Every year Ryan and I like to take a fun anniversary trip! This past October, we went to Hawai’i! Thought I would share some pretty images (I brought along the Contax) and tell you a little about what we did. Hawaii is a honeymoon oasis – it allows couples the best of both worlds – to be an adventurer and to just be lazy. We broke up the trip by first flying into San Fran. Had dinner with my girl from Livia Paul Paper who recently made the move there. The next morning before flying out I had to hit Mariposa Baking Company for GF cinnamon rolls. THE BOMB.
MAUI. We actually landed in Maui on our anniversary date, 10/29. We love the Andaz brand of properties and this location did not disappoint! We arrived just in time to stretch it out with sunset yoga, and capped the day with a yummy anniversary dinner at Morimoto. The point of the first night in HI is to get to bed early because the next morning you wake up SUPER super early for your first adventure!
Yep, that alarm buzzed at 1:55AM. We drove to the north side of the island and took a bus ride up to the mountain of Hale’akala, over 10,000ft+. It was fahhhreezing cold and we stood and the top with a million others waiting for the sun to rise. I gotta admit it wasn’t that exciting – I kept asking if it that was “it.” BUT the 23 mile coasting bike ride down the mountain was so fun! We even wore motorcycle helmets! There are places to stop along the way down, but we found them not to be a little kitsch, so we grabbed coffee at an Indian food truck at the town at the base of the mountain. A little more our style.Then we stumbled upon Maui Kombucha where they serve raw super healthy foods (like a golden rawvioli) + juices, etc. Seriously the best kombucha I’ve ever had. I had the tumeric shot + the peach tarragon kombucha. On the way back, we explored the cute little boutiques in Pa’ia. The two-piece dress in the photos below was designed by a local designer. I fell in love with it! The rest of the day we were poolside. The Andaz has 3 levels off pools, all with an ocean view.I love when the hardest decision of the day is asking myself where we gonna sit. I think the gals at the gift shop talked me into the ALOHA hat. I look really ridic looking at these photos. I just can’t pull off that Cali-cute trucker vibe. We are so used to traveling to Mexico and Spanish speaking places I kept wanting to say Hola to all the staff, so I bought the hat as a reminder to say Aloha! not Hola! 😉 Dinner that night was at Monkeypod, famous for their Mai-Tais. I had several of those foamy goodness drinks.
The Andaz breakfast is spectacular. I get really excited when I can get a grain-free pancake on vacay or anywhere for that matter! They had coconut cinnamon roll pancakes sans gluten. Ugh, so glutenous, but yet so amazing. Then, just a few hours later I ate a lobster salad sandwich on GF toast. Halloween night we went to the famous Mama’s Fish House for dinner. It was good, but a total tourist trap. The vibe was just not our style and we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.
Another cool thing about the Andaz is they have several activities you can sign up for. We woke up to 7AM SUP Yoga – that’s yoga on a paddleboard. If you think it’s tough keeping your balance standing in the middle of the ocean, try doing downward dog! SUP yoga is a free activity when you pay the hotel resort fee. This day was fun! We did the Road to Hana – left at 8:30AM and didn’t get back until 9PM. I don’t recommend doing this the day after Halloween. We heard a lot of the locals were hung-over and so some of the cute little shops + eateries were closed. But we did see cool things like the painted forest, black sandy beaches and the bamboo forest. We even hiked to an 80 ft waterfall. Costa Rica still has my heart for the most amazing waterfalls though. We took the off-limits road home (in a Jeep rental) instead of taking the same route we took to get there. It took us 1.5 hours to get back and it times it was kinda scary! We were so close to the edge of the cliff with rusted, dilapidated guardrails. The island is only 48 miles long.
Our last day at the Andaz we did the outrigger canoe snorkeling experience. They said I was guaranteed to see turtles!! Wouldn’t you know it would be my luck we would not. The guide thought it had to be sharks in the area so I really wanted to get back to the canoe. The guide did find the cutest little octopus and he put it on my leg! AND IT STAYED! You really should follow me on Instagram to see all these shenanigans.
