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Hawaii – The Big Island

Akaka Falls
Akaka Falls

The next island we are going to explore is The Big Island 🌴 This is the Island I grew up on until about upper elementary and then my family moved to Oahu 😊

Now there are 2 major sides too this island Hilo and Kona and both have an airport so make sure to check both when looking for flights 😊 One side of the island is more “touristy” than the other I would say.. and that would be Kona that is where you will find all your “nicer” hotels 🀣

Hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30… So it may be a little rainier than usual.

Now the color of our sand is a little different than most are used to 🀣 We have black, crystal green, white, coral and fresh lava rock…

Sooo on to the good stuff 🀣

Top Hotels on the Big Island

  1. Fairmount οΏΌOrchard
  2. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
  3. The Weston Hapuna Beach
  4. Hawaii Island Retreat
  5. Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

Best Beaches

  1. Kiholo Bay
  2. Mauna Kea (arrive early to get a permit to park at the hotel.. the beach is free)
  3. Kua Bay
  4. Green Sand Beach (Mahana)
  5. Kahalu’u
  6. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Best Hiking

β€’ Kilauea’iki Trail

– 4 miles – difficulty medium

β€’ Waipi’o Valley

– 6.5 miles – difficulty medium

β€’ Pololu Valley

– 2.5 miles – difficulty easy

β€’ Hawaiian Botanical Gardens (fee)

– 1.5 miles – difficulty easy

β€’ Mauna Loa Lookout

– at least 1.5 miles – difficulty easy

Best Eats

  • Manta – Known for breakfast buffet but you MUST TRY the dinner entrees Macadamia Nut Encrusted Mahi Mahi
  • Island Fish & Chips – Inside Kings shops are Waikoloa by the koi pond
  • Hula Hula’s
  • Merriman’s
  • Kona Brewing Company
  • Cafe 100
  • L & L Hawaiian Barbeque
  • Longboard Legends Pizza
  • Tex Drive-In

Vegan/Vegetarian Eat

  • Sweet Potato Kitchen and Bakery
  • Under the Bodhi Tree
  • Basik AΓ§aΓ­
  • The Booch Bar
  • Kamana Kitchen

Things To Do

  • Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center
  • Stargaze atop Mauna Kea
  • Tour a coffee plantation in Kona
  • See historic Kona
  • Rainbow Falls
  • Β Akaka Falls ($5 for vehicles)
  • Downtown Hilo
  • Hawaii Volcano National Park
  • Dinner at Volcano House (Also known as The Rim)

**Please remember don’t remove lava rocks from the island it’s bad luck**

I hope you find this information useful! Until next time!!

Remember if you would like to book a trip to Hawaii or any other destination please drop me a line 😍

Windy

Travel Agent 🌴

Ketchikan -Alaska

Creek Street

Most people have a “Bucket List” for trips they would like to take at some point in their lifetime I know I do!! And Alaska is usually on that list. The best time to travel to Alaska is between May -September. Now you can get to Alaska in many different ways BUT the best way, in my opinion, is by cruise ship! When you get to take a cruise you can visit many ports like the one I’m going to talk about today. (I will do a post about Land verses Sea)

~Must Do’s~

ATV Tour

Saxman Native Village

Fishing Tours

Creek Street

Misty Fjords

Bering Sea Crab Feast

Orca Cove Sea Kayaking

Salmon Market (Shopping)

Herring Cove- (Bear Watching) This location is accessible by vehicle. There is also a fish hatchery here as well. Bears seem to frequent during salmon spawning season (mid-June – early September),

Neets Point (Bear Watching)- There are 2 ways to do this you can take a boat which is called Neets Bay Bear Cruise and is roughly 35 mins from town and you may or may not see wildlife (this option does not take you to the hatchery) The next is by flightseeing.. called Neets Bay Flightseeing Tour with this tour you will be allowed to walk up to the hatchery and be given a tour by the onsite tour guide. It is a short walk about 1/4 mile through the rain forest. Best time for viewing late July -early September.

