Matt & I just got back from a two-week honeymoon in Hawai’i and let me tell you, it was a trip for the books. Celebrating my marriage to Matt, visiting my 50th state, hiking just under 40 miles and making all kinds of amazing memories that we get to keep forever! We spent time on the Big Island + Kaua’i and I completely fell in love with it. My grandparents let us stay in one of their timeshare condos in Kaua’i and it started to feel like our own apartment. It was unbelievably hard to leave. I’m really excited to share all about our adventures and I wanted to get started with a little ‘Aloha, Hawai’i’ post with some fun facts, some silly things we noticed & a look at what’s to come in my Hawai’i Series.
» There’s A LOT to See Here
Even though it’s one of the smallest states (less than 6,500 square miles spread over 137 islands – eight are typically listed/visited) be sure to allot plenty of time here! Matt and I were limited to about two weeks, so we decided to only visit two islands. Let me tell ya, these beautiful islands are jam-packed with things to see! We haven’t even scratched the surface, but I’m glad that we didn’t try to fit too many islands into one trip. [Although, I have to admit, we’re pretty in love with the two we saw!]
» The Worst Driving & Parking I’ve Ever Experienced is Here
Now, I’m very aware that this could very well be the work of the many tourists who rent cars every single day, but it isn’t all us. People just pulled out onto the street without any warning. People park well over the lines rendering the would-be-open spot you want useless. Even when you’ve parked first, you come back to your car and try to leave, but it takes multiple tries because the person next to you has parked so crooked you can’t get out. It’s just unreal, but the strangest thing is, I don’t think I heard anyone honk during all the crazy driving… Well, except Matt a couple of times when someone pulled out right in front of us almost causing wrecks. Just be sure to be aware of the people driving around you.
» Hawaiian Ice is a Must – In My Opinion, Every. Single. Day.
I’ve had Hawaiian Ice at home [Springfield, MO] before and yeah, it’s good, but there are so many better things to have… That is not the case here. This shaved ice is incredible – it’s not just about the fluffy shaved ice or the delicious tropical-flavored syrups – these come with toppings like fresh papaya, coconut shavings, banana, honey, etc. and you can even have ice-cream put in the bottom. Matt and I went traditional & just enjoyed the amazing syrups, but on our last day we decided to go all out, and I think we had saved the best for last. We got an all-organic & homemade Hawaiian ice with papaya-lime + blackberry syrups, homemade vanilla ice-cream on the bottom & topped with fresh sliced bananas… It. Was. Incredible.
» Be Sure to Get Off the Beaches Too
When I thought of Hawai’i I thought of beautiful beaches, resort-style vacations & cruises. I think that is one of the reasons that it was my last state because I’m not wired to be a beach bum. However, there is so much to see & do on these islands! There are hikes, museums, volcanoes, boat & helicopter rides, luaus, food trucks and so much more! However, if beaches & relaxation is your thing, be sure to get out an explore all of the different beaches there are here. There are beaches you have to hike to, beaches with crazy-colored sand (including one of the four green sand beaches in the world) and places to surf or spot some awesome wildlife!
» It’s Not That Hot Here
I had these visions of Hawai’i being this raging hot place [I was having flashbacks to SE Asia], but it’s actually a very mild climate. In fact, there’s even snow on the highest peak of the Big Island! Go Hawaii says that the average high in the summer is 85° F and 78° F in the winter. While it is humid, many places don’t even have air conditioning. When the sun goes down it gets chilly, so don’t forget to bring a sweater or sweatshirt.
» Take Notes on How to Be Better to the Planet
Hawai’i is leaps & bounds ahead of many of the other states in the U.S. They’re the first state to ban plastic bags in grocery stores (the cool part is each island voted on this individually & all banned them), there’s a huge push for recycling, and the amount of litter we saw on trails & on the streets was next to nothing compared to most of the places I’ve been. Matt & I came back inspired & motivated to make an even bigger effort to be good to Mother Earth.
What’s Coming in My Hawai’i Series?
Hikes to waterfalls + secluded swimming spots, more about beaches on the Big Island & Kaua’i, more about our helicopter ride, a Luau, amazing things to eat & explore and so much more! Be sure to check in or subscribe [below and to the right of this post] to see all the things that made our Honeymoon so amazing!
Come along on my adventures by subscribing to my blog. Simply enter your email and get updates on new locations and experiences. [Subscribe below this post or to the right.]