Between the end of college football season and the start of college basketball season, Josh and I were able to get away for a week to our favorite place: Hawaii. We went to The Big Island first for a few days, then to Maui for a few days. Using a lot of deals stacked together, we stayed at The Fairmont Orchid and The Fairmont Kea Lani. I love both of these hotels so much.
We flew into Maui and took a commuter plane to The Big Island. It was so cool because the plane flies low and you can see the islands from the air. It was a very fun ride.
The peace of Hawaii was perfect medicine for my heart, and I soaked in the beautiful sun and warm weather. The ocean is rough at this time of year, so Josh and I spent most of our time in the pool instead. One awesome thing about the ocean at this time of year is all of the humpback whales migrating from Alaska down to Hawaii to give birth. Baby whales are born without enough blubber to keep them warm in the cold water, so they need warm water for their earliest days. It was really amazing this year. We saw whales off shore almost every time we drove by the coast, jumping or just spouting.
At the Fairmont Orchid, there is a luau each week called The Gathering of Kings. It was a celebration of the different Polynesian people and their journeys across the ocean to their new lands. I liked the interactive activities that they incorporated into the celebration. Before the meal they demonstrated and let us try some of their different dances and also weaving and tattooing. We also had a hula lesson.
There were four different culinary tables, each representing food from the different islands: Hawaii, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Samoa. There was a lot of delicious food. Then they did their show: dancing, fire dancing, storytelling. We enjoyed it, it was a lot of fun. I tried to take pictures but it was too dark for my camera at their speed of movement. It was a really fun night.
A fun side trip was to ride horses up in Paniolo country. We drove to the northern part of the island, to a farm that was quite a ways up in the mountains and the country. It was beautiful there! It felt like Hobbit country, rolling green hills and sunny skies with picture perfect clouds. We went on an hour and a half ride, and it wasn’t bad at all. It was only my second time riding a horse, but their horses were very well behaved and we had a great time.
Another day we went on a zip-line through the forest, and over streams and waterfalls. It was absolutely beautiful!
We also visited the visitor’s center on Mauna Kea for the star-gazing that is held every evening. We barely made it in time for sunset, but we got a few photos. The star gazing wasn’t the best this time because it was so close to a full moon, but the previous time we had gone, the moon was a sliver and it was a great time to see the stars!
When we went to Maui, we wanted to go snorkeling at Molokini crater. We heard it was a really good snorkeling spot, and we had a fun trip, although the water was pretty cold over there, and then we forgot to bring towels to dry off with, so the ride back to Maui was freezing. On the way back we did spot some whales, and we got fairly close, but they weren’t doing anything but breathing and then going under again.
On the day we left, we stopped by Iao Valley State Park. I think it might rain there all the time because it rained on us the last time we visited the valley as well. We had a wonderful time in Hawaii, and as always, wish we could live there all the time.