{Gone Pinning} Big Island bound!

GonePinning

Brrrrr! The polar vortex is back and Seattle is pretty chilly these days. We’re staying warm by dreaming about the sun and planning the itinerary for our December trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. We’ll be splitting our time on both the Kona and Hilo coasts and we’ll likely spend a night in the volcano part of the island.

bigisland_island_map

Here are some of the exciting excursions that we have in mind. Click on the photos for more information:

We’ve secured a twilight tour of the Gemini telescope and we’re SO excited about it! The stars are going to be amazing!!

Gemini telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory 

Gemini telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory

The manta ray dive company we heard really good things about is unfortunately not operating while we’re in Hawaii, but we’re looking at alternative tours! This looks so cool!

Manta ray swimming tour

Manta ray snorkel tour

We’re planning on seeing a lot of lava on our trip. These sights are pretty awesome in photos like this and I’ve heard they’re even better after dark. We’re looking into night-time tours now!

Lava meets water

Lava meets water

This is where Captain James Cook moored when he visited the Island in 1778 and where he died the following year. The snorkeling here, at Kealakakua Bay, is reportedly some of the best in the islands. This link also has what appear-to-be great tips for the Big Island:

Captain Cook monument

Captain Cook monument

I’ve never seen so many unique sand beaches in my life! We’ll hit up the black sand beach and the GREEN sand beach! Green!!! How fun!

Green Sand beach

Green Sand beach

I’ve discussed the sites, and now it’s on to the food. This link has some great suggestions and we’ll definitely hit up this malasada place. (Brandon loves them!)

Malasadas! Yes, please.

Malasadas! Yes, please.

It’s not a true vacation of ours without a visit to a winery. The Volcano Winery will do!

We love wine! This one appears to be an award winner!

We love wine! This one appears to be an award winner!

We’re still taking recommendations, so share some of your favorite tips for fun on the Big Island!

 

{Gone Pinning} Spring break!

GonePinning

We tried to celebrate Brandon’s spring break from school this week, but circumstances beyond our control made that less of a reality. We did use “spring break” as our theme of the week for dinners, but the rest, relaxation and sun weren’t in our cards this week. But man, doesn’t that sound nice? I can almost see/smell/hear the sounds of the waves now…

Since I don’t have the time to travel to a fancy tropical location, I scoured the interwebs (thank you, Pinterest) for some things that get me in the mood for spring, sun and relaxation. Enjoy!

Hawaii: Yes, please  

Hawaii: Yes, please

Beach: yes, please 

Beach: yes, please

Cocktails? Yes, please.

Strawberry tequila lemonade: yes, please 

Strawberry tequila lemonade: yes, please

Kiwi blueberry mojitos: yes, please 

Kiwi blueberry mojitos: yes, please

Adult Capri Suns (vodka + lemonade): yes, please

Adult Capri Suns (vodka + lemonade): yes, please

And to drink all of this safely by the pool?

Plastic wine glasses: yes, please 

Plastic wine glasses: yes, please

Some tropical-inspired foods? Yes, please.

Monkeying around with lots of tropical fruits

Monkeying around with lots of tropical fruits

Grilled avocado salsa: yes, please 

Grilled avocado salsa: yes, please

Citrus-y cilantro shrimp: yes, please 

Citrus-y cilantro shrimp: yes, please

Vietnamese summer roll salad: yes, please 

Vietnamese summer roll salad: yes, please