Tuesday, March 1, 2011


One of the things on my bucket list is to get to all 50 states. I've actually done pretty well and I have been to 26 states in my first 26 years. One of the states I thought I would have the hardest time getting to was Hawaii because it is so expensive and so far away, but this year we found our opportunity! Two of our very close friends JK and Jackie are stationed in Hawaii with the navy and so is Noah's cousin Andy. They gave us a place to stay so we figured if we were ever going to go, this was our chance. We bought our tickets in October and on February 17th I landed in my 27th state.

The flights were really long and I am not a fan of flying anymore but it was worth it. We landed on Thursday morning in warm temperatures right as the sun was starting to come up. Jackie met us in the airport with leis and our vacation began.

We went home and showered and put our stuff away while we waited for JK to get off work. He worked a half day and then took the rest of our trip off so it was great. The first day we got in the car and did a lot of sight-seeing. We stopped at several pull-off spots to take pictures. We saw Rabbit Island, the Blow Hole, and the China Wall. Then we went to the Kona Brewery for lunch. Noah actually tried their beer, but he wasn't a fan! After lunch we stopped by the NEX for some essentials* and then we went to Kailua. We got shaved ice (which I wish I could have shipped here) from Island Snow and went to Lanikai Beach which was the prettiest beach we saw all week! We went home and cooked out for dinner since me and Noah both felt like we couldn't stay awake any longer!

JK and Noah at a lookout spot
The Blow Hole
China Wall
Lanikai Beach
Friday morning Noah and JK got up super early to go hike the Stairway to Heaven. It is 4000 steep narrow steps up to the top of a mountain so me and Jackie decided to stay home (although she has done it before). The stairway happens to be a little less than legal so you have to go early before the guard gets there. About an hour later they were back home, because they didn't beat the guard. They were mad but made plans to try again another day! We all got ready and headed to Boots and Kimos for breakfast. They serve fried rice with pancakes! Then we went to spend the day at Hanauma Bay. This was my favorite outing of the whole trip. Hanauma Bay is famous for the snorkeling so out we went. It was our first time but we caught on quickly and even though the current was especially strong we swam out past the rocks so we could see more fish and sea turtles. It was so beautiful and I could have spent everyday there.

Hunauma Bay
Let's Go Snorkeling!
Me and Jackie
Friday night we went out to Waikiki. We had dinner at Senor Frogs and then parted ways with the boys for some girl time. We did some shopping (at the Coach store) and then hung out at the bar at Hard Rock and sat on the beach.

We asked the waiter to take a picture of us...
Very large drinks!
And balloon hats!
 Saturday we all went for a hike up to Manunawili Falls. It was quite a hike and very muddy. We climbed over trees and rocks until we found the beautiful waterfall. Noah went swimming and jumped off the cliff, but I didn't have my bathing suit so I just got in up to my knees. I didn't want to hike back 2-3 miles in wet shorts! The sole of my shoe started breaking off on the way back and I was really worried it would fall off in the mud. It made it off the mountain and fell off right when we saw the car! Good thing we weren't planning any more hikes for this trip :) 

Saturday night we went to the Luau at Paradise Cove. I thought it was just dinner while you watched the show but they had all kinds of things to do. We had a great time and they took a great picture of all four of us that I will have to scan sometime soon.
The Happy (Soon-to-be) Newlyweds!
Me and Jackie (kind of) doing the hula on stage!

We were closer to Tokyo than to home!
The USS Arizona Memorial
Part of the USS Arizona

Oil still leaking

Retail therapy helps when we're sad so we headed for some lunch and shopping at the swap meet! We bought tons of gifts and souveniors. We got lots of little sun dresses and shirts for the kids. They are going to be so cute this summer :) Andy meet us at the swap meet and then we went to everyone's favorite restaurant - Haleiwa Joes for dinner. Their food was excellent and we had a great time!

Monday morning the boys got up even earlier and tried again. They got right to the bottom of the stairs when the guard pulled up so Noah never got to do the hike. That was the only thing on our list that didn't get done. We headed to the other side of the island and went to the Dole Plantation. It was pretty cool seeing how pineapples grow and they have amazing pineapple sherbert. 
Fresh pineapple sherbert, yum!
After that we headed down the North Shore and made a bunch of stops. We did some shopping and had lunch in Haleiwa town and then walked on the beach where the filmed Lost. We saw tons of sea turtles in the water but it was too rough for them to come over the rocks onto the sand. Then we saw Sharks Beach, Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach/Pipeline. We sat out and watched the surfers for a while and then headed home.
Andy, Noah and JK on "Lost Beach"
Sharks Cove

Tuesday was time to head home so we headed to the airport but made a stop for a plate lunch and one last shaved ice on the way! We were really sad to leave but we couldn't wait to get home to see the kids. We had an amazing time and we would love to go back one day, but there are so many other places we want to see. Maybe one day...

JK and Jackie - Thank you for everything! You are both amazing and we love you so much! We're both honored to be a part of your wedding and we can't wait until you move back here so we can spend lots of time together again!!!