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I can’t believe our vacation/anniversary trip is already over and we are already back home! I feel like we were just packing our bags to leave home! Hawaii was amazing and I’m already talking about what we’re going to do next time we go back! I refuse to let Hawaii be a “once in a life time thing”! This was my second trip to Hawaii (I visited Maui about 8 years ago) and this was Big Bear’s first trip to Hawaii! He loved it, I love it, we loved it!
So I want to take a little time and a few blog posts to tell you about our trip. I’ve had so, so many people ask me about what we did, where we went and where we stayed that I figured it would be easier to just break down our vacation into blog posts and share it with everyone! I know a lot of you followed along on Instagram as we traveled but here I’ll be giving a little more detailed information on where we went and what we did!
We had a super long and early flight that left out of NC at 6 AM EST Friday morning. We got there earlier because I’m always worried that something will happen so I insist that I am always at the airport super early for my flights. Good thing too, because our flight was cancelled (thanks to the ice in Atlanta), but since we were there early we were able to catch another flight out of NC that took us straight to Salt Lake City and then to Honolulu. After about 12 or so hours of flying we finally landed in Honolulu at 5:35 PM (Hawaii Time haha). I was exhausted but didn’t want to spend our first evening sleeping, so we changed out of our travel clothes and headed over to the Hilton to watch the evening fireworks before calling it a night.
Every Friday night the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa sets off fireworks by the lagoon. It’s only about a 5 minute show (if that) but it was a pretty good way to kick off our trip!
**TIP** if you going to watch the fireworks, walk out to the beach at the Hilton and then go to the left. There is a little boat dock there with a stone wall that goes from the ocean up to the board walk. It’s the perfect place to sit and watch the fireworks. Fireworks start at 7:45 pm but get to your spot maybe at about 7:15 or 730. We got there early and just chatted and by time the fireworks started the wall was full of people!
So I suppose that was technically our first day…but I’m kinda of not counting it as a “Topic” to share since we did travel pretty much the whole day! Let’s get onto our first FULL day in Hawaii!
We woke up super early (like 3am, thanks to the time change), we finally just gave up on trying to go back to sleep and got up around 4am. Showered, Dressed and were were walking out of the hotel before the sun was up. (That NEVER happens haha)
We decided to walk down through Waikiki and ended up stopping at Seaside Bar and Grill. We actually ended up eating breakfast here twice while we were on vacation. Here are the two specials that we liked:
Breakfast Special: 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, and 2 bacon strips for $3.75
CocoNut Delight: 2 Coconut Pancakes, 2 Bacon Strips OR 2 sausage links, 2 eggs and home fries $7.95
Orange Juice: Buy One Get One Free 🙂
|Please excuse that wild vacation look I have going on haha 😉|
After that we walked over to the Royal Hawaii Center and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel to we could see the Famous “Pink Hotel”.
It was beautiful! If you get a chance just take a stroll through their lobby and around the grounds! So pretty! After a bit of time there, we got our bus passes and headed out to explore! While you’re in Waikiki you can get a bus pass at any of the “ABC” stores for $35.00. With your bus pass you can ride the bus for 4 consecutive days!
The bus goes all over the island! (We did rent a car to go to the North Shore and Pearl Harbor but for around Waikiki, into downtown Honolulu, Chinatown and the east part of the island the bus was perfect!) If you decided not to get a bus pass, the bus will cost you $2.50 every time you get on the bus. Make sure you have correct change because the bus drive will not give you change. For us the bus pass just made more sense.
|Art at the bus stop 🙂|
After getting on the bus (and changing a few buses while running through the rain haha) we ended up at Makapu’u Beach. You can find the bus schedule at TheBus.org to figure out which bus you need to take! Also use the google maps app on your phone; it’ll tell you which bus to take too! To get to Makapu’u Beach, take TheBus to Sea Life Park, get off the bus at the entrance, turn around and walk down the driveway and across the street. That is where you’ll find Makapu’u Beach.
It was so beautiful! Before I get into how awesome it was let me point out that the current can get very strong here. If you’re not a strong swimmer, please be super careful here. It did seem like though the farther right you went on the beach the calmer the waters. Just be careful! 🙂
On the way down to the beach there is a perfect little spot to have lunch! What a beautiful and peaceful view to have!
The clouds did roll in a bit while we were there but we barely got a little sprinkle of rain while we were swimming. The wind however came though and pushed those clouds right on down the island!
I was just in love with the blue waters here. I was also fascinated by the fact that were were swimming in the ocean and also surrounded by mountains!
Normally when you go to the beach the land is completely flat! That’s how we always know we’re getting close to the beach haha, but not here. Mountains and Ocean right here together, perfectly balanced in this beautiful and peaceful landscape.
I could have literally stayed here on this beach for the entire vacation and been perfectly happy. There were hardly any people here, unlike the beaches of Waikiki that were completely packed! It was just peaceful. It was exactly what I needed.
And look at that! Right beside our stuff, halfway buried in the sand was a coconut! I was like “Yes, we are on a tropical island!” haha
But after a while of swimming, awful attempts at body surfing and relaxing it was time to head back to Waikiki in search of dinner.
We were so tired and so hungry! After a quick stop at the hotel to change, we went out and literally stopped at the first “non chain” place that we reached. Which ended up being Keo’s. It was a Thai restaurant and boy was it good.
I had never eaten at a Thai restaurant so I didn’t really know what to except. I went with the waiters suggestion and got the Thai Noodle (Pad Thai) with chicken. Big Bear got Panang Curry but I’ll have to admit that I was so into eating my delicious bowl of Thai goodness that I wasn’t too concerned with what he was eating. haha. I know that sounds awful but I was starving and this Pad Thai was amazing. I was using chop sticks and still manged to shovel that stuff into my mouth at warp speed. Thank you Lord I’m already married or my “date” would have thought I was insane haha. I mean to be honest this was lunch and dinner so I had an excuse… right? 😉
I think dinner cost us about mmmm $40. Something around there.
I had the Thai Noodle (Pad Thai) with chicken, Big Bear had the Panang curry and I had a Pineapple Margarita. Yeah… alcohol always drives the price up but I was on vacation, I’m allowed one tropical drink a day 😉
Want to visit these places? Here they are! I’ve even included a map!
Hilton Hawaiian Village (for the fireworks)
2005 Kalia Rd
Honolulu, HI 96815
Seaside Bar & Grill
2256 Kuhio Ave #1 Honolulu, HI 96815
2259 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
(We DID NOT stay here, we just went over to see the pink palace)
41-95 Kalanianaole Hwy
Waimanalo, HI 96795
Keo’s Thai Cuisine
2028 Kuhio Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
Also for our first two nights we stayed here:
Hawaiian Monarch Hotel
444 Niu St
Honolulu, HI 96815
If you’re just looking for somewhere to shower and sleep this will work for you. If you’re looking for a comfy bed and an updated hotel this might not be for you.
I’ll be sharing our other hotels with you soon! Stay Tuned for the rest of the trip!!