Have you been thinking of making a vacation to Hawaii and just haven’t made the time for it? Maybe it’s not in your budget? Or maybe don’t know how or where to start planning? Stop making excuses and make it happen! You only live once and you will never regret going. I hope my travel experience in this post makes you book your airfare and hotel as soon as you are done reading and viewing my pictures here and in my photo album on Facebook!

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So let’s begin with what I experienced in paradise. The initial reason why my gf and I booked this this trip was to accompany some friends on their special destination wedding (thank you #NissNegritoWedding) and the timing was perfect with both of our schedules to stay 10 extra days! Woohooo. We’re happy we did and it still wasn’t enough to experience the island at its fullest.

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Our adventure began the Thursday before we flew out with packing one suitcase for both of us. The maximum weight was 40lbs on that same suitcase where we would both pack our clothes for 10 days. Don’t know how, but we made it happen. We flew on Allegiant Airlines because the airfare was pretty economic, (paid $820 for 2 round-trip plane tickets—not bad right?) but we later found out that the catch was that they charge for everything to make-up for their cheap airfare. Adding an extra luggage would cost more and they even charge for carry-ons. We avoided all those charges. We like to be smart travelers and rather spend money on fancy dinners or fun activities on the island.

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We arrived to Oahu on Friday around 2:30 p.m. and settled into our hotel, which by the way was pretty inexpensive and we had a small kitchen to continue with our healthy eating habits as much as possible. No, we didn’t miss out on the authentic Hawaiian food either! We stayed across the street from the Hilton-Hawaiian Village — a pretty central location to restaurants, shops, beach and the marina. As soon as we settled-in we went for food because we were starving and immediately after did grocery shopping for the week. We realized how expensive food can be, but oh well it was part of the adventure. We did our groceries at a local Food Pantry store, which are very common in Hawaii.

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As mentioned earlier although we were on vacation, we wanted to stick to our healthy eating habits as much as possible. Such was the case that I even carried my Body Beast workout DVD’s. And we also went for jogs along the beach.

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The first night we walked around the Hawaiian Village in the evening, grabbed coffee and hung out in a lagoon while fireworks were fired in the area. To our understanding the Hilton- Hawaiian Village has a fireworks show every Friday and that was pretty cool. Not too shabby for a grand welcome! Lol

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On Saturday we woke up early and went for a jog along the beach to explore Waikiki. We explored the area and gained an understanding of our surroundings and even the transit system. We made it back to the hotel and had breakfast that we cooked in our room. I worked out and got ready for our friend’s wedding later that day in Waimanalo Beach.

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We made it to beautiful Waimanalo Beach where the ceremony took place literally 20 feet from the ocean and then were bused to the Aston Waikiki with a beautiful night view of the skyline and beach. Such an honor to be part of this experience with my beautiful gf!

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We made it to the after party at RumFire at the Sheraton. Great venue, music, food and view by the way.

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On Sunday we had breakfast at home and we hiked to Manoa Falls! This was a great place to hike with a trail that led you to a beautiful waterfall. Guess what? We dipped in the pool there at the base of the waterfall. But, it was seriously a jungle in there, nonetheless this adventure has extraordinary views.

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We walked home from the hike, ate and then worked out at home. I took a much needed nap and then we went to dinner to the Waikiki area to a Thai restaurant. I won’t mention the name of the restaurant because it was decent food, I’ve had better in Los Angeles.

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On Monday we had breakfast at home once again and this day we set on the adventure to hike Diamond Head Crater so we did! The views at the top of the crater were amazing with the ocean on one side and Waikiki hotels and skyline on the other. The hike to the top of the crater is a medium hike I would say. Very recommended and once you get to the peak there’s a flight of narrow stairs worth the climb. You all should do it!

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We made it back home that afternoon and went straight to enjoy the beach in Waikiki.

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After laying out in the sand for hours and swimming in the ocean we made it back to the jacuzzi and we stayed-in for dinner. Though we opted for a delicious macadamia and coconut ice cream.