~Best Eats~

Annabelle’s (Vegan options)

Alaskan Lodge Adventure & Sea fest **Highly recommend**

The Point Art Cafe (Best Coffee & Sandwiches)

Sweet Mermaids (Vegan options)

New York Cafe (Vegan options)

Alava’s Fish N Chowder

**On a side not I have not tried any of those places listed above yet So please if you have let me know how they are!**

If you would like to book you getaway please drop me a line,

Windy your local Travel Agent

Specializing in Cruises, Hawaii & Disney

Hawaii – Oahu

Diamond Head

Most if not everyone would like to go to Hawaii but not everyone knows where to start unfortunately 😒 So I’ve put together a few of the TOP must do’s, must see’s here!

 

Top 5 Hotels

  1. Halekulani Hotel
  2. Four Seasons Resort at Ko Olina
  3. The Kahala Hotel & Resort
  4. Aulani – Disney Resort & Spa
  5. Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach

Top 5 Hiking Trails

  1. Mānoa Falls Trail
  2. Koko Crater Railway Trailhead
  3. Ka’au Crater Trail
  4. Ehukai Pillbox Hike
  5. Diamond Head Crater

Top Beaches

  1. Lanikai Beach
  2. Makapu’u Beach
  3. PΕ«pΕ«kea kea Beach Park
  4. Sharks Cove
  5. Laniakea Beach (you can see sea turtles here)
  6. Turtle Bay Beach

Top Vegan/Vegetarian EatsοΏΌ

    The Beet Box
    ‘Ai Love Nalo
    Govinda’s Restaurant
    Vegan Hill
    Peace Cafe

** I haven’t tried any of these! If you have please comment below**

Must Eats

  1. Leonard’s Bakery (Malasadas)
  2. Zippys
  3. Rainbow Drive-In
  4. Liliha Bakery (Cocoa Puffs)
  5. Hokulani Bake Shop
  6. Ani’s
  7. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck North Shore
  8. North Shore Tacos (taco truck)
  9. Anna Millers (open 24 hrs best pie)

Shopping

  1. Ala Moana

* Expensive but lots of shops! IF you go on the weekend there may be a hula show at center stage *

2. Aloha Swap Meet (Aloha Stadium)

* This is where you buy ALL your souvenirs .. Open Sat, Sun & Wed from 8-3 there is a parking fee so bring cash*

Must Do’s

– Matsumoto’s Shaved Ice (Haleiwa)

– Dole Plantation

– Arizona Memorial (Arrive EARLY tickets sell out)

– Pali Lookout (off the Like Like Highway)

– Bishop Museum

– Valley of the Temples (Free)

– Iolani Palace

Now everyone wants to go to a Luau and there are TONs on the island and some are better than others! My recommendation is…

Aulani- A Disney Resort & Spa

It is a little expensive but totally worth it!! I took my mom when I was home a few years ago and she loved it.

Snorkeling

Hanauma Bay – οΏΌ$7.50 pp fee Go early for parking… The preserve is open 6 am till 7 pm and closed on Tuesdays

– Sharks Cove parking is limited

I hope some of this information helps you on your trip to the island 😊 There is a lot more!! If you are looking to go to the islands contact me and I will help you plan your island getaway 🌴

Windy

Travel Planner

New Job

You know when that perfect job just kind of lands in your lap!

In all my years I’ve pretty much done it all 🀣 from fast food to store management and I’ve even started a few businesses of my own 😱However I gave all that up to homeschool my son until now!

I’ve always had a fascination with Disney Travel Agents… I’ve always wanted to know how you become one! So a few months ago I started searching on how to become one 😊 I never did find how to become an actual Disney Travel Agent… But I did one better 🀣

What’s this awesome job I got? I became a travel agent!! The best part of signing on with an agency is I can book and plan ALL kinds of things now 🀣 So not only can I book Disney I can book EVERYTHING 🀣 So WAY better! I’m still learning the ropes but I’m getting the hang of it!! Lots and LOTS of training πŸ“

So who wants to go on a trip?

