Aloha!! Holy cow guys, it’s been 3 months since we were in Hawaii and I’m still swooning over here like we just got back. Nick gets to travel quite a bit for work and when his work trip to Hawaii came up (total job envy!), I just had to go with him! Not only would it make it affordable, it was somewhere I’ve been dying to go! I have so much to share about the trip so I’m going to split it up into two parts. The first part of our trip was spent in Waikiki because that’s where Nick needed to be for work. We stayed at the beautiful Waikiki Beach Mariott Resort, right on the beach! Waikiki is a bustling place, to say the least. It’s super commercialize which was fine for a couple days because it’s still stunning there! Since I spent most of the days solo while Nick actually had to work (bummer) I did a lot of exploring and relaxing on the beach/pool. Here is a quick recap of a few of my favorite activities around the area!
So I have a thing for waterfalls and I wasn’t leaving Hawaii without seeing one. With major jet lag, we were all messed up and kept waking up super early. So we took advantage of it the first morning and went to Manoa Falls bright and early for a hike. Just a short drive out of the city and you are in the lush mountains of the Oahu island. It was a fun and easy hike that introduced us to a different side of Hawaii. It was gorgeous and unlike any hike I’ve ever done. Everything was vibrant green unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. The lush forest of bamboo with it’s pop of florals was a beautiful sight to see. We made it to the waterfall and it was the most breathtaking waterfall I’ve ever seen. It was SO tall! I could’ve hung out there all day, but the bug bites were getting outa control even with all my bug spray. We headed back and they were making lei’s in the resort lobby. YES!
Luau at the Waikiki Aquarium
We felt obligated to get to a luau while visiting because what better way is there to really get into the Hawaiian vacation spirit? Was it touristy? Absolutely. Was it fun? Absolutely. When planning the trip I randomly checked Groupon and there was one for the Diamond Head Luau. Score! Because luau’s are not cheap. It was in walking distance to our hotel and a great price so we went for it. There was lei making, ukulele lessons and so much more before the show and dinner. The show was so fun to watch the dancing and learn more about Polynesian culture. The food was okay but it did force us into trying some traditional Hawaii food that I ended up falling in love with (poke!!). Would I go again? Probably not. But it was definitely fun for our first Hawaiian trip.
Oahu Photography Tour
Recently we bought a new camera to document life together and for trips like these. I’ve always loved taking photos for fun so when looking for activities this one spoke to me. I’m by no means a photographer but they said all skill levels were welcome and I needed a way to explore without a car. It was a small group unlike many other large bus tours in Waikiki and enjoyed this experience so much. The photo above is from one of my favorite stops, Makapu’u Beach. How pretty are the contrasting colors of the greenery, lava rock and bright blue ocean? I’ll write a separate post about my tour with the Oahu Photography Tour soon with some of my favorite photos!
Diamond Head State Monument
Who doesn’t want to hike an inactive volcano crater when in Hawaii? It erupted like 300,000 years ago so don’t worry. I recommend not doing this hike in the heat of the day, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do when the hubby is working and gets off at 3 pm. It was so hot and all uphill, but so worth it. The view from up top is gorgeous! It was so sunny and crowded that I didn’t see signs of any other islands. But it is said that you can see the offshore islands of Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and Maui! Very cool.
Sunrise at Waimanalo Bay
What’s better than starting your day with watching the sunrise, I’m not sure? Because I love it. After my photo tour, I fell in love with Waimanalo Bay and I just had to get Nick there. When a light bulb went off that a sunrise would be gorgeous there, I convinced him that we could wake up and drive to sunrise before he had to go work. We cut it close because it was about 35 minutes to the east side of the island and traffic is kind of crappy in HI, whoops. Regardless it was worth every second to about the only ones on this beautiful beach and watch the start of the day. I can’t get over the glow of the sun on the beach. It was unreal!
With gorgeous beaches, waterfalls, a zillion rainbows, great food and mai tais, how can you not be in love with this island already? Little did we realize how cool the North Shore would be. Stay tuned for part two! Mahalo, Hawaii!