A destination wedding. Romantic bliss, union of close friends and of course a good excuse to go on vacation. So, when the wedding invitation came from Hapa Hipster, I immediately marked it in my calendar and started putting away for my winter Hawaiian vacation because who needs a better excuse than a wedding to travel. Not only do you get to witness one of the most beautiful moments of your friends’ lives but you get to visit a new place all in one trip.
The wedding was being sponsored by a military personnel at the Hale Koa, military-only hotel, because the bride used to work for the military. The rest of the wedding party stayed either at the Ilikai Hotel and Suites or The Modern, which were right next door to each other.
Angelaishere and I decided to make a little mini vacation out of it and extended the weekend wedding to a week-long winter getaway, 7 glorious days of tropical beauty in the middle of winter.
Here are some highlights from the trip. The food part of the trip will be their own individual posts since there was so much to eat and I would hardly do it justice trying to cram it all into one entry.
Our balcony at the Ilikai gave us a picturesque, bird’s eye view of Honolulu.
We decided to rent a car and drive up to the North Shore for the Billabong Pipemasters. Luckily for us the swells were the biggest they had been all week.
A trip to the North Shore is not complete without a pit stop at Matsumoto Shave Ice in Haleiwa, where we got to meet Mr. Stanley Matsumoto.
We took a bus to Kailua Beach State Park to visit the beach that the locals go to in an effort to get away from all the tourists in Honolulu. We definitely found a more pristine beach, a lot less people and no tall condos overshadowing.
The beautiful couple getting married at the Hale Koa hotel.
Photobooth time! Fun with stunner shades and moustaches.
On our bike ride adventure, we went looking for the best poke in town at Ono’s. Unfortunately, the day we went was the one day they were randomly closed. A local pulled into the parking lot looking for Ono’s poke as well. Sharing in our disappointment, he offered to take us and our bikes in his truck up the hill to Fort Ruger Market, his second favorite place to get poke. I don’t know what compelled us to get into a stranger’s truck, besides the promise of good poke, but locals are all so friendly and nice, I have a hard time thinking anything bad happens in Hawaii. We ended up driving up to the entrance of Diamond Head and had our lunch on a scenic overlook.
The sunsets in Hawaii are different than in Los Angeles. There’s something surreal knowing that you are in the middle of the ocean on this little piece of volcanic land.
The way of life is just different there too. Life is enjoyed not rushed through. The relaxed attitude and friendly demeanor makes it feel like you are home away from home.