Hawaii. What an exciting place to be going on our honeymoon. After a long day of travel and three different connections we finally make it to Hawaii, otherwise known as the "Big Island". We are so excited we hop off the plane to perfect weather, beautiful palm trees and friendly people everywhere. We stop to pick up our rental after waiting for our luggage, and Brandon drives around the corner in our car for the week... A Jeep Wrangler! I couldn't wait to out the top down. We load up our luggage and find our hotel, it was almost as if we were in a huge hurry... We wanted to get to our hotel so bad we just couldn't wait. Our honeymoon was finally here! We check into the hotel and were upgraded to a beautiful cabana right on the ocean. Tonight the was to relax by ocean watch the sun go down and have a nice dinner in. We did just that. We stopped at the local grocery store, and picked up some of the essentials; bread, lunch meat and cheese, some snacks, (a $10 gallon of milk..YIKES) and of course, stuff to make some tropical drinks. We also picked up some ahi poke which we were told is very popular among Hawaiians... This ended up being a staple during our time in Hawaii.
The first full day we woke up bright and early, actually before the sun came up, and we headed in to Kona coffee country. We stopped at some coffee farms and learned all about how coffee beans were roasted and harvested, and the whole process. It was very interesting. We even got to try fresh figs, fresh coca, and fresh bananas that we picked. I have to admit Kona coffee is the best coffee I have ever had. Delicious!
After our coffee tours we peeked in our guided book to find something for lunch and we found a sushi place where you make your own custom roll. It was great I got ahi avocado and fish eggs, and brandon got their famous spicy ahi with avocado and crispy salmon. One roll could have fed us both, they were HUGE, and only $5 a roll. Completely satisfied and a little overly full, we decided to walk around town- Kailua Kona. A cute touristy town with a lot of fun shops, and the beautiful ocean to walk by. Ready for a snack we stopped in a small shop for some shave ice. Our first shave ice of the trip, and definitely not our last. We decided to share a medium, and boy was that enough! The shave ice was the size of a bowling ball! It was delicious and a work of art.
Our second full day was amazing. We headed straight for a snorkel spot that we heard was supposed to be great snorkeling, Two Step. Amazed by the beauty around us during the drive we took numerous stops on the way there to take pictures. Right before Two Step there was a National refuage that the guide book said was worth our time. It was a short walk around the area where the extensive grounds included a palace, a temple, and a Great Wall, among other important artifacts. After that we snorkeled for the rest of the afternoon, with all sorts of tropical fish and colorful coral. I have to say If you have never snorkeled before, it is something that everyone needs to try. It is so invigorating and unworldly and the life that is down there is constantly changing. You never know what you may stumble upon. Which brings me to our next active for the day. We were on our way to another snorkel spot when some locals stopped us and were trying to convince us to rent a kayak for the day. "Only $25 a person for the whole day" he said... Well it was already 3pm and we just wanted to snorkel... I thought it was rip off. He kept at us and Brandon finally said we only have $20 but we'd only take it for a few hours. He finally convinced us because he said there were dolphins out there and I thought it's be fun to maybe see one in the distance (even though I thought he was feeding us a bunch of you know what). We gave it a shot, for $20 it would at least be fun to paddle around in the ocean. We got to the snorkel spot and jumped into the 3rd best snorkel spot in the world and were amazed again by the life we saw. We swam around for about 30 minutes and were getting tired so we hopped back in our kayak and started back. "LeAnn look!" Brandon said to me. There was a dolphin jumping in the distance! There were A LOT of dolphins jumping in the distance! We paddled as fast as we could and got as close as we could and I jumped in the water... This was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. There had to be 20 or 30 dolphins swimming around down there. Un based by me in the water they swam and jumped and kept playing. A mama with her baby swam by and they all got so close to me I couldn't believe it. Brandon finally jumped in to and couldn't believe his eyes. It really was an indescribable experience, and one that I will never forget. We swam with wild dolphins, and they were exactly what I imagined they would be like, playful, happy, and not one bit afraid of me. I was in awe.