First stop- Honolulu ,Hawaii This is a view of downtown captured from the top of Diamond head. It is a great hike that gives a great vantage point of the city and Waikiki beach. It is a moderate /medium hike so prepare to take water and good walking shoes. I love to wear my Salomon hiking shoes. Its also a good idea to go early to avoid the crowd.

First stop- Honolulu ,Hawaii This is a view of downtown captured from the top of Diamond head. It is a great hike that gives a great vantage point of the city and Waikiki beach. It is a moderate /medium hike so prepare to take water and good walking shoes. I love to wear my Salomon hiking shoes. Its also a good idea to go early to avoid the crowd.

I am so excited to share the experiences I have enjoyed while visiting Hawaii. I have had the privilege to visit all ,except Molokai , of the islands in Hawaii and because of this friends always ask which is my favorite? I struggle answering this question because I love all of them for different reasons. As I will show you there are many different things about each island to love and enjoy. I will leave it up to you to pick your favorite. Whichever you choose to visit you can’t go wrong, so pack your bags and let’s go. I will give you suggestions as what to take later in the post, as well as other travel tips , but for now sit back and enjoy the views as I rewind some of my favorite Hawaiian vacation moments.

 

View of Diamond head ,standing on Waikiki Beach

View of Diamond Head ,standing on Waikiki Beach

 

The Royal Hawaiian - Located in downtown,with shopping and your choice of restaurants out the front door ,the back doors lead you out to the beautiful Waikiki beach.

The Royal Hawaiian – Located in downtown,with shopping and your choice of restaurants out the front door ,whilethe back doors lead you out to the beautiful Waikiki beach.

Diamond Head - as seen from Waikiki beach is a crater of an inactive volcano and is a popular hiking destination for tourists because of the spectacular views from the top.

Diamond Head – as seen from Waikiki beach is a crater of an inactive volcano and is a popular hiking destination for tourists because of the spectacular views from the top.

While visiting the Honolulu, we spent an afternoon at Pearl Harbor and aboard the USS Arizona memorial. I feel it is a historical/memorial site every American should visit.

Hope you will continue on with me- Next stop- Maui, Hawaii, a short inter island flight. Maui offers adventurous hikes leading to breathtaking waterfalls and miles of endless beaches.The drive to Hana is an all day adventure so plan to leave early so you can enjoy the things to do along the way. Our stay at the Grand Wailea  in Maui was one of my favorites. The location and accommodations met and exceeded my expectations. If you choose to stay here make sure to book a spa appointment or two,a beautiful relaxing experience that I cant wait to do again. The restaurants on property are also fantastic!

Welcome to paradise, the lobby of the Grand Wailea

Welcome to paradise, the lobby of the Grand Wailea

DSC00901

 

The grounds at The  Grand  Wailea hotel are picturesque so have your camera ready.

The grounds at The Grand Wailea hotel are picturesque so have your camera ready.

After checking in, make your way over to the concierge desk to book all your activities and dinner reservations. Our favorite place to eat on Maui is Mama’s Fish House in Paiia located near the airport, It can be a bit of a drive but well worth the views and especially the food. Another place to eat is at The Plantation golf course located in Kapaula. The dining room overlooks the18th hole of the golf course and provides unmatched views of the spectacular Maui sunset.

View from The Plantation restaurant

View from The Plantation restaurant

Even if your not a golfer this is an unbelievable place to be, and if your are a golfer you will not want to ever play anywhere else again. Really a win ,win situation.

We love to be out on the water and have always been blessed to see so many  amazing things

We love to be out on the water and have always been blessed to see so many amazing things

Every trip unfolds a different story,one thing is for sure, we have never been disappointed. By timing our trip, late January into early February , it allows us to see the humpback whales in abundance.They migrate from Alaska every winter to the warm waters of Hawaii to give birth and nurse their calves. During this time they also teach their calves to breach, which is an awesome site to see this one ton mammal jump out of the water. We have even witnessed a mother showing off her calf by lifting it out of the water next to our boat for us to see.  Incredible! Here are a few fun facts: These baby calves are 10-15 feet in length weighing 1 ton at birth and travel with their mothers for 12 months before going off on their own. A pod, or 3 whales traveling together, consist of a female, her calf and one or more male escorts. Pictured below are just a few of the shots we have gotten while out on a boat snorkeling and whale watching. Every encounter has been different and leave me wanting to see more!

 

 

DSC01058

DSC03068

These are daily occurrences on the water and I was lucky enough to be able to catch it on film and share it with you! Enjoy – #visit Hawaii

DSC03072

 

Helicopter tour is the best way to see all of the island.

Helicopter tour is the best way to see all of the island.

After navigating around the island by car,its time to see this beautiful island from above and the majestic waterfalls it offers. buckle up!  Here we go, below us is the Plantation golf course in Kapalua.

DSC00994

The Plantation Course

Majestic waterfall

Majestic waterfall

Maui Coastline

Molokai Coastline

Black sand beach

Black sand beach

Valley on Maui

Valley

Back on the ground safe and sound

Back on the ground safe and sound

Next on the agenda is a hiking trip and zip lining. I hope you are able to keep up…… I know its called a vacation but there is so much to see and do here, besides you can sleep on the plane.

Hike starts on the black sand beach.

Hike starts on the black sand beach.

Continues through this meadow

Continues through this meadow

  Made it to the top

Made it to the top

 hike to waterfall

hike to waterfall

hiking

hiking

scenery along the trail

scenery along the trail

 a place to cool off

a place to cool off

at the top of the trail

at the top of the trail

As you have noticed we love to hike and explore what nature has to offer, I must say i have never been disappointed in what we have found.

ready to zip line

ready to zip line

How about some four wheeling ?

How about some four wheeling ?

Hawaii is a great place to act like a kid again especially when you don’t have the kids with you! Be prepared to get really dirty if you do this tour.Nice way to get a mud facial!

Awe so cool!

Awe so cool!

Now we are going over to the Big Island – the only island that allows you to snow ski in the morning and surf on the beach in the afternoon. What a life! The Big Island offers both black sand and green sand beaches, a lush rainforest,2 active volcanoes and and a volcano national park.

 A beautiful Green sand beach

A beautiful Green sand beach

walking through the hardened lava

walking through the hardened lava

volcano national park

volcano national park

Hardened Lava rock

Hardened Lava rock

steam from a crater

steam from a crater

entering a lava tube

entering a lava tube

inside he lava tube

inside he lava tube

 

 Active Volcano views from the helicopter

Active Volcano views from the helicopter

smoldering volocano

smoldering volcano

volcano activity

volcano activity

The only and safest way to see an active volcano is from a helicopter….. because they are still active and unpredictable it is not safe to be near them at the ground level. You can feel the heat rising up from them even in a helicopter and that is close enough for me. Such a cool thing to witness. Its definitely worth the money you pay to do this tour , I have done it twice and both trips were completely different.

a deep crater

a deep crater

DSC02979

a vast area of hardened lava

Coming into the rain forest now……

waterfall ahead

waterfall ahead

bamboo

bamboo

waterfall

waterfall

this never gets old

this never gets old

Hiking in Hawaii allows you to connect wit nature and brings such a peace to me. Coming upon another waterfall never gets old. As you can tell hiking attire is a must if you really want to see the island away from the beaches. I like to wear nike, dri-fit shirts that dry out quickly if you happen to get caught in an afternoon rain shower.

Tropical orchids

Tropical orchids

I hope you have enjoyed my Hawaiian Island photos, I know I have enjoyed looking back over them and sharing with you the good times had there. I will bring you photos from Kauai in 2016. Until then, Aloha !