Hawaii and 15 years

We stayed in the most gorgeous hotel in Maui at Wailea- the Andaz.  It was so relaxing to be at such a beautiful place with awe-inspiring ocean views and nothing to do but let go of all stress.  Most of our days were spent snorkeling in front of our hotel- there were turtles seen every single day and loads of colorful fish.  We also spent some time reading, taking naps, swimming in the pools and going on walks to explore the area by us (oh, and also icing my ankle 2x per day).  Hawaii is just something else and we really love it.

We had a rental car during our week stay, so we had to drive the Road to Hana and see all of those famous waterfalls and gorgeous beaches.  The drive itself was stunning- with tons of topography, vegetation and the best views on the windy roads for hours on end.

Black Sand Beach...the sand was tiiiiny black pebbles and really satisfying to sink your feet into.  The water was really rough here so you couldn't swim, but we walked over the cliffs all around it.

Another stop along our way was this red sand beach with a built-in swimming hole- you can see that it was naturally blocked by the huge rocks to create a less dangerous place to dip your toes.  The teal water contrasting with the red sand was so lovely.

Picked up some really expensive snacks at Hasegawa's General Store...worth it.

The gorgeousness on the road to Hana is never-ending!

We stopped at this waterfall (that I cannot remember the name of) and spent a lot of time just hanging out and soaking it in.  The water here was freezing.

Instead of turning around and heading back at the normal turnaround, we kept on going all the way around the island because it looked like a shorter distance on the map.  Little did we know that the roads were nearly impassible at some points and it was mostly farmland, or very dry and arid hills.  We stumbled upon a few gems like this church- I don't think this is the one, but its close to where Charles Lindbergh was buried.

There was almost nothing to see on the drive back, so as soon as we saw civilization again, we stopped and had dinner.  It turned out to be a really delicious meal of gourmet cheeseburgers with a side of a superb sunset.

Brian booked a snorkeling trip out to the Molokini crater.  We took this sailboat and swam around in the crystal clear waters inside of Molokini looking for new kinds of fish.  The water was the clearest we have ever seen- just stunning.  

Dreamiest setting for a week of relaxing...

We drove to Kaanapali one day as well, to explore the beaches on that side of Maui.  Wow- they were incredible...probably our favorite on this island.  We snorkeled, hiked, and then drove all over to make sure we saw everything there was to see. 

I spy a turtle swimming around up there...do you see it??

This trip was no different, in one respect, than other trips we've taken together in the past--in that it ended with me in the ER.  I had such a scary experience on the morning that we left.  After completing an 11 mile training run, Brian and I decided to go snorkeling one last time.  In front of our hotel was a large open beach with a big coral reef right next to it and another large beach on the other side of the reef.  We decided to swim around the reef to the other side while snorkeling.  I lost my bearings under the water and came too close to the reef, and the waves pulled me rather forcefully inside the middle of the sharp and rocky edges.  I tried with all of my might to swim out of it, but the waves were relentlessly pulling me further and further away from safety and deeper and deeper into the reef.  I desperately tried to stand up, grabbing any rock I could, and walk on top, but every time I would stand, I would be knocked down again.  I was truly terrified and thought that I may never get out- because there was no way any sane person would come in there after me.  One of my fins came off, and I struggled to put it back on because I knew walking on bare feet would prove treacherous.  I was able to do that, and then eventually got to a more shallow area, and stood up on the reef and limped/walked over and off of it to the open water.  I felt pain everywhere because I had been knocked about for what seemed like forever, with sharp jabs coming at every turn.  I looked down and could see a large flap of skin dangling from my knee.  I made my way to the shore, all the while looking for Brian.  As my knee came out of the water, it was pouring blood.  I found Brian, quickly and shakily told him what happened, and he helped me get to a shower to rinse off.  I had been badly scraped all over my body, but my knee was by far the worst.  We were told to go to the local ER up the road so that they could rinse and clean out the wound--if there was any coral left inside of me, it would continue to grow causing lots of problems in the future.  We waited forever to see someone, and they stitched me up, covered it with bandages, and told me to avoid bending my knee for a few days- which was going to be easy since I was a couple of hours from getting on a flight all day long! ;)   All that being said, I quickly looked at the incident and my ability to get out of the reef as a total miracle- and with as little injuries as I had- that's the only way that I can explain it.  The entire experience really rattled me because it was one of those things that I wasn't sure I was going to get out of at all.  It was on the same leg that I had rolled my ankle on earlier in the week too- so I was a swollen, hot mess on that side!

We ate our anniversary dinner at the Four Seasons on the 27th and it was sooo good.  Its a tradition to go to a really fancy dinner to celebrate and this one was really good.  


15 Years

15 years (and 3 months) ago when Brian asked me to marry him...aaah!!  We look so young.  Rebecca helped serve us the dinner from Olive Garden- which was my favorite meal back then- ha!  Happy 15 Brian!!