New Years on the Queen Mary

Normally we hang with family on New Years however this year was a little different 🀣 The family that we normally hang with was in the middle of a remodel on their house so maybe next year 🀣

So this year we spent New Years on the Queen Mary 😱  it was so much fun!!! We bought our tickets about 45 days ahead of time (tip: IF you buy them as soon as they announce the tickets they will be about $20 cheaper) but they also have a bundle package where you can get a room and VIP tickets… We only did the standard tickets because for a family of 4 the VIP was not an option 🀣 TOO much money πŸ’Έ

When you first show up to the ship you have to check-in and make sure that everyone was 21 (it was a 21 and over party) and then we waited to board the ship

My hubby and I

 

My son and his wife

As you can tell we dressed in 1920 attire 😊 Costumed actor’s were dressed in period attire as well 😊

When we finally got on board we checked our coats (all fancy like 🀣) and headed to the different areas around the ship to scope out some dinner πŸ‘©πŸΌβ€πŸ³

We ended up eating at our “goto” spot on the ship… They had a preset menu for the evening 😊 and the food was amazing!!

Appetizers: Oysters Rockefeller

 

Salmon w/Acorn Squash and Vegies

Roasted Jidori Chicken

Rib Eye Steak

Filet Mignon & Grilled Lobster

Now with our stomachs full .. off to find a party 🀣 Now there are themed parties all over the ship and even some “secret” parties that you have to find or have a VIP ticket to attend.

This party had 1920’s music playing and these people walking around!

My hubby and I ended up outside at the party on the top deck it was more lively playing music from the 1980s to current

As midnight approached everyone started coming up to the top deck for the fireworks 😊

The fireworks lasted over 20 minutes 😱 I filmed about 10 minutes of it on IG and posted some on Facebook as well 🀣 it was an amazing show!!

Overall we had an amazing time!! There was sooo much to do and not enough time to do it! My son and his wife went around the ship and looked for the different parties I think they said they couldn’t find 1 or 2 🀣

IF we do it again I would prefer to stay on the ship instead of staying down the street (not that our hotel was bad just getting an Uber after was a pain)

TIPS:

Order your tickets early!! This will save you some money (they announce the party right after Halloween)

Stay on board it’s easier!! Trying to catch a cab or Uber was such a pain!! It took us about 2 hours to get one 😒

VIP Bundle Package includes your room and tickets and may come with food (check bundles for details)

** I am a TA so IF you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask**οΏΌ

Summer Vacation

Like most families, summer vacations are a must! My family takes a few staycations a year and then one big trip during the summer.

My hubby came to me this past July and said “we should go to our nation’s capital for the 4th of July” So I started planning 🀣 I LOVE planning vacations!!

So with that said I started planning our summer vacation 🀣 I ordered books, searched the internet for information and made my notes πŸ“ I planned what I thought was the best vacation 😊

I planned 5 states in 2 weeks 😱 and we were going to be traveling by train and plane 🀣 I’m trying to NOT use rental cars this trip! I planned New York, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia 😊 All these states have SO much history it’s going to be amazing πŸ˜‰

Flash Forward 2 weeks ago…

Hubby tells my daughter in law.. “you know it’s going to be HELLA hot back east during the summer” my daughter in law looks at my hubby and said “um wasn’t this YOUR idea?”

So NOW I am currently planning a “backup trip” just in case we don’t go on our current trip πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ and that trip will be another post 🀣 because that trip will be just as fun!! HUSBANDS

Oogie Boogie Bash 2019

This year was the first year that Disneyland started a new Halloween party called “Oogie Boogie Bash” held at Disney’s California Adventure.

This is my family’s 6th Halloween party that we have attended at the resort 😊 and I was a little skeptical with the changes 😒 However we had an amazing time and can’t wait for next year!!

There are only a few things that we didn’t like about it being at DCA… There just isn’t enough time to do everything!! We had to pick and choose what to do (which I guess you have to do at any private event at Disney) but when the party was at Disneyland you could ride the rides like Haunted Mansion Holiday 🀣 We really missed seeing the Cadaver Dans 😒 they were always something special to see during Halloween πŸ‘»

Some new things at Oogie Boogie Bash were the Villains Grove. Now that was pretty amazing and a MUST see if you are planning to go to a party

The line seems long but it goes by very quickly 😊 There is so much to see inside the grove. Make sure you take it all in 🀣

There are tons of characters to meet!! Lots of rare ones too!

