Let's Travel To....HAWAII STOP #1: WAIKIKI





Ah, yes! Summer vacation arrived which meant we were headed to Hawaii for our first time! We spoke to a few friends regarding their island suggestions and we ultimately decided on Oahu and Maui. First stop: Waikiki, Oahu.

We stayed in an AirBNB studio similar to this one and it was the perfect location. Places with an ocean view were pretty pricey so we focused on something that was centrally located. This spot had a cute balcony and it was literally a 7-10 minute walk to all the shops, restaurants and Waikiki Beach. 





Day One: After checking in, we headed straight to dinner. I was starving after our day of traveling and the AirBNB host kept us waiting so you can imagine just the level of hangry I was. We were about a 20 minute walk to Rainbow Drive-In so you know I power walked there. They serve huge plates of delicious Hawaiian food.

We walked off the food by heading over to Safeway to buy groceries for the week. This is a big part of how we manage to save money while traveling. We made breakfast and lunch so we only ate one meal out. On our way back from the market, the Uber driver gave us some recommendations for things to do while we were in town. Great recommendations. Did none of them!



Day Two: We woke up early (aka 8am ha!) and took the bus over to Diamond Head Crater Hike. The hike was 1.6 miles round trip (obviously longer from the bus stop) and it is not shady at all. Needless to say it was HOT! It's a very popular trail so there were plenty of tourists making their way up. It's labeled as a moderate hike but, honestly, I work out and I would think its barely moderate for me. I struggled with this one, especially in the heat. Take lots of water and a sun hat. While it was a difficult hike, it had a view from the top that was so beautiful.



Tip: If you don't head here super early, you will likely struggle with parking. The bus was only $2.75 one way, $5.50 for a day pass.

After the hike we knew we had to hit the beach so we walked to Cromwell's Beach and found a spot that was secluded. We pretty much had the whole thing to ourselves! So naturally we had a mini photo shoot. 


My top was thrifted for $9 and w/ tags





We ended our night at Tiki's Grill and Bar for some dinner along with live music, sunset views and a couple of drinks.





Day Three: On this day we headed over to Manoa Falls on the bus. This trail was so pretty with so much green, shade...and mosquitoes. If you know me, you know mosquitoes love to bite me. I think Hawaii mosquitoes don't like me as much though because I only had one bite! It really was such an enjoyable hike and very easy for all fitness levels. 

As we made our way up Nick saw someone and was like "Eddie? Good to see you" so I thought he was an old friend from college until he said "....big fan!" Turns out it was Eddie Vanderdoes from the Oakland Raiders who also went to UCLA. After that we were on celebrity watch (ha!)

And guess what? On our way down the hike we DID see another celebrity: Jon Lovitz! All I know is this man was on League of Their Own (which I love) AND he was on FRIENDS twice! 






Super muddy when it rains

After the hike we headed to our place to rest before catching the Mexico vs USA soccer match at Cheeseburger in Paradise. They had a great happy hour and their fish tacos were pretty darn delicious. It's also right across the beach so it was a convenient spot. We met an older Mexican man here who was just the nicest to chat with! He was enjoying a couple of beers and watching the game while his family was over at the beach. I wish we took a picture with him. He treated us to a round of Pina Coladas- just the sweetest!



Day Four: The next morning we headed back to the airport to pick up our rental car. Our plan was to stop by Pearl Harbor before hitting the road towards North Shore. 

The Pearl Harbor Memorial is free for all visitors. However, in order to get the free USS Arizona Memorial tour, you do have to reserve tickets in advance. For procrastinators like us, they have a 24 hour window so they release tickets at 7:00 am on the day before you plan to visit. They also have other tours for an additional fee. 

I mentioned this on my Instagram stories but, since Nick is a history teacher, he retold the story of what happened on December 7, 1941. Yes, I do travel with my own personal guide and it's fantastic.

Overall, we spent 3 days in Waikiki and we didn't need a rental car for any of our activities. They have a great public transportation system and it was perfect for us two. 

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