Last year when we vacationed in Hawaii, I fell in love. Not just with the Island, but the condo, beach, snorkeling, people, nature, ocean, the chilled lifestyle, pretty much everything. Hawaii was the epitome of a life changing vacation. Earlier this year, we visited friends and family in England (so NOT a vacation!) but I was yearning to go back to Hawaii. The islands were calling me. I was able to answer that call as we snagged a cancellation at the condo we stayed at previously. In November, we headed to the Big Island. For a 12 day stay in paradise.
Location Location Location
The condo we rented is right on the oceanfront. I know travel brochures say this, but seriously this was literally a stone’s throw away. Every morning we had breakfast on the lanai while watching sailboats, SUPers, swimmers and the local wildlife. Most days we tried to be back at the condo to watch the sunset. Watching the sun set over the ocean every night is just something you don’t get to do in your normal everyday life is it?
The 12 days were going to go fast. While determined to make the most of our stay, I also knew we needed to relax. I think we can all agree that 2016 has been a doozy of a year. Too many deaths and disasters, the election debacle, all topped with a busier than ever work year. In fact my schedule was JUST calming down prior to the trip. I was so ready for the break. Plus it’s Hawaii, I’m pretty sure it’d be impossible to have a bad day here!
Like most people, I have lofty goals of working out on vacation. We ran a few 5Ks along the IronMan route. I did yoga in the condo. We surfed. Plus we walked and swam a lot. Besides that, I got two workouts done. And you know what? That’s A-ok! I knew that this break was what we both needed to relax, recover and reconnect. The fact that we slept an average of 9 hours every night on this trip, told us that we were both sleep deprived. It seems like early mornings and late nights, combined with triathlon training, hectic work schedules and regular daily life can take a toll. The candle had been burning at both ends and we were beginning to pay the price. It was time to chill out. What better place than this?
Neither of us had been surfing so we decided to check that off the bucket list with a two hour surf lesson. Something I’d definitely do again. We were a little tipsy before lunch one morning after the Kona Brewery tour. After spending an afternoon at an idyllic sandy tropical beach we saw an amazing hula and fire show. We hit the same snorkel spots as last year and was rewarded with the beautiful sights of coral, fish, and sea turtles. Wading through tide pools is always a favorite activity for me. This year I was lucky enough to spot a little baby moray eel, so cute!
The manta ray snorkel was the highlight of the trip. We headed out after sunset to their feeding grounds, and held onto a raft while they fed inches away from our face. It was breathtaking. Last year I had the similar experience when I snorkeled with sea turtles, this year it was the mantas. The connection I experience with nature in Hawaii is unparalleled. So far.
Last year I just took my iPhone and we bought a cheap underwater camera from Walmart, but this time I was prepared for any adventures we went on. I had with me not one, but TWO new cameras to play with: My Canon G7X and my GoPro Session. I did have a slight panic attack when we got home as I thought I’d lost my micro SD card with the manta ray snorkel footage. But we found it. So rest assured I’ll be working on a Hawaii adventure vlog soon.
Using both of these cameras daily, I definitely got the photography bug again. Nature photography is something I’ve always loved. That passion was rekindled and I plan to do more photography in 2017. So much so, that I bought a telephoto lens for my Canon T5i. Next time that will be coming with me!
All in all we had another amazing trip, and as before I was sad we had to come home. If there is one place I feel spiritually drawn to it’s Hawaii. Once there, the chilled pace of life just seeps into your skin. Until next time Hawaii, until next time…
Have you visited Hawaii?
Where is the best vacation destination you’ve been?
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