Honeymoon Recap: I

 Sunday, after the wedding, we were supposed to take a  6:30pm flight from Chicago to LAX, land at 8pm, make a pit stop at home, and then leave the next morning for Hawaii from LAX at 8am.

A few of our California friends were on the some flight, so as we were having a few drinks at an airport restaurant, a huge summer storm rolled through and ended up delay our departure by an hour.

Once we were strapped in and cleared for take-off, a mechanical issue stopped us from taking off and we sat on the runway for another 2.5 hours.

By the time we got home at 1:30 in the morning, I had to do some last minute packing adjustments, Joel had to completely pack, and we made it into bed at 3am, only to wake up 3 hours later.

The  silver lining to this, was it made the flight to Hawaii a breeze because I slept like a rock for all six hours!


Once we landed in Kauai we picked up our rental car and made a trip to the grocery store to stock up on some essentials for the 12 days in a hotel. Hawaiian prices are outrageous, but we escaped for about $200 with vodka, beer, chips & salsa, fruit, bagels, peanut butter, bars, and a few other odds and ends. It probably saved us about $500 or more, because we always had breakfast in the room and enjoyed lots of happy hours outside, too.

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai, and looking back, it was the best hotel we could have ever stayed in. It had everything and more for us - as you will see...and service, food, amenities, etc. was beyond my expectations.

 Our room was on the ground floor looking at the ocean which was amazing.

 During the day, the hotel would set up a badminton net, boccie ball, and croquet which made for some pretty competitive happy hours.

 The first night we had dinner on the resort at Tidepools.

That new bag I'm holding was a wedding gift from my husband.
The restaurant was all open air and sat directly on a large koi pond.

We ate bread, drank wine, had an amazing ahi poke appetizer, split a piece of fish and indulged in hot chocolate molten concoction that I'm still thinking about...

We were both hesitant about eating on a resort...especially such a big one...because sometime the food can suck, but Tide Pools blew us away. The food - and wine selection - was TOP notch.

The next morning, and most mornings after that, we played an hour's worth of tennis. Joel played tennis in college, and I did in high school, so it's a sport we really enjoy playing together.

Joel is worlds better than me, but by the end of our time there, both of our games improved quite a bit.

Tennis was usually followed up by a beer, lunch by the pool, and lots of reading time. 

The resort has 2 main pools, a huge salt water lagoon (with a sand floor) and a huge lazy river, with waterfalls and a water slide.

 We spent most of our time at the salt water lagoon because while you were in a nice, warm pool - it still felt, sounded, and tasted like the ocean, and we could see the ocean from our seats.


The beach that the resort sits on - Shipwreck - is not the safest beach to swim in. Apparently most of Hawaii's beaches are pretty rough, with very strong rip currents, so we were very careful with the beaches we chose - and I'm (or was) a certified life guard myself., A local told us there have been 91 drownings since January, and even as a strong swimmer, the currents were hard to compete against. Just a PSA in case you are going to Kauai soon.

Shipwreck beach is known for cliff jumpers so we watched a few insane idiots jump off, and decided to climb up to see the view too...

The second night, we had our happy hour outside and I bought all the fixings to make my vacation cocktail; absolut vodka, pineapple, splash of cranberry, and a twist of lime. SO beyond good.

We ventured into town for our first dinner off the resort. We ate at Merriman's and I have to say it was our least favorite restaurant of the entire trip. The view was average, the food was below average, the prices were high and our waiter seemed clueless. I would skip it in the future.

However, even when dining at a bad restaurant in Hawaii - you are still dining in HAWAII!

Lots more to come.


  1. Great post, makes me want to go to Hawaii! Btw, I love your bag. I've got my eye on a few LVs and thats one of them! You have to let me know how you like the sizing for everyday.

  2. Yall look like you had a great time! Cant wait to see more and LOVE the new bag!

  3. You make me want to go to Hawaii RIGHT NOW. Oh my goodness, it's SO beautiful.

    And you look amazingly gorgeous and skinny.

    LOVE the new bag... Joel did good work!

  4. I have been anxiously awaiting to see pictures of Hawaii!!! and to hear all about your wedding!! Hawaii is on my bucketlist!!

  5. What a wonderful wedding gift from your husband! Looks like you had an awesome time in Hawaii!

  6. You guys are just beaming with happiness! I'm loving these updates!

  7. Look at you MRS Tess!!! ahhhhh this sounds like an awesome honeymoon so far! Keep the pics coming!

  8. Looks like the best time and your hubby did good with your wedding gift. :)

  9. Looks absolutely amazing! Congratulations, again!

  10. I can't believe I missed all the wedding posts! Hawaii looks GORGEOUS and holy awesome wedding gift from your husband...wow!!

  11. GIRL! We are going to Grand Hyatt in Kauai for our honeymoon in just a few weeks! Your posts have been so fun to read over and have gotten us even more excited. Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful details! I have taken lots of notes of all you've mentioned in your posts, but please feel free to send me any other recommendations my way :)

    Thanks again for sharing! It looks like you had an amazing time!

  12. That wedding gift is amazing. You have such a sweet husband!