Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hawaii: A trip of a lifetime

I have been wanting to plan a trip forever.
I should really just be a travel agent because I plan so many
trips but never go through with them.

We never went on a Honeymoon trip 
and knew this was a Great time with our kids ages,
Matt about to start a new job, etc.

Anyway, in January I kept thinking how we should go to Hawaii, I have
a friend who lives in Oahu, Hawaii.  I kept debating, didn't think I could leave
my kids for a week.  Matt and I have both been to Oahu (only for basketball)
but I LOVE going new places. 

Anyway, our dear friends from Law School 
were also thinking of taking a trip.
All starts aligned and their time share opened up in Kauai, Hawaii!!!
(We were going to spend 2 days in Oahu and the rest in Kauai)
Since Matt only has a few classes, he was able to miss a week of school
and we BOOKED our trip.

The 6 weeks following that, I stressed out that I had actually booked it,
that I was going to have to leave my kids for a week.

So...we headed out on our trip!
I bawled leaving my kids.
It was a long day of flying...

But we arrived.
And it was AMAZING.

Our first day (After flying all day)
We hopped off the plane and headed to Pearl Harbor.

My sweet friend, Stacy met up with us after we got there and took us to one of their favorite beaches.
They let us use their paddle boards.  I kind of did a pretend ride on one.
I swear that first day I couldn't quite wrap my brain around the fact that I was in Hawaii, with no kids, and had traveled for 12 hours to get there, I think I was a little delirious all day.

Matt loved it.

This was the house right in front of the beach.  
Amazing. (Can't tell from the pictures)
Someday, right?

The next day, since Matt and I were on MST, woke up at 545
and decided to take a jog to see the amazing views.
We went to a Botanical Garden a little ways from where my friend lives.
This is when I decided I was going to LOVE this week.
I love the humidity, the weather, the GREEN, and the mountains.

We got back and headed up to North Shore to Waimea Bay.
They weren't letting people swim because the waves were so big.
So we played knee deep in the waves.
And still got knocked over a few times.

Matt and I with my good friend, Stacy!
We miss you and Hawaii!
Thanks for showing us some of your island.

We had an incredible time if you can't tell.
I felt like I was 5 years old.

After that, we stopped by the temple.
It was such an amazing experience for me.
I can not even describe the beauty of the temple and temple grounds.
I teared up just seeing it all and thinking about it.
It truly is one of the most heavenly places I have ever seen.

P.S. We were still salty from the ocean.  We were trying to cram a lot into 1 day.

 Our next stop was the Polynesian Culture Center.
We didn't give ourselves a lot of time, or enough time I didn't think.
But we were able to go to a few of the pre-shows.
This one being our favorite.
Monica and I joked that this man who climbed the tree was one of the
most beautiful men we had ever seen.
He even had a flower in his hair :)
Matt didn't appreciate that ;)

Headed to our Luau!!

 Our dinner for the night!

If you notice, Matt is wearing 2 Leis, and I didn't have mine on.
I was so excited at the Luau that they gave us a fresh flower Lei, 
and about 20 minutes into it, my eyes swelled up and were all red.
I couldn't figure out what was going on, so I took off my Lei and it went away.
So weird!  

We had a minute after our dinner, before the show 
and saw the man from one of the earlier shows.
We all thought it would be so funny to have skinny Matt next to this muscular man.
We were wrong.  Matt actually looked WAY bigger than him.
(Besides the skinny part :))

We had a few minutes and they had a train that went back to the temple, 
I wanted to see it again at night so we went.
Quick stop by the BYU- Hawaii campus.

Can I reiterate how amazing this place was?!
After the temple we went to the night show at the PCC.
I loved it.

Early the next morning, we flew to Kauai!
I was so excited, I have heard it's nicknamed "The Garden Island"
It did not disappoint!

We got there and went to a lunch at a little local spot.
We drove the hour to our condo (which was BEAUTIFUL)
Arrived, and to our pleasant surprise, they upgraded us to a Presidential suite.
I wish I had more pictures of the place we stayed because in my opinion it was in the most
 beautiful part of the island and it was perfect.

Early the next morning, we headed out to hike along the Na Pali coast.

I had no idea what to expect.  I had heard it was beautiful but I couldn't quite expect what I saw.
The pictures are amazing but it really was Amazing.
The hike was about 2 miles in and 2 miles out. It was really steep
 at parts but the views were breathtaking.

