Hawaii Recap

Ray and I went to Hawaii for my 30th birthday. We both had never been and didn't really know what to expect. Everyone kept telling us that it was the most magical place. To be honest, we expected it to be a bit like Bali- beyond magical, tropical and foreign (even though it's part of the US). When we landed and noticed all of the strip malls and giant chain stores we were a bit confused. It took us a few days to genuinely appreciate it. While it may not be foreign in the way we had expected it, it was definitely breath-taking and unlike anywhere we've seen before. It also helps to know where to go and what to do.

Island.  We went to Maui and stayed there for 5 nights and 6 days. I think this was the perfect amount of time on the Island.

 We stayed at the Ritz in Kapalua. We only stayed there because we used points. It was okay. The service was amazing but the facilities and rooms were just okay (i.e. not very luxurious). I would recommend it if you wanted to use points but I wouldn't stay there if I had to pay.

Restaurants.  When we landed we stopped at a food truck called Like Poke?, which was 5 minutes from the airport (in a Costco parking lot). I found it on yelp. The poke was UNREAL. We ended up stopping there on our way back to the airport. Our favorite dinners were Mamma's Fish House and Merriman's. Mamma's Fish House sits on the most beautiful piece of land overlooking the water. They have something called a rolling menu. The menu starts off with the fish they have that day and as the fish sells out, the fishermans' come and bring more fresh fish and they update the menu with whatever catch comes in. Merriman's also has the prettiest view (we ended up eating there twice).

Sightseeing.  We spent a day doing the Road to Hana. It's long but worth it. It took us about 9.5 hours of driving in total. I won't lie, I was really nervous since I tend to get pretty car sick. Surprisingly, I was okay. Just make sure to drive with the windows down and sit in the front. The valet driver at our hotel told us about the Shaka App and I don't know how we would have done it without it. The app is like a virtual tour guide. You download it and it works off of your GPS (since you lose service pretty quickly). The guide describes each stop and even offers helpful tips like whether it's worth it stop and see (since there are so many stops you can't possibly do it all in one trip), whether it's family friendly (aka the hikes aren't too difficult- perfect for me haha), where to park, how far you are from Hana etc. It also plays Hawaiin music and tells you stories about Hawaiin culture. It was like having your own private tour guide. I honestly don't know how people do it without it.

Clothes.  Bring cute beach clothes, sandals, running shoes and windbreakers. It rains a ton, but for a few short minutes each time. I didn't wear any of the heels I brought. And I definitely overpacked (oops!).

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