Our First Anniversary Trip to Hawaii!

Monday, July 22, 2013

For our first anniversary we decided to take a trip and living on the west coast now, Hawaii is literally a stone's throw away, so we decided to take our first (of many more!) Hawaiian Vacations!
We left SFO bright and early.. ok I say bright but it was definitely still dark outside and hopped on a 5 hour flight to Honolulu. The flight wasn't bad at all. It was a huge plane and since it was so early, basically everyone slept. They even played 'Oz: The Great and Powerful' which helped pass the time. Plus, I hadn't seen it, so score!
We rented a jeep so that was the first thing we had to check off our list. Second was food, third booze and snacks for the rest of the trip!
We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in the newly renovated Ali'i Tower. It was so nice! Our room was fresh and had a great view of the resort and beach. The HHV is huge. Like multiple towers of hotel rooms, tons of pools, a beach, shops, restaurants, bars, you name it! They also have a penguin colony! It was so fun seeing them every morning on our way out!
We got there right in time to unpack, explore the hotel/ beach for a little, change and head down to the beach for a beautiful sunset and Friday night fireworks.
We then headed to Duke's Waikiki for dinner. It was the only really touristy place we went all trip, but we figured you had to indulge in one! We had big, strong fruity drinks and a nice dinner before literally falling asleep at the table. Between the traveling, time change, and drinks, I don't think I'd ever been that tired. I did everything but put my head on the table and close my eyes!
Saturday we got up and out pretty early to go hike Diamond Head. It was a beautiful, warm day. The hike wasn't bad except we didn't bring any water and that sucked. The views from the top were beautiful and unobstructed.. except for the hoards of people. 
When we got back down, there was a food truck with shaved ice and you better believe we earned one! It was so good!
 We spent the rest of the day at the beach by the hotel just relaxing. It had been a year since our last beach trip, so it was so nice to just lay in the sand, soak up the sun, and listen to the waves.
 That evening we took a Maita'i Catamaran sunset cruise. It was seriously fun. Windy? Choppy? Yes. Open bar with Mai Tai's and tons of laughter? Absolutely. If you are in Waikiki i'd highly recommend a catamaran cruise. It was cheap and fun!
Sunday was our actual anniversary so we woke up and had mimosas. haha. It was rainy, but we decided to venture out regardless. We headed to the north shore and with the recommendation of some locals we made friends with the night before on the 'booze cruise', lunch at Romy's. The line was long. and the wait was even longer. But the shrimp were delicious!
  We drove around and looked at some beaches, and explored Turtle Bay resort for a quick minute. We tried parking at a beach but it was just too crowded (the sun finally came out) so we saw a sign for Waimea Valley Falls and thought that sounded like a good idea.
We explored the valley and "hiked" to the waterfall. It was really lush and green. You quickly forget that your in the US and not some exotic tropical island! It's just crazy! (well, it is a tropical island, but its still the US! No passport required!)
We then wandered over to Pupukea Beach and enjoyed a few hours at the beach before heading back to the other side of the island.
On the drive back, we stopped at the Dole Plantation for a few minutes. It was closing but that didn't stop us from exploring the grounds for a little bit! The pineapples were so tiny!
 We headed back to get ready for our anniversary dinner at Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas. It was mothers day (yes, our anniversary sometimes falls on Mothers Day!) so all the resaurants had pre-set menus and/or were booked, so we were happy to get a reservation here! The food was delicious! They even brought our desert with candles on it for our anniversary. haha.
Monday was a lazy day because we had to leave that night. We spent the morning at the beach soaking up as much sunshine as we could. We packed and went shopping, and took pictures around the hotel grounds because we are cool like that. 
We had some time to spare so we headed to Koko Head, but when we got there, we were obviously not dressed to hike it, so we we said hello and goodbye and back to the resort for drinks and a quick bite before heading to the airport.
We had such a great time and can't wait to go back!
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