We've been back from Hawaii for awhile now, and I am just getting around to this post! Sorry! Beware for picture OVERLOAD. I tried to add only the good ones and it was still a ridiculous amount.
We left Salt Lake City around 7am and flew to Phoenix for a 2 1/2 hour layover. Lance's sister, Melissa lives close so she stopped by to visit. She even brought us breakfast. Thanks, Melissa!
Then we had another layover on the island of Kauai. We were only there for a short time, so we only got to see the airport. I loved how open it was.
I was really worried about Lance getting burned, so we figured it wouldn't be the best idea to spend our first day at the beach. Thought we should ease into being in the sun a bit. We decided to go check out Pearl Harbor and visit the swap meet.
When we got there, it was pretty overcast and raining off and on so we forgot to sunscreen up. Then when we got to Pearl Harbor, the next available show was in 3+ hours. Not wanting to lose our parking place, we decided to just walk to the swap meet. Even though the weather didn't seem nice, we still managed to get a lot of sun and Lance's neck was super pink by the end of the day. I also ended up getting really bad blisters on my feet from my flip flops and was hurting the rest of the day.
On our second day, we decided to Hike Diamond Head and spend the day at Waikiki and downtown Honolulu.
This was at the top of Diamond Head, looking back towards Waikiki. I wasn't very impressed with Waikiki. So many people raved about it and told us we had to go there, but I don't think I would go back. It was very rocky and pretty painful to try and swim. Plus there was about a million people. And don't forget a big section of the beach was closed because they were trying to "rebuild" it. Guess nice beaches aren't natural afterall.
We stopped and saw the turtles on North Shore on our way to go snorkeling. It was a bit overcast and raining on and off. And I'm kind of obsessed with this picture. Not sure why, I just love it.
Lance getting as close to the turtles as possible.
Snorkeling at Sharks Cove. There were some pretty big waves that day, but luckily the cove is blocked and always calm. We weren't able to go out and venture in the deeper water because it was too rough, though.
We spent a lot of our time just hanging out at the beach . Our favorite spot was Waimea Bay. We'd jump the waves, body board, or just layout. My favorite was just to sit on the beach, watch Lance in the water, while reading the Hunger Games.
There is a trail that goes right up the side. I believe it is Koko Trail, or something like that. I really wanted to hike it, but we simply ran out of time. It's on my "must-do" if we ever make it back there.
We spent one of the days with my aunt and uncle, driving around the island.
We stopped at several lookout points and did this small hike/trail to this lighthouse.
This was the view from the top of the hike. Love this side of the island!
We also made a quick stop at the Temple. I felt a bit awkward walking around the temple dressed like that, but oh well. Quick interesting fact about these trees. There are vines that come down from the top and make their way toward the ground. Once they hit the ground, they take root. Pretty cool.
The flowers were so pretty!
We had to stop and visit the Pineapple Plantation.
The pineapple ice cream was great! Better than I was expecting, actually.
Made a new friend at the plantation.
We saved a day to do the Polynesian Cultural Center. Because it doesn't open until around noon, we decided to do a small hike/walk before.
We walked up to Waimea Falls.
Normally, the falls are much smaller and you are allowed to swim in the water. But because recent rain, the falls were too dangerous and we weren't allowed to get in the water.
The scenery is breathtaking and I love how green everything is. And check out the size of that leaf!
Near the entrance of the Cultural Center.
Lance learning how to throw a spear.
We also took some ukelele lessons.
Lance was chosen to participate in one of the shows. He and another guy had a race to see who could start a fire the fastest. Lance had his smoking pretty good, but neither were able to fully get it going.
This was his prize for participating.
Waiting for our turn to get food.
And finally, at our last day in paradise, we decided to check out Kuala Ranch. We did this "Secret Island" adventure where they take you to this spot and you get to spend a few hours. It wasn't really it's own little island, more of just a private beach. But there were hammocks, ping pong tables, volleyball, snorkeling, canoes, paddle boards, and all sorts of things.
Paddle-boarding was way fun but a bit harder than it looks. Even the tiniest waves set you off balance.
Again, the scenery is amazing and I just love those mountains!
We also did a little Movie Tour our Kuala Ranch. Mostly just sat in a bus while they pointed out a few sites, but it was still kind of interesting.
This was the actual tree used from the movie.
And here is the submarine used in Lost. We wanted to do the Lost tour, but it was way too expensive.
We really had a great time and it was nice to just get away from work and school and spend some time alone. Will did so great with my family, I think he was bummed to be back home.
I'm so grateful for my aunt and uncle for letting us stay with them and for helping out so much. They are so awesome! Hopefully someday we'll get to go back.