We Went to Hawaii!

Last month, we went to Hawaii! Glenn took me to Hawaii, if you really want to be exact. It wasn’t a surprise, but it was a gift. A generous one I might add. {!!!!!!! to say the least !!!!!!!!} We flew to the Big Island – a new island for us – the day before Mother’s Day. This year, Mother’s Day also happened to fall on the 10th of the month, which is always a more sensitive day for both Glenn and I, so it was extra special to get to be on a fancy-pants vacation together on such a tender holiday.

I came down with a horrible, horrible, horrible cold a few days before we left. Needless to say, flying with severe congestion is not exactly ideal.

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We made it through the flight, however, and were SO glad to land in Kona!

Since this was our first time to the Big Island, we had a lot of fun exploring and finding our favorite spots. We stayed at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and LOVED it. We have heard about this place from our dear friends for years, and were thrilled to finally get to experience it ourselves. We felt like it was laid back and Hawaiian, but still quite nice. We explored several other resorts on the island and decided we would choose Mauna Lani again in a heartbeat, unless the Four Seasons somehow became an option. {ummm… hello. it likely will not. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$}

There were lots of spots to walk or bike on the property, and we had a blast doing both.

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Our favorite restaurant was The Beach Tree, which is actually on the Four Seasons property.  We went twice, once for lunch and once for dinner, and both were spectacular. Relaxed, delicious, fun, and gorgeous views — exactly the vibe we were looking for. At dinner they have live music, which is always such a treat!

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This pictures was not taken at The Beach Tree, this is at The Canoe House, which was the restaurant on our hotel property which was also delicious, but not our favorite. 🙂

Our favorite beach was our beach at the Mauna Lani – the snorkeling was good {Glenn saw two turtles!!} and there is a nice calm bay so ocean wimps like me don’t have to fear for their lives.

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The final thing I will share with you was our favorite adventure. This trip was more about the relaxing/vacationing than adventuring, but we both really wanted to see the volcano, since The Big Island is the only Hawaiian island that still has an ACTIVE volcano on it. You guys — it was soooooooooo cool! It is a serious drive from the resort areas to the volcano, but so worth it. We saw LAVA SPEW. Straight up. We smelled what the insides of the earth smell like as we walked through the steam vents. We trekked through rain forest and jumped over big puddles to get to a lava cave. We had dinner {and Glenn had a “lava flow” – how appropriate} overlooking, you guessed it, A LAVA POOL. It was really such a fun day, and the only part we didn’t like was driving 3 hours back to our part of the island at the end of the day. Still, totally worth it and something we would highly recommend to anyone visiting the Big Island that likes a little adventure!

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Finally, we flew home on what felt like one of the longest, most boring, most drawn-out, and, quite frankly, worst flights ever. 🙂 It became comical just how bad the service and entire experience on this flight was. I think you can see the attitude in our faces here. Alas, we were not on vacation anymore, but it was still good to get home!

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So much fun was had! What a treat! I can’t get over just how special it was to get to go on this vacation last month — over Mother’s Day, pregnant with our second son, with lots of time and space to remember and talk about Branch, and lots of time and space to be silly and rest. SUCH a treasured time. Thank you for making it happen, Glenn! xoxoxo

~Kristin

Livin’ the Life

In the past month we have had lots of fun and adventure as Branch continues to grow grow grow. I think my womb must be offering karate classes, because he has turned into quite the little maniac in there. I have heard that it is sad for some Mom’s who are carrying babies with a fatal diagnosis to feel the baby kicking, but it has been pretty fun for me so far. This is my first pregnancy, so everything surrounding it is new and kind of exciting, even though the grief is still there every day.  In just a couple of months I know I may have moments where I miss feeling his little kicks, so I am trying to enjoy them now — even if he is destroying my insides with his long legs.

On to the Murdock Adventures! Our first, and biggest, adventure was a trip to Kaua’i — one of our favorite places, and an island we have had the great privilege of visiting multiple times. We stayed on the North Shore, a part of the island we had only taken day trips to on previous visits. It is the most lush and rainy part of Kaua’i, and therefore absolutely stunning. I am sure tourists who come from other parts of the country are irritated with the daily tropical storms of the North Shore, but we absolutely loved them. Rain, to Southern Californians, is like manna from Heaven.  I could post about 200 pictures from this trip, but I will spare you the details and just put up some highlights.  {BIG thank-you’s to the Brett & Becca Murdock’s for letting us borrow their timeshare, and to Delta Airlines for offering flights for miles instead of cash. You made this awesome trip possible! Yay!!}

We “hiked” {have you ever taken a woman who is 7 months pregnant on a HIKE?!?!} and walked around Waimea Canyon. It rained on us and we were not prepared, but it was still fun.
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We treated ourselves to shave ice with mac-nut ice cream on the bottom. A must.
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We lounged in the hammock.
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We went to the beach………Glenn carried everything.
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We went to a local hot spot and had Loco Moco for breakfast. Looks horriffic, I know, but it was seriously soooooooo good.
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We celebrated our last night on the island with a fancy dinner out at my favorite restaurant on Kaua’i – The Beach House. Here we are on the lawn in front of the restaurant, right before sunset. A stranger, who had evidently never used a camera before, took several pictures of us. Blurry but it works!
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And finally, we flew home separately {we booked our tickets with miles, remember?} which gave Glenn a few hours alone on the island. He was a stud and hiked down a waterfall.
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I was planning on updating you on ALL the interesting things this past month brought, but this post is getting kind of long already, so I will wait until next time to do that.

Hope you are having a lovely day!

~Kristin