United States of America · 17 Days · 36 Moments · May 2017

Illingworth Honeymoon

6 June 2017

06.06.17 - Seated and ready to jet home. Next stop Manchester!
06.06.17 - Up and out early for our final day of honeymoon! We made our way to Pier 33 where we boarded the boat to Alcatraz. James had been sceptical, but thoroughly enjoyed learning about The Birdman, attempted escapes and the meal plans! Then it was back on the boat, a spot of lunch at the Ferry Building markets and then to the hotel to grab our cases.

5 June 2017

05.06.17 - Despite the slightly stressful morning, we made it to Honolulu and then on to San Fran. On arrival at our hotel, we grabbed some room service and headed straight to bed.
05.06.17 - James would like it noted for the record that our scheduled 6.00 am departure was delayed on account of my locking us out of the cottage. I was very helpfully following James out to the car with bags (sic - despite James asking me to stay inside), when the self-locking door closed behind me. Luckily, with my rapid reaction and quick wit, I had housekeeping on the case in no time. In fact, we're already checked in and at the departure gate at Maui airport, with 1 hour 36 minutes to spare. Next stop Honolulu, then on to San Fran.

4 June 2017

04.06.17 (afternoon) - Last day in Maui... conquering the winding road to Hana!
04.06.17 (morning) - Last day in Maui... conquering the winding road to Hana!

3 June 2017

03.06.17 - Another day in Maui, another day of adventure! We headed to the harbour for an 8.00 am launch on our catamaran to the Molokini Crater. The crater is a partially submerged volcanic crater between the islands of Maui and KahoΚ»olawe. After motoring for an hour or so, we donned our masks and fins and jumped off the boat to explore Molokini! We snorkelled for about an hour, enjoying lots of tropical fish, live coral and a slithering eel. It was then back on the boat and on to 'turtle bay', where we were back in the water in search of turtles! We found two in total, the second of which we discovered ourselves and swam with a little way along the bay, until we realised we should probably be back on the boat in case we missed lunch! Lunch was followed by sailing, which was followed by ice cream sundaes and beer (with the exception of the designated driver!). Once back on land, we drove back towards Paia, stopping at Baldwin Beach Park to while away the rest of the afternoon.

2 June 2017

02.06.17 (2/2) - After a busy morning, we set off in Jerry the Jeep to explore the south shore. We stopped at Lahaina, an old whaling village, to explore Maui's most historic town. It was a mix of busy harbour, weathered shops and historic points of interest (complete with plaques citing interesting facts πŸ˜‰). We ventured to the local supermarket's fish counter for a 'poke bowl' - a local raw fish salad served with rice - which we ate al fresco on the sea front. It was then on to Kapalua Bay for a swim and a snorkel. Although surrounded by grand hotels, the beach itself was relatively quiet and we enjoyed bobbing over the reefs and spotting fish. The winds along the coastline are fierce which made the drive back an interesting one, but nothing our Jerry couldn't handle. Once the sun began to set, we jetted back to Paia to try out the local pizza joint. They recommended a large for 3 people, so we thought we'd take home the leftovers for lunch. There were (of course) no leftovers...
02.06.17 (1/2) - This morning the alarm went off at 2.30 am, and before we knew it we were in a van ascending 9,500 ft up a volcano at Haleakala National Park. We arrived at the summit by 4.45 am and assumed our position. We watched as the sky turned from black to red to orange, before the sun popped above the clouds at exactly 5.37 am. We then hopped back in the van to about 6,500 ft above sea level, where we picked up our bikes and cycle gear (including attractive helmet and gloves!). The bikes were choppers, which meant nothing to me but made James very excited. We then flew down the highway at a top speed of 47.8 km per hour (according to James's watch). A couple of photo opps and a breakfast stop later, and we had made it to Paia. Then it was back to our cottage for a much needed coffee before commencing the rest of our day!

1 June 2017

01.06.17 - Tonight's dinner was rather different to last night, but we enjoyed a little supermarket shopping and a spot of BBQ'ing back at the cottage!
01.06.17 - An early start saw us get picked up by the Hike Maui team, and driven along Hana Highway to our waterfall hike. Our guide was one of a kind, and whatever 'Maui juice' he was on... James and I wanted some!! He took us on an entertaining walk through the rainforest and up to multiple waterfalls, citing interesting facts (some entirely fabricated) along the trail. At our final stop, we were treated to a swim. James opted for the 6m jump into the lagoon, whereas I went for a less 'splashy' entry. We were then rewarded by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, before heading back to base. On our return, we went for a spot of shopping in Paia and then headed to the beach for more turtle spotting!

