Trip Recap | Hawaii | September 8 – 20, 2015

Aloha, friends!  Don and I just returned home from twelve glorious days spent in Hawaii for our babymoon/10th anniversary celebration.  We had such an amazing time!  I thought I’d share some photos and a bit about our vacation with you.

Maui | September 8 – 14, 2015

trip recap getting to hawaii

Don and I actually honeymooned in Maui ten years ago, which was why Don suggested it as a fitting 10 year anniversary celebration location.  Back then, you could catch a direct 8 hour flight from Chicago to Kona, but sadly those flights are no longer offered.  We left super early in the morning for the long journey to Hawaii, which first stopped in LA.  We flew Virgin America for the first time on this leg.  The purple vibe was interesting!  From LA, we flew direct to Maui.  It was a long travel haul, but the five hour time difference allowed us to arrive in Hawaii in the afternoon on the same day.

trip recap arriving in maui 2015

We stayed at the Four Seasons Maui, a gorgeous resort situated in beautiful Wailea right on the beach.  We had stayed at the neighboring Fairmont Kea Lani on our honeymoon and were familiar with the Four Seasons property from dining there.  We were greeted in style with beautiful leis and refreshing fresh juice.  The staff at the Four Seasons Maui was super nice and accommodating.  We felt very welcome and comfortable there from the moment we arrived.

trip recap four seasons maui 2015

The Four Seasons knew we were celebrating both our anniversary and our babymoon and they left us a bottle of sparkling cider as a gift.  The cleaning staff also made our stay special with little touches like arranging our leis in a heart as well as my Snoogle (a pregnancy pillow and yes, I did bring it all that way with me).  I find that little details like these can actually have a big impact on the quality of my stay.

trip recap maui sunset 2015

We were both pretty tired from our travels, but we wanted to enjoy the beautiful Maui sunset outside.  After getting settled in our room we headed down to the lobby bar where they serve fresh sushi and other bites along with tropical refreshments.  We were seated with a perfect view of both the sunset and a ukulele player and hula dancer who were entertaining the crowd with traditional Hawaiian music and dance.  What a wonderful way to start our trip!

trip recap maui sunrise 2015

We both woke up super early the next morning and had some time before the breakfast buffet opened so we took a sunrise walk together on the path along the coast.  The buffet breakfast at the Four Seasons Maui was incredible!  They made the best pancakes to order that I’ve ever had.  I had one every single day!

trip recap poolside maui 2015

Hawaii was experiencing unusually humid and hot weather during our first week there with very little of their signature trade winds, so early morning ended up being the best time of day to get a walk in.  We didn’t mind the heat and humidity, which was actually not unlike Chicago summer weather, and were able to stay pretty cool by spending a lot of time in the water.  I’m not normally big on juices, but I couldn’t resist the amazing tropical concoctions they offered at the pool and restaurants.  Pineapple lemonade and coconut lemonade were my favorites!

trip recap blue hawaiian helicopters 2015

Our anniversary happened to fall on our second full day in Maui and Don had planned a special day for us to spend together.  In the morning, we went on a spectacular Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour.  Neither of us had been on a helicopter before and we were both pretty excited about it.

trip recap maui helicopter tour 2015

We had originally booked the Maui island tour, but significant cloud coverage over Haleakala, the active volcano on the island, changed our pilot’s route.  Instead, he took us over to Molokai with its amazing 3500 foot sea cliffs, waterfalls, and dense rainforests.  It was an incredible experience and we’d both highly recommend it, so long as you’re not afraid of heights or small aircrafts.

trip recap 10th anniversary 2015

Don had sweetly arranged for a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me in celebration of our anniversary.  We exchanged cards and relaxed together in the afternoon before heading down to an alcove just above the beach on the Four Seasons property for a private romantic dinner.  The staff had beautifully decorated our table with fresh local flowers and candles.

trip recap anniversary dinner 2015

The gorgeous sunset view was the icing on the cake!  We enjoyed an amazing feast together.  It was the perfect way to cap off an amazing day!

