Thursday, July 8, 2010

Colas in Oahu: Bonus Honeymoon Day!

As I mentioned in my last honeymoon recap post, and back in March, it turned out to be cheaper by about $1,000 to have a 23 hour layover on Oahu, instead of flying home directly from Kauai.

And what did that mean? Bonus honeymoon afternoon and morning in Waikiki!

We sadly left our beautiful house on Kauai at about 9:30am, stopped in Hanalei for some souvenirs, and dropped off our snorkel gear, beach gear, and the rental Jeep. Around 1:30 in the afternoon we landed on Oahu, and we were ready to explore! After a $30 cab ride to our hotel, we discovered at check in that our room wasn't quite ready, so our rush to see as much of Waikiki as we could in an afternoon was interrupted by one of these, while we waited for our room.

After about 45 minutes we were able to check in, and were pleasantly surprised by this pretty view from our spacious balcony, in an only $135 a night with tax room (that's a good deal during the summer in Waikiki only a block from the beach)!
We dropped our bags, put on almost the last of our three bottles of SPF 75 sunscreen (yup, we used that much, but didn't get a sunburn, always a goal for me on vacation with my pale skin!) and went in search of someplace to eat a late lunch. We walked down to the beach and in and out of several hotels before ending up across the street at Margaritaville. We shared their lunch sized volcano nachos. But this huge pile of nachos was still nothing compared to the dinner sized nachos, which we've had at their Vegas location.!

After walking around a lot more, and visiting the International Marketplace (a big sort of flea market area right next to where we stayed) for more souvenirs, we went to the Hula Grill for dinner. Here we are at the bar waiting for a table. Notice my cute new earrings and matching necklace Mr. Cola bought me! :)

Friends of ours (aka a bridesmaid and groomsman in our wedding) had recommended we eat at the Hau Tree Lanai, but after looking at their menu, Mr. C was in the mood for something a little more casual. And he had some delish ribs for dinner, but not after sampling our second best crab cakes of the trip.

The view was stunning from the Hula Grill, although it wasn't a direct sunset view.
(Waikiki was so pretty, but we both agreed that we had been spoiled by the quiet and seclusion of Kauai, which was much more our speed than the crowds of Waikiki. As you can see above, even at night the beaches here were quite busy.)

The next morning we woke up early and took a cab about 10 minutes up to the Diamond Head State Monument.

Our goal was the top of the volcanic crater, where the small white building is in this picture.

To get there it was a good climb up a series of trails, stairs and tunnels.

But the view and cooling wind from the top was completely worth it! And it felt great to stretch our legs before our long flight home that afternoon.

A side note here: you might have noticed that in only a few of our pictures from our honeymoon am I wearing my hair down, most of the time my hair was in pigtails. That's because my hair is so long and thick (read: hot and hella heavy), I can't wear regular ponytails anymore without it hurting my neck. But I love my long hair, and have worked so hard at growing it out and keeping it healthy that I'm definitely not ready for a Post Wedding Chop anytime soon. So my solution for keeping my neck cool and not aching on our honeymoon was pigtails!

After cabbing back to our hotel, packing and cabbing to the airport, we had lunch at Gordon Biersch at the Oahu airport. I had my very last crab cake of our honeymoon here, and it was, well, an airport crab cake in a chain restaurant--it was about as good as frozen crab cakes! (That's ok though, I like crab cakes so much I'll willing eat a frozen one on occasion to get my fix!)
(You know, after writing all these honeymoon posts, it seems I have a weird obsession with crabs or something. Apparently I like to watch them, feed them, poke at them, and eat them. But I swear, I took lots of pictures and ate lots of different animals on this trip! They just didn't make the cut when it came to pictures to show you! ;) )

Our flight home left on time, and surprised us by giving us a fantastic aerial view of Diamond Head.

And we were also treated to one final sunset, as we neared the mainland. Ahhhh, if only our honeymoon could have lasted longer.....

So that was our honeymoon, as concise as I could make the 2,400+ photos I took! It was everything we could have hoped for, and we thoroughly enjoyed it all, that is, until the day after we got home.

We came home to an extremely unpleasant and disrespectful "present" that my mother had left for us in our home. Or rather, did to our home. I won't go into details, because just thinking about it makes me shake with anger, but lets just say she made an ridiculously poor decision that was absolutely not hers to make (and that could have been avoided by at least eight better options I can think of, the first being to effing call us, leave a message, and let us make the decision ourselves), leaving us to deal with the fallout upon our supposedly joyous return from our honeymoon, when we only wanted to decompress before returning to work the next day. My dad even brought to my attention the fact that this idiotic decision on my mother's part was probably just a great way to start our marriage in Mr. Cola's eyes, now that he knows his new MIL makes very bad, rash, out of place choices. Mr. C is refusing to comment, and vowing to stay out of it, and I won't mention it again on here, besides this mini-rant. But I felt my displeasure had to be voiced to give an accurate portrayal of our honeymoon, since this put a huge cloud over it. Now, every time we look back at our honeymoon and the start of our marriage, we'll have to remember this unpleasantness too, and much of the respect that I'd been forming for my mother over the past few years is pretty much out the window now. It's such a shame too, if it had been handled properly, it would have only been a minor annoyance the first day of our honeymoon, but instead it turned into this whole big issue because it was purposely hidden from us.

Anyway, the end of that, and truly, before we got home, our honeymoon was awesome, and I would highly recommend Hawaii to anyone, especially the north shore of Kauai. And now, onto more fun, wedding-related posts!

(all pictures in this post are personal photos)


  1. Beautiful photos! I can see why you liked Kauai better than Oahu, but it was probably still nice to check it out. And $135 a night is a great deal. My friend is getting married on Maui next year at some fancy hotel there where rooms are $450 a night. Say what??? I think we'll try to find a better option.

    So so sorry you came home to a bad surprise :( Thankfully you have Mr. C by your side to work through it.

  2. I’m sorry to hear about all the stress that awaited you after you returned, but am glad you had a fun time on Oahu. We didn’t get to spend as much time there as we did on the other islands, but we did have a chance to visit Pearl Harbor, which was something I didn’t want to miss. We’ll definitely be going back soon to spend more time on this island.

  3. So sorry you had to deal with that upon your return from your beautiful honeymoon. The pictures are gorgeous though and its great that you guys took advantage of that extra day.

  4. Ok, it amazes me all that you packed into that honeymoon. I loved staying in fun! And you got great photos yet again.

    The nachos are ridiculously insane.

    I have to admit that you have picqued my interest as to what the hell your mother did! But I am sorry for the frustration...try to let time help you forget about it.

  5. Thats fab you had that extra day to extend your honeymoon!

    So sorry you had to deal with unpleasantness on your return.