03 Oct My Hawaiian Adventure
Last summer, I was overjoyed when my husband surprised me with a romantic getaway to Hawaii! Not only was visiting Hawaii on my bucket list, but so were some of the amazing things that we did there. We arrived on a Sunday morning, after taking the red eye flight out of Knoxville with 3 layovers along the way. As the plane was descending I could already see the gorgeous blue waters and lush green foliage below, a sight so beautiful it was almost overwhelming to take in. I had never seen true blue waters before, and it was one item on my ‘list’ that I had been anxious to check off.
We checked in to our beach front condo and I got us unpacked and settled in, while he visited the on-site diner to grab us a quick brunch before we began our day. We were both pretty tired from our long flight, having slept only briefly as the flights allowed, but we were too excited to care and quickly changed into our suits and headed out to the white sands below. Our first day was pretty leisurely, just relaxing on the beach and enjoying the waves and the ocean breeze. The tiki bar at our resort had amazing frozen drinks, perfect for lounging by the sea, and of course I had to try one that was served in a coconut shell because it just seemed to fit the scenery. Shortly before dinner we returned to our room to shower and get dressed for a quick meal before the sunset-and Oh what a sunset it was!!! The sky was brilliant shades of purple, orange, yellow and pink, and the dolphins playing the waves below were simply breathtaking. We got some gorgeous photographs that I plan to enlarge and hang on our walls sometime in the future. We were both pretty exhausted by this point so we decided to call it a night and get a good nights rest before our big day tomorrow!!
The highlight of our trip occurred the next morning. I quickly inhaled my breakfast, anxious to get outside and start our big adventure. Two more items checked off my bucket list, all in one day-one of which was #1 on the list!! We began our journey down the beach to a quiet wooden pier, walking hand in hand in the sand-me practically pulling him along, unable to contain my excitement. We boarded a glass bottom boat with 4 other passengers-couples, like us, and set sail on our scuba diving and dolphin excursion!! Scuba diving was more for my husband. I was slightly intimidated by the idea, although I looked forward to it all the same. Just knowing how huge the ocean was and how small I was in comparison, and knowing that it would soon be all around me, leaving me vulnerable and very likely close to creatures that could kill me in an instant if they chose to frightened me a great deal. Thank God I had my husband by my side, or I would have chickened out for sure!! It was beautiful under the sea, and I quickly set my fears aside and just enjoyed the moment and the scenery under the blue waters of Hawaii. We saw so many beautiful and colorful fish and creatures!! I wish I had had an underwater camera with me like the other passengers, but we befriended a young newlywed couple with whom we exchanged email addresses, and they will be sending me quite a few from our dive. Luckily, I saw no sharks, which helped to ease my nerves and allow me to enjoy this part of our day. Up next was the part I had been waiting for practically all my life it seemed. My dolphin swim was up next after I light lunch aboard the ship!!
The smooth, rubbery skin of the slate gray bottle-nosed dolphins will forever be embedded in my memory. It was such an unforgettable experience, feeling my body fly effortlessly through the warm, salty waters, thanks to my aquatic friend who pulled my along for the ride. Our instructor gave us ample time to bond with our dolphins that we were paired up with first, offering us a wide variety of ‘treats’ to reward them with for performing little tricks. One by one we were allowed to swim far out from the boat, where our dolphins would then bring us back as we held on to their dorsal fins, gliding above the waves at a speed that actually surprised me! I could have done that all day had we been allowed, and I hope to get to experience it again one day at least once. I already had a love for dolphins, but after that glorious day I have such a deep love and respect for these amazing creatures-a truly unforgettable day!!
As tired as we were by this point in the day, we still had another adventure yet to come. What better way to enjoy the sunset, than parasailing!! Another bucket list experience for me, and also something that frightened me a great deal, but with him by my side I knew I could do it and enjoy it. The trip up from the water was scary to say the least, and I spent this part of the trip with my eyes tightly closed, clinging to my husbands arm with my face buried into his shoulder. Once we were up and the ride became smooth, I was able to slowly open my eyes and take in the amazing scene around me. The waters below were so clear and blue, and the sky above was again gorgeous shades of purple, pink and orange. It was so romantic and unlike him to plan such a trip, which made me cherish it even more.
I think we both fell asleep before our heads even hit the pillow that night, completely drained from the sun (and I knew I was in store for a sunburn when I woke the next morning). Luck was on our side and the next day was rather mild with a nice breeze, which helped to ease my skin, along with the aloe gel that I somehow remembered to bring along. We strolled up and down the beach, stopping in various shops along the way to get souvenirs for our children, friends and family. It was a pretty lazy day other than that, lounging by the pool and the beach. It seemed like we had just arrived and already we were about to fly home. We still had one more day to go but I could have easily stayed for longer!! Of course we had to experience a luau before going home, complete with the pig over the fire and hula dancers!! I received a rainbow colored lei-I love anything rainbow so I was over the moon when that was the one I was given, despite so many other color options available. I wonder if my husband didn’t secretly whisper to the cute hula dancer who was handing them out that that was the color I wanted, because she somehow knew and it really made my night!! Dinner was lovely, and the couple from our scuba dive was also there. We all enjoyed cocktails late into the night, listening to music and chatting about our lives at home back in the upper 48. Before we knew it, we were reluctantly packing to go home. A trip I will surely never forget!!