Hawaii Part I: Oahu

A note before we get started: Thank you thank you thank you thank you for all the love and wonderfully kind comments on my last post and on Instagram. My mom is worried that I’m “going to want to invite everyone who liked my photos or commented on my post to the wedding.” And she is exactly right. I hope you can all come. SAVE THE DATES FOR EVERYONE. I love you.

I'm on top of the world HEY, I'm on top of the world, HEY. Something something something blah blah biddy blah biddy blah. You know, that song?
I’m on top of the world HEY, I’m on top of the world, HEY. Something something something blah blah biddy blah biddy blah. You know, that song?

SO Hawaii was pretty awesome. It was a trip two years in the making, and I’d say it was definitely worth the wait.

It’s hard to write a recap of the trip without just being obnoxiously cheesy and saying how much I loved the islands and loved the food and loved exploring and loved having my phone on airplane mode for most of it and loved completely skipping town with Brian and enjoying 10 full days together. My cheeks have been sore for about a week now because I’ve been grinning so hard, and I think my face is probably pretty punchable by now. I’m sorry. I am excited and happy. 2014, who knew you’d be so awesome?

We are ready to fly to Hawaii. SELFIE.
We are ready to fly to Hawaii. SELFIE.

Anyway.

I had never taken a vacation this long, and I knew we’d be doing lots of activities (Brian created a pretty extensive and well-detailed itinerary for us). So I took notes about them as we went along. And looking back, I’m quite glad I did, because now I actually remember things!

Rather than give you the exhaustive version of the trip, here are my exact (and semi-coherent) notes as they appear in my phone.

Chillin' on the beach WHERE THERE WAS A BLUE CRUSH COMPETITION NBD. Kate Bosworth crushed it. In the movie. She wasn't there in real life. #pipeline #hotelmaid #maidinmanhattan #differentfilm #academyawardwinnersbasically
Chillin’ on the beach WHERE THERE WAS A BLUE CRUSH COMPETITION NBD. Kate Bosworth crushed it. In the movie. She wasn’t there in real life. #pipeline #hotelmaid #maidinmanhattan #differentfilm #academyawardwinnersbasically

Monday, December 1: Woke up super early to run 5.25 miles in Central Park. So glad I did before the longest flight of my life. Took an Ambien that kicked my ass. Don’t remember getting served spaghetti and meatballs. Brian says I kept saying, “This shit ain’t right, it ain’t right,” but that seems made up to me.

"This shit ain't right." I would later repeat that when Brian proposed. Classy, classy woman.
“This shit ain’t right.” I would later repeat that when Brian proposed. Classy, classy woman.

The flight was so long and Brian slept the whole time and I was so bored.

THIS IS THE WORST. GET ME TO THE BEACH. GET ME TO THE POKE.
THIS IS THE WORST. GET ME TO THE BEACH. GET ME TO THE POKE. #beatsbydre #weirdarmpitskin

I watched “Friends,” Confessions of a Shopaholic, and The Fault in Our Stars, to which I sobbed audibly and disgustingly. (But still Lurlene McDaniel for life.) Eventually made it to Hawaii.

WE DID NOT GET LEIS WHEN WE DE-PLANED. I thought we would get leis, like in the movies. But we didn't, so I wore my very heavy bag around my neck. I was proving a point and making a statement.
WE DID NOT GET LEIS WHEN WE DE-PLANED. I thought we would get leis, like in the movies. But we didn’t, so I wore my very heavy bag around my neck. I was proving a point and making a statement.

Got our luggage and rental car, checked into hotel just as sun was setting outside our room! Ate at hotel restaurant — coconut shrimp, Hawaiian BBQ wings, shrimp stir fry, and ice cream for dessert. Passed out hard at 7:45 PM island time.

The view from the hotel room. Not terrible.
The view from the hotel room. Not terrible.

