honeymoon part 6: kailua kona

I went to a blogger event on Thursday and felt so bad about my stupid blog hiatus that I’m going to try to give her another whirl. And what better way to come back than to try to wrap up my honeymoon posts from 6+ months ago!

In case you forgot, we spent a lovely two weeks in Hawaii. You can read the previous honeymoon posts here.

For our final stop, we were heading to the west side of Hawaii and the Kailua-Kona area. And of course, the day we left Hilo was the only non-rainy day we were there.

We were heading to yet another Airbnb and when we got there, not only were we greeted with a huge bowl of fruit from their yard, we were greeted by Freddy the Peacock! Who would continue to stalk us for the rest of our time there.

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After we threw our bags down, we headed to Kahaluu Beach Park which was close by and ended up being a very neat snorkeling beach. Of course, we had no snorkeling gear, but even so, spotted a bunch of fish just by walking in the water.

The sand also had a really cool salt and pepper look to it. And of course I only took this one lousy picture.

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We didn’t stay at the beach very long because it was getting late, so we grabbed some dinner and called it a night.

The next day we headed to probably the most gorgeous beach I have ever seen in my life, Kua Bay.

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The waves were bananas though so yours truly kept her butt firmly planted in the sand for the majority of the time. I did go in once, about waist high and as I was trying to leave and return to shore a wave knocked me on my ass and my sunglasses went flying. Luckily, they got hooked on my bathing suit strap and they were not lost to Neptune. I lost a *different* pair of sunglasses a second time, but luckily Keith used his super-human swimming abilities to save them for me.

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It may have been this evening that we discovered one of the grocery stores nearby had KILLER poke for super cheap. We ate there multiple times, 1/3# of poke and rice for $7 or something like that, and double the poke for $9. I’d kill for that in Pittsburgh. And it would likely kill me because I would eat it every. single. day.

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We also got Scandinavian Shave Ice because I had to do my ancestors proud.

The next day we went to Kona Brewing for a tour and lunch.

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We had a tasting after the tour and the Lemongrass Luau was so good, I’m still thinking about it.

After our tour/tasting, we stayed for lunch and then back to the beach! And more poke for dinner!

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Our Airbnb was so far up the side of the mountain that it got these incredible sunset views. If you look closely, you can see the ocean over the tops of those trees.

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The next day, we went to Mountain Thunder Coffee for a tour. They are located in the Cloud Forest, which is like the Rain Forest, but way cooler. As soon as we got out of the car, we smelled peanut butter cookies. Both of us hate coffee, but for some reason the roasting coffee smelled like cookies to us and we were super into it.

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This was Lea. She was a great tour guide.

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We learned about the different blends of Kona coffee and the variety of beans and I pretty much forget everything now but I definitely remember how terrifying those geese were.

We left and of course went to the beach and then went home and packed because we were leaving the next day.

Now, poor planning on my part, because our flight wasn’t until 11 p.m. but we had to check out of the house at 11 a.m. We couldn’t go to the beach because we’d be all sandy and gross for the rest of the day. We *should* have saved our tours for that day, and I’ll remember that the next time I have a redeye.

We ended up driving north to Waimea and went to Big Island Brewhaus for lunch. We had a great lunch and I had a delicious lilikoi margarita while Keith sampled some beers.

And I made a friend!

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And then lunch was over and we still had hours before our flight so we just drove around and around and around. Too bad everything is so ugly over there.

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You can just barely see Maui peeking through the clouds. IMG_6963

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And then it was time to leave. Aloha, Hawaii. Until next time.

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honeymoon part 3: kāʻanapali beach

So! Two months later, still trying to recap this honeymoon. It’s times like this where I miss my old job when I could totally sneak in some blog time. I would never dream of doing that at the new job and thusly, lil jelly jars suffers. Oh well.

When I last left off, we were leaving Upcountry Maui and heading to the Sheraton Maui. This was the fancy part of the honeymoon. We bought a package through Pitt which included the hotel stay, basketball tickets and transportation to and from the basketball games. We got in on Sunday and our room wasn’t ready yet so we changed in the bathroom and hit the beach. Gorgeous white sand, definitely one of the nicest beaches I’ve been to. They had a welcome reception for us the first night, all organized through the Alumni Association and I was very impressed. There were apps and drinks and they gave us free Pitt shirts. We ate so well we didn’t even have to eat dinner that night. But we did go out for shave ice in Lahaina, because when in Hawaii…. We also went to the grocery store to load up our mini-fridge.

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Keith jumping!

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Not-Keith jumping!

Monday was more beach time and then we went to Maui Brewing for lunch. We had seen it on an episode of Drinking Made Easy and a few years back they had an onion beer that I was dying to try…but no such luck. We did have a pretty tasty lunch though and some beers and then headed back to a pre-game reception. This one ALSO had food, so it was unfortunate that we had just paid for lunch, but whateva. After the little reception, we caught the shuttle to the game and proceeded to win against Chaminade. Poor Chaminade.

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We got back, high off our win and split some overpriced hotel bar nachos and then mixed ourselves up some drinks and took them to the hot tub.

