Travel - Hawaii

July 13, 2016

Part 2 of the Cali/Hawaii travelogue. From San Diego we flew to Maui. It's the perfect tropical add on to the West coast of America although it's still a 5 hour flight across the ocean. You're basically in the middle of the sea - practically Australia -, almost as far west you can go before you cross the international date line. We'd been before as a family back in 2008 and loved it so decided to spend 5 nights there again this time. A lot of you have asked for a blog post on our trip as you're thinking of going for honeymoons. Whilst that's normally my specialist subject and the purpose of my trips {I'm a travel/honeymoon writer for So You're Getting Married}, this was with my family so it will be from a slightly different angle. Because I was there with family instead of for a work trip with no pressure to take photos or report, I really tried to switch off for a few days. And while you may think that there are still a lot of photos in this post, compared to my usual self I actually left my camera, and even phone some days, in the apartment a lot so for me it's pretty good going! - and apologies now, they're nearly allll of beaches or palm trees.
Here's what I will say though if you're planning a trip out there, and then I'll let the photos do the talking:
- There are 6 Hawaiian islands. All with cheap, daily domestic flights from California. If you're planning to go straight from the UK you'll probably go via LA. It is a long journey so combining with a Californian road trip is a great idea.
- We chose Maui because we felt like it offers the best of all worlds. It's known for it's great beaches, there's easy accommodation and it's not as built up as the main island, nor too small like some of the others. This guide is helpful in choosing where to visit.
- We stayed in a luxury condo, booked via in Kaanapali Alii on Kaanapali Beach. On our past trip we stayed at the Sheraton Maui which was great but for a family of 5, a condo makes more economic sense and it meant we could self-cater.
- The apartment was great and part of a resort with three swimming pools, an amazing gym, tennis courts, big BBQs and a grill master to help you cook in the evenings, a concierge service, parking etc and outdoor areas with TVs showing sports which the boys loved. 
- Kaanapali beach is one of the main resorts, based on the west coast of the island about 45 minutes from the airport. The roads are good and hiring a car is super easy.
- For honeymooners, Kaanapali beach where we were was very family orientated, both for small children and big groups of families who use it as a meeting point for a family trip if they're all spread across America. So I wouldn't go there expecting quiet romance. On the other hand, there are some more honeymooney hotels at Wailea - the four seasons is mean to be good and more of a couples vibe.
- We loved Kaanapali Beach as it's got such a long gorgeous beach as well as having a boardwalk along the back which takes you on a 5 minute walk to the Whaler's Village - a shopping and restaurant area with brands like Kate Spade, Sephora etc as well as a Yogurt Land Fro-Yo Shop - it was nice being able to have both the beach and somewhere to wander to in the day for lunch or an ice cream.
- Also Lahaina an old town is just a 5 minute drive away with loads of restaurants, a supermarket and shops on the coast.
- Yes the beaches are gorgeous and we saw turtles right off the shore but I would say that it doesn't compare to somewhere like Mauritius or the Maldives. It's a long flight from the UK, 17 hours or so. If you were just planning on going there I would say that you can find more amazing tropical places slightly closer to home.
- But part of the main appeal of Hawaii is that it's American whilst being tropical. So you get that really fun, laid back vibe compared to somewhere like Mauritius or the Maldives which can be more sole-less and more exclusively coupley? We absolutely love America and as such loved Hawaii. 
- The food is great out there, I mean it's all American brands and food in the supermarkets as well as local fresh fish and fruit etc. But it is expensive, like all islands I guess that have to import a lot.
- There's more to Hawaii than beaches if you want some adventuring. There are jungles, waterfalls and mountains etc. 

If you want to ask me anymore about it then feel free via the comments or my Instagram.

The minute you land at the airport, there's Hawaiian music playing, the heat and a breeze coming in and just a relaxed vibe about it. There are people selling flower leis and it's so small that you grab your suitcase in about 5 minutes! There's no customs as you would have come from America. It's so low key, you know you've arrived in tropical paradise.

- A tropical fruit stand on the drive from the airport got us into the spirit of island life.

Kaanapali Beach

The water was so clear that we could see turtles up the end by Black rock without even going swimming!

The view from our condo balcony {and bedroom}. I loved waking up to this every morning.

The supermarkets have fridges for flower leis! Along with these fun fake ones. 

Standard food shop in Hawaii, pineapples and orchid garlands.

You know you're in Hawaii when all the number plates have a rainbow on and say Aloha!

Beachy days. It was scorching hot, by lunchtime we had to sprint across the sand if we didn't have shoes on!

Frangipani flowers in my hair.

Spectacular skies in old town Lahaina after dinner.

Early morning walks along the beach, collecting frangipani flowers.

Tropical paradise.

Cooking a BBQ down at the communal grill overlooking the beach. Such fun.

Spending time by the pool.

We drove up the coast to Kapaula and Napili beach one afternoon, which were both insanely beautiful and had the sparkliest water.

On Tuesday morning, my Mum and I walked to the whalers village to make a flower lei.

We wore them to dinner that night at the Hula Grill.

These cookies were the best!! Especially the white chocolate and coconut ones.

An afternoon in Lahaina.

Dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise had to be done.

Surf's up!

The pinkest sky I've ever seen after the sunset on our last night. Bye Hawaii :(

- we flew back to LA overnight and then had half a day there before flying back to London. It was good to break up the journey a bit, 5 hours and then 10 hours. We got an uber from the airport to Manhattan beach {it's about a 15min drive} for brunch and a walk along the pier. We all felt groggy and jet lagged but it was 1000 times better than sitting in the airport for 5 hours! And then back to England. With a bomb scare at both LAX and Heathrow thrown into the mix! 

Oh America we do love you. Such lovely memories of such a lovely lovely trip with my crazy family <3 <3 <3 .

R <3 xx 

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