Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hawaii ... Days 1 & 2

Day 1 ... Saturday
February 22, 2014

The day had finally arrived!
I was going to Hawaii for the second time in 3 years & I was thrilled! But I was also anxious. Anxious to fly (I hate flying), anxious to leave my kids, and anxious to leave my husband. But mostly thrilled!

Mom, Brooke & I had all stayed Friday night at Susan's house in Humble since we had a 9:30 am flight. So Saturday morning, we got up, got dressed & got moving. I was super prepared for the flight... I had my laptop, my ipad, my kindle, my phone (so pretty much every electronic device you could ever need) & several magazines & a book. Everything was fully charged & ready for me to watch 8 hours worth of Downton Abbey season 4 which I had been saving for this flight. Shortly into our flight though, we discovered this plane DID NOT HAVE WIFI!!! Just so you know, 8 hours and 27 minutes without wifi or tv or internet or facebook gets BORING! There's only so much Candy Crush & Panda Jam you can take at a time! Lol. Luckily I had just bought a new book on my Kindle & remembered to download it before I left.

After an 8 1/2 hour flight to Honolulu, an hour lay over at the Honolulu airport, a 45 minute flight to Kona & a 4 hour time difference, we arrived on the island of Hawaii or the Big Island as it is also called.

When Nick & I went to Oahu a couple of years ago, we walked almost everywhere & places that were too far to walk, we were able to just grab a cab or jump on the city bus. But the Big Island isn't anything like Oahu. At least not like Waikiki Beach, the area where we stayed. The Big Island is huge & you need a car to be able to properly explore it. So at the Kona airport, we took a shuttle to the rental car place, rented a car and headed north on Highway 19 (which is the main highway on the Big Island. Matter of fact, it runs all the way around the island.) 

As we were driving, we could see whales breaching and blowing in the ocean. It was so cool! So we stopped at a little overlook area on the way to our hotel to watch the whales & to bask in the beauty that is Hawaii!

We arrived at the Kings' Land condos in the Waikoloa Beach Resort area of the island around 5pm (which was 9pm Houston time. Talk about a long day of travel!)

The resort grounds are absolutely beautiful!

We checked in & settled in & as soon as we sat down, we all realized that we were starving. It was dark & we didn't know our way around the area, so we tried to find the closest & quickest place that we could to eat dinner. We found a small place in the Kings' Shops in Waikoloa called Island Fish & Chips. It was ok, but not great but it did it's job.

After our long day of travel I was exhausted. So I went to sleep just as soon as we got back to our room after dinner, which was around 9pm (or 1am Houston time.) I was the first one asleep, which is unusual for me.

Day 2 ... Sunday
 February 23, 2014

Not only was I the first one to go to sleep, but I was also the first one to wake up. I woke up around 4 am (8am Houston time) very well rested. I got out of bed & did the most important thing on this trip, I found out where the closest Starbucks was. Which was right there in our resort! So I went to Starbucks, got my coffee, came back to the condo & sat on the back porch while I drank my coffee & talked to Nick on the phone. Around 6 am I decided to go running since no one else was awake yet.

I ran all around the Waikoloa Beach resort area for a total of 6 miles. I saw such beautiful scenery

including the beach

the mountains

and the golf course. 
By the time I got back to our room, I knew my way around the resort (which was great since I was the driver for the week.)

Once everyone was awake, we had a nice breakfast at the hotel bistro.

After breakfast, we went to the grocery store to get a few things for the week & then headed over to the Hilton hotel

to go snorkeling in the lagoon.

At first snorkeling was really cool. I saw so many different kinds of fish, including the Hawaii state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa. I also swam along with a couple of sea turtles and watched them munching on sea plants.

And then I got freaked out. The last time I went snorkeling was the last time I was in Hawaii. The eels freaked me out that time & they did this time too. I was just a floating along having a nice time until I saw an eel. Then I freaked out & started frantically swimming away. I got pretty far away & looked down again & there he was again, the eel! At first I thought it was the same one & he was chasing me, but then realized that that was silly & I'm sure it was a completely different eel. At least I'm pretty sure! So now I've realized that not only am I scared of heights, but I'm also of eels, which makes sense because I'm scared of snakes & they're basically the same thing.

Since I had no desire to see another eel, I laid out for a while on the beach. Mom wanted to go check out the water slide at the pool so we headed over to it. While walking to the pool, we stopped and watched the dolphins play with a ball

and with their trainers.

And we also saw some black tip reef sharks. 
(The sharks are in an area right off the snorkeling lagoon. I told Brooke that they were little (only about 3 feet long) & if they some how got into the lagoon, I was sure that I could take one on. And so I find it ridiculous that I'm terrified of eels, but not sharks when in reality I'm sure I would fare far better in a fight with an eel than I would in a fight with a shark.)

We spent about an hour at the pool & rode the water slide a couple of times.

Then we walked around the shore.

We saw lots of little sea creatures in the tide pools. 
Including sea urchins, 


& sea cucumbers.

We went back to our room around 5pm to get ready for our dinner reservation at Three Fat Pigs, a restaurant owned by Chef Ippy who was a finalist on the Food Network Star.

After dinner, we went back to our room & I crashed!
(But then again, I had been up since 4am!)

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