We're sunburned, bug-bitten, refreshed, and a little exhausted (from the ten hour flight, the six hour time difference, lots of excitement) - and back from Hawai'i! And, oh yeah, that happened ^ we got married!
After greeting the sunrise at the Haleakala Crater and driving the Road to Hana (with stops for waterfalls, hiking, and banana bread), we met up with our families on the south side of Maui. We woke up Sunday morning, did some snorkeling and sunbathing, then got ready and met back up on the beach in front of our hotel (the perfect and lovely Makena Beach and Golf Resort - check out the photos of the hotel courtyard!) for a barefoot ceremony in the sand just before sunset. Exhilarating, joyful, emotional, and pretty dang perfect.
After a few days relaxing with family, they went back home and we took off for the Big Island for some more adventuring and honeymooning. All of it was just so incredible.
First of all, the landscapes are so diverse. From waterfalls and lush tropical forests . . .
. . . to otherworldly lava fields and volcanic craters . . .
. . . to the breathtaking vistas where hot lava once met the cold Pacific Ocean waters, and black sand beaches formed over years of volcanic activity . . .
. . . one of four green sand beaches in the world . . .
. . . and, right, some of the most stunning beaches and coastline vistas in the world.
Much of the time, especially on our hikes through misty forests and ancient valleys densely overgrown with prehistoric ferns, I felt like we'd been dropped into Jurassic Park (not that far off - it was filmed in Kaua'i). I couldn't stop marveling at the diversity of ecosystems and terrain, or at the jaw-dropping beauty of it all. And the food! We ate very well - but that's another post (or two).
Plus, the whole getting-married thing was pretty cool too.