Tuesday, December 2: Brian’s birthday! Woke up ready to go at 4 AM. Ouch. Eventually fell back to sleep. Birthday boy woke me up at 6:30 to start the day. Got breakfast at nearby Goofy Cafe. French toast with berries for him, eggs benedict with “local veggies” for me. Then went on THREE hikes!

All fresh-faced and ready to hike. Because we hadn't yet gone knee-deep in mud.
All fresh-faced and ready to hike. Because we hadn’t yet gone knee-deep in mud.

First was so muddy…

Being a tree hugger. Because I'm from New Hampshire or something.
Being a tree hugger. Because I’m from New Hampshire or something.

…second was to an amazing waterfall…

BRIAN, PUT YOUR HAND ON YOUR HIP, IT IS FLATTERING.
BRIAN, PUT YOUR HAND ON YOUR HIP, IT IS FLATTERING.

…third was famous Diamond Head.

This hike involved a lot of stairs. I did a good job complaining the WHOLE way up. I am fun that way.
This hike involved a lot of stairs. I did a good job complaining the WHOLE way up. I am fun that way.

Got lunch from Ono’s Seafood. Poke was incredible!

THE BEST THING I EVER ATE: Ali in Hawaii Edition
THE BEST THING I EVER ATE: Ali in Hawaii Edition

Amazed by all the climate change here! Raining during hikes in rainforest, but hot and sunny at Diamond Head. So cool. Drove to the Dole Plantation so Brian could get a Dole Whip.

I don't like pineapple. But it wasn't MY birthday.
I don’t like pineapple. But it wasn’t MY birthday.

I got some candied macadamia nuts. Yummmm. Drove to the North Shore. Saw big waves. Stumbled upon the Vans Triple Crown Surf Competition AKA BLUE CRUSH LIVE. Picked up rental bikes! Got drinks at hotel bar, brought them to room while we got ready. Dinner at Alan Wong’s. Got the Chef’s Tasting Menu. It’s what Obama gets when he’s in town!

Wednesday, December 3: Slept in until almost 8:30. Cloudy day, no rush to get up. So rainy! Got hotel buffet breakfast. Mmmmm fruit and also mmmmm bacon. Went for a tiny walk around the resort, checked out gym, lifted some weights, eventually ran 6.2 miles around a nearby park. Got a bit lost and just ran in the rain. Got soaked. Walked through downtown Honolulu to Marukame Udon. Soooo tasty.

Udon noodles. Sexy.
Udon noodles. Sexy.

Walked back, quick shower, off to the Polynesian Cultural Center for a luau! Luau was hilarious and the host was amazing and by amazing I mean horrible. But culture is good. Good to learn.

I got my lei!
I got my lei!

Thursday, December 4: Up at 6 AM to get to Pearl Harbor! Spent several hours at the USS Arizona Memorial and doing an in-depth tour on board the USS Missouri. Really interesting stuff. Learned and saw a lot!

On board the USS Missouri. This long stretch on the ship is called Broadway. So I did my Broadway jazz hands.
On board the USS Missouri. This long stretch on the ship is called Broadway. So I did my Broadway jazz hands.

Got lunch to-go from Helena’s Hawaiian Food, where the cute owner is roughly 129 years old and served us our food. (Served Brian our food. I waited in the car.) We got Kalua pig, ribs, rice, onions with Hawaiian salt, and macaroni salad. It was all sooo good, and we ate it on our balcony. Splennnndid. Laid on the beach for an hour or so, then went on my most amazing bike ride of all time.

Just cruisin' on my rented Specialized Ruby. Which I want as my new toy. Brian did wear a helmet, but took it off to look cool in the photo. Luckily I look so cool in a helmet. #watts
Just cruisin’ on my rented Specialized Ruby. Which I want as my new toy. Brian did wear a helmet, but took it off to look cool in the photo. Luckily I look so cool in a helmet. #watts

We rode 27 miles and they were so fast and some of it was along the Honolulu Marathon course and we rode around Diamond Head and to Cockroach Cove Beach and saw so much beauty. I won the ride. It’s always a competition. Then we showered and got a good dinner at one of the resort restaurants. Then we got waffle cones. Then fell asleep watching Peter Pan Live!

