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January 21, 2015

Hawaii Christmas Trip in Photos

Can I just start off by saying that Hawaii was just too much?
Too much sunshine. Too much gorgeousness. Too many pina coladas.

I'm already pinching myself... there is no way that our trip has come and gone so fast! Yup, I am ready to go back and taking donations for my adventure fund... ;)

 Here's a dose of the island madness...

{Haleakala volcano summit - 10,023 feet.}

Day 1 & 2 //

When we (Adam's side of the fam - my in-laws!) first arrived it was raining throughout the island, but somehow even in the rain the island was so beautiful. We checked in at our incredible hotel - Westin Maui Resort & Spa - just in time to get settled, take in the lobby views (It's a completely open atrium with waterfalls, a coy pond, squawking parrots, and pink flamingos!), and hit the outstanding resort restaurant up for a delicious meal. Then we crashed pretty early after a long day of traveling

The following morning, after not being well adjusted to the 5 hour time change, I was wide awake at 5 a.m. Eventually, I decided to get out of bed for a workout (who am I?!), freshly brewed cafe coffee, and for the unexpected surprise of seeing a double rainbow on the beach after the morning rain subsided. The rest of the day was dedicated to lounging, sipping drinks with umbrellas, and taking in the views. 

We walked down the beach to Leilani's that evening for Christmas Eve dinner. It was absolutely perfect timing as we were able to watch the the sunset filling the sky with stunning deep gem tone colors!

Day 3 //

On Christmas morning, our goal was to enjoy coffee on the beach and then we tried to soak in as much beach time as possible. It felt so weird that it was Christmas day and I was in a fedora and swimsuit, but I didn't complain!

That night we ventured to Kapalua for an incredible farm-to-table holiday dinner at Merriman's. I was in love with the cozy garden lights strung palm tree to palm tree for a little added ambiance. The sweeping views were insanely gorgeous! Mele Kalikimaka!

Day 4 //

We woke up bright and early with adventure on our minds. With the van loaded, we were off the the northeast side of the island to drive the famous Road to Hana highway. With expansive exotic views, black volcano sand beaches, tropical vegetation (I love the rainbow eucalyptus!), and gorgeous waterfalls, it's definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

The drive takes all day, as the roads are extra curvy and swervy, but it is so incredible to see a different side of the island! No wonder Hana has been a popular spot for celebrity residences - it's one of the most amazing places I've ever seen in my life. 

Day 5 //

The following day the family was off on a snorkeling boat excursion. Unfortunately due to my awful motion sickness, I had to opt out of seeing whales and sea turtles to avoid being a sick sissy. But don't you worry, I made the most of my day by visiting Lahaina just south of where we were staying. I decided to load up our uber sexy mini van and explore a place I loved visiting as a kiddo.

I indulged in my favorite Coconut Lovers treat from Ululani's Hawaiian Shaved Ice, and then hit the cute little boutiques on Front Street for a little retail therapy. I was thrilled when I found an awesome rustic nativity ornament made out of coconut and shells. I thought it was the perfect way to remember our awesome Hawaiian vacation!

Of course, I wanted to share the love with the fam, so I stopped by the famous Leoda's Kitchen & Pie Shop to pick up 6 mini pies to go. The line was out the door and around the corner! I snagged some samplers of coconut cream bie, key lime pie, and chocolate macadamia nut, so you could say I was a pretty popular gal when I delivered the post-snorkeling treats! Then we caught up on our adventures with pool-side cocktails and laughs before heading to a fun luau.

Day 6 //

Sweet holy goodness, 3 a.m. was wicked early to wake up! But don't you worry, driving 2 hours to the top of the Haleakala Volcano summit to watch the sunrise with 5,000 of our closest friend (it's popular!) was worth every second of missed sleep (ignore our extra sleepy eyes in the photos... just know our hearts were full, which is all that matters!).

I soaked in every moment and hue of that gorgeous sunrise standing next to my love in awe of the incredible things God creates. Absolutely breathtaking!

Once the sun was up and beaming, we hit up Grandma's Coffee House halfway down the volcano for brunch. It was recommended as a popular local spot and they were right - packed house! While we were over on the east side of Maui, we stopped by the gorgeous Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm where the high elevation views of the island were gorgeous and the air smelled like perfume... mmm!

This was our last full day to enjoy island life, so we soaked up the sunshine and beach views before heading to Kimo's in Lahaina for a hearty meal and a sampling of their world famous Hula Pie.

Day 7 //

Leaving Maui was one of the saddest things ever. I would've gladly sold all my posessions to live in a shack on the beach if it meant I could stay. So we said goodbye to the parrots in the lobby, the soft sand beaches, and the palm tree views. 

The only redeeming quality about this travel day was the fact that Don Cheadle sat in front of us on the plane... celebrity sighting!

So, needless to say my tan suddenly vanished the second our plane landed in Kansas City and I'm missing so many things...

+ the feeling of the sun on my skin
+ ordering coconut everything
+ how walking the beach gives me a natural pedicure
+ fresh pineapple
+ how good Hawaiian air smells
+ time to relax and read
+ having no concept of time
+ those serene clear turquoise waters

I'm ready to go back to the islands already - who's with me?
What a beautiful, memorable vacation full of people I love so dearly and endless adventures!

Have you been to Hawaii before?
What is one adventure you would love to take in 2015?

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  1. sooo beautiful!! i really want to go to miami someday! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  2. The pictures are STUNNING! The one of you two at the start of the post is awesome--you need to get that framed and put it somewhere! You have me dying to go to Hawaii now (as if I wasn't before haha)

  3. Those pictures are incredible. They look like they should be living in a Hawaii magazine somewhere. So beautiful and glad you had so much fun!

  4. beautiful! I have always wanted to go to Hawaii!

  5. ah LOVELY! My husband and I are going next year....can't wait!

  6. This looks like the BEST vacation!!! I want to go! I get terrible motion sickness, too, so I would have been right there with you getting mini pies:) Yum! Glad you had such a wonderful getaway:)

  7. Can't. get. over. these. pictures. I bet that sunrise took the cake. I'm SO glad you had such an amazing time!

    26 and Not Counting

  8. I've never been to Hawaii, but it's always been on my list. These pictures nudge it just a bit higher on the list, I must say. So gorgeous!

  9. oh my...incredible! Looks like so much fun :) Glad you had a great time

  10. Okay well I need to go to the beach immediately after seeing these!

  11. Amazing. I'm *possibly* going to Hawaii this summer and you have me so excited! Your pictures have me so excited!

  12. You definitely should! It's such an incredible place! So gorgeous!

  13. Thanks Jenn! My sister-in-law captured such a cool photo and I love our idea to get it framed and put it somewhere special! :)

  14. Awww so sweet! Believe it or not - mostly iPhone photos except for that first one! :)

  15. Thanks Kelly! You definitely need to head to the islands - I never wanted to come home!

  16. Oh my goodness - can I go with?! Jk! Which island are you visiting?!

  17. Awww thanks Rach! You guys definitely need to hit Hawaii - you'll fall ski. Love with it all!

  18. Aww thanks Kari! Hawaiiisso gorgeous all you need is your iPhone! And heck yes - I would've gladly had you as my pie partner in crime! :)

  19. It was such an incredible and memorable trip! I already have island fever and I'm ready to go back!!

  20. Honestly, I have NO IDEA mom's fiance' has a place we're going to get to stay in but I don't know any details still.


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