KAUAI. We stayed at the St. Regis in Princeville. Needs a little updating, but it really is the perfect location up near the Napali Coast! Our first night we had a fantastic dinner at BarAcuda in downtown Hanalei. It was so yummy that Ryan wanted to go another night. Super cool vibe, dark and the food was beyond delicious. We sat at the chef’s table and Ryan was all over that. (Mr. wanna-be chef) Are you bored yet? I’m wondering when I can start sharing photos, ha!
Our first full day, we rented snorkeling gear and drove the coast to Tunnels Beach (hoping to see turtles!) Red flag up and sign that said no swimming allowed. Well, we didn’t see that until after we got out. Ryan went out first because it was pretty rough and there were lots of visible rocks. So when I say I wanna snorkel it’s gotta be in crystal blue water with nothing but sand below me. This was not the case and obviously why it’s called Tunnels Beach. ugh. I finally got brave and went out. AND WE DID SEE TURTLES!! Ryan got photos + video clips with the GoPro! I got my snorkeling fix with the sighting of green sea turtles, which are sadly, endangered. They were so calm and serene and I think one waved at me. Probably telling me to get lost. Afterwards we mad a quick lunch stop at Hanalei Gourmet. That little surfer town is so cute! We headed back to the pool – it was spa time! Thank God. For dinner, our travel agent, Amy Zebala with SmartFlyer suggested we hit a pop-up dinner, called Kauai Ono, really close to the resort. About 40 people under a tent for a community farm to table experience with 5 courses (and BYO wine!). Fun!
Ryan and his adventure-itis. He wanted to do a helicopter tour over the entire island and the Napali Coast, with the doors off. I can do a helicopter with the doors on, kind of. I was terrified with the doors off. I cried and had several panic attacks – finally got ahold of myself about 45 minutes in. I brought my camera (what the hell was I thinking?!) I took 4 images with terrible composition. I’m sharing one below. It’s for me to remember I did it and I survived. I did listen to our guide part of the time. I heard: Jurassic Park. 3000ft waterfall.The rainiest spot in the world. On the way back to the hotel we took a pit stop for lunch at the food trucks in Kealia – Al Pastor Tacos + Nom for a burger and had the most yummiest shaved ice. It was pear and coconut flavored with a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom and topped with a sweetened condensed milk finished with a plum powder. It was about the size of my head. More pooltime for the afternoon before the Ahi Lele dinner and fire show. (Lame. Skip it.)
We decided to hike the Hanakapiai trail which traverses the cliffs above the Napali coast. Unfortunately this was the only day it rained while we were in Kauai. The trail was pretty muddy and dangerous but we made it about 2 miles in for a picnic lunch on this cool beach where rocks were balanced all over the beach. It was amazing and tranquil until we spotted a guy who apparently swam out into the rough sea and got stuck on a cliff rock face. The story actually ended well but it was tense for a bit watching him try to get back to safety. We contemplated an additional 4 miles up and back to the falls but the water was rising and river crossings were dangerous. We even saw a sign with how many people had actually died on the trail. Ke’ee Beach is right at the base of this hike so take a plunge afterwards! Dinner that night was at The Dolphin Restaurant – pretty good sushi.
Our last day, on the way to the airport, we boutique shopped in the town of Ka’Paa. If you are making the trip, you have to visit Shipwrecked, Kiko and WorkItOut! So cute! Next to Shipwrecked is a coffee shop called Javakai, owned by the same gal. As most of you know, Ryan and I like really good coffee + lattes. This place did not disappoint. Finally, the best cup of Joe the entire trip. Nothing like getting wired before flying 8 hours home. Ryan wanted to squeeze in one more hike and said we could “figure out where to shower” before heading the airport. Me – “what?!” I ended up showering at a public beach shower. Those amazing cliff views in the photos below was where we hiked – Shipwrecked Beach. We had dinner at the Beach House and walked out to a view of a rainbow. A sign we had a great time and it was time to go home.
Have fun in Hawaii!!