Our fun began with our first ever drink together at an airport bar. Before kids, Karen didn’t drink much. After kids, we were always travelling with kids, so no bar!



We arrived to a cold and rainy day in Oahu – it was 16c/60f. We went to the Ala Moana Center to get Karen’s phone to work, ran some errands and slowly made our way to Oahu’s north shore where we would be staying the first four nights in Laie.   We had a walk on the beach. It was quite rough and deep, so there would be no swimming on the beach!

We awoke to sunshine and decided to explore the East Coast of Oahu. As we were driving, we saw aqua heaven and after much searching, got a park at the stunning Kailua Beach. We spent several hours on the beach, swimming, walking to town for lunch and being in heaven.

Last day for Chris to wear his A&M hat. He lost it on this day. 🙁

As we crossed an inlet, we saw two baby birds floating out to sea. Their first flight attempts were unsuccessful. We fished them out and returned them to the parent birds who were watching our every move.  Hope they made it and the parents choose a better nest site next time.

Evening spent by the pool but not sipping cocktails as Laie is in a dry county.

The next day, we met Cindy and Aaron Sagarese for breakfast and walked to the top of Diamond Head. Cindy is my friend who introduced me to Rodan + Fields, a business that changed their family’s life. Can’t wait for the Australian launch!

As we were driving towards Diamond Head, we went on a road that followed Waikiki Beach. Wowza! I took this photo from the car. The north shore does NOT look like this!


Here are some shots from the top of Diamond Head (crater of a dead volcano).


After this adventure. We decided to explore Waikiki and go for a swim.

It was so beautiful that we didn’t want to leave.  We were looking at a 90 minute drive back up the coast to our hotel and we didn’t want to go. So we decided to see if we could find a hotel room.  I went to the Aston Waikiki Beach and found us a room for a good price.

This was the view! So I said, “Yes please!!!”


All we had were the clothes on our backs so we bought a dress, a couple of shirts and toothbrushes and made do.

We went to Tiki bar at the hotel, overlooking the beach and I had my first Mai Tai! Yummo!!

We went for a long walk and found lots of live music, including traditional Hawaiian music and performances of the Hula.

The next morning, we didn’t want to leave! We love Waikiki.

We then drove back up to the North Shore to attend a Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center.  Learned lots of interesting things there and met some nice people. No Mai Tais though. Did I mention Laie is dry?

The next day, we flew out to Kauai!  I’ve always wanted to visit the Garden Island and it didn’t disappoint. Stunning mountains and so lush and green. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott at Kapa’a. Beautiful!  The first night, we had Mai Tais on the beach.

Chris declared he would surprise me with our dinner location. The big reveal – Tesla’s largest battery charging station in the world. Yawn!

Chickens are everywhere in Hawaii. A rooster like this invited us to a new day each morning in Kauai, usually starting at 4:45 a.m.

One of the highlights of Kauai was our 8-mile hike to the waterfall and back. The first 2 miles were to the beach. Muddy, rocky path but manageable. Gorgeous view of the Na Pali Coast.



Right before we made it to the beach, we crossed our first stream. I tried walking on rocks to avoid getting wet and wound up in the drink. This was before we were advised that the safest way to cross the stream was to walk through it and get wet! I deeply bruised my hand but nothing was broken. I knew this because I was lucky enough to fall in front of a doctor, who checked out my hand and wrist!

We made it to the beach and decided to do the next two miles to the water fall.


On our way, we passed flowering trees that felt like a fairy land.


And giant bamboo clumps with lots of love messages.


It took our breath away when we first saw what we were walking to! Definitely motivated us to keep going. Then we ran into a fella who told us the last mile of the hike was “treacherous” and to walk through the streams. Don’t try to balance on the rocks.


We made it!

Chris and I went swimming. Water was freezing!


The walk back was tough!

After the 8-mile walk, we had a swim at the beautiful Ke’e Beach.


Drove across a number of 1-lane bridges in and out.

The next day, we toured around Kauai in a doorless helicopter! My first time in a helicopter. Exhilerating and terrifying. If I were a pilot, I’d want to be a helicopter pilot because they are so maneuverable, it’s like being a bird!

Thankfully, I sat in the middle. Don’t think I could have handled the “door” seat. This shot shows my blue shoes that I was drilling into the foot rest. I’m sure that’s what kept me safe.


70% of Kauai isn’t accessible by land so helicopter is a great way to see how stunning this island is. So many waterfalls. Amazing, amazing, amazing!

We were supposed to fly straight home to Sydney from Kauaii, but Chris decided to surprise me for my birthday and booked us 3 more nights at the Aston Waikiki. I was in heaven, heaven, heaven!!

Best birthday ever. Had Cheesecake Factory Godiva chocolate cheesecake for breakfast. Went for a walk. A swim. Sat in the shade under my fav tree and read, read, read. Sat on the balcony. Great dinner out.

We were sad to go but had an amazing trip and will return!









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