For my 30th birthday, I treated myself to a Hawaiian getaway. It had been a rough year, but a year to celebrate. This trip was exactly what I needed and wanted. It didn’t hurt that my bestie there waiting for me to arrive!
DISCLAIMER: Hawaii is expensive. *que the “Kanye shrug”
Where I stayed:
The Modern Honolulu
I loved this hotel. From top to bottom, this place was the perfect getaway. It was walking distance from the beach and great restaurants. Front desk was kind and helpful. The bar decor was probably my favorite. I’m a fan of modern decor so the ambiance suited me. Room was comfortable and clean. After the initial sticker shock of the price, I quickly settled in and enjoyed because after all – life is short.
I’m pretty sure I paid the insane amount of $16 for a small fruit parfait that room service brought to my room. However, it was delicious and it was my birthday.
I would definitely stay here again and highly recommend it.
Book The Modern
What I saw:
My first stop after being picked up from the airport was Tantalus, Oahu. My bestie drove us there to give me a panorama glimpse of the island that would be my playground for the next 5 days. It was a perfect introduction to the beautiful island of Oahu.
In the photo above, you can see the large mountain – Diamond Head.
Where I hiked:
The next day we woke up at 5am to go hike Diamond Head. It was a moderate hike for beginners and fairly easy for seasoned hikers. Going early was perfect for avoiding large crowds, the heat and a spectacular front row seat to the sunrise. Definitely worth seeing – you’ll be in awe of what your eyes witness from that view. It was amazing to see the sky transform from full of starts to a radiant sun.
Where I beached:
It’s hard for anyone who loves the water to pick a favorite beach- especially in Hawaii. I didn’t visit a beach that I didn’t absolutely love. Each one had a unique view, different vibe and varying colors.
Waimanalo Beach – more secluded, soft sand, amazing trees and very chill (quiet) vibes. The drive there is also phenomenal with a few cool observatory points.
The North Shore was quite the opposite – vibrant, loud, packed with people enjoying the sun and sand volleyball. Great food – lively scene. If you’re looking for a beach party- you’ll most likely find friends here. We met a friendly guy from the island who was a HUGE Dallas Cowboys fan – cooking out with his family. There are no strangers here.
Also, petting or disturbing sea turtles is illegal. But, always something I wanted to do – So, I found the next best thing …
Where I ate:
Surprising my favorite meals in Hawaii were not meals at all. Some people have a sweet tooth (a craving for sweets). I myself have sweet TEETH (an infatuation with sweets)- its awful, I know. However, its important to disclaim that I’ve learned through my fitness journey – it’s all about moderation. But also, ITS VACATION – So- enjoy!
ARVO – trendy, hipster-esque spot that offers amazing gourmet lattes and brunch bites. Anything you order there will be ridiculously photogenic and insta worthy! They also have an awesome (pricey) boutique attached next door that includes: clothing, shoes, plants and accessories! It’s a must visit!
MATSUMOTO SHAVED ICE – You won’t talk to anyone on the island who hasn’t at least heard of this place- expect to wait in line for a bit. Like ARVO, this place stays busy and has an awesome souvenir shop attached to it next door. You’ll definitely want to try this place out after a day at the beach. It’s in a strip near other cool boutiques and markets.
Good eats are in abundance on the island- but sweets and bites are my favorite.
No amount of time in Hawaii seemed like it would have been enough. Catching up with a dear friend, hiking, relaxing on the beach- toes in the sand, good music playing. That’s what this trip was about for me. Saying “good bye”felt more like “see you later” because I know I didn’t do, see or eat half of what Hawaii has to offer.
On the last day, I woke up early and headed to the beach to write in my journal. An ideal spot to reflect on how truly grateful and blessed I felt to have the opportunity to experience this place. I also promised myself that the next time I came back would be with someone I loved – it’s truly a magical and romantic place. Invigorating to experience alone but special to experience with the one you love. So until next time…