A Perfect Weekend in Hualalai, Hawaii

by The Belle Voyage

If I had to sum up my trip to Hawaii last weekend in four words, it would be: Turtles!  Whales!  Cocktails!  And Paddleboards!

Yup, each word with an exclamation point – cuz that’s how excited I got about everything.  I felt like a little kid being so giddy, but Hawaii is the kind of place that can do that to you.

You might remember from this recent post on last-minute packing, but I spent last weekend with friends at their home in Hualalai, located on the northwest side of Hawaii’s Big Island.

j=hualalai pool

Even though I’ve been to Hawaii several times, this trip still had quite a few “firsts” for me.

I saw whales breaching!  February is one of the months where, due to whale migration patterns, whales tend to hang in the warm water near Hawaii and get close enough to the land that you can actually see them quite well from the shore.

When people told me that it was whale season, I figured maybe I’d see a tail or two at some point, but let me tell you: the whales were EVERYWHERE.  And they were soooo close!!

It was so incredible!  Unfortunately none of my photos really do the sight justice, so you’ll have to use your imagination, but every time we looked out at the water, we could see fins, tails, and even full breaching of humpback whales.  In addition to the full-size whales, we also got to watch baby whales play with one another which was amazing.

This experience was extra special for me since I never thought I’d see whales that closely.  I get terrible motion sickness (yup, me, the traveler) so venturing out on a boat to whale watch is just not gonna happen.

The next first: I tried stand-up paddle boarding for the first time!  I’d been intrigued by trying SUP from photos I’ve seen of celebrities, so I thought it would go something like this.

Turns out I don’t quite have the balance that Rihanna does, so I ended up falling off my board, ever so gracefully, but it was still so fun to cruise around and peer down into the turquoise water.  The water is so clear that you can see absolutely everything.

Another first: TURTLES! There’s a beach right by where we stayed called Turtle Beach because, well, it’s a turtle hangout.  The turtles swim right up on the beach and lay in the sun for hours – every time we walked down this beach there’d be at least one turtle just chillin’. There’s something about turtles that makes them seem so wise and gentle, and it was amazing to see them so up close and personal.

hualalai turtles Hawaii 2015-5

Other than animal-spotting and water sports, I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that most of the rest of our short trip involved lingering over dinner, sunset cocktails, and poolside umbrella drinks.  Hawaii is rough, man.

Hawaii 2015-2

Our trip was a quick one but it was just long enough to feel relaxed and refreshed.  Hawaii has so much natural beauty that you can’t help but full of the peace and tranquility that the island emanates once you leave.  I’m taking it with me this time, but I can’t wait to go back!

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