My Hawaii experience was one for the books! With months of training for the Honolulu Marathon, I actually completed it with my amazing team Mission I’m-POSSIBLE (AKA: MIP). Let me not get ahead of myself.
When I arrived in Hawaii with my sisters, brother-in-law, and one of our friends, we were welcomed by the MIP team at the airport. Late towards the night hours we drive to our MIP house which I must say was an absolutely beautiful place! The next day we spent some much needed time at the beach in Waimea. The relaxing vibes were short lived when a few brave souls planned to head over to Island View Hawaii to swim with sharks, WITHOUT a cage. I told myself that I didn’t come to Hawaii to be a wimp so I faced one of my biggest fears and DID IT. Yes guys, I swam with sharks (that’s plural). I don’t know if I could have done had it not been for the years of experience and knowledge of the family owned team at Island View Hawaii. Seriously guys, if you’re going to do it, do it right. Not going to lie, I don’t regret one moment of swimming with the sharks. It was such a surreal experience and to this day, I feel like if I can swim with sharks, I can pretty much do anything.
The next morning on Saturday our MIP team did a super fun shakeout run and squeezed some time for a mini photoshoot at the beach. One of the best memories that day was building the MIP Love Bags filled with snacks and other goodies. We handed them out to a homeless community and seeing their reactions made my day. After that, we headed over to Climbworks in Keana Falls for the most amazing experience ziplining. The views were killer! I honestly felt like I was flying through a dream or something. The team at Climbworks was super friendly and they really made the experience even better!
Following that day was our marathon. Yep, 26.2 miles of glorious running. Even though I live in Florida and I trained for the race, the heat was intense. I couldn’t have done it without having my sister, Marina, who was side-by-side the whole time and of course, the MIP team. The first 10 miles actually went pretty smoothly. In our heads we were like, “yes we got this, look at our pace!” A few miles after we were like, “ok, when’s the next water station?” Towards the end we were looking forward to that finish line and a big brunch more than ever. I was pretty nauseous throughout the second half and Marina’s knee started hurting. We tested our limits and pushed each other TILL THE VERY END. The most embarrassing moment was throwing up when I hit the finish line. Of course with everyone cheering for you at the end, who wouldn’t want to sprint towards the finish line. However, the views made it worth everything. I remember seeing the sunrise while running beside Big Head crater at one point. I also remember the sweetest residents who lived across the race course cheering and handing out lemonade or fresh cut fruits. The idea itself of running a marathon in Hawaii. All that pushed me to keep going. It was so rewarding. We had a big brunch after and went to Waikiki Beach for an evening swim post-race. With our sports bra and everything. While we were there we got some yummy dessert at Duke’s. So delicious!
The fact that we stayed in Hawaii for 10 days was the smartest idea. There’s just so much to do and if you’re flying to this island miles upon miles from the homeland, why not extend the trip for a bit? More adventures with the MIP team included skydiving in Oahu with Skydive Hawaii, swimming at Lanikai Beach, hiking Makapu’uh and Koko Head, and snorkeling at Hanamau Bay. Yes, it’s a mouthful. I’ve never done so many adventures in one week. Like ever.
However, when we said our goodbyes to the MIP team and the MIP house, we went to Part II of the trip: island-hopping to Maui via Island Air. After so much adventures, we made a point to just relax. You can find out more about island hopping to Maui and our stay below:
STAY: Wailea Beach Resort- Marriott, Maui. They have a beautiful infinity pool facing the ocean and since we were there during whale season, we could see them from the distance as the sun set. No joke! They also have snorkeling services and we were able to snorkel by the bay and swim near turtles (just don’t touch them as it is illegal).
EXPERIENCE: Sunrise at Haleakala. We actually woke up super early and drove to the summit of this crater. We slept in the car until just before sunrise. I recommend getting there early so you don’t miss this. Trust me you’ll want to see it. You feel like you were transported to a different planet as you stand above the clouds and miles of reddish rocks beneath. Also, if you are going to Maui, please do yourself the favor of driving through the Road to Hana. You’ll see the most incredible views and eat food made by locals along the way. Don’t forget to check out the black sand beach, bamboo forest, and waterfalls! Just be attentive because it may be hard to spot the mile marker if it’s your first time.