First off let me say, Oh my word! Hawaii was amazing! I loved exploring the big island soooo much that I never wanted to leave! Every time we saw a house for sale while driving, and we drive a lot, I would discuss the practicalities of moving there with the Husband. Luckily for me and him, he was happy to daydream right along with me!
Next let me say that I have an absolute ton of photos! So bear with me as I'm still actually sorting them all out, we used three different devices including iPhones..., and organizing them (I'm trying to choose the ones that both depict our experiences and look the best whenever possible).
Lastly, I have a lot of Hawaii posts planned so I can share easily with all my family and friends. (i.e. sorry to those who aren't into them but despite them being plentiful they won't last forever and will be interspersed with the usual ones.)
Now on with Day One!
After catching a ten minute island hopper from Maui to Hawaii our adventure began. (I already shared the pics of taking off from Maui and landing on the big island with you here.)
Driving along the Kona coast to our resort we passed by endless dessert landscape, ancient lava flows, deep blue ocean on the left, concert cones, and volcanoes loomed in the distance on the right. The sun shone warmly all around us. I was so excited! I'm not sure exactly what I expected Hawaii to look like but it surprised me. I think maybe I pictured the look of the Hilo side of the island; lush, dense rainforests, and waterfalls. The dessert landscape was a bit of a shock but it was a good one! I loved being surrounded by all the volcanic bits and bobs! It was so cool!
To get to our resort you turned down a long drive through a lava flow that was lined with swaying palms with the ocean in the distance.
The inside was still outside and it was magnificent. The main atrium and lobbies were all open air. Two large waterfalls flowed over panes of glass flanking the main staircase (Pictured, it looks like an open are to the right of the stairs above.) Large fish filled ponds wove their way in from outside and proceeded through the lobby on their way back out.
Tall palms swayed in the gentle breezes flowing through the atrium. At the entrance we were greeted warmly and led to individual check in desks where we were given cool towels, fruit infused ice water, and leis. Tristan's was made of kui-kui nuts accented with snail shells and tied with a ribbon. Mine consisted of a large swathe of woven snail shells ended with two kui-kui nuts and a ribbon.
(Palm trees and the open roof reflected one of the many ponds.)
We were all exhausted smiles.
Our room was just the perfect size. I loved the use of natural materials. Just my style... I was in love with the honeycomb-esque coral patterned pillows on the little couch. Tristan kept teasing me that I was going to steal them and bring them home.
(His and Hers sinks.)
The view from our room was awesome. We were on the second floor and thought it was perfect. From our balcony we could watch the palm trees and the ocean but were still low enough to watch for the sharks in the pond that shared the other half of our view.
(The shark pond behind the CanoeHouse restaurant.)
(Me gettin' all cozy and stuff. Doesn't the rug remind you of a turtle's shell?)
After stowing our luggage we decided to explore the resort. We didn't make too far though... Once the amazing sunset started we stopped. We found two lounge chairs on the point of the main beach (the two white ones between the tress on the left in fact) and relaxed with a stunning view. Waves crashed against rocky volcanic outcroppings as the water rushed in and out of little tidal pools. A sailboat twisted and turned against its mooring in a cove backlit with the colors of the setting sun. (Previous sunset pictures posted here.) Vibrant pinks, neon oranges, lush purples, and both deep and turquoise hues filled the sky as the fiery yellow orb sank beneath the ocean's dark blue horizon. Stars began to scatter across the sky amongst the clouds.
As the light faded from the sky our tummies started to rumble. A conch blew in the distance... Tiki torches were lighted and we headed off the beach for dinner.
We ate at the Bayview Terrace outdoors in the warm air with tiki's lighting the distance as the last vestiges of day slipped away. (Our dining view above.) We enjoyed a delicious local mushroom and truffled grilled flatbread, Mahi Mahi, and Braised Lamb in a bed of papperdelle pasta. Everything was delicious! Local animals flitted about amongst the tables hunting for crumbs. Mina birds heralded the night's start as we left to turn in for day's end...
On the way back to the room we stopped to star gaze in a hammock by the ocean. The night sky greeted us with a dazzling display that we rarely see back home in Seattle. Unfortunately our eyelids were getting heavy so off we went reluctantly. I would have spent the night right there sleeping under the stars on the ocean's shore... But Tristan is not really the outdoorsy type and was looking forward to the soft bed and fluffy pillow we were paying for so off we went to bed.
(All images owned and created by Krista Carson, please ask permission before use.)