Missed the beginning of our Hawaii adventure? Check out Part 1!
This may not be my greatest photographic moment, but it IS a record of the very first moment I spotted the Hawaiian Islands from the cramped window seat of our airplane. YAY!! The stewardess told us to put away all large electronic devices during our descent…this doesn’t include cameras, right? Obviously I did not think so.
That water. Do I really get to land here??
I think this is going to be a good vacation.
Then the plane turned around to land and I lost my island view temporarily. Thankfully, I had enjoyed The Art of Travel Photography videos before our trip and snapped this reflection of the island while trying to “look beyond the obvious.”
Mountains and ocean. Two of God’s best, I’ve always thought.
One of the plusses of being a super-stalker (or Google Maps junkie) is that I recognized from above where we were staying on the island as we came in to land! You can’t see our friends’ exact condo in the picture (it’s off to the right), but this is the resort community where they live. The huge, brown building on the right is the gorgeous Disney hotel!
The graciousness of our hosts, the Bs (my second family), began the moment we touched down with a huge hugs and beautiful leis. The pink one is made with fresh flowers and the black and blue one is made from kukui nuts (which last a lot longer than flowers, so it is currently hanging in my car!). My first impression of Hawaii was how wonderful it SMELLED. We walked out of the arrival gate onto an open walkway towards baggage claim and it smelled like you were walking into a botanical garden. Seriously. And that was just the airport! I took that as a good sign.
Our first order of business (besides trying to stay awake through jetlag!) was getting a grand tour of the resort that would be our home base for the week. Caleb, my little brother from another mother, is the best tour guide ever! We rode bikes from one end of the community to the other hitting up highlights like the Disney resort, the lagoons, and the golf course (complete with free cucumber water).
Even though we weren’t dressed in swimwear yet (once you put it on in Hawaii, you don’t really ever take it off), we couldn’t resist a quick visit down to a small, secluded beach to dip our toes in and get a feel for the water. Much to my surprise and delight, the water was warm and clear. No seaweed or red tide here, just…
…TURTLES!!! And we weren’t even trying to check these guys off our HI bucket list yet! There were a few of them just paddling around right near the shore, poking their heads up occasionally for a quick breath. We climbed onto a rock outcropping to try to get a little closer to the action. Thanks to a large wave, the action got closer to us…look at the dude that washed up on Caleb’s foot!
I’ve touched a turtle. I can go home now. 😉
For the rest of the evening, Thomas and I parted ways. He took off on a bike down to one of the lagoons to chill and watch the sunset. I had a fabulous and relaxing girls’ night with Mrs. B…chatting and walking the dog(Choncho!!!), soaking up the hot tub with a plastic cup of wine, and a session of essential oil therapy before bed. I think she was able to keep me up till at least 8pm! (oh you, jetlag…) The plus about being tired from traveling is that I was able to sleep like a baby, despite the wonderful adventures that I knew were in store for the rest of the week.
Have you ever touched a turtle in the wild? What is on your travel bucket list?