I only have four more days left on the Big Island. Hawaii is so beautiful, and I can’t wait to explore more. The next time I visit, Kyle and I are going to go island hopping. I’m currently sitting at a coffee shop, drinking a cappuccino, and staring at the ocean. This is the closest to my dreams as it gets.
After spending eight months training for my half marathon, I wanted to take a break. I put a lot of stress on my mind and body the past year. I was running more than three times a week, spending my off days at the gym working on strength training, sticking to a clean diet, and thinking about the race almost 24/7. I was nervous and anxious, which took an even bigger toll on my body. I was beating myself up a lot and it was because I was slowly cracking under my own pressure. Even though I LOVED my long Saturday runs and working towards the goal, my body just tapped out and forced me to reconsider my plan.
Coming to Hawaii was a great way for me to spend time with friends and to find a new focus. Relaxing, taking a break from exercise, and the stress of “reaching goals.” I knew I couldn’t do that at home. I tried to “just relax” when I was home, but I kept finding myself at the gym or worrying about the way I looked, and it wasn’t healthy. I’m aware of what is healthy and what is not healthy so I try to stop myself before spiraling down an unwanted path.
I made a promise to myself that Hawaii would be fun, and I wouldn’t worry about going for a run, finding a gym, or doing strength training in the living room. I wanted to lay on a beach, or sit outside and just BE. This truly has been the greatest week without any stress, and my body feels so refreshed. Sometimes you just have to get away to knock off the craziness 😉
When I get home, I will start incorporating trail walks, barre class, yoga, swimming, and light weight lifting. I don’t think you’ll see me back out running for a while, but we’ll see. I just want to do what is right for my mind and body. The meanest thing you can do for yourself is to ignore your mind and body.
I’m lucky enough to have good friends that live in Hawaii. Not only am I blessed enough to have a place to stay, but they know the island better than any google map. I can hardly remember anything because all of the places and names of streets sound the same to me.
On Tuesday morning, we headed out to explore a bit.
Birds of Paradise flower.
The Big Island is covered in fountain grass. It grows on the lava rock and spreads like crazy during fires. The grass is native to Africa but was brought over to Hawaii as a decorative piece, and with the winds and fires, it spread. It’s actually become a problem with farmland.
We were super hungry, and the last thing I had was a turkey sandwich on the plane, so we headed to Daylight Mind to have breakfast. It’s spot right on the water.
This is the ideal place to pack your laptop and get to work.
I started with a Waimea strawberry farm local smoothie. It came with strawberries, banana, mango, pineapple, coconut water, and I had them add kale. Very refreshing and the perfect thing to pick me up from my jet lag.
For my breakfast, I ordered two eggs over medium and bacon. Their food was delicious!
I had to get a picture of Shaughna’s. She ordered the Kona Kine benedict. It came with smoked pork shoulder, poached eggs, avocado, hollandaise sauce, and fresh fruit.
After eating Hawaiian pineapple, it’ll never be the same for me anymore. I forgot how good it was! My parents used to take my brother and me to pineapple farms as kids.
The view from our table at Daylight Mind.
After brunch, we headed out to drive around more of the island.
Tuesday evening, we sat around having wine and watching the sunset from their back porch.
On Wednesday morning, Shaughna made these delicious cheese, bacon, and egg cups. They reminded me a lot of my frittata recipe. I had a side of fresh fruit with them to start my day. I have been going to bed around 7:30 pm and waking up at 4:30 am for the past week. My body is fighting this new schedule of mine.
We decided to take Kona (the Goldendoodle) with us to Turtle Beach. Remember when I used to watch Kona in D.C., and when he used to come visit me in Charlotte? Turtle Beach (Kahaluu Beach Park) is one of the few beaches on the island that allows dogs.
Kona met a friend!
This beach was very quiet and so scenic. I mean, everything in Hawaii is scenic…
This beach is ideal for snorkeling because of all the fish species that can be found there.
Kona likes to fetch the Coral.
Now, do you see why it’s called turtle beach? Kahaluu Beach is famous for their sea turtles. They are always there feeding on the algae or laying on the shore in the sun. It’s important to keep your distance from the turtles because they are a protected species in Hawaii. Luckily, I brought my zoom lens. I love that this a place the turtles can find peace.
We stopped at a couple other beach spots along the drive.
The views from Kealakekua Bay are breathtaking.
Hikiau Heiau is and ancient Hawaian temple site thats located on Kealakekua Bay. It was built by King Kalai’opu’u. There were human sacrifices done there.
“Hikiau Heiau was visited by Captain James Cook in 1778-1779. When the natives first saw his huge ship sail into Kealakekua Bay (source), they thought he was the returning god Lono, the god of agriculture and prosperity. The time when Cook arrived was during the months of the makahiki, which was a festival honoring the god Lono with hula performances, competitive games, feasting and special offerings.
My favorite flower.
We spent about an hour exploring more of Hawaii and taking pictures of everything. The island is so beautiful (I can’t stop saying that.) I can’t wait to blow up the photographs for my bedroom when I get home.
We were exhausted by afternoon, so we headed back to the house to grab some lunch and relax with coffee.
I had a salad for dinner. It had baby kale, pineapple, goat cheese, cranberries, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, and a mango champagne dressing. HOLY moly.
I was in bed at 7:30 pm.
I was up at 4:30 am on Thursday. I relaxed with coffee, watched the news, and worked on emails. By the time eight rolled around, I made a fruit bowl with blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, avocado, and goat cheese for breakfast.
We headed to “The End of the World” (Maihi Bay) to walk Kona. I was shocked to see all the wild goats in Hawaii. They are so cute and tiny.
The waters are so clear and blue. This is a great place to whale watch during the peak season. There is a spot towards the rocks on the other side that people (mostly locals) cliff dive off of.
Coffeeberry Juice is my new favorite. It kind of tastes like cranberry, but less tart. I found it on Amazon, so it should be waiting at my house by the time I get home.
Shaughna eats a Keto diet, and she made these fat bombs that were to die for. I have the recipe now, so I’ll post them! They are carbless chocolate bars, and they taste just like the real deal. So unbelievably good.
We all took off to explore Hawi.
Hawi is a great little town to explore. They have a lot of art and gifts!
We had lunch at Bamboo. It’s a fun and colorful little spot with great food. There are two things you have to start with. First, the Lilikoi iced tea. It’s fruity, refreshing, and sweet.
Second, the calamari. They almost tasted like mozzarella sticks. I know that sounds weird, but the calamari is thick, soft and chewy like cheese. It’s so good.
I ordered the bamboo salad. It was a blend of organic Kohala-grown greens garnished with fresh seasonal Hawaiian treats and roasted macadamia nuts with homemade papaya seed dressing and grilled ono on top. I loved how unique and fresh the salad was. The fish here literally tastes like chicken.
I spent some time shopping for gifts, and I loved all the Hawaiian print bags! How cute?
We headed to Kohala Frest Reserve to check out the Pololu Valley lookout.
Next, I walked around Lapakahi State Historical Park. There is so much history in Hawaii, and a lot of it is heartbreaking.
We stopped to get the Big Island’s best shaved ice on our way back to Kailua Kona.
Mango & Blackberry.
What a great way to end the day!!
Next, I’ll be blogging about my trip to the Sunshower Coffee Farm & more!!
Questions for you!
- How do you handle jet lag?
- Ice Cream or Snow Cones?
- Do you ever take breaks from stress? If so, what is your escape?