Now that I'm back to the real world and starting to get caught back up on life since returning from Hawaii I got a chance last night to go through photos from the trip. The whole visit was absolutely amazing and I can't wait to go back to see all the things we didn't have time for. Here is a glimpse of the trip through the eyes of my iPhone as well as the lens of my talented friend Paul Okumura who does beautiful underwater photography. We stayed with Paul an his wife Jillian at their home in Kona and as a result got the unique experience of taking in the island like someone who lives there. My favorite way to travel.
Don and I looking at a horned helmet at Ho'okena Beach. Photo by Paul Okumura Photography.
Rainbow Falls in Hilo
Making our way down to Kua Beach for snorkeling and a champagne and chocolate covered fruit picnic. Paul and Jillian know really know how to do a beach day. Take me back!
My favorite Hawaiian food (if you don't count all the amazing fruit) is poke. This bowl was from Da Poke Shack and it was so good!!
My friend Paul has an incredible ability to spot creatures on the ocean floor from really far away and then he free dives down to get a closer look. After spotting this octopus he brought it up closer to the surface so that Don and I could see it. It was so mind blowing watching it change color and attach itself to Don and Paul. Photo by Paul Okumura Photography
We spent some time at the southernmost point of the US on Punalu'u Beach. The black sand was beautiful and there were sea turtles everywhere. Of course we had to check out the southernmost bakery and bar! The malasadas from Punalu'u Bake Shop were so good.
While snorkeling in the evening the bay we were in was filled with dolphins and giant mantas. We got to swim alongside both of them! My mind was completely blown, its didn't feel real. The dolphins were so chatty that when my head was under the water all I could hear were their clicks and squeaks. That's me to the left of the dolphins! EEEP! Photo by Paul Okumura Photography.
On our last night in HI we drove from sea level up to the top of Mauna Kea which is at 13,796 ft. It was breathtaking watching the sunset and then the stars from above the clouds... Literally breathtaking actually, it was hard to breath at such a high elevation. I've never experienced that feeling before.
Flying to Kona was such an easy trip from Seattle. We took a direct flight from SEA-KOA and it was just over 5 hours in both directions. Traveling there between spring break and summer vacation is the perfect time because it isn't overly busy, flights are cheap and the weather is perfect (we don't like it too hot). We paid $330 round trip per person on Alaska. This might end up being a regular trip for us!