waipi'o horseback ride

i have a long and frustrating history with the horse.  he and i have never gotten along.  jon and haley love horses.  andrew probably falls into the like category as well.  needless to say, we did a horseback ride yesterday through waipi'o valley.  the valley is beautiful and immense.  the only way to get into it is four wheel drive (and that only gets you so far), horseback, or by foot.  hence the horseback ride.

we arrived at the stables after boarding a van at the designated meeting point.  the van then drove down a near vertical winding road while my white knuckles clenched the seat in front of me.  we were under instruction to not wear seat belts and to leave the sliding door open, in case of brake failure.  oddly enough, we signed the waivers after this van ride.

i revealed my trepidation to the group and the (unbelievably nice/helpful/friendly) guide plopped me on the first horse.  then my horse took off to go eat.  i said, "no horse, you can't eat!" but he didn't listen.
 once everyone was on board their animals, we set off on the trail.  i was scared.  i would also like to point out that my photo skills on horseback are pathetic.
 but look at the beauty!
 mountains all around!
 andrew was on a giant horse
 the guide had three little dogs that followed along the whole trip.  they were super awesome and reminded us of a combination of toby and scrappy (on of j & h's big dogs).
 there are my homies on horseback:
 the guide snagged us some mountain apples to sample.  they were actually delicious.
 more beauty:
 my polish matched that rope.
 massive trees all around:
 we went through lots of streams and even some deep ones where my feet got all wet.
 and the little doggies kept up the whole time!
 jon's horse had a bit of a temper and seemed grumpier than the average horse.
 andrew's horse was just massive.  he also hated line cutters.
 check out this horse bromance:

 we stopped for a cool down.
 all together!
 jon and haley loved it!
 running through the water!
 jon and his noble steed.
 group photo!
 and it was a beautiful day.
 ps- i have a problem with people that voluntarily wear the helmet even though it isn't necessary.
i still hate horses, but i loved the adventure!
i highly recommend this tour.  if you are interested: see this website.


the greatest place i ever drank a modelo

sorry for the blog delay!  we have been sooo busy having fun.
we wrapped up our stay at the royal kona and then drove back to little hilo.
 the next day we went back to honoli'i and the waves were huge!
 toby didn't appreciate the dunk..
 but he did appreciate being brought along.
 the bro's were totally ready to surf the ginormo waves.

 we watched from the shore.
 there is surfer andrew!
 the next day, we wen to south point!  i had never been, but i've always wanted to.  it is the most southern point in the united states.
 there are all kinds of places to explore and climb.  oh, and the wind was outrageous.  like totally and completely painful and insane wind.  lucky for you, reader, these pictures are far more peaceful and easier to look at than actually standing in these places.  more on the wind later..
 this is a sea cave of sorts.  it took everyone's pleading to keep andrew from diving in.
 side note: happy 5 year anniversary to the love of my life!!  we got a massage by the water in kona to celebrate, but there were no pictures.  it was amazing, relaxing, and the perfect way to celebrate.  andrew, i love you!
 andrew and his muscles.
 while standing in this cave andrew stated that i is officially the most amazing place he has ever drank a modelo.  note, again, the wind.
 jon and his modelo.
 andrew reaaaaally wanted to jump in.
 then he decided to do a pushup on the edge of america.
 southpoint holla!
 then we decided to head off to green sands beach.  we knew it was a bit of a walk, but we weren't totally sure what that entailed.
 ps- windy.
 haley and i started walking while the boys went to fetch the cooler.  there were long stretches of rocky coast and crashing waves as far as the eye could see!
 our path on the left and the ocean on the right.

 we leaned into the wind and it caught us.  crazy.
 and we hiked on.

 pause for a windy photo.
 love that white log.
 ahhhh wind!!!
 my shirt was blowing away.
 look at those crashing waves!
 we paused to wait on the boys/cooler.
 look at those colors.
 here come the boys!
 we kept pressing on.
 my feet looked like the simpsons.
 hey check out this sad sight... millions of fishing nets.
thankfully, a man with a pickup drove by and let us hop in the back!
 and we made it!!
 we climbed down to the beach.
 it is one of the most beautiful sights i have ever seen.  but i was being pelted with wind and thousands of green sand particles.
 getting down to the beach was interesting and the wind was not any lighter down there.
 it was so beautiful!
 here goes andrew into the waves.
 andrew and haley jumped in and it smashed them- note that only toes and hair is visible.
 jon and i were chilly.
 the waves were massive!
 after much beach/wave playing, we began the long hike home.  haley and i wore towels for protection.
 we made it back to the car and waved at some horses as we drove away.
 the trip home takes us right past punalu'u black sands beach.  we stopped in to see some honu.
what-up honu?!?!
 black sands!
 haley hung out with mr. turtle.
 it was a nice ending to the day.

i want to wish a big happy birthday to nan gill!!  she is such an important person in my life and i hope she knows how much she is loved!!  xoxo, nan!  hope your day is full of celebration!