A few months ago, my friend and I went to California. We spent a few days in Los Angeles and spent the rest of the week with my grandparents. During that trip were invited to Hawaii, and we weren’t entirely sure it was an actual possibility. Fast forward 6 months (wow time FLIES) to us standing on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.
We left on a Friday afternoon, and had two layovers: Chicago and Los Angeles.
Disclaimer: I despise Los Angeles. I truly think it’s one of the worst cities I’ve ever been to, and that goes for the airport too. The airport is a MESS. It’s always under construction, the layout doesn’t make any sense, and it’s always crowded. (Fun fact: we also flew through DC which is another one of my least favorite airports…)
I don’t have any thoughts on Chicago, since I’ve never been out of the airport, but our first layover was short and sweet. Just a enough time to grab a coffee, take some pictures, and sit down. Did you honestly except me not to take pictures in this hallway?
We got to LAX between 10 and 11pm, and fully expected to stay in the airport overnight (we had a 10 hour layover). We made our way to the Hawaiian Airlines terminal, and this is where things took a turn. Remember what I was saying about LAX being a mess? Well, the Hawaiian Airlines terminal is in an entirely separate building than the major American airlines. So, we walked the mile long walk to our terminal, walked up to security, showed them our tickets, and the woman said: “What do you want?” Um, ok… I’m just trying to go sit down and take a nap and buckle in for this 10 hour layover, ma’am.
Long story short: they made us leave the airport and we had to get a hotel. The hotel driver wouldn’t let us on the shuttle at first so that was an experience all within itself. The hotel was so cute, but we only stayed for about 5 or 6 hours in the middle of the night, so I didn’t get any pictures.
The flight to Hawaii was pretty great. Yeah, it was a really long flight but the plane was empty so we both got our own row, and they gave out complimentary alcohol. So, win-win in my book.
We visited Kauai, or as I like to call it: Chicken Island. Um, but hang on, WOW HAWAII IS BEAUTIFUL, OKAY? The moment I stepped off the airplane I was in heaven. It was warm, smelled great, looked amazing, and felt beautiful.
We didn’t really do much while we were there except relax and soak it all in. We stayed on Poʻipū Beach in a condo that sat over this cute street and had the most amazing view of the ocean (I SAW A WHALE, ONE MORNING, WHILE DRINKING COFFEE!). The ocean looks kind of far off in this picture, but believe me it wasn’t.
I think what I’m going to do now is give a picture breakdown of the two major categories of any vacation: Food & Sights. Also, I don’t remember a lot of the specifics about what we did because I spent my whole week reading (which I’ll be making a book recommendation post soon) and tanning and being slightly tipsy at various times.
SO MUCH GOOD FOOD AND GOOD ALCOHOL AND AESTHETICS. The main thing I do when I travel, to somewhere new (and somewhere old), is eat. I always try to spend the least amount of money on lodging and put all my money into food. Why? Because, why not? It’s vacation! I don’t cook like this on the regular, so I might as well pay someone to cook for me!
Here’s a list of some of the stuff we ate: Thai food, TACOS (the ones pictured, from the food truck, are fish and shrimp), quesadillas, salads (because sometimes you just have to cleanse), and seafood. Did you really think I would go to Hawaii and not eat as much fresh seafood as possible?
Oh, also, HAPPY HOUR. And breweries (we went to two because it wouldn’t have been a vacation with my grandparents had we not).
Hawaii is hands down the second most beautiful place I’ve ever been (falling only behind Japan). It exceeded my expectations, and every time I woke up I was blown away. The smell of the ocean, the feel of the salt in the air, the sun… Just, ah. I could never live there but I could totally make yearly vacations a thing.
The highlight of the trip, for me, was the dinner cruise we took at the beginning of the week. It was a 6 hour cruise around the island, and absolutely stunning. We saw whales, dolphins, and even a few sea turtles. Seeing the island from the water just shed a complete new light on its beauty. (Also, there was an open bar on the cruise and so you know I would have been in love no matter what…)
Also, lastly, I can’t not mention the chickens. THEY’R EVERYWHERE. Roosters and hens and chicks. Just running around. They’re actually the top of the food chain in Kauai, which is insane to me. They’re really beautiful and not afraid of people, but honestly I could go my life without seeing chickens again. Well, mostly Roosters (who crow all the damn time no matter what hour it is).
It’s pretty funny, because usually all of my vacations come at a time when I’m either going through something or just feeling like I’m in a rut. And, this trip wasn’t any different. I had a full week to mentally recharge, and get a grip on what I want to accomplish in the next few months. It also really opened my eyes to a lot of stuff going on in my personal life, and I’m hoping that the positivity I felt in Hawaii will slowly come back to me in that area of my life too (I think it already is, but fingers crossed!).