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Travel

Hawaii Vacation Part II

Hi guys! I am back today with Part II of our Hawaii Vacation recap. I was hoping to have this post up at the end of last week, but unfortunately my blog was hacked ūüôĀ I apologize if you were trying to access this site last Thursday or Friday – it was down for maintenance in order to fix the mess caused by a not-so-nice web hacker. Nevertheless, we are back up and running now!

We left off last time at the end of our first day of vacation. The next morning, Travis and I decided we wanted to spend the day just hanging around the hotel and relaxing. We woke up bright and early (due to the time difference) and decided to head straight to the beach. After about only 10 minutes of laying on our respective beach chairs, we were both getting a little antsy. There were lots of people paddle boarding, swimming and kayaking, so we decided to rent a 2-person kayak and hit the waves. Having been a coxswain (the little  person who steers the boat and commands a crew) in high-school and college, I put myself in charge of steering us and mainly relied on Travis for his strength to move us through the big waves. We had a blast and went pretty far out into the ocean. We even saw a GIANT sea turtle, which was the highlight of the day! In fact, we rented a kayak two days later just to see if we could find him again.

After a pretty serious workout on the water, we were getting hungry, so we hopped into our rental car and headed to a nearby spot for lunch. While I was researching before our trip, I found Coconuts Fish Cafe on Yelp. They have very high ratings and are known for their delicious fish tacos.

Fish Tacos

We ordered the fish tacos and coconut shrimp to share.  After my first bite, I knew immediately why this place had such rave reviews. Everything tasted so fresh and the flavors were out of this world! Check out that incredible mango salsa in the picture above!

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

The coconut shrimp came with a delicious sweet dipping sauce. I wish I had asked for the recipe because I would love to recreate it at home. We ordered the perfect amount of food because neither of us felt too stuffed and we were more than ready to hit the waves again after lunch.

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the beach and pool. ¬†That night we had an early dinner reservation at Ferraro’s at the Four Seasons resort nearby. I read online that on top of it’s delicious Italian food, Ferraro’s had¬†the best sunset views and it was considered a very¬†romantic dinner spot. I knew it was a must-do for us!

Travis and Rachel Dinner

I booked a 5:30PM dinner reservation to ensure we would already be seated by the time the sun began to set. Our hotel, the Andaz, had a complimentary courtesy car that will drive you anywhere within a mile or two of the resort. It was a great amenity that we used multiple times during our trip. It is very helpful¬†if you plan to¬†have a few drinks with dinner so you don’t have to¬†worry about driving afterward.

That night we had the courtesy car drop us off at the Four Seasons. The main entrance¬†and lobby area was so¬†grand – the klutz in me was nervous I was going to trip and break something!¬†We walked down the stairs and through the pool area to the Ferraro’s entrance. We were actually the first to arrive for dinner that evening, which was strange¬†for us. We are not used to being such early birds!

Ferraro's Four Seasons

I am so glad we came early, though, because we got the BEST seat in the restaurant with a perfect view of the ocean and the gorgeous Maui skies.

Ferraro's Four Seasons

The service was amazing at Ferraro’s. Our meal started with warm hand towels. The waiter poured warm water on these tiny towels and we watched them¬†expand before our eyes. So cool!

Ferraro's Four Seasons

To start, I ordered wine and Travis had a beer.

Rachel Ferraro's

Travis Ferraro's

We browsed the menu for so long because everything looked delicious! We decided to order a few plates to share. We asked the waiter to bring our dishes out slowly so we could maximize our time enjoying the sunset. He did a great job and we ended up sitting at the restaurant for a little over two hours.

To start we had the Maui tomato and burrata salad. Whenever we see burrata on a menu, we have to order it. We can’t get enough!

Ferraro's Four Seasons

Next we had the bruschetta trio: roasted red pepper, kalamata olive, and Maui tomato all on buttery grilled ciabatta. I would have happily ordered another round of these if we didn’t have our entree on its way!

Bruschetta Trio

As we dug into our bruschetta appetizer, the sun began to set. It was simply stunning!