trip recap hike maui 2015

A couple of days later we went on a guided hike in East Maui with Hike Maui.  Our guide, Kahi, was incredibly warm and welcoming as well as super knowledgable about the local flora and fauna and Hawaiian history.  Our 6-hour adventure was extremely informative as Kahi guided us through a PermaFarm where 92% of the vegetation is edible.  We hiked to several waterfalls, which we were able to swim at.  This was definitely another highlight of our trip and another recommendation from us to anyone looking for a fun outdoor experience.

trip recap leaving maui 2015

We fully enjoyed the Four Seasons amenities when we weren’t out and about off property.  The hotel has three pools and beach access.  There’s great snorkeling right there.  We actually saw four sea turtles one day in the water!  Don thoroughly enjoyed the golf courses on property, as well.  The food at the hotel restaurants features local fare.  While we had planned to dine off property, we found there was such a great variety we didn’t need to go anywhere else.  It was a perfect week in paradise!

Kona | September 14 – 20, 2015

trip recap four seasons hualallai 2015

We headed to the Big Island halfway through our trip, which we had never been to before.  We stayed at the Four Seasons Hualalai, which is located on a lava field in beautiful Kona.  While it is still very much a tropical island like Maui, the landscape in Kona is much different with the abundance of black lava rock.  The resort incorporates this rock beautifully into its architecture.  The Four Seasons Hualalai is very different from the Four Seasons Maui.  It is more spread out, bungalow-style, and is overall quieter and more isolated.  It’s also absolutely stunningly gorgeous!  Just like in Maui, we were greeted warmly with leis and fresh beverages.  The staff left us some babymoom treats in our amazing suite.

trip recap kona beauty 2015

We had planned to get out and see more of the island but we ended up staying put at the resort for the most part due to some weather complications during our week in Kona.  We were fortunate that the resort was located in a spot that wasn’t hugely affected by the rains and any effects from the earthquake in Chile, but those circumstances did prevent us from doing a snorkeling boating outing we had planned as well as local hiking and another helicopter tour.  To be honest, neither of us were disappointed by this, because we had such an amazing and relaxing stay at the Four Seasons Hualalai that we didn’t feel as if we were missing out on anything.  Thankfully, the trade winds finally returned, cooling it off significantly on the island.

trip recap kona sunsets 2015

The resort had similar onsite amenities to that in Maui, with four pools to choose from as well as beach access.  One of the pools is actually a stocked snorkeling habitat with 70 varieties of fish and a 20 year old eagle ray.  We were also able to snorkel right off the beach as well and enjoyed seeing the sea turtles come to shore to sunbathe and rest in the afternoon.  Don had a blast playing the golf course on property where he shot a 68 one day, his record low!  The food on property was amazing and diverse.  And of course, we could never grow tired of the gorgeous sunsets every night.

trip recap leaving kona 2015

It was such a treat to just relax and unwind together in this beautiful place.  I am so grateful we were able to spend this time together celebrating our marriage and the upcoming arrival of our Baby Girl.  As much as we enjoyed our romantic retreat, we’re both super excited for this next chapter of our lives and can’t wait for our new adventure to begin!

I vlogged a bit, mostly during the Maui portion of our vacation, if you’re interested in seeing more:

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our babymoon trip to Hawaii.  I’d love to hear about where you babymooned or honeymooned if you care to share!

Aloha ❤︎


* This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely our own. *


26 thoughts on “Trip Recap | Hawaii | September 8 – 20, 2015”

  1. I’m so happy you’re back Jen! This trip looked absolutely magnificent and you are just glowing! Can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us. Aloha 🙂

  2. This was absolutely beautiful Jen! Thanks for sharing (= I’m curious to know if you used the outdoor shower and if so how was that experience?

