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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This is a dream come try type of vacation!!!! I need to add it to my bucket list ASAP!
Definitely! The snorkeling is amazing!
Looks gorgeous! We went to Hawaii on our honeymoon and really want to go back in a few years.
Funny cos I was just thinking the same about our honeymoon and 1st anniversary. 20 years! We are going back to florida in Jan but I think vegas for 2018 and the bahamas for 2019!
I haven’t been to Hawaii, but my sister spent her honeymoon there. It was a great time until my brother-in-law jumped off a cliff into the water and broke his heals. Even after that, I still hope to visit someday, but I might skip any cliff diving.
Yikes! Well lesson learned – never dive in shallow waters!
You have me feeling all sentimental. We lived in Hawaii for 2 years (my youngest Kiddies were born there) and it is definitely an addiction. We often talk about making our Aloha Home our permanent home when all the Kiddies are older. So beautiful!
OMG why did you leave? I struggle when I have to leave to the mainland.
OMG I’m so jealous! I have never been to Hawaii and I’ve been dying to go! It looks like such a wonderful place to vacation!
It’s wonderful! You’ll love it when you go!
I love Hawaii! My husband and I went to Maui for our honeymoon and the culture was so fun!
It’s amazing isn’t it?
I want to go to Hawaii SO badly. My husband and I are currently planning a trip there so I will need to put some of these things on my list for SURE. Thanks for the tips!
If you need condo recommendations let me know!
I have always wanted to travel to Hawaii! It looks absolutely beautiful and I dream of Hawaiian sand between my toes at night 🙂 It gives me such joy just to go to my local Aquarian so snorkeling is something I’d love to do. That’s so awesome that you got to surf. Looks like you had a wonderful time!
You need to get it on the bucket list and make it happen! Truly life changing!
Corina | Now THAT I Can Do, Mama!
Aaaah that warmth looks amazing! I’ll have to show my toddler the turtle… he just started saying that word! 🙂
awww that’s so cute! Tell him in Hawaiian they are called “Honu”
I love the underwater pictures! I went to Belize last year and took so much underwater video during snorkeling. It’s amazing to look back at.
Yes! I have about 3 hours of footage to sift through! manta rays, turtles, fish, and regular video footage!
I’ve never visited Hawaii but it’s definitely on my bucket list – Bora Bora too! My favourite vacations have been in Paris, Turkey and Greece
Oh I loved Greece too! Visited two of the islands (Kos and Rhodes) really enjoyed them!
These are amazing pictures and it looks like you had a great time. I would love to take my family to Hawaii one day!
Definitely make it happen!
I totally hope to do this one day! A two hour surfing lesson sounds awesome!
It was so good! Especially as the water is so clear!
Your trip to Hawai is definitely a dream trip. Imagine to got to experience all these wonderful things. Watching sunset right right at the back of the condo is indeed amazing!
I’d say it’s an experience of a lifetime but we’ve now been twice! lol!
Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh
What a beautiful vacation! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Hawaii is on my list of places to visit!
Definitely make it happen!
Wow that condo in Hawaii looks incredible. I love how it’s on the oceanfront and what a view.
Definitely worth every cent for that view!
I really need to go on a relaxing vacation soon. That means no kids! HA! Hawaii looks amazing. I haven’t been since high school and I definitely did not appreciate it then.
I don’t think we appreciate much as kids honestly. When we’re older we realize the beauty in everything.
I have always wanted to do a Hawaiian vacation, this looks absolutely amazing!! For now I guess I have to live through you!
Do it Debra! Took me too long to get there.
You are so right, everyone needs to get away sometime. It looks like a beautiful place to forget your cares for awhile.
Oh it so was!
Oh wow! This is so gorgeous! I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and your photos make me want to go even more now!
Make it happen Allison!
What beautiful photos! I can see you loved it and had great adventures. I confess it’s not for me haha, but I’m glad you’ve enjoyed your stay.
The pull to be there is so strong! I definitely like warmer climates 😉
Christine - The Choosy Mommy
I dream of the day that I will get to go to Hawaii. I think when my kiddos are older and can handle the long flight we will give it a go because it is def. something I want us to experience as a family!
Yeah, not too bad for us on the west coast. 5 hours!
I did the manta ray night snorkel two years ago and it was one of the greatest adventures of my life. They are so beautiful and friendly.
Isn’t is amazing? Initially I was like “oh cool look there they are” as they were about 20 ft away then BOOM right in your face! Such an amazing experience!
Um, that manta ray snorkle part at night looks aaaaah-mazing! And how close you were to the ocean is killer! What a fantastic location and trip!
it was amazing Karen! The condo is a perfect location!
Robin Masshole Mommy
Hawaii is high up on my bucket list. My husband and I talked about it this year for our vacation, but went with Key West instead.
Same Robin! It was on my bucket list for years, then we finally went last year and it was everything I dreamed of (and more)… so we had to go again!