18
Feb-2015

My Solo Trip to Hawaii.
I just came back from another great working vacation! I spent 5 days in #Oahu visiting my cousin and her adorable baby and working another Brides Club Bridal Expo, it was a lot of fun but tiring I was able to watch a surf competition for a few minutes and check out the Dole Plantation, I was glad we took the time to stop they have samples of great stuff everywhere,  you can buy some great souvenirs and take the Pineapple Express around the property and learn about the history of the pineapple in Hawaii.  She took me on a tour of Hickam and Pearl Harbor I saw the Arizona and the Utah (yes I did get choked up)!  I met some amazing wedding vendors from multiple islands and connected with several brides. I even got up at 5:30 in the morning searching for the perfect beach for a prospective customer (I didn’t find it but watched an amazing sunrise that I would have missed if I hadn’t driven 45 minutes in the dark). All in all Oahu is a nice place to visit but make sure you prepare for a ton of traffic! The Ko Olina area is beautiful and Disney’s Aulani was pretty neat there is Paradise Cove Luau down the street and some great beaches and places to eat nearby.  North shore was also great because you get out of the city and away from the worst of the traffic.  Turtle Bay is a nice place to stay also but not as much to do and not as many dining options. I can say Honolulu and Waikiki aren’t my favorites because of the traffic a lot of people.  They don’t call Oahu The Gathering Place for nothing! It is definitely a busy place needless to say,  I didn’t truly relax until Monday when I took an Island Air flight over to Kauai for another 5 days with more cousins!

I arrived at 9:30 am and was on my way heading down the 2 lane beautiful drive to Poipu, first thing I did was put the top down on the convertible (in my opinion the only way to do Kauai).  The vibe of Kauai is so different than Oahu it is calming and relaxing just being there, I felt the stress of the last few months just melt on the short drive to check out the Koloa Landing Resort as soon as I arrived the staff treated me like a friend and gave me a great tour and told me about all the plans for the resort in the next little while I can’t wait to see the finished product. They are adding 208 new rooms and the pool will be huge!  Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach is an exclusive, oceanside resort community located in one of the most coveted locations in the Hawaiian Islands. Nestled next to legendary Poipu Beach, its setting ideally positions you to share in the abundance of natural and cultural treasures of Kauai.

From there I went to the beautiful boutique style hotel The Koa Kea they specialize in Romance and are just steps from the beach.  If you would like to see any of the pictures I took while there check out Facebook.com/plumeriabreezestravel. I had a quick tour and fell in love with yet another great hotel.

Ok I’ll admit I could have kept working but after the long week at the bridal expo and driving in heavy traffic I was done… I drove into Old Koloa town and found a couple shops in one I bought  a great new beach towel and in another I found a ball cap.  I then headed back to #Poipu Beach Park, found a decent parking spot, took my stuff to the beach and staked my claim for two hours.  Finally after 5 days I was at the beach and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I met a couple of young women that were beach bumming it around Kauai- they spent a few days camping in the North Shore then stayed in a hotel for a couple of nights.  After getting a couple hours of solitude it was time to meet up with my cousins they were staying at the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation in Poipu 2 families were in the garden view condos a little dated but clean and have kitchens.  1 couple stayed in the Ocean View Condo and same thing, a little dated but clean and have a small kitchen.  The Kiahuna Plantation is more old Hawaii even people working at other hotels seemed to appreciate that.  The beach there is only steps away and we saw a Monk Seal just resting on the beach.  Did you know you actually have to tell people to stay away from wild animals on the beach?  The Hawaiian Monk Seal is protected so when one is spotted volunteers go out and tape off the area so he/she can rest without being bothered by people.

Here is some info from the Monk Seal Rescue site.

~The Hawaiian Monk Seal is one of the most endangered species in the world ~They are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and exist nowhere else in the world ~Habitat covers 1,240 miles from the Northwest Hawaiian Islands to the main #HawaiianIslands ~The Hawaiian name is ‘Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, which translates to dog running in the rough seas ~Monk Seals are the oldest species of seals on the planet ~The Hawaiian Monk Seal is the official state mammal of Hawaii ~Protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act

That night I went and checked myself in at the Aston Islander on The Beach in Kapaa behind the Coconut Market Place a great little hotel I had a partial ocean view room with a microwave, sink and mini-fridge.  It was a very clean comfortable place and would definitely recommend it, great food and shopping nearby.

Tuesday I went to the St. Regis Princeville words can’t describe the view when you walk in but I’ll try… You walk into the lobby and there is beautiful wood everywhere the check-in clerks have the best view you could ask for, they are looking out at huge picture windows with gorgeous views of mountains and the Pacific! I was in awe just looking around the rooms are some of the best I’ve ever seen and the atmosphere is just relaxed.

From there I went down the street to the Westin and Drew was great took me on a tour and I found another great place I would just love to kick back for a few days. I still hadn’t found the perfect hotel from the description of the brides dream wedding but I wasn’t deterred.  It is more work than you think finding the perfect wedding location!  After a morning of driving and touring hotels I drove to the Kauai Back Country Adventures Warehouse and took a Mountain Tubing Adventure, now that was a great way to spend the afternoon!  It is a fun adventure up in the mountains tubing the irrigation ditches and tunnels on an ancient Sugar Plantation.  Check out the  videos on my Facebook Page.

Wednesday morning was a tour of the Sheraton Kauai and it is another amazing place! It was close to being the perfect wedding for the bride I had in mind and had I not went to the Grand Hyatt Kauai the very next morning I would have said it was it.   I arrived at the Grand Hyatt 20 minutes early for my breakfast meeting and was totally amazed- to be a Grand Hyatt the property has to have historical value and this happens to have Sugar Plantation history that you can see all over the place from the wall sconces to the wooden details everywhere.  It was breathtaking and the staff was so nice, we went to breakfast and they completely doted on every customer there.  The beach there is Shipwreck beach and perfect for weddings whether you book through the hotel or a wedding planner off site that can be considerably cheaper.  There is a 24 hour fitness center, the only outdoor spa in Hawaii, a saltwater lagoon, a 24 hour pool and other great restaurants even a  four diamond award winning one.  I would definitely recommend the Grand Hyatt for your destination wedding/honeymoon or even just a getaway to the islands.  Also nearby  is the Aston Poipu Kai that is a less expensive property and nice for those who don’t want to spend as much, it is adjacent to two great beaches.

Wednesday night my family and I went to Smith’s Tropical Paradise #Luau ~yes they are Hawaiian with the last name Smith they make sure to tell you that grandpa Smith came from England but grandma was Hawaiian.  The food was great, they have something for everyone the show was awesome! I highly recommend Smiths.

Thursday I just kind of wandered after my tour of the Grand Hyatt, I ended up in historical Hanepepe checked out the Bright Side Gallery then the Spouting Horn and #Wailua Falls.  On the way back down the road from the falls I spotted a Clay Shooting range and swung in to grab some brochures, I think that would make for a great bachelor party for destination weddings.

Sadly my trip was over but I do know where I’m going when I come back next year after the bridal show and I’m not doing the trip solo next time all though it was fun to drive around on my own schedule Hawaii’s just not the same without my husband.
Where have you wandered? Tell us about it below.

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