Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Day Three - Iao State Park

Today was a day I was ready for - some adventure! I enjoy the beaches and pools but definitely need some action after a few days.

We drove about a half an hour into the center of the island to Iao State Park, arriving just after 9 am. When we arrived, there were still parking spots available in the small parking lot, however when we left about an hour later cars were waiting for people to leave, so I recommend arriving early! It costs $5 to park but there is not an entrance fee.

At the entrance

There was a nice paved path from the parking lot into the valley. There is a short path to descend, taking you past many beautiful plants. The ascent up to the viewing platform of the Iao Needle gives you a beautiful view of the valley below as well as the Needle. This is a great photo op, as everyone stops to take photos here.

The incredible Iao Park

The park was gorgeous, a surprise for all of us. The beautiful verdant mountains and deep valleys are haloed in clouds and are so dense and pretty. The Iao Needle, the centerpiece of the park, juts straight up almost 2200 feet in the middle of the valley. It has important connections to Hawaiian history, too, as it was the location of the battle between King Kamehameha and Maui's army in the late 1700s in his quest to unite the Hawaiian islands. He won!

After an hour we headed back to the car and back to the resort for more swimming and sunning! We grilled again, this time delicious hamburgers, yum!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Day Two - Snorkeling Napili Beach

On our third day we were ready for some snorkeling, and we knew the best snorkeling was early in the morning. We were still getting up pretty early due to the big time difference between Eastern time and Hawaiian time, so we were up and ready by 7:30 a.m. We drove a short distance from our hotel to Napili Beach. The beach was in a cove with rocky shores on either side and it was so pretty. The rocks also meant great snorkeling!
Napili Bay Beach

Skylar hadn't tried snorkeling on our trip to Grand Cayman last year so I really wanted her to try it this time. She did try it but wasn't a big fan so she ended up spending her time hanging out on the beach. Mike, Braden, and Ava spent a lot of time out snorkeling, as did I. We were excited to spy some humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Hawaii's state fish) as well as many other varieties of tropical fish!

The kids had fun snorkeling, Ava even found a lei wash to shore!

And of course, whats a day at the beach without some beach gymnastics?!

After some time, we were ready to head back to the hotel where we ate lunch and swam in the pools again. For dinner we ate at Ka'anapali Grill, which is in our resort. It was very good, but very expensive!

At our resort