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Aloha! We arrived home from Hawaii late Friday night and – miracle of miracles – I had finished editing the photos by the end of the weekend.

Here’s a little virtual escape for you if you’re at work or in the middle of a dreary day as it is here.

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We stayed at these condos found on airbnb. In all there were 11 of us split over two condos – The Man & I, his parents, brother and sister-in-law in one and in the other my parents, brother and sister-in-law and their little bub (who of course got more attention than everyone else combined).

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We stayed on Kauai which is a less populated and popular island – perfect as we wanted a relaxed holiday with plenty of natural sights. We did a ton of swimming and snorkelling at various beautiful beaches and the condo pools – bliss!

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Around an open-air museum at an old plantation town.

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Since part of the purpose of our trip was to celebrate The Man’s and my 30th (the other part being to meet up with my brother’s family who live in the US) we had a special dinner at the nearby Hilton restaurant. ‘Floating’ on a koi pond and with a waterfall backdrop, it really was spectacular (and the food lived up to the setting!).

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The Man and I usually try to make our travel budget far by mostly doing free/inexpensive activities like walks, museums and outdoor sights. This time, we splurged on a helicopter flight (we needed four choppers to fit the whole family!) and it was worth every cent with view like these…

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To see the amazing and varied landscape of the entire island from the air was a totally unique experience. The photos make it look very serene when in actual fact it was noisy and windy as all hell, moreso than a usual helicopter flight as we’d opted to fly with the doors off!

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One of the days we went on a hike through one of the national parks. The walk itself was not too bad (probably the most challenging one we’ve done but nothing we couldn’t handle) however it was incredibly muddy and slippery which meant every step could be your last before ending up covered head-to-toe in mud.

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Not a bad spot to wash off the mud and sweat.

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Recovering on the beach after the walk 😉

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One night we went to a luau. I wasn’t sure what to expect (someone else did the research) and I must admit I was getting concerned at the gigantic hall with all-you-can-eat buffet. Thankfully, after the feeding frenzy we were led to an amphitheatre for a dance performance.

It definitely included more cheese than the buffet, but it was still a very entertaining performance.

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For the day in Honolulu on the way home we headed to Pearl Harbor. We had tickets out to the USS Arizona memorial but unfortunately they closed it five minutes before our tour due to high wind. Still, the rest of the tour was very moving and the exhibits were well done.

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Submarines? Totally on trend. Hex tile, industrial lighting and storage, mixed metals, label plates, typewriters, US Navy chairs…

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We ended our trip with a lovely evening at Waikiki with my in-laws whose stopover coincided with ours.

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It was unlike any other trip we had done before. Not only was it our first tropical holiday together, but we went with a huge family group. It was so much fun and everyone got along really well. And I got to meet my adorable baby nephew!

The Man and I share photography on our trips so mucho cred to him for a bunch of these shots. 


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