Hawaiian Babymoon 2018!
As we are preparing for all the wonderful changes life will have after we have our baby (due beginning of Feb 2018), we decided to take a little bit of “us” time and take a babymoon.
We are normally pretty adventurous and down to travel anywhere, but being 5 months and half months pregnant at the time, this vacay had a few requirements attached. I wanted something relaxing and easy, somewhere warm to extend summer a bit longer (especially since the weather was already cooling in New England), and lastly we wanted a place that was not super high risk of Zika.
After looking at multiple options, we eventually decided on a cruise around the Hawaiian islands. I’ve traveled to Oahu and Kauai on a family vacation with my parents and sister before but it was so long ago (maybe 15 years?) and this would be Sean’s first time going to the islands. Doing a cruise would make things so easy – we wouldn’t have to worry about getting from island to island, accommodations, finding where to eat breakfast/lunch/dinner, etc. Exactly what I wanted – everything SIMPLE. And plus, who wouldn’t want to travel to a bunch of islands? So, vacation booked!
I had a 2 week work trip to Singapore the last two weeks of Sept. In our typical fashion, we booked the cruise and flights for only a day before I left for my work trip and we were leaving only 5 days after I returned home. Thank you, thank you, thank you to our family and friends to helped out last minute by taking care of our fur babies Bailey and Lucy while we were gone!
Here was our itinerary:
- October 5th – Arrive in Oahu early afternoon
- October 6th – Arrive to cruise ship & set sail that evening
- October 7 & 8th – Kahului, Maui
- October 9th – Hilo, Hawaii
- October 10th – Kona, Hawaii
- October 11 & 12th – Nawiliwili, Kawaii & Napali Coast
- October 13th – Honolulu, Oahu
- October 14th – Flight back home to Boston
I’ll break this up into 5 blog parts since each of the islands were so different and I have so many things to share. I’ll include the things we did Oct 5 and 6th in this first part. Part 2 will focus on the 2 days we spent in Maui, Part 3 will focus on both sides we visited on the Big Island, Part 4 will focus on the two days in Kauai and last but not least Part 5 will wrap up our trip with some final things back in Oahu.
Day 1: Arriving
Besides attaching a few photos below, I’m going to pretty much skip over Day 1 even though we technically arrived early afternoon and had a half day open. Let’s just chalk this up to jet lag and much needed R&R. Pregnancy brain and last minute planning 100% contributed to the fact I thought that again at 5 months pregnant it wouldn’t be a problem going from Singapore time to Boston time to Hawaiian time all in 5 days. Yes Kristyne, my 1 allowed coffee a day can make you power through 12 hours + 6 hours timezone changes. (Roll eyes)
We did have fantastic views from our hotel balcony.
Day 2: Hike at Diamond Head
We were staying at a great hotel right on the beach at Waikiki beach in Honolulu. We were upgraded to a suite which was amazing since we had 2 balconies that overlooked the water for us to watch the surfers and sunset (we didn’t make it much past sunset that night). However, a positive to falling asleep at 7 PM is that you are well rested by 3:30 AM, giving you plenty of time to get ready have breakfast and get to Diamond Head for 6 AM to start a sunrise hike. We took an Uber to Diamond Head, which was only about a 10 min drive from Waikiki. On the way up, we noticed a bunch of tents being set up at a local community college and our driver told us that every Saturday there is a farmers market from 7 AM-12 PM. What a perfect way to end a hike. This is exactly why we love to explore apart from organized tours etc – since it gives us the freedom to happen upon local things that we can experience since we are on our own time.
We got to Diamond Head right at 6 AM, when they opened the park gates. Hiking at sunrise is pretty popular, so there were a few tour buses that were there at that time as well. However don’t let any crowds discourage you since it’s definitely worth it for the views. The changes in colors on the way up versus on the way down as the sun rose higher above the crater was amazing!
Quick info on of Diamond Head crater: It is also known as Mount Leahi which was formed from a single explosive eruption of steam and ash approximately 150,000 years ago. The explosion formed and almost perfect circular crater. On the peak, there were a series of observation bunkers completed in 1910 and housed Fort Ruger which was primarily used as an observation station and fire control.
Interesting Fact: We started noticing that there was a big tourist industry catered to Japanese tourists in Honolulu. There were a lot of Japanese tours and tour buses, menus translated into Japanese, Japanese signs etc. I don’t remember this from my last trip to Oahu, so it was something I thought was very interesting, especially since it was really focused on Japan and not Chinese or Asia tourism in general. What we learned is that Japan actually has quite a history in Hawaii over the past 200 years. Japanese descended Hawaiians make up about 20% of the islands today. From late 1800’s to early 1900’s tens of thousands of Japanese immigrated to Hawaii as contract laborers to work in the plantations. By 1924, Japanese make up about 40% of the territory’s population (approx. 120,000 people).
Continuing down the history path – Hawaii also plays a critical role in how the U.S reacted to American-Japanese after the Pearl Harbor attacks. There is a privately owned island called Ni’ihau, which is inhabited by a few hundred people. One of the Japanese pilots crashed into the island after the attacks. At that time, the island had not yet heard about what happened at Pearl Harbor so in typical Hawaiian fashion the Hawaiians greeted and welcomed the pilot. Long story short, the pilot ended up convincing one of the 2nd generation Japanese families on the islands to “side” with him and turn on the Hawaiians. They found weapons and attacked the locals on the island, but ultimately failed. This incident was super important because it was said that how easily the local Hawaiian Japanese were convinced to fight for Japan made the US nervous and heavily contributed to how we ended up imprisoning over 100,000 Japanese in labor camps during the war.
Okay – enough history stories for now. After the Diamond Head hike, we made our way down to the local farmers market we saw earlier. It was about 8:30 AM but that did not stop Sean from getting fresh ice cream #YOLO.
Who knew you could have such a day before noon! (Jet lag for the win). We went back to the hotel, packed up and made our way over to the piers to board our cruise – more to come next week in Part 2.