We had planned a trip to Hawaii with Desiree’s sister Kim. A few months into the planning, we thought it would be a good idea to get married while we’re there, it would make for a memorable wedding, and it beats the hell out of getting married by Elvis. Once we had our sights set on getting married in Hawaii, we started looking at our options. We knew we didn’t want something traditional as neither of us are religious, this was when I discovered a Captain Howie, he was this quirky Marriage Officiant, and he seemed perfect. Now that we knew we were getting married on Waimanelo Beach, we started looking for a cottage in the area. The one we choose was not more then a block from the beach, it was a 800 sqft cottage sitting behind Jay & Barbara’s house. I highly recommend booking with Jay & Barbara, the cottage, scenery, and beaches were absolutely perfect. We’re not a big fan of staying in Hotels, and prefer quiet condo/cabins instead, we’ve stayed in plenty of 4/5 star hotels, and I would take a cottage any day of the week. We booked the cottage for 7 days for around $1300, which was a steal considering how much you would have to pay to stay in a hotel, and they didn’t have the lovely Waimanalo beach, which was virtually empty every time we went there.
My Dad and Carla were planning to go to Hawaii later in the year, so they decided to move it to May so they could see us get married, and my grand parents were planning to drive out to visit in late April, so they decided instead to fly out and join us in Hawaii as well. We all treated it like a vacation, for the most part we all did our own thing, but linked up a couple days during the week to do group day trips.
Day 1 – May 11th, 2012
We drove down with Desiree, Mallory, Dad, Carla, Grand parents, and my cousin Parker to Bellingham to fly out on a direct flight to Hawaii. Not only are the flights a fraction of the price then we pay around here, but it was the only flight that was direct to Hawaii. My father surprised us, and had everyone upgraded to First Class, you can’t beat the comfy ass seats, and three course meal!
We arrived very late, and grabbed a cab to a local hotel for the night as we were picking up our rental car the morning of the 12th, and arriving at our cottage for check-in at 11. The hotel was lack luster, definitely forgettable, but we only intended on being there for a few hours. We split off from the rest of the family, as they were all staying in hotels in Waikiki, and a cottage in Kailua.
Day 2 – May 12th, 2012
We were anxious to get to the cottage, and didn’t sleep well. It didn’t help that the hotel was uncomfortable, and near a highway. As soon as we woke up, we got ready, picked up our car, and made our trek to the Cottage. The photos below were a view from the beach trail, up the road to our cottage (a few houses down). This was the beach we hung out at for a week, and was representative of just how dead it really was every day.
The first full day in Hawaii, we ate at a Italian restaurant, that I wouldn’t recommend called Assaggio. The food, and service was mediocre at best.
I’ve always made it a habit of going for early morning walks on every vacation we go on, whether its camping or not. I woke up every day at 5am, and walked down to the beach to watch the sun rise as I walked down the beach. There was usually more people on the beach at this time, then there was during the day, likely because this is when the people who lived in the community came down before work.
We tried to spend a bit of every day at the beach just relaxing, reading or swimming.
Originally when we planned the trip, we intended to eat in a lot more to save some money, but once we were there we ended up wanting to try out all these restaurants and probably ate out more then not.
We drove into Honolulu to get our marriage license, and meet up with the family to check out the city. Our first stop was the Aquarium, after visiting Vancouver’s, it wasn’t up to snuff, but it was a good time waster, and we were able to spend some quality time with family which is what its really all about.
We then made our way over to the zoo, and walked down the boardwalk to check out the shops. My dad and Carla had a wedding candle built to commenorate our wedding and we received it at the end of our day trip.
The day of our wedding, Desiree had to get up early as she had to meet at the house to get her hair and makeup done. I went over a few hours later with Mallory and Kim, and the rest of the family showed up a short time later. We arrived at the beach an hr or so before the ceremony to get the wedding photos done prior to the actual ceremony, so any photos with the Officiant, were fake as he wasn’t pretending to do the ceremony 😛
Kim took some random shots of everyone there while Desiree and I had wedding photos done.
We all went back to our hotels/cottages to veg until the evening when we met at a restaurant called the Original Roy’s for a lovely, albiet expensive dinner.
Wednesday was our first full day spent as a group exploring the entire island, we started out meeting at a Buddhist temple that was a replica of a 950 year old temple in Japan. This was the part of the day I was looking forward to most, I’ve always been fascinated with Buddhist culture, and the temples are works of art.
Desiree has been looking forward to exploring the Pineapple plantation at Dole’s for years, we made this our second stop of the trip as we made our way to the top of the island.
The surprise of our day was the snorkeling, I wasn’t really looking forward to it, as I’m self concience and hate being around tons of people. The inlet was jam packed full of people, but once you had your face in the water and saw all the colour fish swimming around you, you just forget there’s 50 other people doing the same thing around you. I only wish I had a gopro to record it all.
We were originally going to hit the Polynesian center on the way home, but it was pretty late already, and it seemed packed.
We spent much of Day 7 vegging, and we ventured over to Kailua to visit Kim & Jon, on our drive there we ended up getting a flat. Ironically it was the first time either of us have ever had a flat tire, so I had the joy of learning how to change a tire for the first time, luckily it ended up being quite easy 🙂
We stopped in at the farmer’s market, and picked up some local goodies.