Tim and I visited Hawaii in January with my family for my brother's 40th birthday (Hawaii Four-0, get it? 😂). It was Tim's very first time visiting the beautiful islands and my first time staying on Oahu. Minus the missile threat hiccup 😫, the trip was absolutely perfect!
We stayed in the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. It was fun being able to walk out of our condos to explore the beautiful park, shops, restaurants, and hotels right by us. When we arrived, we stopped by Nico's Pier 38 to get lunch plates - seriously so delicious - and then went to Costco to grab food for home-cooked meals (hello, saving money!).
That same night, we went to House Without a Key for cocktails, a beautiful sunset, and Hawaiian music complete with Hula dancers. It was ah-mazing. And it was my first time drinking a Mai Tai, which they're famous for! Once I tasted it, I could see why. It was dangerously delicious.
The next morning my family introduced us to Lanikai. Absolutely my most favorite beach ever. The water is crystal clear, it wasn't too packed, and the drive out there was beautiful. We packed a lunch and some good books and relaxed on the beach for a few hours. It was perfect. That night we celebrated my brother's birthday at Mariposa (though, let's be real, I think we sang happy birthday to him at almost every dinner 😉) and watched fireworks over the water. It was magical and the food was absolutely delicious - I ordered a scallop pasta with a white sauce and Manny (my brother-in-law) and I shared a few glasses of wine. 🍷
On Sunday morning, Shawn, Manny, Tim, and I conquered the Diamond Head hike. If you're in Hawaii and you want to find a way to achieve your steps and stairs/climbing goals, this. is. it. My thighs and butt were on fire. But it felt so good to get out in the fresh air and do one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever seen, inclusive of lots of stairs, tunnels, small caves, and awesome views!
Sunday afternoon, we headed to Ko Olina to soak up some more sun and fun. The grounds were unbelievable! So beautiful. And then there were the lava flows 😋 Those things are dangerous because of how delicious and refreshing they are! For some reason, our photos from that afternoon are blown out a bit, but it ended up making them look pretty vintage-cool.
The following day was our last full day in paradise. We lived it up by starting the day off right at Dean & Deluca ☕️, strolling around Waikiki, laying out on the beach, walking along the water at sunset, and enjoying dinner at Doraku Sushi.
The last morning we were there, Tim and I ate breakfast at Surf Lanai at The Royal Hawaiian, an amazingly beautiful resort. If you're ever in Waikiki, you must walk through this hotel! It's open and airy on the waterfront with a beautiful yard in the back. Plus, it offers cute shops (I got a super soft handmade blanket as my souvenir) and a few restaurants.
I couldn't have asked for a better trip or better people to share it with. It was absolutely one of my favorite vacations so far, filled with the best people and the most relaxation. We didn't want it to end! Tim and I decided that, if we can, we would love to visit the beach and sunshine in January or February each year. PNW winters are long and dark, and getting some reprieve from this winter was just what we needed to kick off the new year right.