You Had Me At Aloha
Updated: Jan 2
It started out as a joke one night. I got an email alert about low priced flights to Hawaii. I was sitting in a bar with my family playing a game. I jokingly told my mom that if she won the game, it was a sign that we should go to Hawaii.
She didn't win the game.... but the flight was booked a couple hours later!
It was going to be my first LONG flight. My first chance to really prove I could actually do it! My first flight crossing a huge ocean. I obsessively followed the flight plan for months. I researched what happens if you're in the middle of the ocean and there's an emergency. I researched large planes. Up until this point, I'd only been on small planes and didn't even know there could be planes with more than one aisle between seats! This was a whole new world for me!
We stayed at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach.
The resort itself is set right on Waikiki Beach. There are 5 pools, a lagoon, a luau, weekly fireworks, a kids camp, 18 restaurants and bars, and a full spa and fitness center. You could never leave this resort and still have an amazing time! *Although I wouldn't recommend that because the island of Oahu is too amazing to not explore!
We know that we wanted to see the entire island but not have to rent a car and drive. We hired Oahu Private Tours for our tours of the island. Our guide, Kelsey, could have have been any nicer! We did a North Side and a South Side tour with her over two days.
Waimea Falls is located in Waimea Valley, on the North Shore of Oahu. It is about a mile or so walk from the entrance of the park to the falls. They do offer a shuttle for an additional fee. The day we went, there was no swimming at the falls. There had been heavy rains which is why the falls look brown.
While on Oahu, we also visited Kualoa Ranch. Kualoa is a private nature reserve which hosts numerous activities, tours, and has been the location for filming many movies and television shows. While on the property, you can pick tours ranging from ATV tours, horseback tours, kayaking, and more!
We picked the Hollywood Movie Sites Tour.
After making the almost 5,000 mile trip from Pittsburgh to Oahu, we decided we wanted to check out another island! It was very easy to get a flight on Hawaiian Airlines between the islands. For our second island, we picked Hawaii Island (AKA: The Big Island)
Our first stop on The Big Island was Volcano National Park. Kīlauea and Mauna Loa are considered active volcanoes. I visited in November 2018 and the most recent eruption of Kilauea had been from May-August 2018.
A couple other stops in our day on The Big Island included the Mauna Loa Visitor Center, Rainbow Falls, Leleiwi Park to see the turtles, 'Akaka Falls, and a black sand beach.
Back on the island of Oahu, our last days were spent on the beaches of Waikiki, watching Elvis at the Rock-A-Hula, checking out the views at the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout, hanging out at Halona Beach Cove, climbing through a lava tunnel, and sailing and snorkeling with sea turtles!