We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort which is HUGE and absolutely gorgeous. The “Disney people” actually designed this resort which explains why you have to take a tram or boat (or just walk a lot, which we did often!) to where you want to go!
Here’s the view from the balcony of our room – this was the first night at sunset! And yes, that’s a mini-golf course right below our room! My boys would have gone nuts…
The resort was on “the big island” which is gorgeous, but very different from what you’d expect Hawaii to be. So, my brother bought us flights and a one-night stay in Honolulu – so much fun! We hiked up Makapuu Point (which I thought I’d die) and it was so worth it! Here’s the view from the top and our celebration photo! By the way, it was VERY windy – so I just wanted you to know that I wasn’t trying to “strike a pose”. Hee!
Then we went to the Macadamia Nut Farm which was a total riot! Our tour guide was actually Samoan, but he really knew so much about the island and he kept us in stitches the whole time! On this property is where so many movies/shows are filmed including Lost, Gilligan’s Island, Dupree & Me, Jurassic Park and so many more…
In case you didn’t know, SPAM is a hot ticket in Hawaii! My brother vowed to try the famous Spam Sushi (purchased from 7-11, believe it or not!) and he did! I offered to be the photographer – no spam for me!
The waters were so incredibly gorgeous – a true “Tempting Turquoise” color!
We stayed at the world-famous Moana Surfrider Hotel right on Waikiki beach – it’s the oldest hotel in Honolulu. It was breathtaking. Here’s the hotel and a view from the balcony off our room!
And of course, I had to see Pearl Harbor – it was really my #1 priority while in Hawaii. So humbling and moving. It made me so proud of what my husband is doing right now, despite how much I miss him and how hard it is to have him away. I couldn’t stop crying the whole time I was there. God has a special place in heaven for these men and women who gave so much for us.
Back on the big island, we can’t forget about Stampin’ Up! At the Make & Takes, my brother Kenny learned how to stamp – which is more than I can say for my husband! It was so fun to watch him. And then, of course, Stampin’ Up! showered us with gifts all week long! How wonderful to be pampered! Here’s just a few…
Finally, the last night we were there, Stampin’ Up! threw the hugest luau the island has ever seen! The performers said that they’ve never held a luau for over 1000 people before! It was in a huge center courtyard of the resort and once the show started, all the “non-SU” people at the resort started coming out on their balconies to watch the performance. It was really neat. My brother spoke to some of the performers afterward because we noticed that some of the songs were praise songs – just in the Hawaiian language. Turns out they are a faith-based group and doing luaus is their ministry! It was so cool. At the beginning, Shelli (CEO) and her husband Sterling were given a blessing dance by dozens of little Hawaiian girls. Shelli tried to speak, but started crying and when Shelli cries – all the demonstrators cry, every time. My brother couldn’t get over that! It was really a special moment. What a fun night that I’ll remember always!