Monday, December 3, 2012


I just returned from spending a couple of blissful weeks in Hawaii visiting my boyfriend (who is living there for a few months). 

From the very moment of my arrival, he managed to break all records as the perfect host and tour guide, greeting me with the traditional lei around my neck and then whisking me off for island fun. 
This guy thinks of everything.....

From seeing the sights, to lolling about on the beach for hours

A great phenomenal time was had!

A little tai chi beachside (AIV a.k.a. Annechovie Improvised Version)

Being serenaded at the Halekulani by great music and Miss Hawaii 2011 dancing 
(talk about ambience!)

No, those are NOT gang signs.....just a photographic record indicating my 8th day of the trip. 
This restaurant had great live jazz, truffle fries, ahi tacos and a picturesque pier view. 
I would definitely recommend - stop by Nico's at Pier 38 in Honolulu.

Afterward, we caught the festive Christmas street parade

and I had a little visit with "The Storyteller".

Fireworks on the beach are a festive weekly happening on Friday night - a great way to close the week.

A visit to the statue of the "Father of Surfing" Duke Kahanamoku, both by night & by day
Duke was a 5 time Olympic gold medalist and cultural celebrity superstar. 
He remains a Hawaiian icon to this day and gets plenty of posthumous attention, believe me.

It was lots of fun wandering the North Shore and dining at the infamous Haleiwa Cafe - this is surfer culture and I felt right at home. Coming from Florida, I was already well supplied with swimsuits, shorts, flip flops and a pretty decent tan. By the time I left, I was a few shades darker and many more degrees relaxed.
Hawaiians like to call everyone "Uncle", "Auntie" or "Cousin". It kind of threw me at first, but before long, I was calling my boyfriend "Cousin" for fun. He is very patient with my cheezy humor. What a good sport!

Another day, another great lunch at the world-reknowned Shrimp Shack - I ordered the coconut shrimp. Definitely everything it's cracked up to be and all this goodness on a paper plate from a food truck!! 
No frou-frou pretense here, just the real deal.

Pretty cute and kitschy tables, huh? Pull up a chair.......
At Lanikai, we continued our daily beach smashball matches and we are holding steady at 115 consecutive hits for now.

I was told that a trip to Hawaii wouldn't be complete without the authentic Luau experience, so I wholeheartedly embraced it and had a blast (even if I refused to get up on the stage for hula lessons - I don't dig forced participation)

This was my "enjoying-fire-dancer-yet-glad-to-be-sitting-at-a-safe-distance" expression.

Ah, the land of fragrant trade winds, palm trees and roast pig in a sand pit removed by primitive costumed dudes that you spotted only 20 minutes earlier in t-shirts driving a golf cart. 
On the island, there are always great food aromas in the air...everywhere! 
Between these aromas and the hearty appetite worked up by a day in the surf/sand, this girl could definitely put away the food, let me tell you!! 
By the way, I did try the poi, but can't say I'll be asking for it ever again. I had a flashback to being in a high chair with a bib around my neck eating Gerber baby food out of a jar while grimacing and wincing.

As the trip drew to a close, I (sadly) prepared to head back to the mainland to gear up for the Holiday rush/grindstone at work. I left rested and recharged with an overflowing heart and irreplaceable memories that I will cherish forever.  Thanks to the most charming, thoughtful, knowledgeable and handsome host/tour guide a girl could have, my visit was better than I could have dreamed and I cannot wait to come back!

Here are some of my must-see OR must-eat recommendations:
Kua' Aina : casual establishment with a killer chicken teriyaki sandwich - make sure you ask for avocado on top!
Nico's at Pier 38 : ahi tacos
Halekulani Hotel - House Without a Key : go here for unbeatable ambience and romantic atmosphere for unwinding at sunset/evening.
Shrimp Shack : fresh and succulent shrimp served in a variety of ways from a cheery yellow food truck on the North Shore.
Lanikai Beach : simply gorgeous spot in Kailua on Windward side of Oahu. Enough said.
Ala Moana Surfrider Hotel : a historic place to stay or dine in Waikiki. Settle into a rocking chair on the sweeping front porch and order an aperitif while the music from the piano bar drifts out into the balmy night.

These are just a few highlights from my trip - please feel free to share some favorite spots of your own as I'd love to check them out on my next visit.


Squeak & Squirrel said...

What a catch, Anne! Happy days to you both xxxx

Liza Hirst said...

WOW! This does look like a very enjoyable trip! Very happy for you, Anne!Thanks for the lovely photos and descriptions which made me want to pack my suitcase at once. Btw, you look absolutely gorgeous!

Renae Moore said...

Oh Anne! What a wonderful trip. You two are a beautiful couple! You DESERVE to be treated wonderfully. I know it was probably hard to come home!

Christy said...

You look amazing! So happy! And relaxed! I am sooooo happy for you Anne. You guys make a gorgeous couple. And now I want to visit Hawaii!!!! Aloha cousin! (Haha! I couldn't resist!)

KM said...

Hi Anne! I still read, although haven't commented in forever. Been super busy! Your trip looks amazing! You and Duke make the most adorable couple and I am smiling for you from the inside out. Thanks for sharing your personal life!
Kara Hebert

High Heeled Life said...

You both look wonderful! sounds like a fabulous time ... xo HHL

therelishedroost said...

Sooo Jealous! You both look absolutely gorgeous, could be a tourist AD!!
Thanks for Sharing,

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

Ok, this seriously looks like a trip made in heaven! So jealous!
I ma happy that you were able to take a break.
Happy Monday.

MrsLittleJeans said...

Such beautiful pictures of your two make a very well matched couple in my Hawaii...only been there once by accident (overlay) and it is soo on my list of places to visit...Wishing you a brand happy new week xx

Karena said...



Unknown said...


How wonderful you're a perfect couple. Very photogenic and the surrounding didn't hurt either. Mahalo you both had a great time and for sharing that with us.


pve design said...

Aloha to you and Mr. Hawaii! Looks like such fun and how happy am I that you have someone special to share all those moments.
You are glowing.

Unknown said...

This looks idyllic Anne! What a romantic getaway with all the amenities! You bf is so handsome too and you look fantastic sweet lady! I wish you the best and many happy returns! Good luck with the rush and I hope you have a very happy holiday.
xo Nancy

annie@mostlovelythings said...

We love look so beautiful in every shot and as though you were enjoying every minute!

Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing this Anne! It looked like a great trip, great fun and what a handsome couple!! How lucky your beau has a job there! I bet you were thinking, gee I could live and work here too!! I haven't been to Hawaii but its on my bucket list - my uncle lived in Honolulu in the late 50's and my cousin is still a serious surfer...have a great week Anne and thanks for stopping by - ;-))

Holly Phillips @ The English Room said...

Anne what a wonderful trip. You look fab with Aloha Man. Such fun!

Katherine said...

I LOVE Hawaii and am dying to go back - Honolulu was one of my favorite places and I really want to go to some of the places you are at in these photos. Looks wonderful! Lucky guy to get to live there, even if just for a few months

<3 katherine
of corgis and cocktails

Ivy Lane said...

Great photos! I love Hawaii...have to wait til next year for my next visit..your post makes me long for the trip even more! I am sure you will be painting some wonderful new pieces with all the inspiration you must have came home with! :)


Claudia Fabiana said...

Lucky you! It looks like a fabulous trip. Happy holidays to you ...


Parisbreakfasts said...

What a bang up trip Anne!
I have never been but it's easy to see it would be terrific
Thanks for sharing

Preppy Empty Nester said...

I want your life! You and your man are too cute for words!

Harwell Photography said...

You guys are too cute!!

I am so excited for you!!