Like many before us, the Horseshoes decided to visit Oahu, Hawaii for our honeymoon. Best decision ever. Friends kept telling us that it was unlike any other place in the world and that we’d be hooked. Spoiler alert: They were right.
Mr. Horseshoe and I decided to delay our honeymoon by a few weeks after our wedding—definitely a good decision for us. It was nice to settle down and decompress a tiny bit from our wedding before the real relaxation began.
Quicksand roses are definitely a new favourite of mine.
There were also other minor benefits like us being able to enjoy our flowers for a bit longer after our wedding. Our beautiful ceremony “milk jug” pieces lasted a good couple of weeks.
It was time to leave for our honeymoon before we knew it. We flew from Calgary to Seattle, and then Seattle to Honolulu. We enjoyed a calm, five-ish hour flight complete with a complimentary Mai Tai served about an hour before we landed. We also chatted with our seatmate who lived in Honolulu and gave us some tips on what to visit.
After an uneventful flight, Mr. Horseshoe and I took a shuttle to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina. We decided not to rent a car right away as Aulani charges for parking and has an Alamo on site—convenient, though a bit pricey. Still, daily rentals when we needed a car ended up being cheaper than paying for a 10-day off-site rental plus daily parking.
How beautiful is the lobby?
Hive, let me tell you…Aulani was magical, and we’ll absolutely be back one day. We were warmly greeted by hotel staff who presented me with an orchid lei and Mr. Horseshoe with a (plastic) Kukui nut lei. Check in took around 20 minutes—there was a bit of a line, but we hardly noticed the wait as we were marvelling at the interior of the lobby. Aulani is a really beautiful hotel.
The view from our room was unreal.
Our room had a partial ocean view and a full view of the interior of the property. I took great pleasure in just staring at the ocean from our balcony—the view was gorgeous, and it was fun watching kids chase after “island” Mickey, Minnie, and Stitch.
This was our first shave ice from Papalua Shave Ice. We thought it was good…until we tried Matsumoto.
Mrs. Eel is correct that Aulani is located in more of a quiet, residential area—you won’t get the same lively atmosphere and nightlife that you see at Waikiki. No complaints from us, though, as we were keen on having a quiet, relaxing honeymoon. May seemed to be a good time to visit as the property wasn’t jam packed. You may also be thinking…isn’t the resort too “kiddy” for a honeymoon? Yes, there were lots of families staying at Aulani, but we didn’t feel out of place as an adult couple. The property is huge, and there are many pools (including adult-only pools and lounge areas) and amenities to choose from. The spa was also amazing. Oh, the spa. More on that in another post.
Happy Horseshoes at Monkeypod, where we ate way too often. Please excuse my severe eyebrows, haha.
After we unpacked and explored the resort a bit, we grabbed happy hour appetizers and pizza at Monkeypod Ko Olina. Everything was delicious, and we had fun trying the local brews that were on tap. I do have a food post coming, so stay tuned for our favourite Oahu eats.
Happy and full, we ambled back to the resort and managed to stay awake until…8:00 PM. Such an accomplishment! In our defence, Oahu is four hours behind Calgary (when we’re observing daylight saving time), and we were up ridiculously early to catch our 6:00 AM flight to Seattle. On the plus side, we woke up early enough to catch the sunrise. We weren’t facing the right direction, but seeing the sky light up was still a sight to behold.
Aulani’s beach and lagoon at sunset
One note about Aulani: Guests are awoken by a song at 7:00 AM, and the resort-wide music keeps on going until the evening. Bring some earplugs if you want to sleep in past 7:00.
We met Mr. & Mrs. Eel on our second day in Oahu. I was pretty excited to meet another bee in person! We met for happy hour at Roy’s at the Ko Olina Golf Club. The Eels were incredibly warm and welcoming, and made our honeymoon that much more special. They gave us a lot of tips and generously offered to take us to Costco and the North Shore the following day. A trip to Costco is a must for those of you who want to save a bit of cash on dining out. We had a fridge in our room and bought things to eat for breakfast/lunch at Costco like bread, fruit, cheese, etc. I feel like we saved a pretty penny as resort breakfasts averaged $8–$12 a plate. Thank you so much, Eels!
Are you planning on visiting Hawaii? Here are a few packing tips for Hawaii in the spring.
- We visited Oahu in May, and the weather was awesome. We enjoyed average temperatures of 25 to 30 °C/77-86 °F. I brought lots of layers with me—shorts, tank tops, sweaters, cardigans, and dresses ended up being useful for mixing and matching. I also wore “athleisure” a lot of the time as we were walking around/on the go a lot. Bring one nice piece to wear out for dinners, though. Hawaii is pretty casual, but I’m glad I had a nice maxi dress to put on for nicer meals.
- It was cloudy and rained here and there, but the sun was shining most of the time. Coverups and sun protection are a MUST. This naive Canadian got a bit of a sunburn! Bring an SPF sun/surf shirt or buy one once you get to Hawaii. I wore my hat and sun shirt over my swimwear almost every day we were in Oahu. My light raincoat also came in handy, but we were never caught in the rain for very long.
- Good shoes are a must. We walked around a ton and ended up going on a few hikes. Bring some sturdy sandals and sneakers. I lived in my Birkenstocks and walked for hours and hours in them. My sneakers were my second most used pair of shoes. Flip-flops are also a must for beaching—the sand gets hot! My least used pair of shoes? A nicer pair of sandals that I wore out for dinner a couple of times. Still glad I had them, though.
- I recommend a good primer/setting spray for my fellow makeup junkies. I brought foundation but didn’t end up wearing it much—I instead opted for tinted foundation with SPF. Don’t forget your hair-styling products, especially if you’re a fellow curly girl! I definitely frizzed up a bit but thankfully had a good curling cream and gel with me.
I’m going to split our honeymoon up into a handful of posts as I’ve got way too many (good!) things to say about Oahu. Up next? Some of our favourite places in Oahu.