely). Yeah.. we should probably never consider any type of water sports competitively. Its a miracle we ever made it to the bay. Andrew and his dad went out for more snorkeling and I was told myself I had to do it! I was in Hawaii and I had to snorkel. So I put on my life jacket and mask and flopped in to the water. I was doggy paddling in there for about 15 seconds before I panicked. I saw a bunch of bright blue and bright yellow fish and the coral was awesome, until I smacked my knee on a piece and it hurt so bad! I then turned around and was surround my big black sea urchins bigger than my face! I freaked out and yelled at Andrew, please get me out of here!!!! That was enough for me. I saw what I needed to see. It really and truly is a whole new world under there. We immediately jumped in to the kayak and I have never paddled so fast in my life. I broke down in the middle of the ocean out of fear. Not a proud moment, but I think I paddled us back to our starting point in record time. I'm glad I at least tried to conquer my fear. The rest of the day we lounged until we had to head to the airport for the long journey home.
Watching this sunset was the perfect way to end our trip. It was so pretty!
Here are a few random pics of the trip. We hope to see Hawaii again some day. It was so relaxing and amazingly fun to spend 24/7 with Andrew and not have to worry about work and school. That is my paradise.
Every night we would take a stroll around town and enjoy the scenery.
I had to snag a Christmas pic.