Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hawaii (Part 1)

Hawaii:  February 18-26, 2013

In February we got to take a DREAM vacation to visit my brother Kyle and his family in Hawaii.  They are super adventurous and awesome and generous and lived there for four months. I think they had visitors 90% of the time that they were there because they invited everyone they knew to come visit.  Take some of our very favorite people and add in a Hawaiian beach and we had the most amazing vacation ever.  They took such good care of us while we were there.  As amazing as it was to be in Hawaii, hands down the best part was spending time with Kyle, Jade, and their gorgeous girls.

View from the lanai of Kyle and Jade's home
They stayed in this beautiful home on a hill in Kona on The Big Island.  The home sat on an orchard and no matter where you were in the home, we had an incredible view of the ocean and skyscape.  The property was gated and huge.  It felt like a jungle as you drove to the house.  There were papaya, starfruit, mandarin oranges, banana, and avocado trees filling the property.  In the mornings we would go out and pick fruit to enjoy for breakfast or for smoothies.  One of my favorite parts of the trip was that the cousins could just run outside barefoot, whenever they pleased, through the jungle.  The biggest danger was that they would skin their knee on lava rock.  I think every kid should get that chance to run free and explore with cousins!  There aren't enough situations where you can safely allow kids to have that kind of freedom these days.  It was good for the soul.  It reminded me of when we were little in New Jersey running wild with our cousins.  The only difference is now I am the old Aunt!  It is mind blowing how fast things turn around.

Beck was in absolute heaven playing with Tayler and Ryenn all day.  He hadn't seen them in over a year but I guess the bond of cousins runs deeper than time.  Wow, that was cheesy. Its true though, it was like they had played together just the day before.

We could have sat at the house staring at the view and let the kids play and it would have been a vacation for the books.  Although we did have plenty of R&R time, we also got in plenty of beach and exploring in!

When we arrived, Kyle and Jade had been living in Hawaii just long enough to have discovered all the best beaches.  We nicknamed each one so we could remember what beach was best for what.  There were beaches that were perfect for the kids because the rocks would make little inlets of shallow water.  Some had perfect waves for body boarding, or others were great for snorkeling and seeing turtles.  Each one was stunning in its own way and I couldn't help but just keep snapping photos.  I would literally just sit on the beach in awe of the breathtaking beauty all around me.  I kept catching myself grinning for no reason except that I was just SO. HAPPY. I love love love the beach. Watching my children experience it for the first time was a special experience.

BTW. none of these photos are edited in any way. natural beauty ya'll
This beach was fun because the kids could explore the shallow water for sea urchins or schools of tiny fish.
Every single night we would witness the most beautiful sunset.   

One of our first days there, we spent most of the day out on the little ocean boat Kyle and Jade shipped out. Sadly, I don't have any pictures because I was worried about dropping my phone/camera in the water.  It was the perfect way to go whale watching, and a provided a different way to experience the ocean. I will admit that even though I grew up with the ocean and am fairly comfortable with it, at first I was nervous to have 4 young children and 4 adults on a 10 ft tube boat surrounded by water.  There is something slightly eerie about being out there all alone with no land in sight- especially when just a few hundred feet away you see a 50 TON, forty foot whale breach the water.  It sure can make you feel really small in a big world fast!

It didn't take long for me to  relax and just enjoy. You can bet that I never relaxed that kung phu grip on my children though! We saw SO many whales on that trip.  Whales travel in pods so sometimes we would sit there quietly gazing across the water, looking for a puff of water to come up, meaning a whale was "blowing".  Usually a blow meant they were preparing to come out of a water for a breach.  When someone would see a blow in the distance we would cruise in that direction as fast as we can to get a better look.  A few times we thought we stopped a few hundred yards away but suddenly realized they were totally surrounding us and we were seeing breaches left and right.  It was so incredible.

One night we went to the Hylton Mega-resort just to walk around.  They have a dolphin reserve so you can stand right above them and watch them play.  It is landscaped beautifully, and they have lots of other exotic animals to see.  It is right on the beach and we happened to be there just before sunset, which is when the whales get really active and jump.  Jade and I were busy snapping pictures of the sunset when we saw a whale breach and we saw the entire tail fin.  I happened to take the photo just as it happened and saw it though my lens.  Even though you can't see it super clearly in the photo, that sunset picture will always remind me of that special memory. 
Look at the little black mark in the water on the right hand side.  That is a part of a fin as it is coming out of the water!

1 comment:

Arianna Pierce said...

Hello! I had a question for you about possibly collaborating on something and was hoping you could email me back to discuss? Thanks so much!

- Arianna

ariannapierce2 (at) gmail (dot) com