We went to Hawaii in November 2019, and I have to say, just like last time, we really enjoyed ourselves. I could not figure out why Hawaii gets in your blood and pulls you back until this last time when we went again as a family. The last time we went in 2013 was for a work trip and was very short, so I didn’t get to enjoy it as much or appreciate it fully, but still found it the most relaxing trip we ever took. This time, I figured out why.
Aside from the trade winds, which are quite nice and relaxing in and of themselves, there is something about Hawaii that I cannot find in Florida, California, or any other beach I have been to CONUS. I find that people are more relaxed in Hawaii, and the vibe is very relaxed. The water is clearer, the weather is always amazing, even in a rain and thunder storm, you just feel at home!
Our trip this time took us to Maui, where we had not been before, and I have to say it is my favorite place now – the beaches are amazing! You can see sea turtles snorkeling right near your hotel, and the lifestyle is very chill. Of course, it is expensive, but if you can get a place with a kitchen, it is quite relaxing and all your meals can be at your condo. We stayed at the Westin N’anea Ocean Villas and Resort- all of the Westin ones are connected, and any of them are great. All the activities are a la carte, so be prepared for that. The girls enjoyed making flower lei necklaces, and coconut painting. We also went on thumbtack app and found someone to photograph us on the beach near the Ritz Carlton at Lahaina. It was amazing!
Maui was definitely our favorite destination of this trip, but the best “experience” was swimming with the manta rays at night in Kona, the Big Island. Be aware that in winter months, October through February, the surf is high and it was a rough boat ride out and back, and the waters quite choppy during the dive/snorkel to see the manta rays at night, but it was the most spectacular experience of our lives, despite the motion sickness and vomiting 🙂 The Big Island was fun, because it is so different from one side to the other, and the Macadamia Nut factory was so fun to visit. We also stayed at the Military Camp at Kilauea and the volcano was quite amazing to see! The beaches are not as great on the Big Island, so get your fill on Maui if you can. Internally, island to island, we flew the small charter company, Mokulele airlines and it was so fast and quick – no checking stuff in, and security and customs woes. It was quick and easy to island hope from Maui to the Big Island and the views were spectacular!
We had an amazing trip this time and the pictures do not do our time there justice! There is a charm to Hawaii I cannot describe, and I am sure other places are amazing and better, but when I think of United States destinations, Hawaii is NOT to be missed. Oh, I have to add that we flew on Southwest Airlines and went in and out of San Jose. Our flights were super cheap, super convenient, and we got the usual Southwest LUV hospitality!