i don't even know where to start! we took so many pictures, and it is so hard to pick which ones to share. i could post hawaii pictures for weeks (but i promise i won't do that).
our trip to hawaii was absolutely amazing! seriously, it was better than i even imagined it would be. while we were there, we stayed right in waikiki. i can definitely understand why waikiki beach is so famous. it is absolutely beautiful. our hotel was right next to the beach, and the view from our hotel balcony was totally unreal. it was hard to believe that we were actually in such a picturesque place!
if you stand in the middle of waikiki beach and look to one side, there is an awesome view of so many of the waikiki skyscraper hotels with their beach-front restaurants. if you look to the other side, there is an incredible view of diamond head volcano. the view of diamond head is just breathtaking. of course, there are surfers in just about any direction that you look too, both natives and tourists.
we took advantage of swimming in the crystal blue water of waikiki as much as possible. while we were there, we bought a pair of bright orange rafts which we used all the time. don't let the pictures fool you, waikiki beach gets some pretty sizable waves. the first day we went swimming, my dad and i decided to venture way far out to where all of the surfers were floating and catching the waves. the waves sure do look cool rolling in toward the shore. that is of course, until they have their way with you and send you flying in one direction while your raft goes flying in a totally different direction. after that experience (and after loosing my favorite pair of sunglasses as well as my hair clip) we decided to stick to some of the calmer sections.
when we weren't swimming, we loved exploring the city of waikiki. we sure did get our exercise walking all around. we loved venturing through the international market place, walking around the public parks, and strolling around looking at all of the famous statues.
the food in waikiki was awesome. we didn't have a meal that we didn't like! while we were there, we sure ate our fill of fish . . . mahi mahi, swordfish, tuna, shrimp, and salmon. i even had a salmon "burger" too. it was so fresh and so good. we also loved the pulled pork (which is really popular in hawaii). some of our favorite restaurants in waikiki included tiki's (which was right in our hotel), duke's, the shore bird (where you actually grill your own dinner), hula grill, lulu's, uncle bo's, and cheeseburger in paradise (hello, pulled pork nachos!). we also checked out the famous leonard's bakery too for a few malasadas.
each morning, our hotel served breakfast around the pool. it was so peaceful to eat breakfast while listening to live ukulele music and while watching live hula dancing. one of the most unique things served with breakfast were the taro doughnuts (which were naturally bright purple)!
the flowers were absolutely gorgeous. so were the palm trees. of course, there were palm trees in every shape and size all over the place, but we were really fascinated by the banyan trees all over waikiki. they looked like something right out of tarzan!
we really loved watching fireworks on the beach at night too. i've seen many firework displays in my life, but nothing beats fireworks on the beach in hawaii!