Fruit bowlIn the next few posts, I’ll be sharing some of the things we did on our trip back to Hawaii a few weeks ago.

We loved seeing family and friends, but we also got to play tourist and stayed a few days at this villa at the Koolina Beach Villa Resort. See all the photos of this gorgeous place. It was really much more beautiful than the pictures show.

Ko'olina villa lanai
The lanai was a great place to relax and just soak up all the beauty around us.

Ko'olina villa grounds
Here’s the view from the lanai, looking towards the ocean. Not seen is the huge lap pool to the right.

Let’s take a little walk through the gate.

Yellow Hibiscus, side viewYellow Hibiscus

I loved meandering down this path in the early morning hours when most people were still asleep.

Yellow Hibiscus, close up
Quiet and beauty at every turn.
Tranquil pond
A warm, gentle, plumeria scented breeze made me look up to admire the plumeria blossoms, just begging to be tucked behind an ear, or sewn into garlands of leis.

hoard of koi near bridgeAs I walked over a little red bridge, I was greeted by bunches and bunches of koi fish.

I think they were hoping it was feeding time.
Koi fish near waterfall
A tiny cascading waterfall ~ mesmerizing to watch, soothing to listen to.

Wish I had brought my notebook and pen to sit here and do some writing.
Lotus flower buds
Sturdy lotus buds, patiently waiting to unfurl their petals.
Beach at Ko'olina
At the end of the path, pass through another gate, and you have arrived at the beach.

Lovely lagoons, with soft white sand.

The gentle waters of the Ko’olina beaches make for good ocean and sand play, especially with kids.

Though for me, it’s a perfect place to daydream.
Papaya smoothie
After hours of beach fun, it’s time to head back up the pathway back to the villa.

A smoothie sounds good–frozen fresh papaya chunks blended with orange juice, greek yogurt, and a little ice.

Papaya Parfaits with Ginger Lime Greek Yogurt are also an especially good way to cool off after a few hours in the sun.

I made both of these in the villa kitchen. The layout of the kitchens here was designed by Roy Yamaguchi. Each villa is individually owned and decorated, but this particular villa is a cook’s dream– it was stocked with all the basic seasonings and spices and more. Some of the things I found and used were olive oil, non stick spray, sesame oil, organic balsamic vinegar, bouillon cubes, sea salt, fresh peppercorns, flour, and sugar. From silpat sheets to microplanes, it had every gadget I needed.

The big open layout of the kitchen, with its luxe appliances made me never want to leave. There were so many pretty dishes to use. The lighting on the lanai, where I took the smoothie and parfait pictures, was perfect for photo taking.
Sashimi with riceFresh Ahi Sashimi on Shredded Daikon with Steamed Rice 

Costco is just a short drive away in the city of Kapolei.

All we had to do was pick up some veggies, fresh ahi sashimi, and a couple of different pokes, and we were set for a couple of meals. Luckily we found a rice cooker and some rice already in the villa, so all we had to do was wash and cook the rice.

It was a very relaxing stay.