Hawaiian Honeymoon Part 1
I am super excited to be sharing our honeymoon information on the blog. I always hinted at it and shared some information, but when it got down to actually writing these blogs… it was always such a daunting task! In all honesty, even as I am starting to write these and layout the outline for the blogs it is a bit overwhelming! One of the main reasons why I still hadn’t written the blogs was because I still hadn’t actually gone through all of the pictures I took in Hawaii and hadn’t edited them yet. Yes, I still have personal pictures from 2015 that are in RAW format and not Jpeg and not edited. That happens a lot around here. I am really trying to be better about it because I know that if I don’t edit personal photos in a month or so after taking them then it almost never happens. The winter time is usually my best chance to edit personal photos or edit more then a handful for facebook! The entire reason why these blogs are happening now is really because of Scott. Scott always bugged me about seeing out honeymoon pictures and I said I just hadn’t gotten around to them yet. He requested for his birthday to see the Hawaii pictures! YES! It came down to him requesting the Hawaii pictures for his birthday.
I went through over 5000 photos and pulled out over 2000 that I just loved ( over shooter much? in all fairness – the 5000+ included pictures from my big girl camera, my little point n shoot, and our GoPro… plus we were there for 2 weeks ) and then I narrowed that 2000+ down to around 1200 pictures to do a quick edit on. From those 1200 pictures I made a photo book for him. I think it has around 600 or 700 photos in it – 12×12 book and over 300 pages. The book is huge. I could have easily made it into 2 books – an O’ahu book and a Maui book… but I was a little nervous that having two books would lead us to just grab our favorite book when we wanted to look through it instead of grabbing the entire book. Since it was over 200 pages, I couldn’t do any paper upgrades ( sad face ). I am a bit of a paper snob when it comes to printing books and materials, so only being handed the standard thin paper option was a bit of a let down… but I am still happy it is only 1 book and not 2 books. I do plan on making more of these books as we have more adventures. I want to do a yearly photo book and as long as I keep it under 200 pages every year then I can have my upgraded matte paper – yay! I did make my book through Blurb. I designed it myself in Indesign and then uploaded the PDF into blurb and waited till they had a 40% off coupon on books to order. It is a perfect system if you are not in a rush to get a book. They usually have a coupon and saving 40% on a photobook is huge!! especially if it is something you plan to do for your vacation pictures or a yearly book like I plan to do. I will do a whole blog post on blurb books and what they are great for.
Alright – back to our honeymoon and Hawaii!!
Deciding where to go
When we were figuring out where we wanted to go for our honeymoon we had a couple questions we asked ourselves. These are great questions and perfect if you are trying to figure out your honeymoon location or your next vacation.
- What type of honeymoon/vacation do you want?
- Warm or Cold?
- All inclusive, condo living, somewhere between those two?
- How long do you want to stay? When are you able to travel?
- Active or relaxed vacation? mix of both?
- Extra – a new place for both of you or a place that one or both of you have been to before?
We generally run through this list when we are figuring out our next vacation spot. We did this list for our honeymoon and ended up with Hawaii as it had everything we wanted:
Activities to do – Hiking, swimming, snorkeling – we knew we wanted a place that we could get up and go do something one day and the next day hang out on a beach and relax.
Relaxing – Great beaches and gorgeous beaches to just veg at.
New place for both of us
We opted for hotels and condos ( I will go more into details on why and what we did )
After we figured out where we wanted to go, we actually ended up moving our honeymoon dates around a couple of times. We had planned to go right after we got married, but before we could book anything – I ended up booking a couple weddings for late May. We checked out the calendar again and we had a 2 week opening towards the middle/end of June – so we planned it for that time! We had a little over a month between when we were married and when we left for our honeymoon. We quickly narrowed the islands that we wanted to visit down to O’ahu and Maui. That was actually pretty easy for us. Scott wanted to see Pearl Harbor and I always loved the thought of Maui. We looked into going to Kauai, but it was going to increase the trip by a lot…. and it just wasn’t going to fit into our timeframe to really give us time to explore Kauai. We settled on 14 days with travel dates in there to fully explore the 2 islands. After we figured that out – we began researching!
