Maui - Lunch at Leilani's - Mai tai!

At the end of April/beginning of May of 2022 I spent two weeks in Hawaii with my mom, my sister, and her friend. 

Click for an interactive map of the places I went on my trip!

It was indescribably beautiful.

Yes, I already want to go back.

More photos (SO many more photos) at the end.

Manhattan Beach

Before we got to Hawaii, we flew into LAX and stayed for the day and overnight at my uncle’s house in Manhattan Beach. My uncle and his family weren’t there, which was too bad, but we spent a pleasant day walking around the city and had some excellent Mexican food for dinner. 


I drove all over Kauai, we did an ATV tour and saw places where Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark were filmed and swam in a waterfall.  I saw ancient Hawaiian temples (“heaiu”) and gorgeous beaches. I went to a coffee plantation and tasted a flight of coffee and I drove along the rim of “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. I hiked to the rim of the canyon on a nature trail and hiked to a cave near the ocean. I walked across a swinging rope bridge and saw a ditch built with a unique architecture before the 14th century to bring water from a river to the taro fields. I went to a luau. I took a helicopter tour of the island, saw a bunch of waterfalls including the one they filmed for the helicopter landing scene of Jurassic Park, and flew into a volcanic crater. I drank fresh fruit juice from a roadside stand at a waterfall, had bubble tea, ate Dole whip, and had a gyro and falafel from a food truck in Hanalei Town.

Kauai is ruggedly gorgeous, and it was pretty much love at first sight, certainly love before first hike.


Maui was also gorgeous but busier. We had shave ice (twice!) and ate at Star Noodle. I got a jagua henna tattoo. We watched the sunset from the beach and from 10,000 feet up on a volcano. I attempted to drive the back road to Hana but had to turn around and go the “classic” way because Pi’ilani Highway was washed out. I went to a black sand beach where the waves made the rocks rumble like nothing I’ve ever heard before on their way out. I drove through a dry stream bed and a lava gulch. I drove the 620 curves and 59 bridges of the Hana Highway in a convertible. I saw sweeping valleys, steep cliffs, and loads and loads of waterfalls. I climbed into a lava tube and got to see rainbow eucalyptus trees. I ate amazing Thai food from a roadside stand. We drove to the summit of Haleakalā and stargazed after the sunset. We saw rainbows from our hotel suite.

Maui was chill and had something for everyone.


Oahu was a 180 from Kauai but I was here for it. We went to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. We walked around Waikiki and went swimming at the gorgeous beach. We saw more rainbows and caught a hula show from the sidewalk. I had ice cream (Kona coffee and Hawaiian chocolate) and a cappuccino. We walked down Kalakaua Avenue and felt like we were in a weird amalgamation of Rodeo Drive and downtown Hollywood.

Oahu was fun in a city kind of way.

Flight home

The flight home itself was pretty amazing – we were in United Polaris First Class seats, so we had lie-flat seats. Best overnight flight I’ve ever had.


Do I have some photos for you! You can use your left and right arrow keys to move through the photos in the gallery below.

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