31 May 2017

31.05.17 - Day one in Maui!
31.05.17 - Another hop, skip and a jump and we arrived in Maui! We picked up our second Wrangler (this time a newer, white model) cranked up the radio and jetted down the coast to Mama's Fish House. Our self-catering cottage is wonderful. We settled in, then headed to the beach. During a short swim, James's panicked face indicated that something was not quite right. Turned out we were surrounded by turtles! We watched them bobbing for a while, then wandered to the shore to spectate some more. There was a total of five turtles in our sheltered little bay, providing constant entertainment as they popped there heads up to say hi! When James eventually pulled me away from turtle watching, we readied ourselves for a celebratory meal at Mama's. We were treated to a front row table overlooking the oceanfront. Every dish was locally sourced and came with an explanation as to where it was fished or hunted, and by whom. It was another perfect evening ❀️

30 May 2017

30.05.17 - Once back in Waikiki, we headed down to the beach for the promise of a torch lighting / conch blowing / hula dancing extravaganza... only to be told that it had been cancelled. So we took in the sunset before heading back to our hotel for some live music and some grub!
30.05.17 - Today was a more sobering day spent at Pearl Harbour, visiting the USS Arizona memorial. James enjoyed reading ALL the visitor info plaques, as well as his hotdog... 🌭

29 May 2017

29.05.17 - We breakfasted at our hotel, where James discovered that the smoked fish breakfast omelette was served with three fried eggs on top. He was one happy customer, justifying that the mass egg consumption would fuel his energy for the morning's surf lesson. I was somewhat less hungry, on account of the fear of being swept away by the Pacific Ocean... On arrival at surf school we togged up in our rash vests and reef shoes. We were quite the athletic spectacle. We were then subjected to an extensive safely video, detailing all the things that could go wrong and should be avoided. It was then off to the beach to meet our instructor and pick up our boards. Much to James's amusement, it turns out surfing is much less terrifying than it looks. And with Uncle Jimmy (our instructor) giving us pro advice, we were both up and riding the waves in no time. But we did not leave unscathed. James nicked his knee on the reef but the boo-boo was deemed a 'Hawaiian Tattoo' so he's proud. πŸ„ πŸ„

28 May 2017

28.05.17 - After a short 35 minute flight we arrived in Honolulu, before a quick transfer to Surfjack Hotel. We spent the afternoon watching crazy surfers attempt the waves and then enjoyed sundowners at Lulu's. Waikiki is a world away from the garden isle, but is still beautiful in its own right. 🌊 🌊 🌊
28.05.17 - Breakfast with a view, for our last morning on Kauai island

27 May 2017

27.05.17 - A day at leisure at the hotel, followed by a fancy pancy dinner ❀️

26 May 2017

26.05.17 - Road tripping πŸš—
26.05.17 - Today was road trip day! Ambitiously we set off with the roof off, but it wasn't long before we had to pull in to put the roof back on as we were getting drenched! We drove up to the north of the island towards Princeville, stopping at Hanalei Bay for a swim and a snooze. As we drove on to the beach to park, the rain was still coming down, but we could see blue skies creeping in so we stuck with it and are very glad we did as when it did clear it was beautiful. Before long James's appetite kicked in and we walked over to Pat's Taqueria truck for him to grab a fish taco. Fresh as they come! Then it was back in the car to drive to the end of the road, where the coastline meets the Na Pali Coast. Mainly so we could say we'd been round the whole island, but also because Lonely Planet said it was a must! Some amazing views along the way. And a great little beach at Ke'e for more swimming and chilling. Got take out dinner at Shrimp Station (Waipouli), which we ate on the beach.

25 May 2017

25.05.17 - Luau time! Lots of food + mai tais + hula πŸ’ƒπŸ»
25.05.17 - Road trip to Opaekaa Falls / Wailua River and Kapaa
25.05.17 - This morning we drove up the coast to Wailua and then into the hills to admire the views down over the river and to see the Opaekaa Falls. Then back down to Kapaa where we parked up and strolled along the coast, taking in the glorious coastline. On route back to the car we managed to 'accidentally' purchase a nerf ball for the pool/beach... Now back at hotel in anticipation of tonight's luau!