There was so much Christmas in Hawaii. They love it there. Decorations and Santas and reindeer everywhere. Not real reindeer. But yes real Santas.
There was so much Christmas in Hawaii. They love it there. Decorations and Santas and reindeer everywhere. Not real reindeer. But yes real Santas.

Friday, December 5: Up at 4:45 AM for a sunrise hike. So dark on the way up! Got to the top, saw sun rise over the Pacific Ocean…

"LET'S TAKE A JUMPING PHOTO, THAT'S WHY I HAVE THIS CAMERA SET UP, ALI."
“LET’S TAKE A JUMPING PHOTO, THAT’S WHY I HAVE THIS CAMERA SET UP, ALI.”

…GOT ENGAGED…

6 AM. Workout clothes. A little bit sweaty. Sounds about right.
6 AM. Workout clothes. A little bit sweaty. Sounds about right.

…called people we love…

FaceTiming with the BFF, Michael. She knew this was happening. She saw the ring before I did! Sneaky.
FaceTiming with the BFF, Michael. She knew this was happening. She saw the ring before I did! Sneaky.

…hiked down, got breakfast buffet and 90-minute massages at the lovely Turtle Bay resort, where they filmed Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but did not see Sarah Marshall there.

"I live for the massage, massage, massage. Live for the massage sage, live for the massage sage." —Lady Gaga
“I live for the massage, massage, massage. Live for the massage sage, live for the massage sage.” —Lady Gaga

Hung out at the resort for a bit, drove along North Shore, got cheeseburgers and shaved ice, drove back to hotel for quick outfit change, then dinner with lots of champagne at Michel’s. Best day ever ever ever? Yeah, probably.

"OMG we just got engaged" dinner. I don't remember the food, but I know there was champagne.
“OMG we just got engaged” dinner. I don’t remember the food, but I know there was champagne.

Then we flew to Maui.

My suitcase was 68 lbs. It cost me basically as much to ship my suitcase through each airport as it did to ship ME around Hawaii.
My suitcase was 68 lbs. It cost me basically as much to ship my suitcase through each airport as it did to ship ME around Hawaii.

Stay tuned for part two if you’re so inclined.

Some light plane reading! These magazines are terrifying, FYI.
Some light plane reading! These magazines are terrifying, FYI.

Oh, and a popular question I got on my last post was, “Was Brian going to propose when you were supposed to go to Hawaii last year and then waited a year and a half to do it?” Um, no. Not even a little bit. Waiting a year and a half? That’s quite the secret to keep! But no. That was not the plan. Last year’s Hawaii trip was supposed to be for a wedding (not ours). #themoreyouknow

A closeup. You asked for it. Pretend my nails look good.
A closeup. You asked for it. Pretend my nails look good.

“Hawaii. Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do. Hawaiiiiiiii.” Something like that.

Ali

Ali

51 Responses

  1. Omg, dying over this. Also, I’m going to Hawaii (Maui!) in a week, and it’s for the first time too, and you crushed my dream that I was going to get a lei immediately upon de-planing. I am positive I saw that on a Brady Bunch or Full House special, and I’m pretty certain those were accurate life depictions in both shows.

  2. Congratulations to you! I’m leaving for O’ahu in about 2 weeks (eee!!) where was that hike you did where you got engaged? I must do it. at sunrise. SO beautiful!
    I basically would like to recreate your entire trip, sounds fabulous 🙂

  3. Still so happy for you! And hugely relieved you included a shot of the ring or I would have probably stopped reading!! It’s beautiful, he has good taste, that boy!

  4. So glad it was so amazing! Congrats on the engagement! Can’t wait to hear about Maui (did you run on the ocean path between Kona and Ka’anapali beach?)

  5. Oh wow, what a fantastic post. I just LOVE that smile plastered on your face. You are loving life, and I’m so glad to see it back again 🙂 Congrats you two, such a cute couple!