  3. Thanks for sharing tidbits from your wonderfully relaxing Babymoon! The four seasons on Hawaii looked so quiet and lovely. I know you mentioned that Don played golf in Wialea but I was curious to see if he ventured over to the other side of the island to play at Kapalua? I would HIGHLY recommend you guys go back sometime with your daughter during the winter months so you can experience whale season, it is so great! We’ve had some pretty phenomenal encounters that we’ll never forget. So glad you had a great time and made it back safe and sound. ☺️

    1. We didn’t to make it to Kapaulua between our honeymoon and this trip, but we’d both love to play that course sometime and seeing the whales would be amazing!

  4. OMG Jen, it looks like it was a piece of heaven!! Don is so thoughtful and loving. The flowers were such a simple thought with huge impact. I’m so glad you had such a romantic and restful time together to end one chapter in your married life and now to start a new one. God bless you both and thank you so much for sharing your feelings, skills and life with us. Hugs and fondness, Pam.

  5. Hi Jen, I follow your blogs and just read your recent one on your trip to Hawaii! We just were there too celebrating our 30th Anniversary! (Sept 10-18th). We also did a helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian. It was very Hot and humid, but still gorgeous!

  6. Thanks for sharing this beautiful trip! I would really like to know how your new larger navy blue suitcases worked on the trip. We are in the market for some new larger luggage- I am hoping to find something good that is really lightweight. Thanks for taking us along!

    All this could not be happening for a nicer couple- Happy 10th.

    1. We actually used suitcases we’ve had for several years now. They’re from Eagle Creek and have since been discontinued. They’ve held up great over the years!

  7. Hi Jen thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you had a wonderful time. I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii. It looks so amazing. Its quite a way from my home in Australia but reminds me of our beautiful Queensland tropical area. Loved the footage from your helicopter flight. Xx fiona

  8. hi jen! we honeymooned in Maui for 2 weeks and LOVED it! i loved watching your vlog – it brought back so many good memories! we stayed at the Maui Hill on S Kihei Rd 🙂 So happy you go to go back! 🙂

  9. I went to Hawaii with my parents after graduating from college a few years ago so this post brought back some great memories! We also did a Blue Hawaiian helicopter tour and I still wear my shirt I got from the gift shop 🙂 I highly recommend checking out Kauai next time you guys visit Hawaii, it has such a relaxed feel with less tourists and all mom-n-pop type restaurants and hotels.

  10. Loved this post and vlog! I just went to hualalai for my babymoon a few months ago and this brings back such great memories! The four seasons Maui and hualalai are both so amazing! Looks like you had a fabulous time!

  11. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Over 31 years ago my husband and I went to Hawaii for our babymoon. Of course it wasn’t called that back then. I was 5 months pregnant with our first child, a son. We stayed 5 nights in Honolulu and 4 nights on Kawaii. It was amazing.

  12. Wow, what an amazing trip! I would love to go to Hawaii some day, it looks so beautiful, peaceful and relaxing! It must have been so nice to just put down the camera and chill out for a few days! We live so much of our lives online these days, often looking at lifes most magical moments through a lens and whilst this might work for some, we need to remember to take the time to look at it with our eyes and see it as something just for us in that moment, not something to share for likes and retweets!

    So glad you guys had an amazing time!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  13. Looks like you two had a wonderful anniversary/babymoon trip! Thank you so much for sharing with us in your blogpost and vlog!

    I love love love the Four Season’s Maui! The breakfast buffet is amazing and my husband and I always love staying there! We haven’t stayed in the one in Kona yet but it looks amazing and we’ll have to try that on our next Hawaii trip!

    Thanks again for sharing!

  14. You are so busy and such an inspiration. I love how you are so thoughtful to your friends. An in depth tour of the outdoor shower would have been much appreciate. Would like to try that one for myself. Do you check your po box often. Would like to send you edible goodies to increase milk supply. Made with love by my hands in my restaurant grade kitchen. Only the best for my friend. Hugs and love.

  15. Glad your back, Hawaii is such a wonderful place. We lived on Oahu for 3 years when my husband was active duty, I have a awesome crockpot Kahlua pig recipe that we got when we lived there, will email it to you if you want. We have Hawaiian food at least once every few months, We fed my sons high school marching band for competitions a few years ago and this was their fav. let me know if you want the recipe.

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