BE Honeymooners: Hawaii

My husband and mother-in-law planned our honeymoon. Not me, the honeymoon specialist! Oh, the irony.

When it was time to plan our honeymoon, I wanted no part in planning! I had enough on my plate with helping my mom plan the wedding. So I left our first trip as husband and wife to be a surprise - and to this day am so glad I did. If anything, I learned first hand what a relief it is for a bride to know her honeymoon planning has been left in good hands!

The morning after we got married, Slade and I were Hawaii-bound! And after a day of traveling I found myself riding shotgun in a Jeep Wrangler with the top down — which was my one and only request. At that point in time, I’d already gotten everything I asked for in our honeymoon! I had no clue what was to come, or that I was about to fall in love with these islands and honeymooning altogether. Here’s what our week looked like!

After checking in to our hotel right on Waikiki Beach, we ate at Tiki’s Grill & Bar. Two Piña Coladas, yes please. Between the two of our orders, the best plate was their Sizzling “Roll Your Own” Lettuce Wraps. If you’re there, sit out on the patio overlooking the coast and treat yo’ self.

We spent the next solid two and a half days in exploring Oahu, and starting with the city of Honolulu. What a beautiful island city! Oahu doesn’t offer the same island feel as Maui, but still we discovered many island-esque things while we were there — and ate at some great local restaurants!

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Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay was so colorful.

I loved it! Although, we didn’t stay too long… Our afternoon snorkeling came to a screeching halt after realizing something pretty important was missing off of Slade’s ring finger. That being said, if you’re ever snorkeling Hanauma Bay, in addition to all the creatures and coral, be on the lookout for a men’s gold wedding band.

Next stop was found 760 feet above sea level and 560 feet from the crater floor: Mount Leahi’s Diamond Head Trail. Of all the pretty hikes in Hawaii, this trail is a must for people in any kind of physical shape! It’s a super easy, .8 mile long climb to the summit which gives you a much more of a view than .8 miles deserves!

Monoa Falls, found in the Monoa Valley Rain Forest, is another easy hike with a beautiful 150 foot waterfall at the top. Go there! Don’t go on the hidden trail that veers off of it. Or do— it did make for a funny memory! In hindsight, though, we wish we’d listened to the local teenage boy when he laughed at us before heading up the trail.

With Slade’s new Walmart wedding band in hand (err, on his ring finger), we went wheels up towards Maui. We spent a beautiful 7 days on the island soaking up the sunshine. We stayed in a condo with a kitchenette in Wailea, which allowed us to cook several meals of our own and served as the perfect launch and crash pad for all we wanted to see and do during our time there!

Practically off of a ‘find your beach’ commercial, Makenna Big Beach was the best beach we visited. Just like you’d imagine for a tropical beach, there were very few people (mostly locals), no hotels, condos, or buildings in sight – just non-commercialized greenery, sand, and the waves. Oh, and speaking of the waves, apparently this beach has the most dangerous(ly fun) waves on the island. Our only regret was not bringing a boogie-board.

All the way at the top of Mount Haleakala (an hour drive) is the trailhead for Halemau’u Trail. This 11.2 mile hike is worth every step. The first 8.5 miles are nothing but a down-hill breeze, but that home stretch was challenging both physically and mentally. Coming from someone who thinks jumping out of a planes is fun, hiking up the side of this mountain on narrow, winding trails gave me some serious dizziness and anxiety. Thank The Lord for my calming husband!

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Breakfast at the Kihei Caffe was yummm-MY. The omelet I got would have easily been more than enough for Slade and I both – so if you’re there and want some amazing breakfast food, go! This hole-in-the-wall was great, its prices were better, and the portion sizes are shareable.

A few last tips: you’ve got to enjoy a Luau while you’re there – or on any island, I guess! We loved ours and got to meet so many other honeymooners and families. And of course, the food was incredible. Also, make sure to drive the Road to Hana. And, even if you’re not coordinated enough for it, rent a couple surfboards and give it a go on Kiehei Beach.

We are definitely going to try and make it back again in the future -- there’s simply too much ground for us left to uncover on those beautiful islands!

Cheers!

B.