Here are the thoughts I can't get out of my head after the trip:
Why do live in DC when I could live in a beautiful place like this?
If I lived in Hawaii I would live an active lifestyle of surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and running. It's so beautiful, all the time, and everyone is always moving around and EVERYONE LOOKS AMAZING. It's inspiring.
Another thing - there is some really great food in Hawaii. It's easy to eat healthy - so many fresh fruits and veggies - but it's just as easy to eat shave-ice, pork, and gorge on traditional Hawaiian food. Also, macadamia nuts, the end.
Warm beaches, perfect water temperature, water clear enough to snorkle in and see the beautiful coral reef and tropical fish.
I love Hawaii. It's just like everyone said it would be, and now that I've dipped my toe in it, I'm going to work it into my life plan to live in Hawaii for some part of my life.
Now onto the good stuff...
The first couple days we spent in Honolulu. I didn't get much beach time, but we did stay at a cute little hotel right on Waikiki Beach. I woke up around 4:30am since I had crazy jetlag and would go for long runs on the beach. Super super my favorite thing ever.
The trees were beautiful, too. I loved all the different varieties, especially these beautiful Banyan trees with their aerial roots that grow into the ground.
We had meetings at the Hawaiian Capitol building, which is awesomely shaped like a volcano. The very top of the building is the governor and Lt. Governors offices, and there are 360 degree views to see the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. I've never seen such a stunning Capitol building!
We drove to Lanikai Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, where we relaxed, ate Macadamia Nut Pancakes at Kimo and Boots, kayaked to Flat Island, ate shave-ice at Hawaiian Snow and just reveled in our luck to be at this beautiful beach.
We stayed on the North Shore and visited Sunset Beach and Sharks Cove (for snorkeling). We airbnb'd a little studio apartment off someones huge beachside home, which had everything we needed, including snorkel gear, a gorgeous bathroom, 2 beds, and the Hawaiian grammys on TV. Perfect. :)
This is Sunset Beach, at sunset. Cliched? Maybe. Perfect? Yes. We watched the surfers ride out the last of the waves at dusk. I wanted to die.
We visited Haleiwa for good food. We had breakfast at Cafe Haleiwa (huevos rancheros, but the pancakes looked amazing!), lunch at Ted's Bakery (chocolate pie and a malasada!), and dinner at Opal Thai Food, the most amazing thai food I've ever eaten. The owner comes to each table and asks you what flavors you like, your favorite thai dishes, then brings out several dishes for you to try. It was off the chain delicious.
The last day in Hawaii, we spent lounging on Sunset Beach before our 8:00PM flight home. It was the perfect wrap-up to a perfect trip! Hawaii, I hope to visit you again!