Friday, February 28, 2014

Hawaiian getaway

I had the amazing opportunity to spend three weeks in Hawaii in December and January visiting Cate, a good friend since college.  We spent most of the time in Honolulu where she lived at the time, but we also went to Maui for 4 days to explore a new island.  I absolutely loved my time there!  We had some beach time, watched the sun set nearly every day, ate amazing sushi and other fabulous food, and just had some good friend time.  :)  

Cate welcomed me with a beautiful, fresh flower lei

First sunset - I just love palm trees

We did some hiking around Honolulu and enjoyed some amazing views.

And more sunsets - this view of Diamond Head in the evening sunlight

Ready to watch the Nutcracker
We are both foodies - so we enjoyed MANY amazing meals out and about in Honolulu.

Brunch at the Moana Surfrider - a very nice hotel

View at brunch at the Moana Surfrider
Cate preparing for a fantastic scallop pot pie at Chai's - one of her favorite restaurants in town

Dessert at Chai's - a creme brule sampler with an Amaretto on the rocks - perfect!
Enjoying high tea at a beautiful hotel
The view from the hotel where we had high tea.  I can't remember the name, but it was gorgeous.  They even had a pool with dolphins!
A spam fried sushi concoction we had to try in Maui.  No visit to Hawaii is complete without some Spam!
The greatest potato chips ever!  Made in Maui.
And of course sushi!  I can't even remember how many times we ate sushi, but every time it was so fresh and delicious!
Goat cheese sampler at the Surfing Goat Dairy in Maui
And we even prepared our own amazing food!  Cheeseburgers in Paradise - buffalo meat burgers and local and Guatemalan beer.  :)
We rang in the new year at another nice hotel with some of Cate's friends.  It was a huge party and lots of fun was had!

We flew to Maui for 4 days to explore a new island.  Maui is more relaxed and less crowded than Oahu, but I found the scenery of Oahu to be more beautiful.  We mostly explored a few towns on Maui, did the road to Hana - a very windy road through a beautiful part of the island, and visited a number of local farms.

Watching the sunset and doing a little yoga
Beautiful beach right by our hotel - with hardly anyone around
Waterfall on the Road to Hana
Beautiful beach near Hana
Hawaiian flag

Beautiful bamboo

Footprints in the sand
Love this beautiful heart-shaped leaf

Cate hanging with a local chicke
The road to Hana - very windy (though nearly impossible to get a photo of the road).
The trip was beautiful but a long day for sure as it's an out and back road meaning you have to do the windy, twisty road not once but twice!
You know this sign is here because people have thrown some interesting things down there...

A fun stop at Surfing Goat Dairy for some goat cheese.  It was so good we went twice!

Happy goats can surf

We also visited a lavender farm which was cool!  It was high up a mountain so the weather got a bit mirky, but still interesting!

Beautiful beach in Maui near our hotel - with hardly anyone around!

What a treat to have a couple of drinks with Ryan (former colleague at ISU and good friend) and Rod!

Another sunset - this time it was COLD!

On my last night we walked along the beach and watch the sun set and then had the most amazing sushi ever.  I really loved my time in Hawaii!