Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort in Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii was beautiful but I recommend leaving the city /resort area. We booked a trip to Oahu and stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort which included flight for 3k on Costco Travel.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort

View from our hotel room

Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort has numerous different room towers. The closer you are to the ocean, the higher the room rate. We were in the Tapa tower in the village area, so it was sort of a walk to the ocean from the room, but that was fine since we needed the exercise!

The village area was pretty cool though. There’s a bunch of shops for touristy purchases, food options, and even bird viewings at certain times of the day. This was our first trip with our daughter so having some animals for her to check out was pretty cool. They had a fish pond and a turtle pond as well. Definitely, a family catered resort which was a plus!

Our room even had a balcony with an ocean view where we could enjoy the evening sunset.

The last day we were there, we rented a car so we could go up to north shore. The beaches up there had more waves, some a little too dangerous but the water was pretty clear. Something I’ve always wanted to see and enjoy.

North Shore Hawaii waters

North Shore Hawaii

Arya got to touch sand for the first time and she loved it. The sand on Waikiki beach was kind of rocky and hard, but I heard that it’s manufactured by a local.

We also saw some random chickens running around up there too.

When we booked this trip, we made plans to make a stop at the Opal Thai food restaurant that was featured on diners, drive-ins, and dives. The food looked and sounded delicious, but apparently, he got the same idea as us since they were out on vacation from Dec 1st – Jan 3rd. DOH! So then we were on the hunt for good food from highly rated Yelp reviews, but 3 other places I found were either closed or no longer there.  So finding food at the north shore was almost impossible. We decided to head back south since our little one was getting rather cranky. She’s never been on that long of a drive before since we stopped at a few scenic places along the way, which seemed like it took forever, but really it’s only a 45-minute drive or so from Waikiki to North Shore.

We did enjoy playing in the pools at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and walking around the city exploring. The weather was also a nice change from the cold we were experiencing here in the Portland area.

The flight there was also smooth sailing, barely any turbulence but it was a full 6 hours to get there and our little one was getting restless the last hour and a half, but nothing too extreme. I’m extremely lucky that she’s so good.

The flight back was faster of course, and only took us about 4.5 hours which she slept half the way through. So that was nice!

However, once we got near Portland, the turbulence was moderate, which was even stated by the pilot. We had gotten home so quickly that we had to circle around in it for 10-15 minutes because the landing pad was not ready yet. Holy hell!! It was the worst flight I’ve ever experienced, so much so that people were puking on the flight and I was queasy the rest of the night. Ugh!

The smell… The sounds… They were horrid and I totally thought it was going to trigger a chain reaction, but luckily it did not.

I was so thankful to be on the ground and at home but wanted to go immediately back because of all the flooding that happened while we were gone.

Next time we vacation, I think we’ll try the Caribbean side of Mexico.

Have you been to Waikiki?

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  1. January 4, 2016 / 11:32 PM

    I’m currently planning a trip to Hawaii for later this year (around December!) My mom lived there for four years and she’s been itching to go back (and I’d love to see it.) She definitely says Hawaii is an awesome place if you venture beyond the ‘touristy’ things and really explore everything it has to offer <3
    Angelic Sinova recently posted…Hooray 2016: What I’m Looking Forward To In The New YearMy Profile

  2. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)
    January 5, 2016 / 2:56 AM

    Honestly, I would be happy to be anywhere in Hawaii. I have always wanted to go there and today it’s 13 degrees in Boston, so the heat would be so nice right now.

  3. January 5, 2016 / 3:04 AM

    I would love to go to Hawaii again. I’ve only ever been to the big island though – we really loved it. It was so beautiful and relaxing.
    Jaime Nicole recently posted…Where I’m FromMy Profile

  4. January 5, 2016 / 6:51 AM

    I have never been to Hawaii, but I’ve heard good things about it from friends who have vacationed there. I’m sorry it didn’t live up to your expectations! Hopefully, your next vacation is better!
    Jenn @ EngineerMommy recently posted…Healthy Mango Milk SmoothieMy Profile

  5. January 5, 2016 / 9:20 AM

    I think it is so important to travel outside of resort areas when you are on vacation. The resorts try so hard to make you feel a certain experience, but it often ends up feeling fake. And you don’t really get to see what it is really like.

  6. January 5, 2016 / 10:57 AM

    Whenever we go to Hawaii it is always on the West or North side of Oahu. Love Turtle Bay and the coves of Ko ‘Olina! We still go to Waikiki, but during the day when we can shop and have a fun and festive lunch.
    Cara (@StylishGeek) recently posted…Drawing Up My New Year ResolutionsMy Profile

  7. January 5, 2016 / 11:52 AM

    I would love to visit Hawaii but definitely steer clear of the touristy areas. I grew up in Orlando, FL and know all about those “touristy” areas 😉 Glad y’all made it back safely!

  8. January 5, 2016 / 6:08 PM

    I would really love to go to Hawaii. You can discover more things if you go outside of your accommodation.

  9. January 5, 2016 / 10:45 PM

    Waikiki looks like paradise. It would definitely a comfortable and refreshing time at Waikiki and Hawaii.

  10. Rebecca Swenor
    January 6, 2016 / 1:32 AM

    It sounds like your vacation could have been a lot better for 3K. I am sorry it was not as good as it should have been and hopefully next will be better. Hawaii is indeed on my list of place I would love to see some day. I love the photos of the baby with her smiles.

  11. January 6, 2016 / 7:00 AM

    This is good to know. For 3k you for sure want an amazing vacation. I’ve never been to Hawaii but it’s one of those destinations I can’t wait to get to at some point.

  12. January 6, 2016 / 6:29 PM

    Oh no. Sorry you didn’t get what you envisioned. That must be hard considering you spent so much.

  13. January 6, 2016 / 6:40 PM

    Beautiful photos and I’m sorry it wasn’t the total trip that you’d hoped for. I love Hawaii!

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