Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Our Hawaii Trip - Part 1

We're back from our 10 blissful days in Hawaii and I've had lots of questions on where we stayed and what we did while we were there.
(a cute souvenir from the trip)
We had an amazing time and I would definitely recommend it for a family holiday. I love documenting our trips as it is so nice to look back on later :) The flight to Honolulu takes about 9 hours which can be a long time with kids. We're lucky that Jasper (6) and Finn (11) are fairly self sufficient and were happy to entertain themselves with the iPad, snacks and books. Noah too was happy with an iPad filled with The Wiggles movies and Peppa Pig episodes. I brought along lots of snacks (fruit, rice cakes, sultanas and water) to keep him happy. Simon walked him around a little bit when he was tired of sitting but all up he wasn't too bad. Although it was a night flight we didn't get any sleep! I think Noah had 2 hours all up, the other boys got more with about 5 hours. Suffice to say we were tired when we arrived!
(the Moana Surfrider - photo from their website)
It was a 30 minute taxi ride to our hotel Moana Surfrider, right on Waikiki beach. Our hotel was so beautiful. Such a relief when a place meets your expectations and matches up with their website! 
We loved the location as it had the best piece of beach for swimming & surfing. The waves are quite small but perfect for riding a malibu board or floating on a lilo. You can hire these on the beach or from Koa Board Sports which was one street back from the beach for half the price. 
Also there were so many shops and restaurants right out the door (Kalakaua Ave)
(lots of colour and boards at the beach)
We were shown to our room overlooking the beach. The view was like a postcard! We had a 1 bedroom suite with Noah sleeping in a portacot in the room with us and the other 2 boys sharing the sofa bed in the living room. This worked perfectly for us as Noah could go to sleep earlier without being disturbed and Simon and I could sit out on the balcony later once the older boys were asleep. There was also a little bar area with a sink and bar fridge where you could store snacks or bfast foods. 
(the view from our balcony overlooking Waikiki beach)
We ate breakfast at the hotel each day as it was included in our room package but you could easily walk across the road to the ABC shop (a convenience type shop that sells food,alcohol,toiletries,souvenirs etc)and buy fruit,yoghurt,cereal,bread and have breakfast in your room)
 We were all quite tired from our lack of sleep on the flight so we all had a nap and woke up for a late lunch and swim in the pool. The temperature was around 28 degrees for our whole stay. Perfect! 
(Jasper & Finn enjoying the hotel pool)

