Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Alittle Simple Living in...Hawaii! :)

We're back from our trip and I have to say it was so nice to go on vacation and spend time with family while we were gone too. My sister and her husband, and Martin and I all met at Honolulu airport after a long 10 hour flight across the country and the ocean. Now that I look back on it, and for next time we (hopefully there is a next time!) go, it is probably cheaper to take a flight from NY to LA, and then another from LA straight to the Big Island instead of traveling one long flight to Honlulu and then jumping on a very short inter island flight to Kona, on the Big Island. If you are traveling to Big Island, definetly try to do this, its the same amount of stops, but costs less as you are only paying for 1 flight (in total with one stop) instead of another inter island flight on top of the regular flight. Flights have gotten so expensive, but I'll make sure to go into that more on this weeks Frugal Tip Friday! Our first agenda, once we got there, go for some drinks! So we went to the hotels over priced bar, we were so sleepy and jet lagged I think we were too out of it to think frugally, well I certianly was, and got some pina coladas to start the vacation off! We met this wonderful girl who is a single mom and aspiring author living on the Big Island. It was so great to meet her and talk with her about blogging and how great it is to help start you writing, she may be starting her own blog soon hopefully!  If she's reading this, please write and we can talk more!  After way too many pina coladas, we went back to the room and passed out. Hawaii is 6 hours behind us, so staying up late was okay but then, afterwards not so good when trying to walk and hike!  The first day we stayed at the hotel lagoon, which was relaxing and very cool to see the different fish swim. We even saw some turtles swimming! The next day we went to Hilo, which is on the eastern side of the island, Kona where we were staying was on the west side. It was interesting because on our way over there we stopped at the island's acupuncture school. Great to meet a new person there and interesting. She let us know that on the East side of the island, where the volcano is always flowing, there is a constant state of energy that can be erratic coming up from Pele the volcano goddess there, this can stir people in some weird ways. We were alittle nervous going over, but it seemed alright, until (and maybe this was the lack of sleep) my sister and I started laughing histerically and deliriously as the guys were trying to finding there way around Hilo! We went out to eat at a little place called Coqui where we had our first experience with a noodle soup called Pho. It was yummy! There were noodles, sprouts, veggies and lots of herbs, not to mention that the prices were very reasonable compared to other places on the island.

After that crazy day of driving and exploring in Hilo, we stopped at a place called Akaka Falls and Kahuna Falls on our way back. It was a beautiful drive up to the falls, with a fruit cart left out on a farm asking for buyers to leave the money and take what they wanted! We bought a pinneapple, some avocados that tasted like butter and some mangos. The falls were beautiful and only costed 1$ each person to go up.

The next day we went to one of my favorite places, the Green Sand Beach at the south point of the island. There were surprisingly very few people there, one guy sat on a rock in the shade playing his flute the whole time, it was beautiful and felt so euphoric with the flute playing to the dancing waves! The hike is a big one, 5 miles in total, and we all brought water and had our sneakers and sunblock on. The little trek down the rocks onto the beach isn't for everyone. You have to make sure you go slow and climb down one step at a time, but when you get down there to the water...its just heaven. The water is bluer than the sky with a tinge of green and so warm. Well worth it!! I definetly recommend it, and it is free if you hike it! There were guys with cars at the beginning asking people if they wanted rides for cash, but we decided to save our $ and go for it.

(first pic is a cliff on the way to green sand beach where locals fish)

The next day we went to one of Travelers Magazine's most beautiful beaches called Hapuna Beach and I can totally see why it was rated this, it was not a very long beach for walking, but was gorgeous and encircled by lava rocks on both sides, with nothing under our feet but the soft white ground sand, not a shell, not a stone, not a crab. The water might as well have been bath water it was so warm! My sister who isn't so much of a water person even went in and swam! I haven't swam really in the ocean in awhile like this, where you could body surf, you could float, you could dive into the waves or you could jump ontop of the waves. So much fun! I don't have pics of this beach yet, my sister has those, but I'll post as soon as I do. The best part of this beach...ITS FREE!!! No charge to get in, no charge to park, no charge!

A little place that we found by chance called Laupohoe Harbor, no swimming but really pretty and free to stop in at!

For one of our last adventures, we went to a place called Kealekekuhua Bay, where there are supposed to be lots of wild dolphins! Here you can rent a kayak for 50$ for two and kayak across the Bay to Captain Cook's monument and what used to be the Queens Bath, where there is amazing snorkling.  The waves looked alittle too strong for my sister so we decided to hike down. Well, half way down she said she would rather go and kayak lol. This was a rough hike, much rougher than we thought it would be. In the book where I learned about things to do on the Big Island, it says that this spot is kept hard to get too to keep away casual visitors. Well did it ever! It took 4 miles total, 2 miles there and 2 miles back, hiking literally down a mountain, and my poor sister only had flip flops on! We had to go super slow and finally made it down luckily without any broken ankles, thank God! We hiked through sloping lava rock, dirt, high grass (made me comfortable with bugs at least!) and finally made it to the Queens Bath. My sisters husband John went in first to snorkle, then Martin then me. I pleaded with my sister to come in (as you ca see in the pic below) but to no success. It was the most beautiful I've ever seen down in that water. Different shades of pastel coral, rainbow fish swimming in schools, bright yellow fish eating the coral, black fish with glowing purple tails, I felt like I was in a storybook of every underwater book I've ever read! It was well worth the hike. I only wish we had flippers so we could go out further! The hike back up was no joke, we were huffing and puffing and the bugs starting to come out. On the big island there are wild boar, we got alittle nervous as we saw holes in the high grasses to the left and right of us. John even made some kind of loud noise to scare one off if they were around. We got back up at about 3:30pm and on our way up we saw a family of four, 2 parents and 2 little kids, all in flip flops hiking down. They asked us about it, both Martin and I warned them, about the steep hike and the flip flops but they kept on. I hope they were okay!! I wouldn't want to be hiking down there as it was starting to get dark!

One restaurant we went to was really awesome. It was very low key and in Honokohau Harbor. It is this beautiful laid back Harbor off of Highway 19 with picnic tables and awesome fish. A local spot with really amaaaa--zzzzing fish. We had the fish of the day which was swordfish. I don't usually eat swordfish because its so tough, but this melted in my mouth and was so tender and flaky, it fell off my fork. It was delicious and marinated in a tomato salsa. I will never be able to eat swordfish or fish again without comparing it to this. And the prices weren't bad either, it came to 16$ for the special, which includes 2 veggies.

On Friday we waved and gave hugs bye to Stef and John as they left earlier than us on their flight home. To be honest I almost felt like we were staying for good! That night we went on a nice romantic dinner at the hotel and said goodbye to our vacation.

It was a great one:) If you ever head over to the Big Island Hawaii, definetly check some of these places out. They are inexpensive and so much fun!


  1. Awesome. Not only the pics, the descriptions, but the fact you took the time to be active and find all these awesome spots by hiking, exploring, ect! Nikki, you rock!

  2. Aloha! I have never been to Hawaii, but dream of going there someday. I'll be making notes of the things that you recommended. Thanks for sharing!

  3. My husband went to Hawaii twice while in the Coast Guard. Brat. I have never been. Now I want to go even more!! Beautiful pictures.

  4. Beautiful pictures and looks like a wonderful trip!


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