Hi buddies! I’ve missed you! This is the longest I’ve been away from running a blog for a very long time, however I’m again now and excited to speak with you. I hope you had an exquisite weekend and that these of my mum or dad buddies with children heading again to highschool have a tremendous week.

We’re again from Hawaii and I've a lot to say. It was our first time in Oahu, and it was significantly probably the most magical, lovely, enjoyable journey. I really feel so refreshed and my coronary heart could be very completely satisfied after per week away. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months (Vegas, staycation, dance competitions, household on the town, after which our total household obtained sick) and this was the right option to cap off an superior summer time.

I’m excited to share a recap from our journey, a few of the adventures we loved, and a few of the meals we ate!

The FOOD. It was every thing.. and I’m nonetheless having malasada withdrawals….

(These are the malasadas from Duke’s Market, which we had a couple of instances. They’re created from rice flour, barely crunchy on the surface, smooth and chewy on the within. The purple ube one was my fave, adopted by the haupia stuffed one. Haupia is a beautiful coconut custard. #2 on the listing of greatest donuts in my life)

One of the very best components is that my mother was capable of be part of us! The Pilot needed to work a few of the days we have been there, so we requested if we might fly her out to affix us. We have been all so pumped that she was capable of make it and we had the very best time along with her there.

Our Waikiki Recap (+ what to do and the place to remain)

Waikiki adventures:

Beach days

I knew that the youngsters can be happier simply going to the seaside than planning excursions with a number of journey time, and that was precisely appropriate. Also, for lots of the snorkeling or sea turtle adventures, it's essential be 10, so P isn’t fairly there but. The children have been completely content material swimming within the waves and constructing sand castles for hours, in order that’s precisely what we did. An enormous benefit is that we have been nonetheless on Tucson time, so we awakened tremendous early the primary few days and will hire two lounge chairs and an umbrella within the entrance. (For the day, it’s round $88.) I’d advocate getting in line by 7:30 or 8am for a great place.

Paradise Cove Luau

The luau was unimaginable. I used to be questioning how the youngsters would hold because it’s an extended occasion (you get there round 4:30 and go away round 9pm) and so they have been captivated your complete time. This explicit luau had a number of actions in varied spots across the property, together with canoe rides, spear throwing, photographs with birds, and crafts. They had the Inu ceremony (the place the unveiled the pig, which had been cooking underground), a number of artists and dancers, after which the total present, with hula dancers, singing, and hearth dancing. The women’ jaws have been on the ground your complete time, and so they’ve been taking about all of it weekend.

As far because the meals goes, I might give it a stable C-. When I learn the evaluations on-line, the meals evaluations have been iffy, however this was one of many solely luaus shut by that wasn’t absolutely booked, so I went for it. It was okay; simply mass produced and didn’t really feel as particular as the opposite meals we loved in Honolulu. (Like the frozen veggies that have been merely reheated.) The fish and hen have been nice, that they had a few salads (pasta salad broccoli and crab salad, three bean salad), rice, rolls, haupia (my fave), fruit, and cupcakes. The women cherished it and all the adults agreed that it was okay. The drinks have been… not good. Save your cash on the drinks haha.

(Retro Hawaiian costume!)

All in all, the leisure made it completely price it. We cherished the present and your complete expertise. If you go, I like to recommend the Orchid bundle. The seating is correct within the center (so you may see properly) and it’s enjoyable getting a lei and drink once you arrive. (P was like, “That place was so fancy. They gave me a punch when we got there and I loved it.”)

Hiking Diamond Head Crater

This was one among my highlights of the journey! I really feel like mountaineering is the easiest way to discover a brand new place, and this explicit hike had wonderful evaluations. It’s about 1.8 miles out and again, with sweeping views of Honolulu, the ocean, and also you’re on high of a crater!

There’s additionally a cave, which was an enormous hit with the ladies. The complete factor took us about an hour and 10 minutes, with a number of water breaks and time to cease and benefit from the view on the high. You want reservations prematurely, only a heads up. You decide your time slot, pay for entrance and parking on-line (or you may Uber there), and the guard gate will scan the QR code out of your cellphone.

Kid City Adventures

The children went wild right here and I WISH we had one thing like this in Tucson. If you’re visiting Honolulu with children (any age, from toddlers to 11 or so), undoubtedly make a cease right here. It was raining one afternoon and a fast google search led me to this treasure. It’s a two-story indoor playground, with impediment course, trampolines, a sand play desk, imaginative play space, ball pit, Legos, an enormous water play space, and it’s SO clear and exquisite. I reserved a two hour spot for the ladies and so they begged to return day-after-day!! Also: they've superb therapeutic massage chairs for the adults. My mother and I loved quarter-hour of shiatsu bliss.

*Tip: make a reservation on-line. Kids may be barefoot or in grippy socks, and adults should be in socks.

One extra little observe/tip: this booster seat is my fave for journey. It matches in my backpack and inflates simply for an Uber journey. I introduced it with us on the aircraft in case we obtained stranded wherever on the way in which, and it was a lot extra handy than toting round a full booster seat.