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The next day, we had another game in the evening, so more beach time! Then the shuttle to the game…which we lost. 😦 It was sad. We were too sad to go far for dinner, but our hotel was next to Whaler’s Village which is not a Village at all but a shopping plaza sort of thing. We ate at Hula Grill in the barefoot bar…which was basically outside seating…in the sand. It was weird. I would not like to be a waiter there. Sand in your socks and such. But it was a mile away from our hotel so we were just able to walk home.

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Wednesday was our final game and luckily we won! It was such a fun, exciting game. After that we decided to go back down to Lahaina and ate at Lahainaluna Cafe which was one of the best meals I had on the trip. We got tacos and crazy fries and chicken bites and it was cheap and filling and tasty. When eating in Hawaii you can have two of the three and cheap is usually not an option.

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We did a bit of walking around and saw the giant banyan tree. It was giant, alright!

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Back to the hotel, back to the hot tub.

Thursday was Thanksgiving! and we had a luau planned, so we ate breakfast at the hotel. We had been given two days of free breakfasts with our stay, so that was nice. Another day at the pool/beach.

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Keith eventually had to leave because he was getting too much sun, but to me there was no such thing…I felt like a lizard, I wanted to soak it all up. He went to the gym and I skyped my family at dinner, which was fun. I kept spinning around my phone to show them the view and they kept getting mad at me, haha. 🙂 And then I took a walk up to where the gym was, because it had a way better view.

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Our luau was at the Hyatt…which was a mile down the road, so we walked. I thought our hotel was nice…but the Hyatt…wow. There was a freaking Macy’s in the bottom of it. I think if I went back to Maui, I’d try to stay there. So fancy. The luau was a lot of fun. We had VIP tickets through Pitt so we got to sit in the front and had waiters bringing us our drinks and other fancy things. I went to get a drink before the waiters appeared and the guy asked me “What is the year of your birth?” I was so thrown for a second I didn’t even know what to say. Then I realized what he was asking and told him, haha. So that was nice. I haven’t actually been carded in a while.

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The luau was great, my favorite part was the fire dancing, of course. The food was good too, at the very end of the buffet they had turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes, which was really nice for all of us missing our turkey dinners. We strolled back to the hotel and called it an early night since we had to check out the next morning.

 

OBXcursion

A few weeks ago, Keith and I headed to Nags Head, NC with his parents. We didn’t go on vacation last summer or this summer (saving up for the wedding/honeymoon) so when his parents suggested this, we were game. They went down for a whole week, but we were both running out of vacation time so we went down Tuesday-Sunday.

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The drive down was not very wonderful, although we did pass English Muffin Way and I need to find a way to move there immediately. We didn’t get in until around midnight Tuesday and immediately went to bed. We had 3 days at the beach and made the most of them. I took a few runs on the beach, Keith even joined in.

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We spent some time on the beach but the waves were pretty intense and there were red flags up so you weren’t actually allowed in. Luckily we were staying in Keith’s uncle’s house and there was a pool that I took full advantage of.

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Each night we’d head out to dinner. We had some pretty great meals but my absolute favorite were the hushpuppies at Awful Arthur’s. They just melted in your mouth. We had hushpuppies later in Raleigh and they should be ashamed of themselves for trying to be hushpuppies.

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Keith and I would finish out each night with a dip in the hot tub and a growler of Arsenal Cider that we took down with us. Those were my favorite moments of the trip. We really need to get a hot tub.

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There was also some Scrabble playing and man, have I gotten terrible. I immediately re-downloaded Words with Friends when I got back to get back into shape.

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This little frog made an appearance one night when he jumped off the house and onto Keith’s mom. It was sort of hilarious, but I probably would have freaked out just as much. He just wanted in on Scrabbledome!

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Friday was Keith’s birthday and we drove a few miles south to the Bodie Island lighthouse. Such a cutie.

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We took a tour, it was pretty interesting. It was also 212 steps from bottom to top and I was not a fan. I am mildly afraid of heights, it used to be a lot worse, but I’m still not really into it. By the time we got back down my legs couldn’t stop shaking. Probably my last lighthouse.

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View was great though. We went back to the house and Keith’s parents went and picked up a surprise lemon meringue birthday pie for him.

The next morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn to try to grab some sunrise pictures on the beach.

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Although those clouds didn’t help, I was pretty pleased with the results. We then packed up the cars and hit the road to Durham. We parked at the hotel and headed over to Duke University to see the Pitt/Duke football game.

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I don’t know anything about football, but their stadium was cute. It was a bowl. But all the seats were bleachers and they really hurt after a while. I also liked that I could buy an Arnold Palmer at the concession stand, it was awesome. Pitt won the game but it also torentially downpoured and dummy me left my raincoat in Keith’s car. At the hotel. Oh well.

We went out for BBQ that night to The Pit in Raleigh. Probably my favorite meal of the trip. Mmm mac and cheese. We even took my leftover meat and had it for breakfast the next morning before we left.

And thus concludes our NC trip. Wish I was still there!