I have to be honest… Hawaii was never on my list of places to discover. At least not anytime soon. Why? Because I felt it was just another beach touristy place to discover. Perhaps something like Bahamas or Cancun. Boy was I wrong…

C’s birthday was a week away while I was in San Francisco. I kept thinking about something special we could do. I knew it would be a trip but I had no idea where. I had to work around C’s schedule.

The only place that seemed to work was Hawaii. I asked friends who had been to Hawaii before, I googled, and even asked a friend who lived in Oahu to help me plan the trip since it was going to be a short one.

Hawaii is 5 hours away from Los Angeles. However, it’s two hours behind Los Angeles time, which makes it perfect! You don’t feel like you wasted an entire day traveling.

The day before our trip, I told C to pack beach clothes and made it seemed as if we were heading to Mexico. The morning of our trip, as we arrived at the airport, and uber dropped us off at Hawaiian Airlines, I guess it was safe to say he knew where we were going.

We stayed at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, which easily became one of the top notch hotels I have stayed at. Perhaps, there may be better hotels, but the customer service was expectacular, and that for me is EVERYTHING.

Upon check-in we were greeted so gracefully in their newly remodeled lobby. Since I am a Gold Member, we got breakfast buffet vouchers, dinner discounts, drink vouchers, movie vouchers, and a photo book voucher.

What a way to start the day🍴 😁Thank you @marriottwaikiki #sueeats

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Side Note: To my surprise, when I posted a photo on instagram, I came to a personalize note waiting in my room. It was such a cute detail! 

Once we entered the room, I walked straight to the glass doors because I couldn’t get over the view. Don’t you agree?

6am & ready to hit those 🌊 ☀️ #travelingsue #starringsue

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Watch the first part of our trip, and find information about the places we visited below:

Diamond Head

Address: Diamond Head Rd., Honolulu, HI 96815

Hours: Open Daily from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m (No one is permitted to hike after 4:30 p.m., as the hike takes about a 1.5-2 hours (round trip)).

Parking & Admission: $5/car or $1/person for pedestrians

Manoa Falls

Address: Na Ala Hele: Manoa Falls Trail, Honolulu, HI 96822

Hours: Open Daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

Parking:  $5

Admission:   FREE 

Notes: Several scenes from the TV show LOST were filmed here, as was parts of Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, you cannot swim in the pool at the base of the waterfall. 

Chief’s Luau

Address: Sea Life Park, 41-202 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795

Hours: Open 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. | CLOSED Saturdays & Tuesdays

Admission: Varies from $77 to $144 per person. Child & Youth get discounts. Children 4 & under Free.

Note: You pay extra to have the bus pick you up from your hotel. It was about $16 per person roundtrip.