22 In Hawaii/ Travel

Aloha, Hawai’i

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

TheBigIsland+Kauai

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.

HawaiianIce

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

ThingsToDoHawaii

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?

DSC_5701

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.]

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Patricia Steffy (@PLSteffy)
    July 6, 2016 at 9:52 am

    This looks amazing and Congratulations on the wedding!! My boyfriend and I travel a lot, but somehow neither one of us has managed to get to Hawaii. Hopefully, next year (and we can hope that the traffic somehow miraculously dies down, too ha!). I can’t wait to read more about your adventures!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Thank you so much! We had both traveled a lot too, but Hawaii is just truly so remote that it really takes an effort to plant to get there. It isn’t like deciding to hop on a plane from Malaysia to Bali, ya know? It’s so worth it though.

  • Reply
    thetravelpockets
    July 6, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Two week honey moon in Hawaii!??!? I’m so jealous. I absolutely love Hawaii. I’ve been to the mainland and I didn’t really experience too many bad driver’s, but I agree that people really don’t honk that much 🙂

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      It was pretty amazing. We had a great time and had some nice wedding gifts that made it a really incredible experience! The mainland as in the US?

  • Reply
    Natasha G
    July 6, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Wow — congratulations on your marriage! What a great way to celebrate!! It looks gorgeous in Hawaii — I still have yet to check it off my list 🙂 It looks like you hit a lot of milestones with this trip.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Thank you so much! We had a really great time and I’m really looking forward to a return visit already!

  • Reply
    prair
    July 6, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Haha! Your enthusiasm is contagious! Makes me want to visit Hawai’i again. I know what you mean about lack of time– I spent 2 weeks on Maui and could have stayed a bit longer (although it was so expensive!). Did you get to try musubi? I only had it once and it was really tasty!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      Well, thank you! I think that’s an amazing compliment! It is pretty expensive, we were very fortunate in having our most expensive outing (helicopter ride) and a week of our accommodation paid for as wedding gifts! I have never heard of musubi, but I just googled it and it totally made me giggle! I’ll have to seek it out the next time we visit! I would love to get to Maui – there seem to be loads of amazing natural sites there too! Did you go to the red sand beach? So much to see, not enough… well, money! haha

  • Reply
    Hung Thai [Up Up and a Bear]
    July 6, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Grats on your nuptials. I live in the Pacific Northwest where sun is a rare commodity for a good 9 months out of the year. As a result, we’ve been to Hawaii more times than we can count, coming at least once a year. So yeah… you don’t need to convince me to go there hehe.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Thank you! That’s really cool to have the opportunity to do that! Flights are so expensive from the midwest!

  • Reply
    Gina Bear
    July 6, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    I’m glad that Hawaii is so Earth conscious. It’s important to protect our planet and I think all states should follow the example and recycle.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      I’m so glad that others see the beauty of the importance of that in their community! I wish that love for the earth would spread everywhere like it has there!

  • Reply
    travelerettenyc
    July 7, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    That sounds like a wonderful honeymoon! I am super jealous. I’ve never been to Hawaii but I want to go someday soon. I like the beach but not for two weeks straight so it’s good to know that there are other things to do.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Oh my gosh, there’s loads! I feel like we barely scratched the surface, even of our little corners of the islands we visited. I love it there so much!

  • Reply
    nycgingeronthego
    July 7, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I only spent one day in Hawaii on my way to Australia, but it was amazing. Hoping I make it back one day, maybe on a honeymoon. Can’t wait to see more of your stories from Hawaii!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      That’s a pretty cool layover! I’m guessing on Oahu? I want to go there pretty badly!

  • Reply
    wanderingwagarschristina
    July 7, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Sounds like you had an amazing honeymoon! I also fell in love with Hawaii. The Big Island is so raw with beauty. I haven’t been to Kuai’i but definitely hope to go soon.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      I think it’s pretty easy to fall in love with. <3 If you loved The Big Island's beauty Kaua'i might knock your socks off! Haha. I love that the Big Island has it all, though.

  • Reply
    Chantell
    July 7, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    First of all – congrats on hitting your 50th state! That is a very impressive achievement. Sounds like you both had a lovely time and made some unforgettable memories. I have only visited Hawaii once for a short time but would love the opportunity to go back and explore more!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you so much! I know it isn’t always good to get caught up in numbers and stuff like that, but this felt like a really special achievement. Which island(s) were you on?

  • Reply
    Holly
    July 11, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    that last photo, of you both, perfect!!!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      July 20, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      Thank you – I LOVE it too! It’s pretty handy being married to a photographer!

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