By Sharon Gundrom
I like to believe that I am from Hawaii. I’m not, but when I travel there I feel like I must be. I have been to Hawaii five times, and it is hands down my favorite place to go for a vacation. I daydream about living there - the warm breezes, the beautiful surroundings, and the ocean always close no matter where you are on the islands.
This year on our trip to Hawaii, my husband Shawn and I planned a more active Hawaiian vacation. This is a slight departure from our very restful (some might call lazy) Hawaii vacations of the past. One of the wonderful things about Hawaii is just that - it allows you to rest. It allows you to heal. It allows you to absorb and understand the ALOHA spirit. What is the ALOHA spirit?
Aloha Spirit". (a) “Aloha Spirit” is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others.
For our trip, we chose to first visit Kaua’i, the Garden Isle.
Our night time arrival meant we didn’t get to see the beauty of the island until the next morning. We were up before dawn, as were many other casualties of the time change/jet lag. Similarly minded, we found ourselves at the beach watching the sun as it rose above the ocean. There is nothing quite like the sunrise in Hawaii, or the sunset for that matter.
The morning brought with it our first adventure. We packed a bag with our Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort refillable water bottles, a bag of Amazi Salted Olive Oil Plantain chips for our snack, and made our way to the ranch, CJM Stables. An amazing day of horseback riding awaited us. Breathtaking views of the ocean, a picnic lunch and a ride along the beach made for a fun and memorable day. I have to say, riding a horse is way more exercise than I remembered. Staying hydrated, and having a healthy snack available really helped me enjoy it.
Our next day in Kauai was spent in my very favorite way, shaded (sun protection!) under an umbrella and staring out into the ocean. With snacks.
Before we knew it, we were off to Maui.
Wailea is my favorite part of Maui, and we specifically traveled there in February so we could go whale watching. Every year in the winter months, from mid-December to early April, over 10,000 humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of Hawaii. This year we went whale watching with a tour group called Teralani Sailing. We were treated to a brand new catamaran with an outstanding captain and crew, all of them in as much awe of the humpbacks as we were. Knowing my tendency toward motion sickness I had my trusty Dramamine, but also grabbed some snacks to soothe my stomach. This time I went for sweet - my goto for motion sickness, and munched on the Cocoa Plantain Chips. Mmmm, delish.
Our final excursion was to explore the Road to Hana. Despite the many visits to Maui, we had yet to brave the trip, so we were so excited to get started. The ride takes you on a very windy road for about fifty miles along many beautiful vistas, beaches, waterfalls and roadside sellers of delicious banana bread. The trip took us about six hours in total, but it was well worth it. I brought along my Ginger + Lime Jackfruit Chews and found they not only tasted great but eased my motion sickness. (thank you ginger!)
That might be the shortest synopsis ever done on The Road to Hana. If you want more, def google it, there are a ton of articles, blogs, GPS connected guided tours, etc.
Hawaii offers so many beautiful natural wonders, every time I have the chance to see another waterfall, another Eucalyptus tree, or another sunset, I take full advantage.
In total, we were on the islands of Hawaii for 7 days. I could have stayed, well, forever. But back to real life, it is. When I review the adventures of this last visit, I think it is safe to say that each juncture of our trip to Hawaii was enriched by careful planning, the ALOHA spirit, and my Amazi Snacks! Aloha!