hawaii 2014 | victoria bc photographer

ruben and i had our first family vacation to hawaii this year. i never thought i could have fallen in love with anywhere as much as i fell in love with hawaii. we seriously loved every part of our trip. it was fast paced and hectic, our only regret was that we didn't stay longer.

i checked in with a few friends before we left for tips on places to see/places to eat. the most common thing i heard in response to advice was - 'go early!' and they weren't kidding. not that we had to fight crowds or anything, but there is so much to see and do that you really do need an early start to each day.

We stayed at the marriot resort and spa which was at the end of the strip, nice and quiet - close by the zoo and right on the beach. There were fireworks almost every night and we were right there to watch, was amazing!

incase there is anyone looking to go to oahu for their first time too, here are my recommendations:

favourite things we did; the zoo, the farmers market, the ko olina lagoons (we could have spent a whole day there) the nuuana pali look out, venturing up the north shore, dole pineapple plantation. We wanted to do hanauma bay so badly but ran out of time.

our favourite places to eat were;  Leonard's bakery in the morning, the kids LOVED waiola shaved ice, and i will admit it was pretty amazing! teddy's burgers was great - the milkshakes were delish! wolfgang puck was a good family place to eat when you needed food without having to wait long. and if all else failed we found ourselves at ABC stores grabbing food there too. favourite coffee was island vintage coffee. so so good!

here are some snaps from our trip and a little slideshow if you have time to watch :)