A few people have asked “How’s married life so far?” Well, we spent 2 of the 3 weeks in Hawaii, so I can easily tell you it’s the greatest thing ever!! We left for our honeymoon adventure Sunday afternoon, the day after the wedding, to keep the party going. We spent the first night in downtown Chicago at The Drake and then before we knew it, we were on a flight to Hawaii Monday morning. After a full day of travel, we were wearing leis and kukui nuts!
Our first week was spent in Maui, staying at The Grand Wailea. It was a beautiful start! Especially when we got to the room and found champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us – thanks mom and dad! We made it just in time for our first of many sunsets.
My favorite day on Maui was spent driving the “Road to Hana”. It is a twisty, windy narrow highway, passing over 46 one way brides and about 620 turns following the coast around the island. The drive itself would take about 4 hours without stops – but we spent 11 hours doing it. There are so many fun places to stop off along the way to do short hikes, swim under waterfalls, or visit beaches, that we ran out of time to do everything we wanted to.We used this great iPhone app called “Gypsy Guide – Road to Hana” that uses GPS to locate where we were and narrate the trip with facts and recommendations on where to stop. We felt like we were on a treasure hunt because most destinations are unmarked so it’s exciting when you find the next stop! We saw a lot of these eucalyptus trees that look like they belong in a Doctor Seuss book:
We loved seeing all of the lava formations along the coast:
This is one of the little pools we stopped off to swim in. To my horror, Andrew jumped off the rocks to the right of the bridge here.
This is the black sand beach where we stopped for a swim:
And a little while later, hiked this narrow path to get to a red sand beach!
We had the best dinner of our lives, hands down, at Mama’s Fish House. Andrew said it perfectly when we walked out – “Never have we spent more on a dinner, but my only regret is that I didn’t have room to order and eat more!” When we got to our table looking out over the ocean, our friends Elaine and Antonio had a bottle of wine waiting for us. It was so special!
After a week on Maui, we hopped on a quick plane ride over to Kauai. Wow, this island is stunning! Within an hour of landing, I knew this island would be my favorite island! It’s just so lush and tropical and picturesque. We stayed on the north side of the island the first 4 days in a VRBO, with this view from our balcony. It was absolutely dreamy sitting here for eating breakfast in the morning or sipping champagne in the evening.
Our favorite beach on the north side of the island was Hanalei Bay, which is surrounded by Jurassic Park looking mountains. We did some great boogie boarding – my favorite!
Kauai is famous for the Na Pali Coast – it was unbelievably gorgeous! We first saw it hiking along the Kalalau Trail:
To really take in the coastline through, you need to go out on a boat (or helicopter!!) ride to see it all. Unfortunately, it rained most of the time we were out on the boat, but it was still gorgeous in a mystical kind of way.
If it had been sunny, this is what we would have seen:
We spent our last 3 nights on the south “sunny” side of the island at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, relaxing luxuriously and soaking up the last few days of the honeymoon. Discovering the multiple pools and beach front at the Hyatt, we canceled our remaining excursions to just unwind.
Have you heard of post-wedding depression? Turns out, it’s a real thing! I’ve been so sad all week that the best two and a half weeks of our lives are over! I have almost started crying several times, wishing we were either back dancing to the band at our wedding reception or lounging alligator style in this salt water lagoon…
Our wedding was dreamy and our honeymoon was pure heaven. I couldn’t have asked for anything better! It was amazing to spend 2 full weeks swimming, snorkeling, hiking, relaxing, and having fun with MY HUSBAND! Still getting used to calling him that :)
*A special thanks to Ginny Wagner for helping us plan our stay on Kauai and to Kelsey Stapp, Matt Weinberg, and Kiki Lyons for the Maui tips!