If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that my husband and I recently took a trip to Hawaii! It has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to go to Hawaii on my honey moon, but when Sean and I got married, we simply didn't have the means to travel to Hawaii. However, I didn't let that discourage me...Instead Sean and I let it motivate us to save for a trip to Hawaii! It took about 5 years of setting a little money away at a time, but thanks to budgeting and the help of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, we were able to celebrate our 6 year wedding anniversary in Kauai and Maui!
I mention Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, because much like caring for our physical bodies, my husband and I are strong believers in being good stewards of our finances, and this program taught us the foundation to budgeting God's way! It has helped us plan for the small things, as well as the bigger things, such as the house we recently built! Since sharing about FPU, I have had quite a few emails and questions about how to get started and practically follow a budgeting plan...So, my husband has agreed to write a guest post soon and share it on Dashing Dish about budgeting and Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University plan! Budgeting may sound limiting at first, but just like eating healthy, once you make it a lifestyle, you see it is really the pathway to freedom and true peace!
Now, on to our trip to Hawaii! Sean and I boarded the plan for a very long flight with three layovers to our first destination, the island of Kauai! We were more than excited because although we have been on trips with family, this was the first trip we have taken just the two of us since our 1 year anniversary! We got off the plane and were welcomed by 80 degree weather, blue skies, and sunshine, so naturally our first stop was to the beach!
That evening we went to a restaurant located within our hotel called Tidepools. It was a neat restaurant that was open to the water so we could see the sun setting! I enjoyed macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi, and Sean got steak. I am generally not a seafood fan, but I wanted to enjoy at least one serving of fish while I was on the islands after hearing how good it was. I sure was glad I did, the fish was very light tasting and it was incredibly delicious!
The next morning we ate a an open door breakfast place on our hotel grounds, which was both beautiful and peaceful! It was the perfect way to start the day!
Our breakfast got us fueled to go on a hike to the beautiful Grand Waimea Canyon! It took us about 1 hour to drive to the top, including the frequent stops we made to take pictures of the breathtaking views!
At one of the stops we decided to get out and go for a hike. We followed a path that was marked, and led to a hidden waterfall! It took us about an hour each way to get to the falls, but it was certainly a fun adventure and we enjoyed the journey!
One of the best things about Hawaii was that you could be active and get in a good workout without going to the gym! Aside from going on this hike, we spent most of our mornings going on a walk or run along the coast! That sure beats a gym any day if you ask me!
At one point my husband and I stopped to look out at the top of the canyon. I couldn't help but well up with tears at the incredible majesty of our Great God!!! It truly is humbling to think of how small we are compared to how great He is, and yet He knows us, He cares for us, and He knows how many hairs are on each one of our heads!
After our hike we went back to our hotel and got cleaned up to go to dinner. We went to the highly recommended restaurant called Dukes!
Dukes is highly recommended for one very good reason- their giant Hula Ice Cream Pie dessert! After we ate our dinner we ordered the only dessert on the menu (yes it's so good they only offer one dessert! option)...And we enjoyed every bite!
Our last day in Kauai was spent taking a boat tour of the Na Pali Coast, which was my favorite parts of the entire trip!
Along the tour we had the opportunity to see spinner dolphins! The captain told us that there is only about a 20% chance of seeing them in the wild, making it that much more special!
The views of the shore were breathtaking, and will forever be engrained in my memory!
That evening we went to a Mexican restaurant called Tortilla Republic. We actually found it on our own, and it ended up being our favorite food during our entire trip! I got the chicken fajitas, and Sean got the steak.
Afterward we went to the highly recommended Lapperts ice cream shop! Within minutes of looking at all of the amazing flavor combinations they offered I could see why it was so raved about! I got the peanut butter cup ice cream which was incredible!
After staying in Kauai for four days we got on a small plane and traveled to Maui. My parents (who have been to Hawaii a few times) recommended island hopping because each island is so uniquely different. After experiencing both islands, we were glad we took their advice! Kauai is a smaller island, so it has a 'small island' feel. It is slower paced, and filled with natural beauty rather than buildings and highways. Maui had just as much beauty, but it was more built up than Kauai making it a bit faster paced, with the benefit of more things to do.
One of our first meals in Maui was at a highly recommended Mexican restaurant called Frida's. I got the chicken tacos, and Sean got steak tacos. The neat thing about the restaurant was that it was right on the water so we got to eat dinner while watching the sun set! So beautiful.
The next morning we woke up early to drive to a bakery that is famous in Maui called Komoda's. It was an hour drive, so let's just say Sean was pretty ambitious and wanted to try a few bites of four different donuts, just to make the drive worth it! ;) They were very reasonably priced, and very fresh, although not exactly healthy...But when you are in Maui and there is a world famous bakery, you try the donuts! ;) Although I have to admit, I brought a Quest bar with me, and had that, a bite of a donut, and some coffee, otherwise I think i'd be passed out on the ground by noon!
After visiting the bakery we went to the Twin Falls, which is a waterfall on the Road to Hana. We didn't end up driving up the whole Road to Hana because the roads were under construction making it a very slow and backed up drive, but the falls were definitely worth driving to see!
I don't know what it is, but ever since I was little I have loved palm trees, (probably because it means we are somewhere warm, which is welcomed when you live in Michigan your whole life!) So, it's always a goal of mine whenever we go somewhere with palm trees to take a picture with a 'shortie' palm tree, and I name it the "Katie Tree" ;)
The twin falls had a beautiful bamboo garden that was pretty neat to walk through as well!
That evening we went to a famous steakhouse called Roys to celebrate our anniversary. The staff brought us their divine chocolate lava cake as a anniversary surprise, which ended up being one of my favorite desserts from the trip!
The next day we went to lunch at a place called Flatbreads Organic Pizza Co. It was by far one of my favorite meals of the trip! The ingredients were all local, organic, and fresh! Sean and I split a really thin crust pizza and a tropical style chicken salad.
We then drove up to the coast and watched the surfers and just gazed at God's beauty! I'll never forget that beautiful water and those bright blue skies!
We spent our last day on a beach near our resort called Kapalua Bay. It is known for its giant sea turtles and beautiful coral reef.
Anytime we go somewhere with sand, Sean and I make sure to build a sand creature of some sort, but here we decided to make a snow man, since the holidays were shortly approaching!
We spent the rest of the day enjoying and taking in the natural beauty of Hawaii... Trying our best to capture and remember all of the beautiful details that God created!
This trip to Hawaii was without a doubt worth every moment of saving for the past five years! It just goes to show that when you don't buy everything you desire for the temporary moment, but save for something big, it pays off in the long run! Thank you Dave Ramsey for teaching us this powerful life principal!
And thank you Father for the glorious beauty that you created for each one of us to see, whether it be in Hawaii, or in our own backyard!
If you are thinking of visiting Hawaii one day, I would tell you that it is certainly something to behold! If I were to describe Hawaii, I would say that it beautifully depicts Psalm 95:4-5, which says, "In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land."