My Hawaiian Vacation, Part 2

One of my favorite things about visiting Hawaii (aside from getting to visit with the family who lives there) is the abundance of outdoor activities.


My husband and I always say we would be so fit and tan if we lived there, because we could easily go for a bike ride, spend a day hiking one of the many trails, or exercise at the beach. It's kind of impossible to not spend most of your time outdoors, especially when the weather is always warm.

I got bit by the hiking bug on our first trip, and it's what I look forward to most when we go. When you're born and raised in one of the flattest parts of the country, mountains are still a big deal when you're 32!  On this trip, we did one repeat hike and a bunch of new trails, with varying levels of difficulty and scenery.

Just like with the beaches on Oahu, I appreciate how each mountain trail offers something unique. No two trails are the same, but reaching the summit always gives you the same feeling of accomplishment and "on top of the world"ness. 

Much of this trip served as a way to get me out of my comfort zone and find a little inner peace.

I was perfectly content just observing this waterfall, until my husband convinced me to jump into it with him. I am not a fan of diving, but I made myself go for it, and let go of the fear a little. Although I definitely got water up my nose, I'm glad that I can look back on the trip and know that I jumped (and made it out just fine!)

The Pali Puka trail is not a long one by any means, but it was one of the more difficult ones we did. I certainly don't have rock climbing-friendly shoes, but we did a little rock climbing along a narrow mountain ridge before making it to this lookout. The wind was crazy strong through the hole in the rock, but it gave the most amazing view of the land down below.

It's another trail that pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me find the beauty and purpose in doing so.


Hanging from trees next to a mountain ridge!

The Pill Box trail is one we've done on every trip, and where we spent Christmas morning 2016, watching the sun rise. We ventured out extremely early for another sunrise hike this time, but instead, we watched rain clouds roll by, and got rained on a bit ourselves. On the way back down the trail, we finally got to see the sun explode from behind the clouds. Another life lesson: the sun always comes out after the rain; be patient!

On each hike, I kept looking for scenic spots where I could try out some of my favorite yoga poses...I am totally THAT girl! But, it's fun and invigorating to invite a little play into your day, as my yoga teacher, Ashley, would say.

One of my goals was to stick with my morning yoga and meditation routine. I wasn't very successful about meditating every day, but I would begin each day with a few sun salutations and some coffee and/or raspberry tea.

It helped to get me warmed up (especially when I had sore muscles from hiking) and ready for whatever we had planned that day.

I wasn't even thinking about it before we left for the trip, but one of my most memorable activities during the week was taking my first ever stand up paddleboard yoga class. I had been keeping an eye on two different studios, and it worked out that one morning we would be nearby to where the classes are held in Honolulu, and I was able to book myself a spot with Yoga Kai Hawaii.

Photo by Yoga Kai Hawaii

Granted, I had never even stood up on a paddleboard before, and I'm not always the most graceful person even on solid ground. But the paddleboard was much easier to handle than I expected. I appreciated that we were in calm waist-deep water, and the boards were anchored so we couldn't drift away. The class itself reminded me a lot of my regular yoga class at home, and it was an excellent workout.

Photo by Yoga Kai Hawaii

I didn't have the courage to go for a headstand on the board, but I still enjoyed trying some of my favorite poses in a new way. The weather was perfect during our hour, and while lying in savasana at the end of class, I couldn't help but stare at the blue sky above. Nothing like floating in the warm water two days before Thanksgiving!

Photo by Yoga Kai Hawaii

The whole experience was really memorable, and I'm extremely glad I was able to fit the class in to the week. Plus, it enabled me to eat the giant bowl of ramen I showed in yesterday's blog post!

Like I mentioned yesterday, we didn't do any bike riding while we were there, but I did bring my Schwinn cap, which came in extremely handy during sunny parts of our hikes. If you visit Hawaii, always bring a hat!

Another thing I noticed during our week was the sheer number of rainbows we saw. Now, Hawaii IS the Rainbow State, and we were visiting during the rainy season, but the island definitely lived up to its designation.

I think we saw at least one a day - starting literally the moment we stepped out of the Honolulu airport. I've come to really appreciate the beauty of rainbows, and seeing them pop up in the sky at random times always gave me a moment of pause.

This full rainbow came out on our final morning, which also happened to be Thanksgiving, during a six-mile walk on the beach, and immediately after a spontaneous rain shower. Definitely one of those "Hey babe! Take my picture real quick" moments. (I'm also totally holding my Kanteen full of coffee in that shot. Namaste.)

Being out in nature, and truly experiencing the beauty of it around you goes a long way toward being committed to protecting it. We always made sure we didn't leave any trash anywhere we went, and of course I picked up most litter I came across, even if it meant shoving it in my backpack.

I also enjoyed repping Eco Cajun a tad - I brought my Busy Beaver buttons for everyone in the family, and loved seeing everyone's backpacks all decked out! The family that Eco Cajuns together...

My husband being a hot model.

We did more hiking than beaching, mostly because the beach was a bit windy and sometimes chilly, but we did venture out to the North Shore one afternoon to check out the waves. 

Although I was ready to come home to my bed and our cat, it's definitely hard to not wake up to mountain views, sea breezes and days full of adventure. I was grateful for the time away, the freedom from most of my social media notifications and emails, and the time spent with family.

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