Monday, December 17, 2012

Oahu

We found our inner islanders on Oahu. 
When we landed in Honolulu I was shocked by its "big city" feel. 
We stayed at a hotel right on Waikiki Beach.
Definitely different than the quiet beaches we had gotten used to. 
But we welcomed the change of pace and the hustle and bustle of all the tourists. 

We spent our first day making the gorgeous drive to Laie -- stopping at all the famous spots along the way. 
First, the Dole Pineapple Plantation. 



That right there is a Dole Pineapple Whip.
How could we not?
Especially, when Scott eats it like this.
Just. That. Good.


We made our way to the coolest little surfer town, Haleiwa. 
It's filled with fun surf shops, art galleries, and restaurants. 
But our number one priority was shaved ice at Matsumoto. 
The excitement is evidenced on our faces. 
Best shaved ice I've ever had with the most yummy cream at the bottom. 
Greatest decision we made all day. 

One of my favorite things to do with Scott is to go on drives. 
It started in Provo when we would go on Sunday drives and just look at homes.
When the weather was warm we would ride doubsies on the scooter. 
It usually led to great conversations or just jamming and dancing to our 
favorite trendy pop songs. 
Either way, they are some of my favorite memories.

This particular drive to Laie I will never forget. 
The sights were incredible. 
And we loved reminiscing about our big day. 
We were so overcome with all of family and friends who came to support us. 
It was easily the greatest day of our lives. 
We still talk about it almost everyday. 

We continued on our drive and made some crucial stops at these beautiful beaches.
Shark's Cove.
Waimea.
Sunset Beach. 
And of course, the North Shore. 
All were breathtaking. 






When we made it to Laie, we stopped at the temple grounds which were gorgeous. 
This town seemed so laid back and fun. 
Makes me wish I would have done a semester at BYU-Hawaii.




Next stop: The Polynesian Cultural Center.
We did the luau and evening show called "Ha: Breath of Life". 
At the luau they had all of the couples celebrating their 
honeymoon, engagement, or anniversary come up on stage for a dance. 
The stage was filled with couples of all ages celebrating big time milestones. 
It was pretty funny. 
The show was great! 
Definitely a tourist attraction, but what's a trip to Hawaii without fire twirling, flame throwing natives. 

Our day in Laie happened to be November 6, 2012 -- Election Day. 
Just two days before we got married we headed to the county courthouse
 to vote early and get our marriage license. 
In between our luau and show, we checked our phones like crazy trying to get the latest election results. 
We won't forget where we were on Election Day 2012.  

The next day we visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial. 
What a horrible day in our country's history. 
The memorial and museum are so well done.


See those headphones?
We definitely did the audio tour. 
Scott and I are big nerds. 
And I'm a sucker for all things American history. 
I'm embarrassed to say we spent a good five hours at the memorial. 
And we may have quizzed each other about all that we learned. 


It's awful to think of the heroic men and women who served on the USS Arizona 
and never made it off. 
The battleship still rests underneath this memorial as a final resting place 
for all those lives lost. 
It truly is a touching place. 






That night we went to dinner at Roy's, walked around the shops at Waikiki, and found a Yogurtland.
I even talked my law-abiding, rule-following husband into eating our dessert on an off-limits lifeguard tower. 
What a rebel. 

Our final day was spent at the beach. 


I ate acai bowls every chance I got. 
This was breakfast our last morning. 

We tried paddle boarding that afternoon. 
I wish I had pictures of this because it was quite the sight. 
We only rented one for the two of us which may have been the mistake. 
I can't tell you how many times we fell off while trying to balance. 
It didn't help that the old man next to us caught about every wave. 



This is Hula Pie, our last treat of the trip. 
And yes, it is as divine as it looks. 
We ate on the deck at Duke's for our last supper and watched the sunset. 
It was the perfect ending to the perfect trip. 
Two weeks of sunshine and beach with my best friend.
Just us. 
No work or responsibility. 
Such a dream. 
The thought of finally being together and relaxing on our honeymoon got us through countless late nights of work and planning. 
We can't believe it's over. 
Thank you, Scott Maddux, for some of the best weeks!

We realize we will never have a vacation like this one again. 
We're so grateful for all the time we were able to just be together as newlyweds. 
And I'm happy to report that after two weeks of constant togetherness, we still kinda like each other. 

A big thanks to all of our friends and family who gave us tips about things to see and do on our trip. 
We loved hearing what you liked and took your advice. 

 Thank you, John and Laurie Maddux, for everything you did to make our honeymoon 
an absolute dream.
It was the trip of a lifetime. 
Filled with memories we will cherish forever.  
We love you more than words can say. 