Later on we went for a walk down the street our hotel was on to get our bearings and take in a bit of the Waikiki atmosphere. We saw the statue of The Duke, watched a little bit of a luau on the beach, browsed a couple of shops then headed back for the night.
(The Duke)
We fell into a bit of a holiday routine where we went down to breakfast and then headed to the beach and then the pool. We had an umbrella and chairs reserved for us each day (part of our package)which was lovely. I expected the beach to be really crowded but it wasn't. Plenty of space on the sand for everyone. Even though the waves were quite small there were heaps of people out surfing. I guess it's the thing to do at Waikiki! 
(Finn and Simon surfing Waikiki - photo taken by the Gopro)
Simon, Finn and Jasper headed out to join them and Noah and I built sandcastles on the beach. We also loved swimming in the ocean as it was really calm and warm. So relaxing. 
(Noah on Waikiki)
(family shot at Waikiki)
Restaurants
A few restaurants we went to which were close by and recommendations I received were The Cheesecake Factory (be prepared for at least an hour wait-they don't take bookings and split dessert, they are huge!) Dukes for burgers,salads, beers and cocktails, The Yardhouse (beers galore!), Starbucks (quick frappucino fix), PF Changs, Eggs n Things (omelettes/bfast) also cocktails at The Modern.
We did eat most of our meals at the hotel just for the convenience. The Nachos from the Beach Bar were divine! Also our package entitled us to complimentary snacks and drinks from the Club lounge so sometimes after a long day when the kids were tired this became our dinner. We all loved the Vegetable Crudités cups with Ranch dressing!
(nachos, quesadillas and fries)
There was always a guitarist playing Hawaiian music in the background for that holiday vibe. The hotel had so many nooks and chairs on the wraparound verandahs you could always find a little space for yourself to enjoy the atmosphere.
(gorgeous light and comfy seats everywhere)
Shopping
The Moana Surfrider is situated on Kalakaua Ave and both sides of the street are lined with shops. There is something for everyone. We popped into Foot Locker (cheap Nikes!), H&M(I found the prices so good and the quality of the clothes and accessories fantastic! -dresses for $25, ballet flats for $6!),Forever 21, Quiksilver- surf t-shirts for half the price as home and Simon bought a wetsuit at a great price), Sephora for makeup, ABC shop for bits n pieces. Great fun just to stroll the street and pop in to whatever takes your fancy. 
(loved all of the mags and this Fisher Price record player!)
The shops are open until 9pm each night(except Sunday - 7pm) so we got into the habit of taking a walk after dinner. Noah was in the pram so he could doze off if he wanted to. (so glad I took our pram!)
We dedicated practically a whole day to Ala Moana- 3 levels of shops. I could have spent hours in the Barnes and Noble bookstore. So big! All those books, magazines and knick knacks were overwhelming. There were also Gap kids, Kate Spade, Macy's, Victoria's Secret just to name a few. 
Day trip to the North Shore
We chose a day to go over and check out the North Shore. We hired a car and it took about an hour to get there. Trying to read a map, take the right exits and stay on the right side of the road was a team effort! 
The North Shore is very understated and natural and all about the beaches.
We stopped off for a coffee at The Coffee Bean and bumped into Jack Johnson. We love his music so of course we had to ask for a photo! ;)
(Finn, Jack & Simon)
Obviously Simon is into surfing and he really wanted to check out Pipeline (they surf the World Tour contest there). The conditions were good for a surf so he and Finn fulfilled a dream of theirs and caught a few waves at Pipeline. I also managed to capture a few on the camera.
It's not a swimming beach (too dangerous) so the boys and I chilled out on the sand. 
(Simon catching a wave)
We drove up to Turtle Bay and had a late lunch at Lei Lei's. 
We wanted to keep driving and check out Lanikai as we heard it was beautiful and perfect for snorkelling but it was getting late so we headed back to Waikiki but first stopping for our first shaved ice. 
I had the pineapple flavour. So good!!
(cute little truck parked by the side of the road)
After our 5 days in Waikiki we got a cab an hour west to the Aulani Disney Resort. We knew the boys would love this plus we knew it would be a relaxing end to the trip as it is quite isolated and not much sightseeing involved.
I'll share the 2nd part of our trip tomorrow :)

12 comments:

  1. Just Fabulous Simone. I am thinking of taking my daughters sometime soon and thank you for sharing your holiday with us. Vx

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    1. I'm sure you and the girls would love it Vicki, Hawaii really seems to cover everything for everyone xx

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  2. We ate thinking of going to Hawaii, so I've been waiting for this post! Looks divine, thankyou for sharing!

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  3. Oh so envious!!! What a fab trip!

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    1. It was truly one of those trips we will always remember Emma xx

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  4. I love Hawaii! Your trip sounded fabulous! Can't wait to hear more about aulani!

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    1. Thanks Rinne, we had a great time and Aulani was fantastic. I can definitely see us returning x

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  5. It looks wonderful. I am so jealous. Hawaii is my dream holiday destination. One day we will definitely go!

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  6. Your trip looks like it was fantastics, Simone! Glad you and the family had a good time.

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  7. OMG I soooo want to go to Hawaii like RIGHT NOW!! Our boys have been begging us to go forever. Time to start saving... really saving! xx

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Thanks for leaving a comment :) You just made my day xx

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