Following the best couple of weeks in New York, walking an average of 20km per day and eating like King and Queen, we were both ready for a change of pace. Admittedly, I was also looking forward to a change of climate!
Having sat securely at the top of my travel wishlist for as long as I can remember, I was super excited that we had planned a few days in Hawaii on our way home to Sydney.
After a gruelling ‘domestic’ flight from JFK, we arrived at Honolulu on Sunday afternoon and checked straight in to the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki. I was eager to explore before the sun set so we headed straight out for a walk along the beach. The warm air on our skin was blissful after spending the last couple of weeks bundled up again the elements.
It could have been jet lag or maybe excitement that work me up at 4.30am that first morning on Oahu, but once awake I couldn’t even consider falling back to sleep. I crept onto the balcony to wait for the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean, marvelling at its vastness. It’s so difficult to comprehend that that same body of water crashes onto the beaches at home in Sydney, and also the Southern Californian beaches near my dad’s home.
While my husband slept a little longer, I enjoyed a moment of peace and solitude to reflect on the most incredible few weeks filled with love, happiness and memories that would last a lifetime.
When Oliver woke, he was ready for coffee. One of my favourite Sydney restaurants is bills – in equal parts due to the great Aussie food, stylish decor and memories of the holiday to Sydney that I shared with Lex a couple of years ago – so I was sure that bills Hawaii would be worth a visit. Sydney-siders that we are, we arrived before they opened, eager for good coffee – which we found luckily, as well as breakfast so good that we went back the next day!
We ventured out to the outlets and malls to get all some shopping done, but made a decision to scrap all plans for the rest of the week and instead spend it relaxing. I can be guilty of over-packing holidays, so returning home exhausted and needing a break, so I felt a sense of freedom and relief when we opted to shelve plans for road trips and hikes in favour of a few days spent reading by the pool. A decision that was combined with a vow to ourselves that we would return and explore more of the state in the not too distant future.
I hadn’t done much reading for a while, so took the opportunity to finish The Secret Life of Bees which I had had on the go for a while and then immediately picked up Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. We spent the day moving between pools, napping in the sun and cooling off in the water.
Oliver had discovered acai bowls in New York and was obsessed! So we tracked some down at Tropical Tribe for breakfast, they were pretty good but didn’t compare to Liquiteria’s peanut butter version – I need to recreate these for him at home! Afraid to try somewhere else and get a bad coffee, we picked up takeaway flat whites from bills and took them onto the sand to watch as the beach came alive with early morning surfers and paddle boarders. For a busy city, it was easy to find peaceful moments.
After a few hours alternating swimming in the crystal clear ocean and more reading in the sun, we walked along the sand to Duke’s for lunch and cocktails. The Hula Pie for dessert was regretted the minute it was placed on our table! It was less ‘pie’ and more just an obscene amount of ice cream, we had a couple of spoonfuls for good measure and pushed it away before we made ourselves sick. Pretty restrained for a couple that had just eaten our way around New York!
Our last day was spent much the same – bills takeaway coffees on the beach, some beach time until it got too hot and then lazing under the shade of a palm tree by the pool.
Wanting the make the most of the last sunset of our honeymoon, we walked along the sand to the beach bar at the stunning Moana Surfrider hotel. Oliver had been searching all week for a favourite cocktail from his previous trip to Waikiki and perfectly, it found it on our last evening in the most beautiful setting. The sunset was incredible, a perfect way to end my first trip to Hawaii. Walking back along the beach that night, we reminisced about our wonderful honeymoon, sad that it was coming to an end but so excited to begin the next chapter together.
Thank you Waikiki for the perfect ending to our honeymoon.