Hawaii, we miss you everyday. 
Your beaches are beautiful, your people so hospitable, and food unforgettable. 
We only hope we will be lucky enough to visit you again. 
So until then -- Aloha. 
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Big Island

Our next stop -- the Big Island. 
Ever heard of Pacific Wings Airlines?!
Neither had we. 
But they were getting us from Maui to our next destination and man, was it an adventure!

This was our bag check/security check/gate all in one. 
We were confused because no one was working the gate when we arrived. 
Rest assured, there was a sign near a telephone saying "Pick Up to Check In".
So we did. 
The phone called the corporate office to take care of passenger check in and they informed us that the pilots would be there shortly to check our bags. 
Low and behold, two pilots who looked like 18-year-old Justin Bieber fans showed up, checked our ID's, and took our bags. 
But not before asking if our weight listed on our ID's was accurate -- for flight purposes.
So the five pounds of pineapple we had eaten that morning could have been detrimental to more than just our waistlines. 
Lives were at stake, people.  
Here is my hesitant face. 
Note the YOUNG-looking pilot behind me who we were entrusting with our lives. 
The whole thing was pretty hilarious. 
We were two of maybe eight passengers that the plane could hold. 
For a minute, we thought I might have to start turning the propellers
 to get us off the ground.
Thankfully, we made it.

Annddd just in time for a luau at a nearby resort. 

We got the biggest kick out of this!
Especially, when they picked my new husband to shake his groove thang
 with a hot lil hula dancer. 



I'm not sure his hula moves were cutting it -- so he resorted to his infamous --
 "Wash the Dog". 
And if you've seen Scott in all his dancing glory, you've seen this move. 
It made an appearance in our engagement video and he wore it out at our reception. 
I sure think he can cut a rug. 
But I may be the only one.

The crowd was loving his unconventional hula. 
Our Hawaiian friends even said, "Yeah, we can tell you go to the clubs".
Close...try stake dances. 



This was our view at breakfast. 
We stayed at the Mauna Kea Hotel right on Kaunaoa Beach.
It's on the Kohala Coast on the northwestern part of the island. 
The hotel was built in the 1960's and is pretty historic...even in the Maddux Family!
Scott's grandparent's came here for their "second honeymoon" after they converted to the church and were sealed in the the temple. 
Funny, right? 
It was the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. 
 I dream of going back everyday. 
We were the youngest hotel guests by far -- most were senior citizens enjoying retirement. 
Which only added to the quiet atmosphere of this beloved place. 
Again, with the lava flow...
One night, we went to dinner at Merriman's.
It was delicious and another Maddux Family fav. 
This one is for you, Grandpa Jim. 
If Scott was going to accomplish anything this trip it was to get me to like eating fish. 
He ordered it almost every meal. 
I would try it, just for the halibut, but couldn't bring myself to love it. 
Sorry, big guy. I'll stick with my steak and chicken. 


The next day we did something on my bucket list -- swimming with dolphins. 
I was thrilled and probably didn't stop smiling all day. 
We went to a nearby resort to do this activity and
 had to call in advance to reserve our spots for the "Dolphin Encounter".
I'm not sure what I was expecting.
 But when Scott found out he couldn't hold onto the dolphins and go for a ride, 
he was a little disappointed. 
I guess he thought he would get to do front flips off their fins or something. 
I kept him from causing a scene at the front desk.
Apparently, this particular resort is all about preserving the
 health and life of their marine mammals. 
Go figure. 

Meet Nimbus. 
He is a seven-year-old male dolphin who is responsible for the three baby dolphins at the resort. 
Clearly, all the ladies love him and he gets around. 
How could he not with that face?
I loved him so.
The trainers were great, taught us some dolphin anatomy, and showed us some tricks. 
This was easily one of my favorite things of our entire trip. 
Check Scott's child-size vest. Lookin good, babe. 

After our dolphin encounter, we explored the island. 
We found the Kona, Hawaii Temple in a small neighborhood. 
It's absolutely beautiful. 

On our last day on the Kohala Coast, we took it so easy. 
Slept in. 
Ate at the best little taco shop and drank a much-craved chocolate milkshake. 
Douglas would be so proud, he always finds the best milkshakes anywhere we go. 
Then we sat on the beach and watched the most beautiful sunset. 

It was one of my favorite, most relaxing nights with this guy of mine. 
Not because of where we were, but because we were finally together 
and in this wonderful, incredible time of life.  

I remember asking Scott Maddux what we were going to do with the rest of our lives.
 Ya know, now that we are old and married. 
We both agreed to fill them with many more moments just like this one. 
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