Kilauea Caverns of Fire

Kilauea Caverns of Fire

We knew this place was going to be amazing when we called and Steve responded with so much enthusiasm about showing us the lava tubes.  Especially when he told us he had already headed home but was “totally cool” with coming back.  Normally I would have just waited until the next day but since we were on our last few last days in Hilo, we took Steve up on his offer.  I’m so happy we did!!  Granted, driving there I was pretty sure we were entering the beginning scene of a scary movie.  You know… the part where the tourists are super stoked to be somewhere remote but there are spooky yellow eyes peeking out from the brush ready to pounce?

We were greeted by Steve’s dog Cinnamon and all the creepy feelings went away.  The lava tubes are absolutely amazing.  There’s a beautiful sparkly bacteria on the ceiling of the entrance that looked like the night sky when you shined your flashlight on it.  Steve knew everything about how these spectacular lava rock formations were formed.  When we were fairly deep into the tube, we all turned out our flashlights to feel true darkness.  You literally can’t see your hand in front of your face!!  It’s such a unique feeling.  I highly recommend a visit to the Kilauea Caverns of Fire on your next visit to The Big Island of Hawaii.  It’s truly a fantastic experience!

volcanic bacteria

cave entrance

lava ripples

This amazing lava rock was formed at the exact moment a rock dropped into hardening lava but was still fluid enough to ripple.

The iron content in the rock is what forms all the different colors of lava rock.

The iron content in the rock is what forms all the different colors of lava rock.

 

 

A Secret Hike in Hilo

Wandering In Heels

After we said our goodbyes to the North Shore, we took an island hopper flight over to The Big Island to stay in Hilo for a few nights.  Originally we were supposed to visit the Volcano National Park but because of the government shutdown we weren’t able to go.  No worries though!  Hilo was full of super fun things for us to do!!

One of my favorite adventures was a totally unplanned stop on our way up to Akaka Falls.  There was a teenie tiny trail head on the side of the road with a stunning view.  So we pulled over to take some shots and decided to head down the trail a bit.  I’m so glad we did!  There were little hidden beaches, mini waterfalls, and plenty of ocean views.  If you’re looking for this secret spot, it’s about 1 mile South of the Hawaiian Botanical Garden entrance.  Just keep your eyes peeled for a small trail head sign just before one of the bigger curves in the road.

Tip:  Do this hike before buying your tickets to the botanical garden.  Once you’re a ticket holder, you can’t do this hike for insurance reasons.  Also, bring some water shoes.  You’ll be walking across a few streams and things you won’t want to miss out on!

 

Hawaii Views

Secret Beach

secret beach

Waterfall

lone palm tree

palm tree on the beach

Mongoose

Tropical Plants

Hike to the Northern Point of Oahu

Hiking in Hawaii

When I think of hiking in Hawaii, I think lush tropical flowers, waterfalls, and vine canopied trails.  Not so  much on this hike.  The manager of the house we rented suggested we take a hike to the Northern tip of Oahu to catch a glimpse of seals lounging on the beach and get an amazing sunset view.  Sounded great!

Well, the hike was not exactly as described.  It was essentially an off-roading track thats main features included tire tracks, empty beer cans, and panties left behind.  Not exactly the picturesque trail we were expecting.  We turned back after talking to someone that said we had a long ways to go… by car.  Since we didn’t want to be walking back in the dark and wine on the beach sounded so much better, we turned around.

The best part was climbing over the rocks along the beach.  Here are some shots of that portion of our walk.  The moral of the story, take advice with a grain of salt and make the time to research the destination yourself.  Oopsy!

Wandering in heels

Rocky Beach

hillside of oahu

Random office chair left behind

Random office chair left behind

rocky beach

Wandering in heels

Wandering in heels hiking

Top: Equipment,  Swimsuit: J.Crew, Shorts: Jolt, Shoes: Toms

Matsumoto Shave Ice

Shave Ice

While visiting Oahu, I think it’s a mandatory stop to pick up some shave ice at the famous Matsumoto Grocery Store.  I’d like to point out that in Hawaii, it’s called Shave Ice not Shaved Ice.  The line was horrendous all the days we were there but we finally decided to brave the masses.  It wasn’t so bad and the line moved really quick since they have a perfect assembly line set up.

I got the Hawaiian flavor (I mean… we’re in Hawaii afterall!) which was 3 flavors of Pineapple, Coconut, and Banana.  Frankly, it’s a little bit too sweet for my taste so I couldn’t finish it.  But for the fun and experience, it was totally worth it! Especially since my giant (truly a size small) was only $2.50!

Matsumoto Shave Ice

Wandering In Heels

Wandering In Heels At Matsumoto Shave Ice

Top: Matthew Williamson Escape

Monday Must-Have Lust List

Woohoo!!  Hawaiian vacation here we come!  We’ve just touched down in Oahu so this week’s lust list is largely inspired by our coming adventure.  Happy lusting!

1) MAI TAIS

When I think Hawaii, I think of this fun tropical beverage.  So while I’m here, this will be my drink of choice!

Mai-tai

2) SPENDING TIME WITH OLD FRIENDS

We’re really here because we surprised my good friend of 15 years.  She currently lives in Australia and Hawaii is about as half way as you can get to California.  She didn’t know that we were coming to crash their vacation so the look on her face when we knocked on the rental place door was absolutely priceless.  There’s nothing better in the whole world than good friends that love you no matter how silly/crazy/weird/obsessed/awesome you are.

3) JUMPSTART TO SKINNY BY BOB HARPER

Thanks to this diet and exercise program, I’m officially back down to the weight that my drivers license says I am!  Before heading on our Hawaiian adventure, I knew I wanted to lose a few pounds before spending 24 hours a day in a bikini.  So I researched and researched and this program seemed to have rave reviews!  Well, I only had time to do 2 of the 3 week program and I lost 8 pounds!  I’m feeling WAY more confident in my bod for its bikini debut.  I’m not a doctor so always make sure you check with those guys first before starting any diet and exercise program but if you get the OK, I’m a huge advocate for this one.  Pick up your copy here.

Jumpstart

4) REVLON BY MARCHESA NAIL ART

I’ve definitely mentioned my love of nail art before (see here and here) so when I got wind of this, I made a mandatory stop at my local drug store.  These things are little works of art for your nails!  Not all of us are able to buy (or have a reason to wear) a Marchesa gown so now we get a little piece of it right at our finger tips!  And since they last for up to 10 days, it’s an absolute must have!  Hurry up and run to the nearest drugstore now!

Marchesa Nail Wraps

5) LAVA

I don’t think I really need to go into much description on this one… I mean… it’s LAVA!!  We’ll be heading to the Big Island and I don’t care if we do nothing but find lava.  If we find it, I’ll definitely be showing you the photos!