Monday, September 30, 2013

The Three Week Journey: Hawaii Edition

Continuation of the long, long trip out west... and west-er into the Pacific...

We decided that it would be a special experience for the children to spend time with Ben and Rylee, their cousins, while Carl and I went to Hawaii. From our nightly video chats via FaceTime, they seemed to be having endless amounts of fun! So spoiled by Uncle Cody and Aunt Cherie :) I feel like they went above and beyond to make sure the children were having a good time. So grateful that they could get to know their cousins better!

Cody kindly drove us to the airport at the butt crack of dawn and from here, Carl and I embarked on our first vacation together since the babies- really, it was the first vacation we've been on. And it was so fun and full of activities!

Preface: We I had done a large majority of the trip planning a month or two in advance- reservations for activities, route planning, vehicle planning, etc. The trip itself was booked in early February. I'd say that 90% of our activities we were able to do because of the Go Oahu card, which I highly recommend if you want to pack your vacation with lots of activities- Costco Travel had a sweet deal on it. It was only possible do as much as we did in the 3 days we had the pass because we did not have our kids with us. I was initially going to post day by day, but am I crazy? That would be too much to type. I'll let the pictures speak:

arriving from the sky, catamaran sail, paddleboarding (with a sour face because I sucked)

hawaiian farmland

dole plantation: cool tree, baby pineapple!
polynesian cultural center- luau, friendly ducks I spent $5 feeding throughout the day
being goobs and "slyly" taking photos of each other at the luau

Kualoa ranch: awesome jeep tour guide who photobombed us with a t-rex, carl in front of the sign, goat sitting on a tree, beautiful scenery, actual coconut fallen out of a tree, WWII jeep jungle tour, and of course, another animal (tortoise) I obsessed over. Look at his nostrils and grass munching-ness! Gah!

We rode mopeds over half of the island!
Pearl Harbor

Iolani Palace: hawaiian royalty, classic carl pose in front of something important, grand staircase in the entry

snorkel snorkel!

my favorite: the LDS Laie Temple

Recommendation regarding Oahu:
1) Utilize The Bus for nearby activities that are a little too far to walk. If you only have a small carry-on, you can use it to go to and from the airport! Which we did and it only cost us $5 total. Steal!
2) Rent a car for 1-2 days but be prepared to NOT find parking in Waikiki. It was nice to have a car to go tour Northshore and to drive through the farm land. Nothing more gorgeous than a blue sky, red dirt, and greenery framing the land. We were (are) in love.
3) Walking is totally doable if you are just hanging out in Waikiki. Everything is so close!
4) Tight budget? Many hotels that aren't right on the beach have cheaper rooms, are only a block away from the beach, and come with a kitchenette. We hit up Costco (the most amazing Costco, btw) the first day and bought water, a few items for breakfast and lunch, and were set for several of our meals. Of course we still dined out- I was a big time Yelper and forced Carl to be a foodie with me as we experimented with all the 4-5 star rating restaurants on the island.
5) Again, we loved our Go Oahu cards. So many activities for almost half the price- but it's only worth it if you do many of the activities. I basically went down the list and chose the most expensive and interesting activities first and then filled in other activities that would cost less such as surfing or touring the Iolani Palace
6) As for non tourist activities, we really liked our phone cases/wet bags for water activities- they were dorky, but cheap and did the job perfectly. We even went snorkeling with them!

Such an adventure, so much fun to be alone with my man. It was a refreshing break, as much as we missed our babies every. single. second. Would I do it again?



  1. Yay for fun trips! We are about to take a long weekend trip just us two and we haven't done that ever! So glad you guys had an amazing trip. We will definitely have to make it to Hawaii some day.

  2. I loved reading about your guys' vacation fun! I really miss you guys all the time. I need to call you more often. I write one big post a couple weeks ago... I need to do another one. I'll send you the link.