Sunset Ferraro's

For our final course we had whole wheat pasta with a braised lamb sauce. This was my favorite item of the night! The fresh pasta melted in my mouth and I never wanted it to end.

Pasta with lamb - Ferraro's

By the time we finished our meal, the sky looked magnificent with hundreds of shades of pinks and purples.

Sunset Ferraro's

After our meal we decided to¬†walk around the Four Seasons for a bit before calling the Andaz’s courtesy car to¬†pick us up. We were so happy and just in vacation dream land (OK, maybe that was the wine I was feeling…) It felt so nice not to be in any rush to go anywhere. Best yet? We had a car that would come pick us up as soon as we called! Now that is the life…

Four Seasons Maui

Part III of my Hawai recap to come!

Travel

Hawaii Vacation Part I

We had the most incredible Hawaii vacation and I am so excited to share it with you guys!

Hawaii

We set off bright and early on Monday morning. I was hoping to sleep on the plane, but I was so darn excited that it was impossible. After a five and a half hour flight I was more than ready to get off the plane. I was very pleased when I realized the Maui airport is actually quite small because I was able to get my checked back in under five minutes from stepping of the plane! I am pretty sure that is record for me.

Before we knew it, we were in our rental car on the way to our hotel!

Hawaii

It was fairly cloudy out by the time we landed, but I still thought the scenery was beautiful.

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Travis and I did a ton of research before our trip. Hawaii has always been on the top of my list of vacation destinations, but I’ve always been put off by the steep prices on all the islands. A few months ago we saw a hotel and flight deal for the Andaz at Wailea, a new¬†beautiful¬†hotel, we knew we couldn’t pass it up. The Andaz opened last September and all of the reviews we read raved about the beautiful property and impeccable service. We spent so much time researching because we wanted to prioritize what we were going to spend our money on.

When we pulled up to the Andaz entrance, we were greeted by friendly valets who took our car and bags and handed us each a beautiful lei. I received the tuberose lei and they gave Travis the traditional Kukui nut lei. Unfortunately, I forgot to take close-up pictures of them! When we entered the lobby, we were met by one of the lovely staff members, who sat us down on a large couch overlooking the pools and checked-in on an ipad (I think that was a first for me!). They also gave us warm hand towels and fresh lavender lemonade РI felt like royalty!

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Next, we were taken to our room and I loved how bright and beachy it was! The room looked out onto¬†the property’s gardens and we had our own private balcony where I sat¬†every morning to enjoy my coffee and read.

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After we dropped our bags in the room, we were more than ready for some lunch, so we set out to explore the hotel and find something to eat.

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You can almost¬†see our leis in the above picture.¬† Please note Travis’ “I am so excited to eat” dance!

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We decided to stop at Bumbye Beach Bar, which was next to¬†one of the hotel pools. I ordered a glass of pinot grigio and Travis ordered a local Maui beer to kick off our vacation. For lunch we¬†ordered the chicken “popsicles” and a grilled chicken kale salad to share.

IMG_1586Some hotel food can be overpriced and lack imagination, but everything we ordered so fresh was delicious! I knew that was a good sign that the rest of the food throughout the hotel would be delicious as well.

After lunch we decided to take a stroll on the beach. The wind and waves were crazy, so there was barely anyone left laying out by the ocean.

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After our walk, we went back to the room to rest for awhile until dinner. We had reservations at Ka’ana Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant at the Andaz. Before dinner, we freshened up and went downstairs to grab a cocktail and watch the live entertainment they have by one of the pools every evening. The performer¬†sounded so much like Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, a Hawaiian singer¬†whose music I’ve always loved. It felt so peaceful listening to him as we enjoyed our drinks.

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Our meal at Ka’ana Kitchen was incredible. I was enjoying it so much that I forgot to snap some photos. I did, however, make sure to capture the gorgeous¬†sunset we watched¬†during our meal. Look at these colors! I took pictures of the sunsets every night during our vacation because I just thought each night was more beautiful than the one before it.

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After dinner, we were wiped from a long day of travel and the three hour time difference, so we passed out pretty early. I was so eager to wake up for our first full day on the island!

Hawaii Part II recap to come later this week…

 

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