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We knew even before we went on this trip that we wanted to explore Northshore so we booked an island tour that took us to the north part of the island. We visited the famous Halona Blowhole, Nu’uanu Pali Overlook, and Dole Plantation and had their famous dole whip. We passed Haleiwa, some north shore beaches and the final destination was the Polynesian Cultural Center where we visited authentic villages and mingled with natives from six Pacific cultures. Guess what? We had a fresh cold coconut there and added Tajin! Lol

At the PCC we enjoyed a Luau, love the food, and watched their Breath of Life show. Amazing show by the way that you all should check out. I won’t spoil it by giving you details.

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On Wednesday we had breakfast at home and made it out to Pearl Harbor on the city’s transit. Unfortunately, we were not able to do much at Pearl Harbor because the boats were not traveling to the different destinations due to high winds. We did the tours at the base of the memorial and watched films. This was our historical educational component of our trip. Check!

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We headed to the beach again.

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We had dinner at the Tropics restaurant and made it to the famous ice cream we had loved days before.

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On Thursday we went snorkeling with marine life in Hanauma Bay. In the afternoon we went to a secluded beach area in Waikiki where we enjoyed the best sunset. We had dinner at a delicious restaurant called Heavenly where their food is organic and comes from the farms in Hawaii. Everything there was locally grown. We learned from our waiter that this was a chain of three locally-grown product restaurants and she recommended we go to another one called Goofy. We walked around Waikiki at night that evening and loved the nightlife.

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By Friday we were approaching the end of our vacation and we wanted to drive to Northshore on our own and make it a road trip. We rented a car and drove to the Spitting Caves, Koko Head Lookout, and hiked Makapuu Point Light House trail and enjoyed more beautiful views.

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Then we drove off to Kailua Beach to eat the famous Pancakes smothered with Macadamia Nut Sauce at Boots and Kimo’s. The wait in line to be seated was an hour, so be prepared. We went to Kailua Beach and hands down this was my favorite beach on the island with white sand and the water crystal blue clear. We continued driving toward Northshore and stopped at the famous Giovanny’s Shrimp Truck to eat a lot of shrimp. We continued driving to Laie Beach Park and stopped to look at the high waves and surfers there.

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We ended at Waimea Bay and went into the Waimea Waterfall! Wow, another amazing experience. Hiked for less than a mile and arrived to this beautiful waterfall and at the bottom there’s a huge pool to swim!

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After this hike we headed back to Honolulu. We missed not stopping at Matsumoto shaved Ice in Haleiwa, but that will be next time.


We got home and got ready for dinner at Goofy –literally down the street where we were staying. Such good food too. We had a Pesto Pasta and Caesar Salad. We had the Crème Brule for dessert and purple sweet potatoes– delicious! I had never had them before. The waiter there then recommended us to go to Aloha Table for dinner.

Saturday was our chill day. We made it to breakfast at Goofy once again because it was so good for dinner. We had their famous omelet, sweet potatoes again, French toast and bowl of acai. My first time having acai and it was amazing as well. We made it to the beach for one last time to watch the sunset for the last time since we were taking off early the next day. At night we made it to Aloha Table for dinner, which by the way had the best service. The manager came out to greet us and we had a great conversation with him! Shout-out to him for making us feel so welcome on our last day. Mahalo! We continued the night at RumFire for some dancing.

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Fast-forward! We were back to reality the following day by 5 p.m. when we had landed at LAX.

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Vacation was over, but we were already talking about our next trip, which will more than likely be another island. Stay tuned for our next trip and adventures.

Without a doubt this was a great-fun vacation in paradise where we did so much with our busy itinerary. We loved it and cannot wait to get back.

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In terms of staying fit we were able to pull it off the first several days on the island, but we compensated the remainder of the week with the walking, swimming, jogging and hiking we did around the island.

If you want to learn more about tips on places to visit, restaurants to eat or simply want to hear more about our trip find me on my social media. You can find me in all platforms (at)gusjournalist. Overall our budget was $3,200 for both of us and we stayed well within that range on this 10-day vacation.

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So what are you waiting for? Did I convince you to book now and go! I hope so…

I think everyone should get to visit Hawaii and its paradise because it will make you a better person for experiencing all its natural wonders.

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To view my Hawaii 2015 photo album visit my Facebook page. 

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