Pearl Harbor

We visited Pearl Harbor and likewise had a improbable tour information aka the Pilot who defined the background concerning the varied websites. He even shared some actually attention-grabbing details about what occurred that day, and whereas it was a somber expertise, I’m glad the ladies have been capable of go to and be taught concerning the historical past behind it.

(Banana print high with these shorts <– on sale. Also I discovered P’s APL slides at Nordstrom Rack for $40! I used to be pumped.)

Standout meals in Waikiki:

Tommy Bahama

This was our first *actual* meal in Oahu and it didn't disappoint! They’re an in-house farm-to-table restaurant, utilizing native components and making every thing in home (even all the sauces). We had coconut shrimp, chips with guac and salsa, and I had the steak salad for my entree. The dessert (a chocolate caramel tart) was every thing and the Mai Tai was one among my favorites from the journey. 10/10 advocate.

A House with no Key

This is such a particular spot and I’d like to make it again right here. We sat outdoors, surrounded by the ocean and plush grass, an unlimited tree, and loved dwell music and hula dancing with our meal. The service was AMAZING – every thing was so quick and completely prepared- and I used to be blown away by this meal.

We had the coconut shrimp for an appetizer, I had the ocean bass (with a miso ginger broth and veggies, with purple candy potato) for my entree, and shared coconut cake for dessert. Highly, extremely advocate, particularly for extra of a date night time or special day spot.

(costume is right here)

Poke Fix

We had many poke bowls whereas in Waikiki (P needed one day-after-day, so I joined her!), and that is the #1 spot. The Pilot scoped it out earlier than we obtained there and located this superb poke bowl place, which has pickled garlic, kimchi, tremendous recent fish, and in case you get salad greens as a substitute of rice, they high it with a stunning ginger dressing. The woman working there put a lot care into making the poke bowls, and every thing was SO recent and good.

I’m salivating taking a look at this pic proper now.

Hula Grill

We had this for a extra informal dinner, and loved our spot on the patio, overlooking the Outrigger pool and the seaside! Everything was superb, and this was my mother’s #1 Mai Tai decide.

Alo Cafe

This was one other spot the Pilot discovered earlier than we obtained there for the very best acai bowls, and so they make their peanut butter in home. It was EVERYTHING. All of the acai bowls in Tucson will probably be blah and unhappy any longer.

Duke’s Market

Duke’s was proper down the road from our resort, and we went many instances. They have the recent malasadas within the morning, unimaginable espresso, pastries, and fast bites, like salads, wraps, masubi, and breakfast choices. We had fried rice with over simple eggs on high one morning, and I additionally tried a veggie omelet with potatoes. This is the spot in case you’re searching for a fast chunk, and even need some extra comfort kind choices (like drinks, recent fruit, something you could have forgotten).

Marakume Udon

This udon restaurant has a line out the door, no less than 15 folks lengthy, from the time it opens till the time it closes. It’s for an excellent cause, too. They make the udon noodles recent in-house, and the broth is among the greatest issues I’ve ever tasted. You can get your noodle bowl quite a lot of methods, with totally different sauces, meat choices, eggs, and toppings.

The greatest professional tip I obtained from a buddy: order your meals on-line immediately from the web site. Don’t even wait in line. Your meal will probably be prepared on a rack within the again in the direction of the kitchen and also you don’t have to attend! We obtained ours to-go and had a picnic lunch within the resort.

Our resort:

Beachcomber by Outrigger

This was booked by the Pilot’s work and all of us cherished the vibe and central location. It had a beautiful pool, was tremendous clear and cute, and you would see the nightly luau on the International Marketplace from our balcony. They additionally had laundry which was extremely appreciated, as most of our garments have been drenched and lined in sand every day.

After exploring and testing a few of the close by resorts, I’d love to remain at Moana Surfrider, Halekulani, or Aulani subsequent time. (I used to be supposed to go to Aulani for a piece journey years in the past and nonetheless need to make it one among today!)

(Pineapple costume is an outdated one from Rails)

My ideas on staying in Waikiki:

I bear in mind final time we went to Hawaii, and I used to be researching which island to go to and the place to remain, and I noticed a lot Waikiki bashing. “It’s too busy.” “It’s too touristy.” It didn't really feel too busy to me and was no totally different than visiting Orlando or Las Vegas.

Also… I'm a vacationer. Obviously I’m not going to fly throughout the ocean to dine at Cheesecake Factory (give me all of the native spots!), however in case you plop me in a spot that’s surrounded by superior eating places and buying, this makes me completely satisfied. I really feel like once we plan sure holidays to get away from everybody, I wouldn’t need one thing like this – Sedona is extra of an escape spot for us – however on this case, I cherished the very fact that there have been folks round, music taking part in consistently, and an even bigger metropolis really feel.

The subsequent few weeks are going to be busy with return to aggressive dance for Liv, soccer and horseback driving for P, my excessive season on the weblog and with teaching, and the youngsters going again to highschool. I’ll undoubtedly be pondering of completely satisfied Hawaii reminiscences, poke bowls and seaside days when issues really feel overwhelming. It was a stunning journey with my favourite folks. 🙂

I hope you might have a contented Monday and I’ll see ya quickly!

Have you visited Hawaii? What are a few of your must-dos?

What’s in your trip listing proper now?

xoxo

Gina



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