Hawaii - Oahu
Aloha! I can’t believe we actually got to say that to people in a setting where it was expected! On September 11th I departed Alabama and Evan departed Canada. A few hours later we met in Denver and got on our flight headed to Hawaii. What was this life? Who were we? What would we do together without kids for 10 days? It didn’t take us long to settle in and start to enjoy the ride. When we landed in Honolulu we hit the ground running…straight to a Luau. We were able to travel to Hawaii because of an awesome opportunity to capture a wedding. The bride and groom and their families had reservations for a Luau and once it appeared possible for us to make it in time, the groom's parents were kind enough to allow us to join in so we could experience the grass skirted gals and the fire breathing guys. It was fascinating and only slightly frightening. It’s safe to say that we would never make it as luau performers. Laniers don’t have enough poise and grace for that.
The next day we were able to rise and enjoy the INSANE view from our house before the wedding prep and rain began. Even after the gray skies and wet conditions rolled in, the beauty of the island wasn’t lost on us. The entire day felt surreal as we truly started to take in the fact we were actually in Hawaii. Lots of pinching was involved. The rain departed before the wedding day and we were able to capture the love between two beautiful people only enhanced by such a beautiful place. It was a honor to be a part of it.
Since we made the long flight to Hawaii there was no way we were going to turn right around and return home after the wedding. No sir. There were things to see and places to go! Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, Manoa Falls and Hanauma Bay were all scratched off our list in two days and we were fortunate to take them all in with our sweet sweet friends from Florida (who also happen to be family of the aforementioned groom). There was hiking. There was snorkeling. There was relaxing and laughing. There was eating and sun bathing. There was gloriousness.
After all these great sights we checked out of our big house we had enjoyed friends in Ewa Beach and made our way up the coast to a little studio apartment away from all the busyness of Honolulu and its surrounding areas. We LOVED the sights on the south side of the island, but man, our little spot close to the north shore was what dreams are made of. The mountain run straight into the ocean on that part of the island. The beach next to our apartment looked like it belonged on the cover of a Nicholas Sparks novel. There was even a swing in a tree next to the water. As I sat in the swing my eyes couldn’t decide what view to take in as the ocean and the mountains fought for my attention. This was my happy place.
Along the north shore we spent our days walking to food trucks and local markets, cliff jumping and snorkeling at a public beach that blew all other snorkeling away. The boys hiked Crouching Lion (where they got to witness an emergency crew remove a man with a broken leg) while the girls were worthless on the beach. We became frequent flyers for Shave Ice. If you visit Haleiwa you MUST go to Matsumotos Shave Ice.. We simply fell in love with Hawaii.
Our last day was spent at Pearl Harbor engrossed in the history and life changing events that happened there. We’ve been to a lot of National Parks this year and Pearl Harbor was by far the most eye opening as we took in the events of Dec 7, 1941 and World War 2. After Pearl Harbor we said goodbye to our friends and went back home to prepare for our departure the next morning. It was incredibly humbling as we went to bed that night to think about all the things we had been able to enjoy. We had quality time with friends and quality time as a couple. We saw sights that still to this day seem unreal. We went to a place that I never really thought we would be able to see. We enjoyed ourselves and Gods creation immensely.