Our flight arrived in Honolulu quite late and by the time we got settled in at our hotel it was well after midnight. We didn’t get a good look at our surroundings as it was already dark and we were exhausted. So the next morning when we opened the curtains and looked outside we were floored. We had woken up in paradise! Our hotel was located near Diamond Head and we had a clear view of the mountain on one side and the beach on the other. We stayed at The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel in Waikiki. I would recommend this hotel to anyone planning a trip to Honolulu. Located near Waikiki Beach, the hotel is about a 10 minute walk from restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. It sits on it’s own little beach which was never crowded and was the perfect spot to watch the sunset with a nice Mai Tai.
Our jet lag had us waking up at 4 am every morning so we decided to take advantage of the early start and catch the sunrise from the top of Diamond Head. We thought we would have the mountain to ourselves but when we arrived at the park gate there was a line up of tour buses and a crowd of people waiting for the gate to open. Jonathan is a little more laid back than me and didn’t really mind but I was determined to get a few moments of sunrise solitude. The second that gate opened we took off running and were one of the first to arrive at the top. Our determination won us several precious minutes of peace at the top, shared only with the two local girls in flip flops and the 86 year old man who beat us to the top. A few minutes later a steady stream of people started arriving at the top and the spell was broken. It was so worth the early morning even for those few minutes and I carried that feeling of peace with me all day.
One of my favourite things that we did on this trip was a snorkel tour. In fact I loved it so much that we did it twice! The tour, run by Hawaiian Nautical, took us on a catamaran to a reef called Turtle Canyon. I’m not the strongest swimmer and I never miss shark week so I was pretty nervous about getting in the water. When we arrived at the reef they lowered this little staircase off the front of the boat and somehow I found myself at the front of the group. I slowly descended the little staircase until I was in the warm water and after a few cautious kicks I forgot to be scared. Swimming with sea turtles was such a powerful experience and I’m so glad that I didn’t let my fear keep me from getting in the water. To be honest I hadn’t expected to find the experience so moving but there was something about watching those sea turtles ride the current and swim that really got to me.
The best part about our time in Honolulu was getting to spend time with Jonathan. We have very busy lives at home and don’t get to spend as much “quality time” together as we’d like. Being able to wander around Waikiki exploring together was so much fun and so relaxing. We got tons of beach time and Jonathan even took a surfing lesson!
That’s it for the Honolulu part of our honeymoon. Next week, Kauai!