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Winter Blues has me wanting to TRAVEL!!!

Today is such a blah day here in Ohio! It is raining, gray and moods are down. These are the days where I wish my toes were nestled in a sandy beach somewhere. I wanted to share with you some of my fondest memories on vacation.

My family and I went to the Big Island, Hawaii back in 2005 and this was the start of dreaming a life in Hawaii. Even though the Big Island is not as tropical as some of the other islands but it was still HAWAII. I remember my parents inviting my little family of 3, my brother's family of 4 and themselves to their 30th wedding anniversary. I have never been so thankful for a trip like that and appreciated their kindness to treat us a trip of a lifetime to Hawaii. We stayed in Kona Coast Resort in Kona, along the beautiful black lava rock coastline. The resort was a part of their timeshare, it was very nice and enjoyable. We spent a week there and flying from Ohio, I didn't get jetlagged like I was told that I would, however, my brother's family did because they met us in Hawaii from Japan, oy.

A few memories about the Big Island, it is full of black lava and some brown lava that made it look like a bunch of fresh brownies on the ground. It almost looked like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We took a helicopter ride through Blue Hawaiian over Mt. Kilauea and it was awesome! High recommend this if they are still doing this. Hilo was beautiful with all of the luscious waterfalls and big flowers and trees. It is the wettest part of the island and believe me, it is and it is beautiful. This trip was constantly on my little family's mind because we wanted to see the rest of the islands.

About 10 years after our first trip to Hawaii, I decided to surprise my husband a trip to Maui, Hawaii for his 40th birthday. I saved and saved for 2 years, kept it a secret and threatened my teenager not to say ANYTHING to dad about this surprise. I pulled it off on his 40th birthday, I wrapped 3 small gift of clues for him to open on that day. My son and his best friend (who we took) wore a t-shirt that had pineapple on and I wore a beachy shirt, still had no clue. He unwrapped the 1st gift, it was a Hollywood ticker sign (we stayed in LA for 2 days before flying to Hawaii); he was looking puzzled and said ok. Gift # 2 was an airplane and he looked even more confused but slowly put things together. Gift #3 was a pineapple with a cardstock airline tickets that I made with the trip information on it, he looked at it and said "oh my goodness" and smiled ear to ear. Mind you, there were 30 people in the room when this was going on and he just didn't know how to react when we realized that he was going to Hawaii in 1 month.

June 25, 2015, we left for LA for 3 days and we would have skipped LA if I had to do this all over again. LA was a little hectic but glad that we saw it and enjoyed it for a bit. We left LA and flew into Maui! Oh my goodness, I will never forget the first time I saw Maui, it was simply breathtaking. We stayed in Aston Mahana Condo, which I reserved through VRBO and we have the best room on the island (probably not but in our eyes, it was the best). We had a room on the 7th floor, corner unit facing the ocean, simply gorgeous. We spent 9 days in Maui and traveled in style. We rented a Jeep and drove ALL over the island, we explored most of the beaches, shopped and dined. We drove Road to Hana and did most of the suggested stops to explore hidden beaches and waterfalls. I would highly recommend doing this drive and take the time to explore Maui.

When you go to Hawaii, you will get a picture of your vacation stuck in your head forever. After visiting Maui, we had to plan to go back again soon. My son graduated High School last May 2019 and he wanted to take his girlfriend (now fiance) with us. We made arrangements to go to Hawaii for 2 weeks with my family of 3 and his girlfriend and her mom. We left on June 6, 2019, to stay in Maui at the Kaanapali Beach Club, rented a Jeep and thoroughly enjoyed our first week in Maui. The first morning in Maui, we drove up to Haleakala to watch the sunrise on top of the world, this is a must-do. We did not do the tour of this, I went online and bought a ticket for $1 to reserve a space to see this and spent $25 for a 3-day pass. We got up at 3:00 am and took a drive up the summit, but be careful because it is a drive up there and you have to be patient. After that, we went exploring different beaches along the island, we even drove the back way to Hana, that was a trip (I will tell this at another time). We dined and explore, we didn't stop this time around. My son's girlfriend's mom got hooked on Dole Whip which is Pineapple Ice Cream, it was delicious.

We left Maui to embark on another beautiful island, Kauai. Now, I am running out of time here, but Kauai is my island. We spent 1 week here and I wished we had more time. Kauai is definitely the Garden of Isle. We went on a Napali Coast tour (highly recommend), lounged on Hanalei Bay, went tubing on the mountain, and looked at all of the beautiful trees. Kauai is simply breathtaking.

Finally, if I had to choose an island, my island is Kauai. My husband is in love with Maui. We plan to retire there someday!

I wrote a lot but I wanted you to know where my heart is and why I am doing this small business. In closing, I would love to know what is your favorite destination?

Mahalo!

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