And let’s not forget about the treat trails 🀣 This is the only place you will meet your “standard” villains like Maleficent, The Evil Queen, etc… Make sure to bring a bag for trick or treating (the one they give you at the park is small)

We didn’t even do all the treat trails and this was a haul for the night 🀣

We didn’t get to watch the parade this year .. well because there just wasn’t enough time 🀣 but we did see the new WOC show Villainous. I thought it was super cute… A tad long (20 minutes) but we watched the last show of the night so we could relax 🀣

We also saw this cute little show at the Disney Junior studio…

All in all, we had a really fun time at the new Halloween party and we can’t wait until next year 🀣

TIPS:

At mix in time… make sure you grab your food then (don’t waste your time eating later)

Bring your own trick or treat bag! The one they supply IS NOT big enough!

Plan out your night! You won’t have enough time to do everything so make a priority list and do those first

Disneyland Tea Party

I’ve always wanted to do the Tea Party at the Disneyland Hotel but never seem to get a reservation 😒 However this year I managed to snag one for my birthday! The theme this year was Alice in Wonderland MY FAVORITE!

When you decide to do the tea party you get to try as many of the teas as you like 🀣 So our party made sure to try all the different ones

All the food was themed of course 😊 Which made it extra special! I didn’t really have a “favorite” item that I liked more than anything thing else, unfortunately, 😒 I did feel that it was a little sugar overload 🀣 We couldn’t finish everything.

The salad was super yummy

Amazing as well

Just some of the extra yummy treats

now, this was a little interesting!! Yummy but NOT what you would expect 🀣

All in all, it was a wonderful experience!! I would totally do it again 😊 I would like to maybe do the “traditional tea party” and see how that is?

TIP: Your reservation comes with FREE parking and you can also park in VALET

4th of July at Disneyland

So this year my family decided to spend the holiday at the happiest place on earth 😊 With most holidays you need to get to the park early or you take the risk of not being able to get in SO we were there shortly after rope drop πŸ˜‰

Now being that we are annual pass holders we don’t generally do rope drop but we made an exception πŸ˜‰ and we were staying for the fireworks so we will most likely be here till closing (kill me now! and I live 90 mins away)

The day started out like any other day except we had our friend with us so we headed to the NEW Pixar Pier to ride the new Incredicoaster (which was AMAZING) I am told you should ride it once during the day and again at night for a completely different experience (however we didn’t get a chance with all the holiday festivities going on) I will say if you are going to do all day trip MaxPass is the way to go (I’ll write a review on that later) we got on a few more rides in DCA and then headed over to Disneyland to finish out the night.

Now if you have never watched the flag ceremony I would recommend doing it at least once. Today, however, we were in for a special treat the 1st Marine Division from Camp Pendleton were here! They did a march down Main Street

Then a little later they had a special concert (omg it was amazing) it made the whole day worth it!

Then after that was done it was time to stand in line for fireworks! Now in all my years, I’ve never seen so many people! And I’ve never heard them saw ” All viewing areas are full”

Lol, see what I mean people people everywhere! Now the fireworks were amazing! But I don’t think I will be doing the park again πŸ˜” it was just too crowded and WAY too hot!

All in all, it was a good night! We finished the night off over at the Galactic Grill to watch the Pixar Pal dance party which was awesome! I tell you what those characters can dance!!!

Then we headed over to the Plaza Inn for some late night dinner (of course someone had to have the fried chicken) and then we headed home! We all slept till 3 in the afternoon talk about Disney wasted 🀣

Till my next adventure!

My new blog

Well as I sit here and think “what will my blog be about?” I laughed actually πŸ™‚ I have tried to start a blog many times over the years and I can never seem to get it going 😒

However, I believe this time it will be different! I have many ideas going on in my head πŸ™‚ And unlike the other times I started trying to blog I actually have stuff going on (laughing) Will it be a theme blog?? Now probably not! Because I don’t like to be tied to one type of thing.

So a little about me? I’m 43 a HUGE Disney fan! I am an annual pass holder so I am at the park as much as I can be! I’ve been married for almost 25 years and have 2 sons that will be getting married next year!! So needless to say 2019 will be crazy!

So I hope you decide to come back and follow me on my crazy adventures and see where I go and what I’m up to?

Windy