Seriously, I think it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

When we got to the end, there were a bunch of rocks to sit on and look out, a little pond that was surrounded by rocks to cool off in and we just sat and watched the waves.

Of course Matt got in.

It was seriously amazing.
So worth the 4 hour hike.
We stopped at a beach on the way home of course.

The next day we decided to take it easy, we drove to find an awesome beach to boogie board on.
And found some more amazing views!!
It didn't even seem like that would be in Hawaii!

Getting ready to go out in the ocean.
The time of the year we were here is starting to turn summer months
but a lot of beaches were still closed unless you had fins because the waves were too big.
So we got fins so we didn't have to miss out on the fun!
It was a blast!

We went shopping that afternoon, went home and made us a big lunch, took a little nap
and headed back out to a new beach.
We were trying to find a beach with the perfect sunset.
I think we were successful.
This night was one of my favorite memories of the trip.

The guys snorkeled, we all took a walk down the beach and then we had about thirty minutes before the sun was setting, so I came up with a brilliant idea to take these pictures.
I think some of them are really great, but we thought we were pretty awesome for doing these.
It was one of my favorite memories from our whole trip.
Don't judge, I even put the awkward ones up :)

Take me back to this place.

The next day, we got up and headed out on our adventure.
We picked up some kayak's and
kayaked about 2 miles up a river.
It was beautiful and so so fun.

We dropped our kayak's off and took a mile hike to 
the "Secret Waterfall"

One of our friends had taken a kissing picture in a waterfall, 
so we had to get one.  
I kind of like it, 
except that water was pounding on us!

The guys cliff jumping on our kayak back.

It was the greatest little trip.
We pulled our kayak's off at a Botanical garden along the way home as well.
It was such a fun spontaneous trip the whole way.
We did whatever we wanted whenever we wanted.

We then took a little trip to Queen's Bath.
It was actually right by where we were staying.
This was On our hike down there.

On the way down there, it tells how many number of deaths there were.
They say waves can come in and take people out to sea.
They all got in (I took pictures)
and it was really calm, no waves.
Then a wave comes.

And they all climbed out!  

Our last day here, we were booked to fly out at 8
So, we packed up and headed out to tour for the day.

My good friend Monica and I.
I was so glad we got to go with good friends.
The trip was perfect.  I loved spending time with Matt but it was also
so fun to have friends to share our time with.  

We drove to this lighthouse.
Doesn't even look real.

And to Wailua Falls

Just driving around the island was incredible.
The most beautiful place I have ever seen.
I don't feel like any picture does it justice.

We found a beach with a little ledge we sat on and talked for an hour
 before we headed to eat and the airport.
Reminiscing on our favorite times, places, etc.

Ready to board :(

Some things to remember:
Smoothie stand right by where we stayed, homemade kale smoothies, acai bowls, etc.
The lush green color everywhere, every shade of green.
Chickens and roosters ALL over.
We did watch the NCAA National Championship bball game
The stairs we climbed after our sunset beach night
Trying Coconut water out of a coconut (not my favorite)
Getting bruised (literally) from the waves beating me boogie boarding

It was the perfect vacation. I kept thinking when we got home I would regret going, and that has not even come close to crossing my mind.  We loved every second of it.

So grateful for good friends (Stacy in Oahu who let us stay with her and toured us around)
and the PuffPaff's who were our travel buddies and let us stay with them!

Till next time!


Rachael said...

It looks AMAZING! We went to Hawaii on our honeymoon but I think I would appreciate it way more as a mother of 4 :) I love your pictures! It's beautiful and I'm so glad you did it!!

Just Us said...

We loved our trip-well worth it! It was my one request before having a kiddo. You guys did some of the same things we did and it brought back great memories. We left and I was so sad that I looked at properties because I have always wanted to live there!! Glad you guys got to go and I love your sunset pictures! We had to do ours on self timer mode-haha :0)

BWei said...

These pics are amazing, Chelsey! You look gorgeous and the scenery, too.

Stacy Christian said...

While I wish you could have spent all your time on my island, I'm glad you got to experience the beauty of Kaua'i. It really is amazing. I'm jealous you did the kayak trip to the secret waterfall, because when we went, it was dammed up or something, so it was closed. Anyways, it was so great to see you again and catch up. Now I'm that much more excited to see you in July!

I loved seeing all your pics and hearing all about your trip!

Come back any time!

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