Aloha! Hawaii Trip Recap Part 1

Hi everyone! It's been a crazy busy month and I'm only just now rested up enough to return back to my little blog. It's been a week now since our wedding reception back home here in Vancouver and I've only just cleaned up all the leftover decorations, finally get to my trip laundry and start sorting through all our trip and wedding photos. With all the wedding craziness, I actually took less photos than I would normally of our trip, but there's still plenty enough to span over 2 posts, so be forewarned: this is going to be photo heavy!

As Mr. Artist and I were there for our wedding, we got to book the special honeymoon suite at the lovely Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to stay in Honolulu. Located in the heart of Waikiki, this hotel has a beautiful pool lobby, is across the street from the beach and shopping and has excellent service. Our honeymoon suite was located up near the top of the hotel, which meant some pretty spectacular views!

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The Sheraton Princess pool deck

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City-side view from our hotel lanai (balcony)

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View from our hotel window!
The first night in town was a girls and guys night where Mr. Artist and his boys went out, while us girls had our own night out. Below is a shot of us at a nearby rooftop restaurant serving latin style food and drinks, including my favourite drink of the trip: coconut mojitos!

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The highlight of the trip food-wise for me was eating our amazing wedding rehearsal brunch at Heavenly Cafe. Located beside the Shoreline Hotel (another reco for Waikiki accommodations), Heavenly serves a variety of local favourites in the cutest little Japanese-Hawaiian fusion diner setting. Below is a photo of some of the best French Toast I've ever eaten - it was soft, moist, sweet and so so delicious!

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My beautiful bridesmaids, mom and friends!

Of course what trip to Hawaii is complete without a luau! I've been to tons of luaus over the years, but it's always fun to go when you have a large group of first-timers. The night after our wedding, bunch of our friends and family trekked out to Germaine's Luau, which is one of Hawaii's longest running luaus. I was really anxious that Mr. Artist would like it as he hated the food at our last one (Paradise Cove - do not go!), but luckily Germaine's pulled through! Everyone raved about the food.

The luau at Germaine's is very old-school and family-friendly, which means expect some campy moments. I don't get why some people say luaus are so cheesy - of COURSE they're cheesy! It's like going to watch a horror movie and then complaining about the plot inaccuracies - if you feel you have to say these things you're totally missing the point.

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Other must-see's in Oahu are snorkeling and getting in some good eats! Here I am bright and early in the morning getting my udon on at the famous Marukame Udon. With its fresh, hand-made noodles and variety of toppings, Marukame Udon always has super long lineups except if you go first thing in the morning! Breakfast of champions.

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For snorkeling the famous Hanauma Bay cannot be beat. The day that we went it was pretty overcast, but we still got to see lots of fish!

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Next, we headed up to the famous North Shore and the sleepy town of Haleiwa. I love visiting Haleiwa for its handcrafted stores, artisans and of course good eats! A must-see is always Giovanni's shrimp truck for the plate lunch of garlic shrimp. Giovanni's can be found at the edge of Haleiwa's main street alongside a host of other food trucks, including a cajun food truck that's a favourite of mine for their tasty shrimp and fish po'boy sandwiches!

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As always, my time in Hawaii was too short and too wonderful. Coming to Hawaii always feels like coming home to me and for the first time, I got to share my special place with all my family and friends. Some had visited the islands before and some had not, but by the end, I think they all had seen the beauty and warmth that made me fall in love with this place.

In part 2, I'll share more recaps of food and spots to visit in Oahu!



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