Hawaii: When an Armadillo taught me how to surf

Confirmed. Hawaii is absolutely stunning and is absolutely worth the long-haul flight(s) to get there.  If I lived on the west coast I would absolutely visit more often. We gathered many recommendations from family members who traveled there and friends who chose Hawaii as their honeymoon destination. It was really hard to narrow it down but we wanted to give surfing a try and explore volcanoes and waterfalls so we selected the islands of Maui and Oahu for our first trip to Hawaii.

We had 9 nights/10 days to fill with activities and wanted to limit island hopping as much as possible so that we could get a feel for the island and have some time built into the agenda to spend at the pool and beach.


Here are some of the highlights before heading on over to my Hawaii | Maui and Oahu page to read more about our trip and to see a day by day itinerary to plan your own trip!

We split the trip into two parts. We spent the first six nights at the Hyatt Regency Maui. The Hyatt’s oceanfront location in Maui was right on Ka’anapali Beach in Lahaina.


Some of the highlights from Maui were a sunrise at the summit of a Haleakala National Park, catching some waves with Goofy Foot Surf, and chasing waterfalls along the Road to Hana!

Be sure to head on over to my Hawaii | Maui and Oahu page to read how a surf instructor named Armadillo “Arma” pushed us into waves, aka, taught us how to surf!

It was hard to say goodbye to Maui but Oahu awaited. We spent the remaining three nights at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, Oahu. We stayed in the Rainbow Tower in the far right.


Tropical Storm Flossie was taking aim for the Hawaiian Islands but fortunately the storm changed course and weakened, leaving us with a bit more rain than we anticipated.

Despite Flossie’s unwanted rain towards the end of the trip, we were able to keep our plans mostly intact but spent much less time relaxing at the beach than planned. The view from our balcony was pretty spectacular!


Our hotel was located along a gorgeous stretch of Waikiki Beach that offered a view of Diamond Head trail (in the top left-hand side of the photo above).

Head on over to my Hawaii | Maui and Oahu page to read more about our trip and to see a day by day itinerary to plan your own trip!

Question: I like vacations where you can be by the water but have plenty of options to be active and explore. What’s your favorite way to vacation?  

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