This is it! The last stop on our incredible journey across the United States. It’s been over a year now since we were there, but it’s been incredible looking back at all we got to experience.

The first day:

Beautiful Hawaii. We caught a flight to Honolulu, ready to wind-down in paradise after four weeks on the run! There was a little snafu at the airport, involving a name mix-up with the driver there to pick us up, but we got it sorted in a jiffy like the well-seasoned travellers we were becoming! Was only a teensy bit disappointed that we weren’t greeted with Hawaiian leis like I’d seen in the movies…

Our hotel was pretty great, and from our little balcony, you could just see the ocean. So blue! Turquoise almost. The hotel had a diner downstairs that backed out right onto the beach, where I enjoyed a mind-blowing strawberry and passionfruit drink, thank you very much. Went back to the room and think we crashed and completely missed dinner!

The second day:

This day, we went to the pool and did some nearby shopping at stores we’re only starting to see in Australia now: Sephora, Forever 21, H&M. The three of us visited the outside of the Princess Kaiulani Hotel – just across from us – where my mum and dad spent their honeymoon together. That meant a lot to my mumma. We chose California Pizza Kitchen for dinner (GREAT pasta, we loved this restaurant).

The third day:

Tried Chili’s for lunch – just a little dream of mine and my sister’s because we’d heard so much about the chain. We were a little disappointed with the outlet shops that we’d gone an hour out and back to see, because everything was a little to high-end or obscure for our family. This was the day I bought my white ankle-high Converse, a pair of shoes that I love to wear, yet to this day remain fluorescent white. It’s a Hawaiian miracle/mystery.

We braved the beach this time (despite the “Beware of painful jellyfish stings” sign) because the water was all too beautiful.

That night, we went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner (another “American Restaurant” checked off the list). I was secretly on the lookout for Penny from Big Bang the entire time. Yes, I know she’s fictional. No, we couldn’t fit in any cheesecake. Shame.

The fourth day:

The Ala Moana Shopping Centre was entirely better on the shopping-front (seems this week was all about the shopping). It’s outdoor but covered just enough to be comfortably mixed with shade and sun. The first shop we visited was Nordstrom, which has stuck in my mind for whatever reason. Forever 21 seemed to have everything my sister and I needed at exactly the right prices. Oh, what a dangerously glorious store.

In the afternoon, we went to the beach again. I distinctly remember lying on the sand and closing my eyes, concentrating hard on how the sun felt on my skin, and what the waves sounded like. “This, right here,” I thought to myself, “is a memory I may need in a few weeks when I’m back at uni and getting overwhelmed.” And it’s true. I still shut everything out and float back to O’ahu whenever life gets a bit too much to handle.

California Pizza Kitchen again…told you we loved it! Said cheers to the biggest and best holiday we’d ever shared. If only dad could have been there. LIFE, hey?

We went back to a night market we’d visited the night before, where the vendors try to sell the same souvenirs to different tourists for the highest price they can get. I bought a few little “Aloha” bracelets for my girlfriends.

For the last time, I tried to remember everything I could.


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