24 May 2017

24.05.17 - Not many photos of the sailing trip, since they are largely on the waterproof camera. But a few of us parked up and then a selfie of our sae return. And some others from our late afternoon back at the hotel.
24.05.17 - Today we were up early for our Na Pali coast day trip. We drove down to the harbour and boarded the catamaran, choosing to ride up front which was tranquil as first..! Being so at one with nature, I spotted us some dolphins and a turtle. We sailed closer to the dolphins, who were having a great time belly rubbing the boat and were magic to watch. As we turned the corner to see the rugged cliffs that are so iconic of films like King Kong, the conditions changed drastically - many of those below were not having quite so great a time as James and I, but I'm proud to say my stomach held and we have some entertaining pictures on the waterproof camera to upload once we're back! We then found a mooring close to the cliffs and jumped in for a snorkel. The water was deep and clear and full of fish! Lunch on board was fab - but I made James go down below to get me mine as the smell of vomit from our fellow sailers was not very appetising πŸ™ˆ Once on land, we celebrated with🍦

23 May 2017

23.05.17 - Day one in Kauai ❀️
23.05.17 - Another flight, another early arrival - this time at Lihue airport, Kauai! After careful selection at the car hire place, we drove away with Willie the Wrangler - the only one in the lot that wasn't silver or white πŸ˜‰ We then cruised down to the coast to the Grand Hyatt where we found our little patch of paradise. From expansive pools, beautiful beach and multiple jacuzzi options, we were at a loss as to where to park ourselves for the afternoon. But eventually we opted for the sea salt lagoon adjacent to the beach. In the evening we took the Wrangler out to a nearby shopping plaza to frequent a recommended seafood restaurant (The Dolphin) that certainly didn't disappoint! We shared sushi to start followed by a hunk of tuna which was divine. I then jumped in the drivers seat and drove the Wrangler home - a proper bucket list moment 😍
23.05.17 - James and his breakfast burrito at SanFran airport. Next stop, Lihue Hawaii!

22 May 2017

22.05.17 (2/2)
22.05.17 (2/2) - From there we went to the Mission area for lunchtime burritos, as recommended by Time Out. We the. walked up towards Dolores Park to take in the views with our fellow hipsters, and to rest our weary legs. After a quick pop into City Hall (where we spied two fellow newlyweds!), we took the tram back from Union Square to famous Lombard Street. It was then a steep walk home before a light clam chowder dinner!
22.05.17 (1/2)
22.05.17 (1/2) - After an early rise, we headed for the cable car which we hailed to Union Square. James, man that he is, decided he'd stand and hang off the side.. which was promptly followed by squeals of fear and we raced up and down the hills! After gawping at all the stores, and failing at getting James to pop in to Tiffany's, we wandered through china town, stopping to visit the fortune cookie factory. From there, we wandered towards the Ferry Building and admired the view towards the Bay bridge. Then on to AT&T park for a tour of the Giants' stadium. Rod, our very knowledgable tour guide, was full of facts and took a liking to James (probably on account of his newly purchased San Fran Giants baseball cap).

21 May 2017

Dinner at The Progress 🍽
Some snaps of day 1 exploring the Wharf! View from the sky Red wine spillage Fisherman's Wharf Golden Gate Bridge Alcatraz
21.05.17 - Still reeling from the most perfect day on Friday, we pinched ourselves as our alarm went off and we hopped in to a cab to Manchester airport to get out Virgin flight direct to San Francisco!! We got rather comfortable in our premium economy seats (not sure James will ever want to fly economy again!). Over the course of the flight we enjoyed some fizz, copious amounts of food, and James even found time to throw red wine over my white top... We arrived well over an hour early, and made it through customs and baggage claim in all of 20 minutes. This techno world meant that we could hail a cab via Uber straight to the Argonaut Hotel in the heart of Fisherman's Wharf. We spent the late afternoon exploring the Wharf and taking it all in. A quick coffee and then we were off to dinner in the 'hip' part of town. By 9.50 pm, the realisation of how long we'd been awake hit and it was straight to bed ahead of another day of exploring the city!