    1. BRB, GOING TO RESEARCH WHAT THAT IS AND THEN APPLY TO BE ON IT. There’s also a show I saw when I pushed the “Guide” button on the TV remote called “90-Day Fiance.” So maybe that one, too.

  6. So exciting!!! So many congrats. The trip looks like it was wonderful…Hawaii is one of my favorites (minus the obnoxious flight)!!

  7. I love this!!! First because you are both so happy and cute. And second because I want to plan a trip to Hawaii for my bf’s 30th birthday next year, and have no idea where to start. Keep the details coming!

    1. Also I really want to congratulate you on the correct AP style use of italics and quotes on your TV shows and movie titles. A+ editor!

  8. WEDDING PAN!!!! I love all these notes. Actually not a bad idea. I will take notes at the bachelorette party, so you can just drink champagne and have fun, but then write a blog post about it when you get back. #jugamos

  9. awwww loooove this!!! so much fun!!! so much happy! so much loooove 🙂 I just watched Fault in Our Stars (read the book too) and bawled ugly cry tears. such a good movie! XO congrats again

    1. I hated the Fault in Our Stars book, so I only watched the movie to pass time. And I didn’t even like it, but damnit if that eulogy didn’t slay me. Just shedding tears everywhere. All over the plane.

  10. I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS!! I AM SO EXCITED! I WILL SAVE THE DATE!!

    PS – just got back from Oahu, too, a few weeks ago! So great!

  11. Brian’s itinerary and reason for the camera was awesome. I’m bookmarking this post. I want my first trip to Hawaii to be just like this =)
    Congrats again. Having watched you struggle through 2013 it’s been so wonderful to see how you have emerged….jackrabbit, health etc…

  12. Loved, loved, loved your post! So much excitement and engagement love! Your ring is insane – good job Brian! Your trip looks amazing and the engagement is just the icing on the cake/cherry on top/scoop of ice cream [insert whatever food analogy feels most appropriate]! HOORAY! Can’t wait to read part 2!

    [And yes, I am going for the record of most sentences in a row ending in exclamation points!]

  13. I never comment but have been reading for a long time. Congratulations! I love Hawaii and it looks like you had a perfect trip- was totally re-living my time there through your post. I thought your nails looked great, I was actually going to ask, and now will: what is that color (if you know)?

      1. Thanks! I had a feeling it might be. Confession: I’m a nail polish addict and when I go into Duane Reade I just repeat “I will not buy nail polish” in my head, it has an ok-ish success rate.

  14. Congrats! I never comment but just had to say what a trickster Brian is for being all like ‘oh let’s take a jumping photo!’ Tricked you real good. Looks like Hawaii treated you amazingly! So deserved.

  15. So so so cute! Even though I’ve been married for nearly 15 years, I can still remember my excitement and am LOVING your cute story. Hurry up Part 2!!! Congratulations!!!

  16. Longtime lurker here- CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement! You and Brian seem so happy. You are worthy of every good thing!!!

    Also, I intensely want Hawaiian food now.

  17. All the photo captions win the internet today!!! I mean the armpit hashtag + lady gaga in a weird al type rendition!

    Looks like such a good trip!!! I need to make it to Hawaii still, which is kind of sad since its not that far or expensive from Seattle.

    And again, CONGRATS!

    1. The armpit thing is weird, right? So much extra skin hanging out in there. I don’t like it. AND YES GO TO HAWAII LET ME KNOW HOW IT IS HAVE A SAFE FLIGHT.

  18. Your ring is stunning! (Also,thanks for not being that person who’s like “Oh no, I won’t post my ring on social media, it’s tacky blah blah.” B*tch please, give the people what they want! So thanks, and congrats again. )
    More importantly, why is a place named Cockroach Cove? That’s my nightmare.

    1. Cockroach Cove was surprisingly beautiful and there were no cockroaches. I figured there would be cockroaches. I was pleasantly surprised.

  19. Sounds like the perfect vacation and engagement! The ring is stunning! Wishing you and Brian a lifetime of happiness!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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