April 26, 2017


We went to Hawaii two weeks ago and it was amazing. We've been home for a week now and I've been slowly getting things back to normal and trying not to be too bummed that there's no one here to feed me morning, noon, and night. I really miss having someone cook for me!

Hawaii was perfect though. Mother Nature kept the days warm and breezy with little rain. We spent our days doing whatever we wanted with as little solid plans as possible and eating a lot of food and somehow still managed to do everything on our list for this trip.

This was a BIG trip! We never took a honeymoon of any kind and in our ten years of marriage, we've never taken any kind of trip without involving kids or visiting family. EVER. We were long overdue for some chill time.

We stayed at the Hale Koa for this visit. It's such a beautiful hotel! It's actually the military and DOD hotel on Oahu. It has a large, open air lobby which we noticed was a pretty normal thing in Hawaii. I couldn't get enough of the fresh air while we were there!

We spent the first few days exploring the hotel and the local area of Waikiki. We didn't have a car for the first half of our trip, so we either walked everywhere, Uber-ed, or grabbed a ride on the local bus.

Our hotel had several eateries on site along with direct access to the beach, and two pools. We rented paddle boards, lounged on the beach, pool-hopped, and shopped downtown Waikiki. We ate at Duke's a few times and wandered around the nearby open-air market.

Of course, no trip to Hawaii is complete without a drive to North Shore. Thankfully, we rented a car so we could do things at our pace without worrying about finding a ride on our longer days out. We made plans to stop by the Dole Plantation for fresh pineapple whip and Matsumoto's for shaved ice, but I wanted to leave the rest of the day up for grabs. 

I'll admit though, I was bummed out to see that the area around Matsumoto's had gone through a huge remodel since we were last there. It's very tourist-centric now and Matsumoto's is no longer a little hole in the wall.

Still, we had a blast. We walked the main road and wandered into a few shops before grabbing some lunch from a street vendor. We even watched a sea turtle swimming at Laniakea Beach, which thrilled Lia!

If you are ever in North Shore, stop for Ray's Kiawe broiled chicken. Afterwards, we drove up the street to the food trucks and grabbed crepes. The food, friends. The food in Hawaii is something I miss!

I think driving around was one of my favorite things to do. We could easily pull of the highway whenever we wanted and we could see so much of the island. We spotted dolphins near Halona Blowhole and spent a few minutes there face timing the kids! As much as I loved our alone time together, I just wanted to share every part of our trip with the kids. 

We talked about a few different hikes before we left, but we only got around to doing one. I realized that I am terribly out of shape but when you're hiking in Hawaii, it's probably worth feeling like you're going to die!

We hiked Makapu'u Point and it was gorgeous. When you get to the very top, there's a lookout point and the ocean breeze combined with the views? I could spend an entire day up there. 

But, seriously. Views for days!

We caught a luau one evening, which is something we've always wanted to do. Our hotel did offer luau's but we wanted something a little more authentic and casual. We chose Germaine's and they didn't disappoint. The show itself is almost like a comedy mixed with a luau. The luau was right on the beach and it was family style with a very casual vibe.

The rest of our trip centered around finding the best places to eat and soaking up all the Hawaiian vibes and scenes that we could! We took in Breakfast at the Disney Aulani resort and mailed the kids a postcard from Minnie and Mickey. We ate malasadas and found a tucked away mexican restaurant to try. And I tried to document it all.

Hawaii, we love you!

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