We first went to AAA since I am a member. We got basic maps, some hotel information, flight information, tour information… a whole lot of information. It was really good as it gave us a base to start from. We ended up not booking anything from AAA and didn’t do any of the tours they had. We didn’t do any of the normal guided tours at all. The only “guided” tour we did was our snorkeling to Molokini crater and turtle arches. It was with Aqua Adventures and it was awesome!!!! Although I feel bad that we spent over an hour with a tour guide at AAA to only not book anything with her… it did give us a rough idea how much the vacation would cost ( we ended up doing it wayyyy cheaper then what they were quoting) and like I said, it gave us base information to get a general understanding of the islands.
The next thing we did was we got some books! It was 1 series of books that we got and I highly recommend them if you are planning any sort of trip to any of the Hawaiian islands. Seriously, they are hands-down the best books out there.
Those are the 4 main books all by the same author who now lives on Kauai. We bought the Maui and O’ahu books when we were planning our honeymoon. We just recently bought the Kauai book as we are looking into doing a little vacation there. There is so much good insider information in these books that it is crazy! It is literally like walking around with a local and learning all the neat spots from them.
Besides books – now a couple years later – there are tons of Youtube videos out there from people who have traveled to the islands, you can follow instagram accounts of people that live there and sometimes they let you know what the place is that they are at. This is gold when they do! A lot of times local people do not disclose where the gorgeous beach is that they are picture at because they want to keep it quiet and free of tourist which I totally understand – but if they do post where they are then screen grab that baby and file it away! Even now, I follow about 5 people that live on various islands and they will post great places to eat and will happily tell you where to find the local eatery, sometimes post pics of great beaches and tell you where they are.
We read both the Maui and O’ahu revealed books and highlighted, marked up, circles, dog eared a ton of activities, beaches, some food places, etc in the books. After we figured out what all we wanted to do or at least had a good idea that was when we divided up our 2 weeks. We planned 5 days on O’ahu and knew we wanted to stay on Waikiki Beach. 5 days was a perfect amount of time to see Pearl Harbor, have beach days, drive around the island, go to the north shore, hike diamond head. The remaining time of our honeymoon would be spent on Maui. There were more activities we wanted to do on Maui – Haleakala crater, Hana highway, Molokini crater snorkeling, beach days, driving around the island, luau, etc. We kind of looked at it as O’ahu was going to be our hit the ground running portion of the honeymoon where we crammed a lot of stuff in just a short amount of time. We selected a hotel that was on Waikiki Beach. We selected a Condo on Ka’anapali beach in Maui as we knew that was going to be our more relaxed portion of the honeymoon with a couple more rest/beach days built in.
Okay, if you have stayed with me so far Congratulations! I kind of feel like this blog post is a little bit everywhere. I have soooo much that I want to share with all of you and it is so hard to not go into super fine detail on everything. I know that if I went into a lot of detail this blog post would turn into a novel… so this will be a series of blog posts so it is just littles bites at a time and not overwhelming for you to read or me to write! I am literally going to go day by day on our honeymoon so you get a good idea of what all we did!
One thing I did on our honeymoon is I bought a little journal right before we left. I wanted to write down what we did, ate, etc while we were there so I could remember it because I knew it was going to go by so fast and eventually when we got home I would want those memories written down so I could add that detail to a photo book! I really recommend buying a little journal and bringing it with you. Mine was just a little 5×7 journal – super small, but big enough to not cramp my hand when I wrote in it. I did not write a dear diary entry at all. Some days I wrote almost like bullet points on what we saw or what we visited that day ( hana highway was all bullet points and I still know I missed writing down a couple stops) Other days I wrote down what we had to eat if it was a really yummy meal so that I could almost recreate it at home ( mango macadamia nut bread… yum…). You could also totally do this on your phone if you wanted to. We made the decision before we left that we were going to stay off of our phones as much as possible ( we didn’t call anyone besides letting them know we landed and made it safely to the islands), we stayed off social media ( for the most part – I think I did post 1 or 2 pictures while we were down there). I know that if I had gotten on my phone every night to type out what we did then I most likely would have gotten sucked into my phone. Writing it in a journal kept it out of my phone and a bit more nostalgic for me.