Hawaii Adventure Part I

It's only been almost two months since we actually went to Hawaii and I've been really thinking about getting around to blogging it...  Don't worry guys, it finally happened.  And really, my blog has become more of my online picture diary so that's the real motivation behind actually getting the pictures up, and holy toledo there are pictures galore.  Instead of doing one crazy long post, I decided to break it into two.  So here are the first three days we were there.  The first half was adventure heavy.  I got a list of things to do/see from a friend of a {local} friend {the best kind to have}.  Everything this born and raised Kona girl suggested, I died over.  Her list killed it.  In case you're heading to Kona, or the Big Island in general, maybe this will help lead you in the right spots.  Everyone knows the best beaches in Hawaii are hidden - they make you work for them - and they're basically private.  So our first adventure was taking the minivan we rented off-road to a spot north of Kona called Mahaiula Bay, for a hike to a beach/lagoon that happened to be black{ish} sand {praise hands}.  It's one of those spots we researched the trail on trail apps and stared at Maps on our phone for ages trying to locate the exact spot - and totally missed the dirt road entrance off the main highway the first time we passed it.   I love Hawaii.
 We didn't make it to the lagoon because Clement was really starting to lose it - that whole time change thing.  But we did stumble on a hammock and well, duh, photo necessary.  I blame that swinging for making him realize how tired he was.  After Clement's nap we just hung out at a local beach in Kona, made dinner at our VRBO and watched the sunset.  The sunset on the Big Island was like nothing I've experienced.  Without fail, every single night, right before it was about to sink into the ocean it would turn a brilliant blood orange.  It was nuts.  And kind of showed up funny in pictures.  One of those things cameras don't really do any justice what-so-ever.
 Our second full day we loaded up the minivan for a road trip around {half} the island in search of Waipio Valley and some waterfalls near Hilo.  Driving around this island was so different from Maui and Oahu.  Here everything seemed more desolate - covered in black lava rock.  Beaches were rather hard to come by as most of it was just lava rock into water or cliffs into water.  Kellen was super excited to surf the warm waters and was bummed to learn that so much of it was rock break and that he'd "come to the wrong island to surf".  The other thing about the Big Island was how much of it was farm land.  Cattle, sheep and fields galore.  It had me ready to give up the tight city living, be ever barefoot and grow strawberries and avocados for life.
 I had read and seen so many grand things about Waipio Valley online I was DYING to get there {google it - you'll die}.  There's a three mile round trip hike down into the valley to a black sand beach with unreal views into the valley - included a massive waterfall.  We were all sun-screened up with shoes laced tight for the steep ascent as we strolled up the lookout point and noticed a sign that said the valley was closed due to a dengue outbreak {caused by mosquitoes}.  I can't even explain to you how bummed I was.  We had drove 3 hours for this and it was the one thing I wanted to do on this trip more than anything.  Although we didn't get to go down, the views from the top were still incredible and hey, we didn't contract a crazy fever - that I am thankful for.  I guess I'll just need to go back one day when those mosquitoes are under control.  Clement just had a blast running around, free of his car seat, and photobombing people's selfies from selfie sticks.  After an hour of letting Clement go crazy, we hopped back in the car and kept driving another hour to Akaka Falls ignoring all advise of "don't go chasing waterfalls" {oh I'm hilarious}.
 This was less of a strenuous hike and more of a cemented, leisurely walk in a big circle to spot three waterfalls.  Two of which were fairly baby, but the big one did not disappoint.  It felt like we were in a rain forest {I think we were actually}.  It was cool and green and just so crazy lush.  Vegetation I've only seen in Fern Gully was every where.  After our quick waterfall spotting on our drive out, we opted for the scenic route {I'm a sucker for those} and it was mind blowing.  At points the road narrowed to a single lane with steep forest on the right and the ocean on the left.  It was one of the most beautiful drives I've been on.  As we were coming out of the forest this little house/cafe popped up.  Initially we drove past it, but reconsidered with a, "well, there's smoothies" and "you're only in the middle of nowhere Hawaii once".  Reverse.  And we had the best smoothie of our lives.  So if you're ever in the area, look for What's Shakin.  You won't regret it.
As we were inhaling the smoothie we realized we were on a 200 acre farm.  Everything they made in the cafe was from the fruits of their labor.  Also, it was for sale.  I pic-texted a few friends to see if they'd be in for moving to Hawaii and owning a farm and cafe.  In that moment there was nothing I'd rather do with my life.  It was heaven.  A cool breeze blowing through the palms and my crazy child running around barefoot with smoothie all over himself.  Glorious.   We finally drug ourselves away as Clement was having a major meltdown thinking he might sleep in the car.  When he wouldn't give it up, we quick stopped for coffee in Hilo and began the trek back home.  We got back to Kona in time for the sunset at a little beach down the road from our place.  Even though our child isn't the best road warrior and took awful to zero naps, that day of road trippin was probably my favorite day.  Road trips and new adventure always win.


  1. Ah how I miss Hawaii! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous and make me think of two of my favorite things about the beautiful islands - the sunsets and the fruit stands :)

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  2. Such wondeful pictures in an awesome place :)
    Hawaii is a place, which I want to visit soon.
    xx Katha

  3. Such wonderufl memories, thanks for sharing.

  4. Such wonderufl memories, thanks for sharing.


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