Thursday, January 12, 2017


I don't intend on backtracking through everything that happened in 2016, however,
a few things bear mentioning, so I'm going to touch on those...

Late September, Ryan and I spent 11 glorious days in the Hawaiian Islands.
It's a trip we've been planning for years and we made damn sure to make the most of it!
We owe huge thanks to our parents who split care of our girlies, so we could run away and relax on the sunny beaches and play in the ocean! I took hundreds upon hundreds of photos and haven't a single regret about that! This is a long post.  I'm selecting only a handful of the images I love and even that won't narrow it down as much as it should.  
But hey... this is my blog so I do what I want.  Enjoy!
Whoa... that was a long flight!
So happy to have arrived!
We spent the first 2 days in Oahu, primarily because we wanted to make a stop at Pearl Harbor. 
I've been to Hawaii before, but never have seen this, and it was something Ryan really wanted to see.  We also did a pretty fun hike at MakapuĂș, and aside from a small slip on my part that I now have a permanent reminder of... it was really pretty amazing!

The actual woman from that iconic moment, Greta Friedman, passed away just weeks before we were
there.  She was 92.  I love that original photo and was tickled that Ryan indulged me in this silly moment!


one small slip landed me with a broken finger, an egg on my arm, a gash on my elbow,
and a cut and bruise the size of a grapefruit on my thigh... ah well, moving on.

I was amazed at how clear the water in the tide pools was! (ps... salt water in open wounds stings)

We then hopped over to Maui to explore and enjoy the rest of our time.
We did just about everything we could have wanted, and still managed to just take some time
to relax!  We did Snuba diving, snorkeling, zip lining, hiking, and lots and lots of sightseeing!
Yes. I am a dork.  Move on. 

We trekked to the top of Mt. Haleakala.  It was not an easy drive.  Ryan was not happy. 
But, ya know... what's not to love about getting up at 2:45am, and driving in the pitch black, up a winding cliffside road full of hairpin switchbacks and then standing out in freezing weather and whipping damp wind guarded only with sweatshirts and two thin fleece blankets we dug out of the condo closet for almost 2 hrs?!!! 

Well, we did all this with the intent for us to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises
in the "House of the Sun"! Well... we got this
and then this...
Hahaha.  Oh well.  It was an experience... and thankfully, the drive down was much easier
and we even saw our first great Rainbow of the trip!

If one harrowing, nerve ratcheting trip wasn't enough for one day, might as well make it two!
We decided we wanted to take a drive to see the NakalelĂ© blowhole.  What we didn't realize, is that to get there, we have to traverse an even worse road (the worst on the island).  I drove this time in an effort to give Ryan a break.  (I don't think that relaxed him at all!)

The trip was very worth it though!!  The sights were beautiful and the photo opps were endless! Standing near those crashing waves and breathing that remarkably fresh air puts me in such a place of happiness.  Talk about a perm-grin!!

This is me in utter Bliss!

I love us

We went on a Snuba trip.  I say "we", although Ryan spent far more time in the water than I did.  I was nervous about this to start with, and actually surprised myself by getting under the water for a few minutes.  Ryan really enjoyed it... I'm glad I tried it, but won't be doing that again!

We also tried ziplining! This was awesome!!
We walked over this suspension bridge!  I LOVED it.  Ryan, not so much.

We hit up Maui Brewing Co and listened to live music, and drank great brew, and went through Trivial Pursuit questions and at Thai food from the food truck out front.  It was great!

I was fortunate enough to spend my Birthday traveling the road to Hana!
My 35th year was off to a Fabulous start and given our previous scary-as-shit driving adventures,
this proved to be a piece of cake!  We did waterfall stops on the way out there, and beaches and other little stops on the way back!  It was perfect!

If I close my eyes, I can almost smell these fabulous little gems!!  Sweetest scent ever!
Without question, the favorite for both Ryan and I was this little treasure in Hana.
Kaihalulu Beach (Red Sand Beach) was utterly breathtaking! 
We don't have a single video or photo that even comes close to showing how beautiful this place was!  The red of the rock walls and sand, the rich blue of the water, ... it was truly incredible!  We parked our car and walked across a lawn, along a tiny narrow path and honestly almost gave up, because we didn't know really what we were looking for and nothing was well marked.  I'm SO glad we pushed on, because we literally came around a corner to a view that stopped us both in our tracks! 
(It was well worth our $35 parking ticket! Haha, oops!)

Happy Birthday to ME!  Best. Birthday. Ever!
Ryan spent some time chatting with this lovely naked man...
(I'm being serious, this beach is clothing optional! Haha) 
The water was incredibly clear and warm, and being in a place safe enough to allow those powerful waves crash over you... unreal! 

The rest of the trip we spent countless hours soaking up the sun, spending time in the water, and enjoying the fabulous scenery! Something about the ocean gets deep into my soul and makes me so
calm and happy... It was truly the most content I had been in a very very long time!

tell me he doesn't look Gorgeous?!  I mean, c'mon!!
Hibiscus just shout TROPICS!  I love them!

Lastly, although most importantly, was the reason we made the trip. 
On September 30th, Ryan and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary! 
Our life is nothing as I would have imagined when it started all those years ago. We are quirky and unconventional, but to this day... I can't imagine life beside anyone else. We have grown together, started a family together, had countless life changes... and yes, ups and downs.
But we work. And we love.  And that's all that matters. 
I wore my wedding jewelry for the day :)

We had a beautiful morning, followed by a beautiful day.  We spent the evening walking
around the lovely town of Paia, spent time chatting with a photographer in his gallery, and finished 
with a dinner at the ever wonderful Mama's Fish House! 

Overall, the trip was Amazing. Something we will remember with happiness in our hearts forever! 
Hawaii for anyone is pretty spectacular, but even if we return, I think just the intent and love that
went into this trip, makes it extra special! 

Mahalo Hawaii!  

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