It already seems like weeks ago, but DrRuckus and I had a truly fabulous week away in Hawaii! I can't believe we have been back for four days already and I fear that if I don't post something about it now, it will be too far gone. It was so needed and the help that our parents gave us by coming to our home to care for our kids so that we could get away was really appreciated.
DrRuckus and I honeymooned in Hawaii in 2002 and then lived there for his first year of residency, but we haven't been back since we moved to Chicago in 2003. My aunt and her husband still live there, but not for long! They are getting ready to move to Arizona and we thought that if we didn't go back while they were still there, we would regret it immensely. So, their impending move was our excuse for going.
We spent the first night in our old neighborhood in Waikiki, revisiting old haunts and then having a wonderful sunset dinner at the Halekulani Hotel. There is something about the light in Waikiki that is magical. The next morning I had one of my best runs ever up and around Diamond Head and then we hightailed it out of there and to Kauai.
We spent 8 nights of our honeymoon in Kauai and returned to the same place for our three days this time. The hotel was just taken over by St. Regis and redone and reopened the week before we arrived. The resort already had one of the best locations and views in all of the world, and the redo makes it seem much more in keeping with the location. The old resort was too formal and palatial while it now feels warmer and more Hawaiian.
Our stay at the St. Regis was wonderful, even though the resort is still working out some kinks. The staff there were really friendly and for the most part did everything they could to make guests feel happy and relaxed. Well, we were certainly those things. Sitting on those turquoise chairs gazing at Hanalei Bay, reading a good book and sipping one of their divine El Fresco margaritas with my beloved, I couldn't have been more content. This is how we spent the majority of our three days on Kauai, even though there is so much more to do. We only had those few days to just chill and we took advantage of that. Our big adventure was stand up paddling on the Hanalei River, which was really fun. It was a really great workout and something totally new to both of us. It must be really challenging to do in the ocean and something I want to try next time I have a chance.
The resort's fine dining restaurant was not yet open, but we had some incredible meals on the island. The iPhone is really the greatest thing ever for travel (and everything else) and we found some delicious spots:
Best Sandwiches I have ever had (seriously): Deli and Bread Connection in Lihue
Fresh Sushi, laid back vibe: Hanalei Dolphin
Creative Tapas, cool atmosphere: BarAcuda
Local Ingredients, Old School Hawaii: Hukilau Lanai
After our three days, we flew back to Oahu to stay with my aunt and uncle. We had an action packed 48 hours with them, touring the island and all of the best spots to eat. (Oh yeah and I did my 13 mile training run one night.) We had an out of this world meal at Chef Mavro's justifiably famous restaurant. revisited many of our old favorites, like Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, Dave's for ice cream, and Mariposa at Neiman's (for consomme, popovers, and a great view).
I will not lie, though. A highlight of my trip was searching out and then walking along the beach to the "Lost" beach camp set. I love that show more than any other and it was important to me to make a pilgrimage while we were on the island. We encountered a major rainstorm as we were walking back and were sandy and soaked, but it was so worth it.
We also used miles to fly first class and I don't know how I will ever go back to coach! It made travel so much more relaxing and comfortable. We actually slept the entire red eye flight and had no problems adjusting back to Houston time.