Working hard really does pay off. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t feel like it when you’ve bent over backwards for your job. …but it does. When you work yourself to the ground, there’s benefits to that. Here’s one of our recent benefit – a trip to Hawaii! It was my 2nd time visiting the Big Island, and G’s first, so I knew it was going to be extra adventurous. I crossed off a few tasks on my bucket list on this vacation, including flying first class to and from!
Only a few more to go! Wahoo!
We opted for no suite on this Hawaii trip, but we were more than compliant with that. Suite by the pool or quiet room with private lanai overlooking where all the night snorkel and dive excursions go to see the manta rays play? We picked the latter, of course! We had an amazing view right from the lanai. It felt like we were in the water with them. Plus, we had the view of the ocean for miles.
Watching the sunset from the lanai was so relaxing. Oh, how I miss being there.
We gallivanted around the island and did as much as we could in the week we were there. The black sand beaches of the island were phenomenal. The worst part, we swam in the choppy waters and got beat up by the waves, haha. I definitely don’t recommend swimming here unless it’s flat. The best part, however, was getting to see all of the sea turtles riding the surf.
After our daily beach playtime, we drove to Hawaii National Volcano Park. Not much has changed since the last time I was here, but nonetheless, it was cool to see again. Besides, we finally got our National Park Passport. Traveling, here we come!
…and we hit up what is claimed to be the “most southern part of the United States”. It’s basically the South point of the island, and there’s a sheer cliff. I’m afraid of heights, so when I looked down and saw the pounding waves of the ocean, I pretty much flipped out, lol. Yup, I panicked when Gloria was being a fool. (“I used to be able to do twenty of these.”)
The Northwest side of the island was just as breathtaking. We started our day around 5 am, so by the time we reached our destination, the sun was about to rise. It was absolutely gorgeous.
After a long day of hiking and snorkeling, we thought it would be fun to have a relaxed dinner at Rays on the Bay. Their food was fantastic, and they’re live music was great! The lounging was comfy and the service was decent. It’s definitely worth checking out.
On the following day, we went snorkeling…
…with spinner dolphins! No, we didn’t plan that, nor did we pay a guide to take us out to see them. We were just swimming in a bay with other snorkelers, and there they were in their natural habitat. Boy, did we feel lucky! It was incredible and so surreal. They were playful and friendly. Actually, the calves were showing off their mad dolphin skills by jumping and spinning out of the water. It was so adorable! Good thing we brought our underwater camera because we captured a short video of what we saw!
Later, we found out that we were swimming in waters about 100 ft deep. The water was so clear that at some points I could see the sandy bottom of the bay, so I assumed we were in 40 ft water. Boy, was I wrong! If I could do it again, I totally would.
We also hit up a handful of coffee plantations. We couldn’t go to Kona, and not check out what they’re known for — their coffee!
We spent a whole day exploring the Hilo side of the island, and even one day wasn’t enough. The Northeast side’s view was spectacular. Due to time constraints, we did not go down the dirt road to the black sand beach shown in the picture. Maybe next time…
Hilo was our next stop.
There was lots to look at, but because we wanted to fit in time to see the waterfalls, we didn’t spend much time here. We did head to a town south of the Hilo area to snorkel. The coral in the tide pools we swam in were unbelievably beautiful.
…and yes, we fit in time to see the waterfalls before dusk. Phew!
All in all, this vacation is one of the best ones I’ve been on. Hopefully soon, we’ll be back to visit the islands. How I long for sunshine and tropical beaches!
PS: I’m so behind on posting what we’ve been up to. Lots of adventures to share. Stay tuned!