We're back from our Hawaiian honeymoon! Scott and I had an amazing time and wanted to share our adventure with all of you:
The beach of Waikiki was beautiful with an amazing view of Diamond Head and gorgeous sunsets, but we were happy to leave for the more mellow islands after being amongst the crowds (plus the Asian Pacific Economic Conference was going on so there were a lot of law enforcement and road closures). We toured Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona the first full day we were there. It was pretty awesome. We got to see all the oil still rising up to the surface of the ocean from the sunken hull of the ship.
The next day we took the local bus to Diamond Head to go hiking. It was a beautiful day, a little windy, but awesome nonetheless. There were a lot of people on the trail, but we made it to the top where the views were amazing. We could see the beach of Waikiki below. Very pretty.
By far my favorite island (I'm not sure which one Scott preferred). Our hotel was right in Kona along the beach. By far the best Mai Tai's we had were at the hotel bar! The first day there we drove to the south eastern end of the island. Along the way we stopped at The City of Refuge. Amazing relics and lava rock walls are still standing at the site where old warriors once took refuge. We drove as far as Punalu'u Beach, a beach made entirely of black sand where sea turtles come to rest and bask in the sun. Along the way back to our hotel we stopped at the Punalu'u Bake Shop and bought a loaf of guava sweetbread (so delicious!). That night was the luau at our hotel, very awesome show, great food, roasted pig, and the best Mai Tai's!
Day two took us to Waimea and Parker Ranch where Scott got to ride his very first horse ever! He was a pro at it towards the end. It was rainy and cloudy but still great! We drove to the northern end of the island on the way back. I think Scott enjoyed the horses so now I'm trying to convince him we should have one someday :)
On the third day on the Big Island we toured the summit of Mauna Kea, the tallest volcano in the world! I think this was Scott's favorite activity. We were driven to the summit in a tour van where we got to watch the sunset at 13,796 feet. After the sun sank into the clouds we drove down to 9200 feet and got to stargaze and drink hot cocoa. Such a great night! Cold (freezing temperatures), but awesome!
Our next adventure was a day-long tour to the Volcanoes National Park, where we got to stop at a beautiful waterfall along the way. We also ate lunch at the Puna Girl Macadamia Farm where almost all of the macadamia nuts used for candy is from. We were able to taste everything they made, along with some local fruits! We ended at the most active volcano in the world. We saw the latest eruption at a crater and got to see the glow of the lava at night. So amazing! A first-hand look at how the islands have been formed.
Our last island! It started with an amazing sunset cruise to the Na Pali Coast. Along the way we saw humpback whales, dolphins, and flying fish. Scott and I definitely recommend this tour to anyone who visits the island, and we plan on doing it again when we go back some day :)
The second day there we drove to the northern tip of the island and toured a beautiful botanical garden. The coastline and the mountains are breathtaking! The next couple days we were at the Kauai Backcountry Adventures headquarters where we went tubing through old irrigation canals of an old sugar cane plantation. We also zip-lined over a gorgeous green canyon. So fun! The weather was a little cloudy and misty but I think it was perfect! We visited the Kauai Coffee Plantation and I got to taste local coffees and walk through the plantation and see raw coffee beans growing on trees. I think I enjoyed this more than Scott as he's not a huge coffee fan. But it was a beautiful day!
Our last day there we drove along the Western end of the island to view Waimea Canyon. It is so amazing! Beautiful plants and amazing red canyons! Scott and I definitely want to go back and explore many of the hiking trails along the canyon. It was a nice relaxing way to end the wonderful trip!
You can find some pictures on Meghan's Mobile Me site.
Although it was an amazing trip we're happy to be home and back on a regular schedule! We can't wait for a nice quiet and relaxing Christmas at home :)