Hi guys! Oh my gosh I have been meaning to write this recap for a bit now. So many of you asked what my favorite spots were while I was traveling and many of you seem to be headed out to the islands this year! How exciting! I definitely can't wait for another trip but this time to Kauai later this year. Anyways... it's been almost 3 weeks since we've returned from Kona and there is finally some sunshine in the Bay area! Well at least in Palo Alto there is and I am LOVING it! After being on the island all I craved was the sunshine and to get my tan back :P. It was raining a bunch when we returned and that was just not fun post Hawaii.
So this trip was for two of my friends who's amazing lovely girlfriends planned a group trip to the big island for their 30th birthday. How sweet are they? You lucky boys! Special shout out to Teresa and Jess for planning it and for Chris and Caleb turning 30. Aged to perfection huh boys? LOL we spent 4 1/2 days there and every single day was a magical adventure with this crew. Day 1 we arrived all bright eyed and bushy tailed from our early 6 AM flight from the cold Bay to the sunny HOT island. First thing was to get the cars and surprise birthday boy #2. Caleb was surprised first at the airport and his reaction was hilarious and so unexpected. I think he half thought we were going to Vegas not Hawaii when we all showed up at the airport with him. Chris was equally surprised when we showed up at the Starbucks they were at. Our first stop after all the surprise stuff was Broke Da Mouth Grindz which is known for their Filipino/Hawaain dishes. Their adobo was a must there and it definitely did not disappoint. This place was both our first and last meal on the island we enjoyed it so much! I ordered a mini plate of their classic adobo dish with a green salad and rice. So BOMB. I also nibbled on my friends large plate of shrimp, sweet potato salad, and garlic fried chicken. UGH sooo good you guys. Thinking about that place makes my mouth water. Here's a snap shot of their main menu and the dishes we all got.
Afterwards we headed to our Airbnb and our house was amazing! It had the biggest common space area which was perfect for our larger sized group and the most gorgeous views of the island since we were pretty far up. It was also slightly secluded which was so nice with a lush jungle-y feel in the yard. I was obsessed.
After settling into the house and freshening up we all got ready to go to the beach. Our house manual had suggested one nearby the house so we just went there. Not 100% sure what it was called but it was a pretty cool spot! We picked a place to camp out and then a few of us went to explore throughout the lava rocks. Since everything in Hawaii is typically soo picturesque we took some cool photos and our first group photo of the trip thanks to Jason and his tripod haha. They all turned out great though. Aren't we a dashing group of people? :p
From this point the group partially split up and me, Teresa, and Jess went to Costco to get food and alcohol for the house. We had decided that night one would be the home birthday dinner and save some money since we had some pretty full days being out of the house. We loaded up the carts and we all ended up meeting back at the house to chill and the boys (bless their souls) made a dinner for all 14 of us. We had a nice salmon, salad, and steak dinner with cheesecake for dessert! Then the shenanigans began haha. To be totally honest with you all we spent the better part of the evening playing the most random drinking games and I think my favorite was the box game. You just take a box and everyone takes turns picking it up with their mouth (no hands allowed) and after each round you cut the box down and keep going until the box turns into basically a piece of paper haha. It sounds weird but it's really really fun and tests your flexibility. Some how some way David was the winner and i'd say me and Tammie were close seconds in the game lol. Look it up, but it's A LOT of fun to play! The night was so random but a lot of fun to have the group together and just enjoy some time together post holidays and away from work.
Day 2 we woke up to a very alarming emergency alert. Rather a couple of us did. Everyone was so groggy from the night before that half us slept through the alert. It read BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK SHELTER THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Holy cow none of us knew how to react. The first thoughts was is this even real? We all woke up and went upstairs to the common room trying to piece together our thoughts and figure out what to do. Most of us honestly didn't believe it because there was nothing going on outside of our house, you would think there would be sirens or something to warn us, and a lot more commotion but nope. We couldn't find anything on Hawaii news, nothing on the internet nothing on the tv news, just random tweets that google surfaced. Not to say the way we handled this situation right, but because there was no information out there...not even a stay calm this is what.... we just claimed it to be false. Either way we figured whether true or not there wasn't much we could do so we should enjoy whatever time we had. I don't know how you guys would have reacted but we decided to stay positive and make breakfast. We pretty much ruled out that it was real because of the research we did though and 45 minutes later we received another alert stating it was indeed FALSE. UGH. The dude who mistakingly hit that button made a major mistake and I know many people were terribly afraid and moved by it with all that has happened in the world lately. I truly can't believe how it made some people feel. As for me personally I didn't believe it. Call it what you want but no part of me felt like that was my last day for me. Not that we can ever know that, but something didn't feel right with how that message was sent out to make me believe it was true. Thank goodness it wasn't and not to go down a different path, but if there was one thing that did cross my mind had it been if this was my last day, I was pretty happy with myself as a person, surrounded by people I care about, and on this beautiful island and I would be damned if I was going to let a missile ruin my day. Also I don't want to live in fear. So hell enjoy your life every damn day guys!
Once all that missile scare was done and said we got ready for the day and decided to take on Kona nature with a hike. We honestly had no idea where we were really going most of the time so we kept wandering wherever our hearts desired and the views were absolutely perfect. An afternoon spent well for sure! We ended up at the main downtown area after hiking so we could check out Kona brewing company, get some drinks, snacks, and then wandered for a bit longer where we ended the day catching the sunset at by far my favorite beach of the trip, it was called Keiki. We had Poke for dinner that night at this place called Umeke's Bar and Grill. It was a cool little spot and the food wasn't bad at all, but I think if I had to choose a Poke spot on this island it would be the Da Poke Shack. The fish is fresh daily and it was slightly more expensive but more worth it in my opinion.
We pretty much ended day 2 out in downtown Kona where we ended up at this place called Laverne's sports bar. It was a very interesting place haha but I think had we not been exhausted from our day we would have enjoyed the night out on the town more. We ended up going home to sleep because we had to be up early for our boat day the next day. I plan to do a recap part 2 because our boat day was a long one and so much fun stuff to share. So expect that next :)
I hope you enjoyed part 1. These travel posts can be so lengthy but I wanna know what do you guys like knowing? Other than food haha that I get asked a lot. If there's anything you'd like me to include in my recaps let me know and i'll try to add it in!
Anyways, Kona was amazing the first two days and the last couple were equally as fun filled and I can't wait to tell you about our swimming with wild dolphins experience! :D
If you are traveling to the big island on my next recap I will have a list of my favorite beaches and food spots so look for it there. If you are going to Maui I have that recap on part 2 of my faves too if you want suggestions :)