We went to Hawaii with Stephen's work. My first time. We went to the big island and stayed at the Hilton resort. The place is called Waikola.
I tried to buy a lei at the airport (very reasonable prices!) but the bus was leaving before I had a chance to. The airport is charming - it's not very big and it's all open air. Just don't eat there - it's expensive and doesn't look fresh or healthy.
1. Food is very expensive. Part of this is being on a resort but we easily spent $300 and that's only covering the food that wasn't covered by Stephen's work. The night before we left we both got very sick but by morning we were fine again.
2. I was a bit disappointed when we flew in because most of this part of the island is covered in dark volcanic rock where almost nothing grows. The resort was gorgeous but the beaches were mostly this rock - not a place where you can go lay out.
3. I saw noni plants growing on the sides of the road! Having worked for a noni juice company that practically worshiped the fruit and having studied it, I was a bit in awe.
4. The pineapple really is incredible - never had any that wasn't amazing. I found local bananas at a grocery store and yum! I also picked an orange from a tree and ate it and wow! it was so juicy and so flavorful. Also the fruit juice with guava was amazing. Expect sweet fruit tastes in just about everything (a challenge with gestational diabetes).
5. The meditation and tai chi classes offered at the hotel were great and I got to meet some locals. Plus my hips did not ache at all for a few days after. Posture is so important.
6. No wonder there are macadamia nuts in abundance. Large trees produce all year round. They're not that good straight from the tree before they're roasted though.
7. The coffee plantations on Kona are unexpectedly small operations. People grow coffee in their yards and sell it to local producers.
8. They have coconut Twix and they're pretty good. That was the only time I had anything coconut though.
9. My favorite part of Hawaii this trip was snorkeling. Not because I saw amazing fish but because it was so relaxing. Feeling weightless while lying down and floating on the salt water is relaxing. I didn't feel pregnant. Go in the morning and the water is more clear. Also, don't follow your husband around because when he kicks he can a)knock you in the face by accident b)stir up the sand and make it tough to see anything.
The plane ride home was brutal on my feet. It was so tightly packed that I didn't get up that often. They don't serve you any food - just one drink and some water. Airlines seem to care less about you, they're just transporting bodies.
We flew United and on the way there got Economy Plus for some extra leg room. We didn't want to spring for $400 more to get it on the way back. You are at the mercy of the staff who may not always be pleasant or motivated to help you or anyone else on the long flight. So when I put the staff call light on, no one ever showed up. Expect to wait to use the bathroom (every single time). Pray there's not a fussy baby or loud obnoxious teenager sitting by you.
Thankfully it was a smooth ride but my feet were so swollen that it took 2 days to get them back to normal size. Nothing I did helped (putting them up, trying to eat less salt, walking).
What does seem to work for swollen feet: a foot massage and exercising enough to get my heart rate up. I can't walk fast enough at this stage but a treadmill at an incline works because I can walk slow and still get my blood pumping.