Did that really just happen?!!!

Pinch me I must be dreaming!

Had you told me, that I would be sitting here, talking about this, I would have laughed. The thought of doing this had crossed my mind, but never in a million years, did I think it would become my reality! When I was younger, I used to dream of one day of going here. I’m a bit of a realist though; I knew the cost of something so spectacular, and that I would probably not get to go for a very long time. Yet, here I am, telling you how I got to check off a bucket list trip, and how I did it with all expenses paid!

Living the dream!

You know how you want to do something, or go somewhere so badly that it always stays with you? You know that it’s a bit unachievable, but not impossible. So, you dream about it from time to time, and keep it stored in the back of your mind. It’s that little glimmer of hope that burns inside.

I’m not sure exactly at what point, or why I have always yearned to make a trip to Hawaii, but it’s been there, just a tiny sparkle of hope. Maybe, it was that gorgeous barbie I had picked at the toy store when I was little, with the beach wavy hair and tropical print swim wear? Maybe it was my love for the beach, and tropical beauty? Could it have been the endless tv shows that had made specials episodes there? Whatever it was, it was there, always on my bucket list shimmering with hope.

Plumeria

Nothing is going to stop me!

When I first heard of fellow Avon Independent Sales Representatives earning trips to all these incredible places, I thought it was like one of those things, that many talk about, but few get to do it! Last year, representatives got to enjoy the beautiful Cap Cana, Dominican Republic. My social media feeds were flooded with amazing photos from that trip. I envied those reps. and dreamed I would one day be able to achieve something as great. When the trip for this year was announced, I knew instantly that nothing was going to stop me! This year’s trip earners would get the chance of a life time, an all expenses paid vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii! It was all I needed to hear! I was going to step out of my little comfort zone, and push myself to achieve this trip!

That’s exactly what I did, instead of sitting back quietly observing, I was putting myself out there! The day I received my email that I had achieved a trip for 2 with all expenses paid to Hawaii, I was overcome with excitement! I was making my dream a reality! There were some logistics to work out with child care for my kids, whom I had never left behind for a vacation. Then there was of course the mom guilt, that I had to overcome. This was on my bucket list though, and if I didn’t take this opportunity, I may never get another one!! Now to figure out how on Earth, I would downsize my favorite makeup in to my carry-on bag!

Honolulu Hawaii

Tell me it isn’t so!

Ok, so I may have become a bit obsessive over the next few months, planning what my husband and I wanted to do and see on the Big Island. We soaked in YouTube videos of must see excursions. I ordered special attire and dreamed of the day we would leave. Then I checked the forecast and it showed rain every day, not just little rain, but thunderstorms! It can’t be true, this couldn’t be happening right?! My trip to my paradise was going to be covered in rain? Some where along the way, a bumpy flight, some prayers, and with a little luck we landed for our connection flight in Honolulu, but left the storm behind! From the sighting of that beautiful rainbow, our trip became everything I had dreamed!

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort view

Can it get any better?

From the moment we touched down, our trip was magical! We were greeted with a special Aloha Lei and welcoming reception, that included a traditional hula dancer and music. The lobby offered this beautiful open air view of the Pacific Ocean. Then we got to our room and the view was just incredible! We were surrounded in the beauty of all that was Hawaii! The resort had special activities we could choose to do, or we could venture out on our own.

Morning OLI

Good Morning Sunshine!

We started our adventure with a traditional Morning OLI (welcoming the sun) with this beautiful chant, immersing ourselves into the Hawaiian culture. After which we were treated to this incredible breakfast spread that offered about anything your heart could desire for breakfast. The best surprise here was the super nutritious guava juice that is offered! Guava juice if you didn’t know is loaded with antioxidants and is beneficial to your health in so many ways! It has been found that it may improve your heart health, digestive health, and so much more! It’s definitely my new favorite fruit juice!

Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park

A Week of Adventures

On day one, we dove head first into sight seeing; we headed south along the coast and stopped at Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. Here we were took a step back into the heart of the Hawaiian culture and history. Along the beautiful shores with a temple to our right, the sights were mesmerizing. The water so clear you could see a school of yellow tang swimming. Further down the road we found Punaluʻu Beach. A beautiful beach covered in a unique black sand that is an absolute must see! When we arrived there was an afternoon shower creeping in, but it did not deter the sea turtles from enjoying the waves at the shore!

Sea Turtle

Knowing our time was limited and storms were possible later in the week, we squeezed in one more excursion our first day. We were so glad we took the chance, even though the clouds were moving in. We made our way to see Mount Kilauea the Islands active volcano. If you know anything about Mount Kilauea then you know normally you can only see the red glow at night. Luck was on our side this day, and we got to view not only the volcano, but also the spewing of lava during the day!

Mount Kilauea

We ventured back and enjoyed a sunset dinner and evening with fellow Avon Independent Sales Representative Achievers. A truly epic day for an epic trip!

It doesn’t end there!

I didn’t think it was possible, but the next day was even better than the first! Perfect weather for a morning on a Catamaran boat, a very lucky encounter with a mama Humpback Whale and her calf as they made their long journey north (it was the end of whale season here), flying fish that are truly an entertaining sight to see, and a hike to a few of the islands stunning water falls!

Rainbow Falls

On day three after an incredible breakfast with other reps., we ventured north to the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. If time allows you and your up for the hike, it is completely worth it!! This Botanical garden hosts well paved paths, but at an incline. The incredibly stunning array of flowers and plants along the coast are a vast difference from the dry lava fields of the other side of island. You definitely want to make sure you have water with you, but no fear if you forget yours, just pick some up the delicious fresh bottled Hawaiian water at the start of the gardens.

Hawai‘i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden

On our last full day on the Island, we stepped out of our comfort zone again. This is starting to be the theme to this trip, it appears. I can’t say that it has not been absolutely worth every step! Soaking up every last ounce of our Free Hawaiian vacation, we attempted snorkeling for the first time! We stepped out past the historic fish ponds to ʻAnaehoʻomalu Beach. Once again, the island did not disappoint! We were welcomed by the sights of angel fish, needlefish, sea urchins, coral and a surprising sea snake. It’s one of those activities we will do from now on! Just be sure to use a reef safe sunscreen like Sun Bum, which the hotel happens to have in one of their stores.

ʻAnaehoʻomalu Beach

This trip has been everything one could hope for and more. On our last night Avon had arranged for us to be able to attend the Luau with all the other achievers. Surrounded by a stunning sunset, new formed friendships and delicious food, we were bathed in the sounds of the Hawaiian people and treated to a spectacular show of song, dance and fire!!

Luau ready

Getting ready to say goodbye

I can honestly say, I have gotten to check so many things off my bucket list with this trip! I would not have gotten the chance to do it when I did, had it not been for Avon! Our flight was luckily later on the night of our last day, so we were able to enjoy one more last day of adventure. We took full advantage with a hike to two more water falls, a bit of shopping at the Queens shops (walking distance to the resort), and a small hike across the petroglyphs!

Am I dreaming?!

We have been home for a couple of weeks now, and the whole trip still feels so surreal!! The opportunity I was awarded was absolutely priceless! I can truly say it was a trip of a lifetime! I can not wait to see what the next adventure with AVON will be! Could it be Cancun Mexico, the next Avon trip? Will you be like I was, hoping and dreaming that was you? Or, are you going to make it a reality and join me on the next adventure?

Have questions about AVON ? Reach out to me via the contact button at the top, use the pink plus sign on my store page, or find me on social media! Don’t wait for your adventure to pass you by!

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