Seriously, it was! When I think of vacation, I think of beach, sun, warmth, rest, lunch by the ocean, relaxation, massage, fruity drinks and beautiful sunsets. We had all of that and more yesterday.
While I was up way too early yesterday morning wrapping up earlier blog posts, the crew all slept in and took their time rising for the day. The weather was absolutely gorgeous from start to finish, probably the best day we have had since our arrival on the island. No clouds above us or even on Mauna Kea; we could admire those telescopes from here, shining brightly as the sun rose just to their south. I couldn’t tell but I would not be surprised if the snow that blanketed the summit upon our arrival has finally melted.
Mike and I made a quick trip to FoodLand Farms, which is the actual correct name of the Mauna Lani grocery store, not Food Lion, Farm Land, or Food Farm as the Strawns like to call it. Unfortunately, we had to be creative with our selection; customers had clearly come through the night before and raided all the good breakfast items for their New Year’s Day brunches. No eggs, hardly any bread, etc. But, my wanna-be-gourmet chef of a husband came out with a bag of goodies that made for the best continental Hawaiian breakfast I have ever had — gourmet meat and cheese, banana bread, mango bread, macadamia nuts and dried mango. I could eat that breakfast every day!
We packed up our bags and towels, met the Strawns and headed to Hapuna Beach State Park, supposedly one of the 5 best beaches in the world! It has a wide beach of that white sugary sand like Destin, rocks on either side to protect swimmers from heavy surf, snorkeling, boogie boarding, and nice clean facilities (always important, but especially when you need them.) The kids boogie boarded, swam, snorkeled, made sand castles — the whole nine yards. We watched them enjoy the waves with huge smiles on their faces and ours. Even Paige got out there and conquered her fear with some snorkeling. (You go, girl!)
Being here during the holiday week presented a bit of a challenge on a day like New Year’s Day because when you are on vacation, you forget that other people might like to have New Year’s Day off, so we had littles that were just a bit perturbed that some of our favorite places were closed. However, that proved to work out just perfect because we took a chance and swung Big Lou into the Fairmont Orchid and managed to grab a table by the ocean at their local lunch restaurant. Best fish sandwiches, fabulous poke, and even a no-cheese pepperoni pizza, her favorite, for Casey. All near the ocean so the boys could play while waiting for food. It was a perfectly delicious lunch.
Next up… spa visits for Luke, Paige, and me. We tried to talk Mike into a massage with us but he wanted to check out some more of the island so he took Dan and Casey up north to Waimea and a bit beyond. While Paige and Luke were getting Lomi Lomi couples massage by the ocean at the Fairmont, I opted for the same by a waterfall. It was truly heaven.
We arrived early and hit the steam room, a shower, and had time to sit outside in a private garden and listen to the world go by. I really tried to take all the sights and sounds in because I know I hardly ever feel that relaxed. I even snuck a peek at the iPod playing music during my facial because it was so relaxing and I wanted to add it to my Hawaii Spotify Playlist for when I am feeling stressed during the daily grind of housewife and mom duties in Dallas. (For those wondering, the music playing was called A Journey Within by Lifescapes.)
Luke and Mike were sure to call the Lava Lava Beach Club restaurant at 4:30 sharp in the hopes of snagging a great table for a sunset viewing during dinner. They don’t take reservations but if you call an hour ahead, they will put your name in and you can usually snag a table within an hour. I was really looking forward to their coconut shrimp — and it was worth every calorie. But, I must admit, Mike ordered the Hook, Line, and Sinker, which was a Mahi Mahi in a beurre blanc sauce surrounded by coconut rice. Maybe it was the two Tall Nanis cocktails I had just inhaled but I have NEVER tasted anything so rich and delicious. We are all planning on returning AGAIN tonight, this time WITH the kids, for yet another round of amazing food and drinks!
We weren’t quite ready to call it a night so we stopped at Island Gourmet; a catch-all store — I mean, it has everything! Groceries, ready-made food (including sushi), all kinds of souvenirs, a wine bar, you name it! We bought all kinds of fun little things for the kids and a few cute shirts for the older boys to thank them for watching those littles and giving us a night off. We arrived home to find our boys pretty much oblivious to the four younger children, one of whom was out cold on the sofa, but otherwise all safe and unharmed so, win-win!