Because of timing and a few other reasons, we all got to go to Hawaii for Nhu’s Wedding. Ian and I had just gotten home from Europe three days prior and didn’t want to leave the kids again, and then my cousin was getting married in Colorado the following week, so we decided to all just go to Hawaii and fly straight to Colorado from there. Never again in my entire life will I desire to get on a plane with a fifteen month old. But the rough travel days were made up for with memorable family time in the most exotic place we’ve all been together.
Our arrival on the island started out a little rough because we rented an AirBnB and it just wasn’t good. At all. Long story short, we decided to cancel that rental and booked a last minute hotel room at ‘Ilima Hotel, because I just wasn’t about to let this grungy rental ruin our sacred four days in Hawaii (trust me, it was bad). I was nervous about all four of us sharing one hotel room, but it was actually pretty big, had a kitchenette, dining table, huge beds, a great view, and A POOL. Plus, it was a short walk to a bunch of great restaurants, and the beach! Totally worth the last minute switcheroo!
When we weren’t participating in wedding-related shenanigans, we were out exploring the nearby hotels, beaches, and shops. I’ve never heard anything great about Oahu (most of the hype is centered around Maui and Kauai), but Honolulu is seriously GREAT. Ian and I have been to Maui a couple times (that’s where we honeymooned—aww!) and absolutely love it, but would probably choose to go back to Honolulu for our next visit to Hawaii. It was just soooo much more affordable than Maui. So eating out for every meal didn’t hurt quite as bad!
The wedding was amazing! The ceremony took place on a private beach called Paradise Cove, and the reception was in the same spot, but as the night went on, it turned into a public luau! It was our first luau and we were all freaking out! Unfortunately, Greyer and I couldn’t even stay long enough to eat dinner because we had left Ruby at the hotel with our friend Kacie (who was a doll enough to babysit) and both kids needed to get to bed. But don’t worry, we instead got dinner at the Target café whilst picking up a pack of diapers, and it turned into a special little date for Greyer and me.
After the wedding day, we had two full days for just having fun. Our favorite memory from this trip was the afternoon we spent snorkeling, followed by dinner at Bubba Gump. Bubba Gump has turned into an accidental tradition for Ian and me. We went to the one in Maui on our honeymoon, then ended up at the one in Cancun a year later, and then found ourselves a Bubba Gump in Monterey when we were there last year. So when we found out there was also one in Honolulu we just had to add it to our list. It was extra fun this time because not only did we have the kids with us, but our long-time bestie, Jeremiah, was there with us too! We’ve never really vacationed with friends, but Jerry was there to do the videography for the wedding (check out Jeremiah's amazing videos here), and having him there ended up being one of the best additions to this trip! Jeremiah is one of our most favorite people ever. He was there the day Ian proposed, and was also in our wedding! Greyer loves him so much that he instructed us to not call him Jeremiah, and instead to refer to him as “Greyer’s friend.” Hahaha! Jeremiah is pictured in the dramatic photo of the purple sunset and the waves crashing below; his friendship to us over the years makes him worthy of a paragraph in this post and we want to remember that he was there with us! We also got to hook up with our good friends, the Morrisons, who just moved there from Portland last year, and we have missed them madly!
Our few days on Oahu were jam-packed, but it was so much fun experiencing a new place as a family of four. We don’t usually travel far with the kids, because it usually ends up being more stressful and less fun than just staying home with them. But this trip proved that although it is much harder to travel with little ones, it is still doable, and parts of it can be even be enjoyable ;)
P.S. We will still be bouncing back and forth between Europe posts and other posts. We needed a little break from Europe, but you can expect more here soon : )