Last summer, I collaborated with Alaska Airlines on a trip to Seattle, Washington. They also asked me to participate in a Twitter campaign, and I was able to receive two free first class roundtrip tickets to travel anywhere on the airline's network. I was finally able to put those tickets to use when my best friend and I traveled from Los Angeles, California to Honolulu, Hawaii for a week. I thought that I'd detail our whole trip here, and if you plan on visiting, then maybe you'll get some inspiration from everything that we did.
Tuesday, May 8th:
Our flight was at 10:35 AM PST and we were scheduled to arrive in Hawaii at 1:38 PM HST, but the flight was a little delayed. We stayed at an Airbnb in a hotel near Waikiki. After we checked in and dropped off our luggage, we walked around the area, got something to eat, and explored a little bit. We had planned on going out that first night, but we were both tired from traveling so we fell asleep pretty early.
Wednesday, May 9th:
Instead of spending our money on food and eating out, we decided that we'd rather spend our money on experiences. As we were still on PST time, we both got up early and headed to the grocery store. Our Airbnb had a microwave, refrigerator, stovetop, and many other cooking supplies. After getting completely settled in for the week and making some breakfast, we decided to rent mopeds and ride up to the Manoa Falls hike.
We rented the mopeds from Hawaii Moped Rental and for $45, we were able to rent them for the full day. I've never ridden a moped before, but it was pretty easy to learn. After a quick test drive around the block, we grabbed a map and rode up to Manoa Falls. After parking the mopeds, the hike was a little over half a mile to the waterfall.
The trail is absolutely incredible, and you're surrounded by beautiful scenery. Living in Los Angeles, most of the hiking trails are dirt paths surrounded by neutral-toned trees and nature. The flora was bright, exuberant, and green. And though it had begun to sprinkle a little, the raindrops felt amazing on my skin.
We got to the top of the waterfall, and while most people stood a small distance away to take pictures, we knew that we had to swim in it. So we hopped the little barricade, as we saw some other people do, and set foot in the body of water beneath the cascading falls. Afterwards, we hiked back to the mopeds and drove around the island, making sure to take everything in.
Thursday, May 10th:
Back in January, I had purchased a snorkeling adventure with Oahu Catamarans for my best friend's birthday. After what felt like months of waiting for the day to arrive, we finally got to have that experience. The meeting place was around three miles away and we didn't want to walk or Uber/Lyft, so we decided to take advantage of Biki. For $3.50, we were able to rent bikes for 30 minutes and then drop them off at a bike rack right near where the boat was docked.
We then headed out onto the water, and got ready to snorkel with the turtles and other marine life. While it is not a guarantee that you'll see turtles, we were lucky enough to see many. We were able to get pretty close to them when they surfaced for air, and it was such a cool experience to be swimming within close proximity. There were also tons of fish below the surface, and I had a waterproof phone case, so I got some great videos.
It was also this day that we decided to go skydiving. While I'd been before, nothing would be able to compare to the view from the sky in Hawaii.
Friday, May 11th:
We didn't have any plans on Friday until later in the evening, so we got up early to take pictures and then spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool. There was a pretty nice view from where we were staying, and we'd been so busy the days prior, it was nice to take a short break from constant activities.
Later in the evening, we headed to a nightclub called District which is located near the Ala Moana Center. We also checked out Ginza, an after-party destination. In Los Angeles, most clubs close at around 2:00 AM. In Hawaii, that's when the party starts. Also, since I'm now 21 and it's legal for me to drink, I can publicly announce that I had my first AMF. For me, it was a one-and-done type of situation, which made sense after I Googled the ingredients and realized that there were five different types of alcohol in it.
Saturday, May 12th:
Even though we were staying near Waikiki beach, we hadn't actually gone to the beach yet. We'd passed it on a boat, and we walked parallel to it every day, but we hadn't touched the sand. So after a long night out, we went to swim in the ocean and take cute bikini pictures. But first, we found an infinity pool from one of the hotels, and even though it was technically supposed to be for guests only, we decided to take a quick swim. It was absolutely beautiful, with the ocean right behind it. Afterwards, we walked down to the water and we were lucky enough to spot a rainbow in the sky. It was an overall relaxing day.
Sunday, May 13th:
I went paddleboarding in Marina del Ray last summer, so we thought that we'd try it out in Hawaii. However, it was a little different due to the fact that there were no waves in Marina del Ray when I went, and there were many in Hawaii. Within five seconds of standing up on the board, I was suddenly in the water with saltwater in my eyes. Then, I decided to try it again because a little saltwater was not going to stop me. I fell again a few minutes later and figured I'd be better off sitting while I went through waves, especially since my eyes were burning. I had a flashback to my senior trip when a huge wave took me out & I swallowed way more ocean water than I would have liked.
Other than that incident, paddleboarding was extremely relaxing and a great way to spend the afternoon. We rented the SUP boards from Star Beachboys for a pretty decent price. Afterwards, we went back to the Airbnb to rest and get ready for going out again. We first went to Mai Tai Bar and then to a place with a bunch of pool tables. I felt perfectly fine after drinking the Mai Tai, so I somehow ended up with another AMF. I got about one-third of the way done before calling it quits. It's a work in progress. However, I would like to mention that I'd been trying to order mint mojitos the whole weekend and no one had mint, which is why I kept drinking the AMFs.
Illenium had a show at The Republik, so there was an after-party at District. Just like the other night, the club didn't start filling up until 2:00 AM/2:30 AM. By that time, we were all pretty tired so we called it a night around 3:00 AM and then went to sleep.
Monday, May 14th:
We were supposed to go skydiving on this day, but the weather was not in our favor. The skydiving place told us that we'd possibly be able to go the next day, so we held our breath that we'd be able to jump out of a plane before leaving the island.
We decided to hop on a bus and hike the Koko Head Crater Trail, which is over 1000 steps at a steep incline. While at some points the hike was a little sketchy, especially over the bridge where a missed step could cause you to fall through, the views made the climb completely worth it. Not only that, but the feeling of satisfaction I felt when I reached the top was incredible. Later that night, we went to the Tantalus lookout to catch a glimpse of the city lit up at night.
Tuesday, May 15th:
Our flight was not until 9:16 PM HST, so we had almost the entire day open. Since we hadn't been able to skydive the day before, we hopped on the shuttle and went to the North Shore. We arrived at Skydive Hawaii, signed in, and then waited for the weather to clear up a bit. When it was finally our turn to jump, I was more than ready. The helicopter ride up took us above the clouds, and the view of the entire island was absolutely incredible.
My tandem instructor asked if I wanted to do a backflip out of the plane, so I obviously said yes. The free fall is my favorite experience, and there's no way for me to accurately describe just how exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping it is. He also let me take control of the parachute and let me steer, now THAT was a full upper body workout.
Skydiving took almost all day long, so after we got back into town, we headed to the airport to fly back to Los Angeles. I had an amazing time in Hawaii, and though this was my third time there (second time to Oahu), I can definitely see myself visiting again. There are so many things still waiting to be explored, and I cannot wait to see where my next adventure takes me. I'm currently working on getting some other trips planned for later this year, and I already plan on visiting Chicago and Denver at the beginning of August. Hopefully there are some more baseball trips waiting for me too. As always, thanks for reading! xo
Lastly, I made a video with clips from our trip. You can check that out here if you'd like: