If you read our last blog post, you know we've been dreaming of a trip back to Hawaii for nearly 17 years now, and praise the Lord, we got to go this year! We earned a trip through doTERRA for hitting Blue Diamond and decided to extend our trip and enjoy a bit of couple time in Maui, just like our honeymoon. :)
Except not JUST like our honeymoon, because well we have kids to think about back home, and we sure don't look a bit like this anymore! LOL!!!!
We extended our stay in Kansas so that our moms could help with the kiddos. It was also cold enough, I knew the SECOND we got home, we all would be itching to leave for Florida. So I spent the week before our trip packing the RV for Florida AND packing for Hawaii. Not amazing, not fun, but necessary.
I had some great helpers pitching in and many hands make light work. We cleaned and cleaned, saran wrapped and hauled out the 2 Christmas trees. The kids had a lesson in ironing over at Gigi's house, once Daddy's hawaiian shirt showed up in the mail, and we prepped and froze as many meals as we could, so the kids could easily make dinner each night without much work.
I also included some photos of our new mantel decor my mom gave me from a great great grandmother, in this slideshow. Isn't it darling? Love the blue and white! It was the perfect finishing touch up there, YAY!
The kids fort they built one sunny day before our trip. You will see a couple photos of that in this slideshow too. Fire drill with the chain ladders just in case! (thank you Jesus for NO emergencies while mom and dad were gone)
After researching flights forever, we discovered that flying from Ks to San Diego, staying overnight, THEN catching the red eye to Hawaii was much cheaper and a MUCH shorter flight. Some of the flight times were 26 hours otherwise, because of all the layovers and hub jumping we would have had to do ! NO THANK YOU! We did the same on the reverse. It worked beautifully!
Everything went smoothly, except waiting over an HOUR out in the cool night air, tired and cold, for our free courtesy shuttle to our hotel. Meaning we got in SUPER late, ate a quick dinner in bed, slept a couple hours and went right back to the airport on the shuttle. We were tired and felt gross but SUPER excited to arrive in Hawaii that afternoon.
A family friend sweetly wrote and offered to come get us from the Hawaii airport and show us around a bit. She showed up with traditional Hawaiian goodies and proceeded to run us all around the big island for the afternoon. SO FUN!
This part of Hawaii didn't look a thing like I imagined, the big island is full of black barren lava fields and lava tubes, but also, as we drove, jungle and mountains and everything in between. We were taught 11 of the world's 13 climates exist on the big island. So interesting!
The tunnel you see is called a Lava Tube and it's HUGE and left behind from an eruption.
Sweet Mary Ann took us exploring all over the island and while she was at an appointment, had us walk around this darling little town. We saw wild chickens and even a pig running across the road, wandered through art galleries and shops, an old 1920's post office and a ukulele shop too!
Once she was done we headed to an awesome lunch spot with a view and the best darn mango cheesecake I've ever tasted. Then we went to her BEAUTIFUL home overlooking the ocean! What an AMAZING start to our trip.
The longer we drove, the sharper my headache got. I think it was that late night, plus pressure changes of landings and take offs, plus not enough water. (I hate having to get out of a middle seat to pee and use those gross bathrooms) Oils were keeping it at bay but it was going to take some major sleep and water drinking to make it leave entirely.
We made one last stop at a look out point and saw the resort we were staying at below. It looked gorgeous! Our home sweet home for the next few days!
doTERRA booked us at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa and we would go back in a heartbeat. The staff was amaaaaaazing! And the open air design of the whole place was magical.
BUUUT we literally walked to our room and laid down. Haha, traveling is exhausting, my head was pounding, and we were just not capable of socializing. ;)
So Dale went to get us some food and came back with asian wings and a poke (ahi tuna) nacho platter. I was in bed and asleep before 8.
We, of course, woke up before the sun due to our early bedtime, but the sleep was heavenly and my headache was gone.
We woke up before dawn STARVING and were so grateful Mary Ann sent us with one of her Avocados from her backyard trees. We ate it with a spoon and the salt packet leftover from our silverware packs the night before, while we watched the world wake up. It was awesome!
Then we walked around and explored the resort a while. We got wind of a farmer's market on the property and headed over to scope it out.
First thing we heard was the ukulele!
We ordered a hot stone fired pizza, real fruit ice cream, and bought some local fresh fruit and avocados. It was such a neat experience! We bought some fruit and another avocado to take back to our room. I haven't ever tasted an avocado like the hawaiian ones we ate. They were big and soft, buttery and creamy! We couldn't get enough of them....YUM!
We dropped the fruit in our room and went to explore the resort a bit more and see the views out back......
We spent part of the afternoon at the pool and ate lunch there. (what? the pizza and ice cream was counting as BREAKFAST) ;)
Mary Ann ran us over some polynesian donuts that were amazing, isn't she the sweetest!? As the day went on, we saw more and more doTERRA signs going up. So exciting to be here with the top leaders of the company!
We had a doTERRA beach side reception to attend that night with appetizers.....so we headed up to shower and get ready. The reception was at the Manta Ray Restaurant, whose claim to fame is you can watch a 12 foot manta ray eat while you eat too! It was unbelievably HUGE!
I will load a Manta Ray feeding video here as soon as it uploads......
The next day was breakfast then meetings to catch up on the latest doTERRA news. We were excited, kinda like the first day of freshman year. Haha! We were the newbies, but again, just so unbelievably grateful to be here as leaders.
Everyone thinks meetings = boring but it was actually super interesting and the day flew buy. The hotel did a killer job on lunch and even a fun popcorn snack bar that afternoon with cocoa nibs, seaweed powder and a local dried plum powder they offer on just about everything!
That evening was an outdoor dinner and in true Hawaii style, it was a LUAU! It was AMAAAZING!!! Lights strung across the night sky, hawaiian music in the background, delicious prime rib, sushi, sea food and even hawaiian ice. GREAT entertainment!
The next day we loaded up on a bus and headed to the Kalakekua Mountain Reserve on the slopes of the Mauna Lua Volcano!
In the 1800's the Sandalwood industry boomed but a tragic history of exploitation left it nearly wiped out......
With sensitivity to this history, DoTERRA will be restoring the native plains of this area - including Hawaiian sandalwood trees and other plants and potential future oils!
DoTERRA purchased 10,000 acres & 9,000 of those are under a conservation easement. As we preserve this sanctuary we will work closely with Forest management in what is the LARGEST reforestation effort in all of Hawaii by 2020. So proud to be part of this amazing company!
It was a LONG and steep drive and we could see clearly when we passed what they call the rain line. Once up top, we got to plant our very own trees.....
We planted trees, that will be used 30 years from now, for their beautiful medicinal properties. For every tree used, dozens more spring up!
What an honor to represent a company so passionate about safe and green sourcing practices and generosity in all areas.
Our trees have a special tracking number so we can follow its growth and use in the future! SO cool!
Look at the GORGEOUS yummy healthy lunch set up for us when our bus got back down! And another generous gift from doTERRA, 2 oils each - a Hawaiian Sandalwood and a new one to try a sample of, Naio Wood!
Dale and I had to hit the bus right after, to quickly go back to the resort so we could for sure make our afternoon flight to Maui. This was about the time my butterflies came out in full force when Dale informed me of the teeny tiny PUDDLE JUMPER we would be taking over.
But that post, is for TOMORROW!