We spent the remaining four days of our vacation on the beachy west side of the island, and snorkeled a lot! Our first snorkel destination was Makaiwa Bay, and we were treated to an array of colorful fish.
I love this next type of fish -- they are always adorably in twos!
After snorkeling, we had lunch at the Mauna Lani's lovely Napua restaurant. Then Jesse practiced open water swimming in Anaeho'omalu Bay right in front of our hotel.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in the infinity pool and reading books poolside. And, of course, we were treated to another lovely sunset from our lanai.
The next morning, Jesse did the real open water swim deal and swam 1.2 miles in the place where they do the open water swims for the Ironman. He kept getting further and further away, until I could only see his yellow cap, and then nothing, but he came back thinking that was fun!
After his swim, we tasted some Kona coffee (so delicious!) and took a tour of Greenwell's coffee farm.
We had lunch at Kona Brewing Company,
and then shared an even tastier treat. Shave ice -- mmmmmm.
We went to church the next morning and had a nice acai bowls for brunch. We headed down to Honaunau Bay to snorkel, and saw some more beautiful tropical fish,
super-weird looking ones,
a nice greeting,
Right next to Honaunau Bay is Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park. We learned a lot about Hawaiian history and posed with these incredible statues (Jesse was less willing to do the bend-the-knees-and-butt-back imitation pose than I was).
Baby bump + baby coconut tree.
That evening, we did one of the coolest and unique things you can do in Hawaii: a night manta ray snorkel. They are large, magnificent creatures and they got so close to us (and even bumped into us).
This video (one of many good ones Jesse got) captures their grace and beauty -- such a treat!
Our flight out was on Monday, but because the plane did not leave until 11pm, we basically had a whole final day. We started the day with (surprise surprise) snorkeling! We actually wanted to get on a sailboat, and they tend to have a lot of snorkel sails, so we really enjoyed both portions of our morning snorkel sail. We snorkeled at Pawai Bay, and we agreed that it was the best snorkeling of our trip.
Not only did we see cool fish -- and lots of them,
we saw a creepy/cool eel,
another manta ray,
and an eagle ray!
The sail was lovely too (as is our hair!)
At the very end of the trip, when we were heading back into the harbor, we saw dolphins! A number of dolphins just appeared and swam alongside our boat for a bit. Such amazing creatures!
After we spent the last few hours we could laying on the beach, we checked out and headed out for the best dinner of the trip at Ulu Ocean Grill at the Four Seasons. The delectable food was matched only by our proximity to the water and the hotel's stunningly beautiful grounds. It was the perfect way to end our lovely vacation.