13 October 2014

Hiking Hawaii: Diamond Head Crater

Thought I would take a little break from wedding posts to share some of my favorite experiences since we moved to Hawaii.

One of the first things that Shaun and I did once we arrived here, was hike Diamond Head.

I've now done this hike twice, the first time with Shaun and the second time with some lovely ladies that I've gotten to know through our boat.

This is, what I would consider, an easy hike. It is kid-friendly, but definitely not stroller-friendly. You do gain some elevation on the way up and there are quite a few stairs, but there are spots where you can  move off to the side of the trail and take a break. The second time I did this hike, one of the girls I was with, had her 26 lb. son in an Ergo carrier and she made it up with no problems.

If you ever get to visit Hawaii, I definitely recommend doing this hike.

Diamond Head from Waikiki.












The mountain to the left is Koko Head Crater and just over the one to the right is Hanauma Bay, a famous snorkeling spot.


Beautiful view of Honolulu and Waikiki.

The views that I have seen from the many mountain tops here are incredible and it seems like each new hike outdoes the previous. I feel so blessed to be living in such an amazing place and hope you all enjoy reading about it!


Thank y'all for stopping by!

03 October 2014

Our Wedding, Part 3 - First Look & Bridal Party Photos ~

Good morning!

Today I'm sharing our 'First Look' photos. I wasn't 100% convinced to do the first look in the beginning, but our photographer kind of talked me into it and I'm glad she did.

It was a great way to save some time and get some pictures done early so we could get to our reception sooner. I think it also helped calm some nerves ;)

We did our first look photos at Wide Awake Park, just down from our venue, Old Wide Awake Plantation

Here are some of my fave shots.

















All photos by Aaron & Jillian Photography (formerly Aaron Nicholas Photography.)
Location: Old Wide Awake Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina
Dress: Austin by Watters
Jewelry: Nicole Miller via Rent the Runway
Bridesmaids Dresses: Mori Lee 682 in Ivory and Blush
Groomsmen's Suits: Jos. A. Bank
Bow-ties: CCADesign

Thank y'all for stopping by!

01 October 2014

Our Wedding, Part 2: Getting Ready & the Details ~


Back to my favorite topic, our wedding.

Have I mentioned how unbelievably perfect the day was? It will forever be a day that will live on in my memory and in my heart for always.

Our wedding took place on Sunday, April 13, 2014. The weather was perfect, 75 degrees and sunny.

We were very fortunate to have a space at the venue to get ready. The upstairs of the house on the property had a bridal suite as well as a second bedroom, not to mention a beautiful wraparound second-story porch.

Once the guys arrived, they were able to use the downstairs living room to finish getting ready.

Take a look!
































All photos by Aaron & Jillian Photography (formerly Aaron Nicholas Photography.)
Location: Old Wide Awake Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina
Dress: Austin by Watters
Jewelry: Nicole Miller via Rent the Runway
Bridesmaids Dresses: Mori Lee 682 in Ivory and Blush
Groomsmen's Suits: Jos. A. Bank
Bow-ties: CCADesign



Thank y'all for stopping by!

30 September 2014

Weekend Re-cap ~

Happy Aloha Monday!

Hope you all had a great weekend.

Mine flew by and was jam-packed. Saturday, I attended the Joint Spouse Conference at MCBH (Marine Corps Base Hawaii.) 


The JSC was an opportunity for 300 military spouses to get together and participate in different workshops. The four that I chose were Elegant Appetizers (a cooking demo), Wine & Food Pairing, Stand-up Paddleboarding, and Mai Tais & Monet (a painting class.) They also provided breakfast, lunch, and a cocktail hour. It was a blast :)

Sunday, I got to attend the Wings over the Pacific Air Show at Hickam AF Base. It was amazing to finally get to see the Blue Angels fly.

video


This weekend really had me thinking a lot about living in Hawaii as a military spouse. I was telling one of my girlfriends last night that living here is unlike anywhere else I have ever lived in so many ways and I don't think it will ever compare to anywhere else that we live in the future.

That might sound like an obvious observation, but what I'm referring to is probably different from what your first thought might be. 

Living in Hawaii as a military spouse, in my opinion, is a completely difference experience than living here as a civilian. I'm sure other spouses who have lived here would agree that there is a very large military presence on the island. If you were to visit Oahu on vacation, you may not notice is as much, but since we arrived five months ago, I have noticed it tremendously. There are some days when I feel like the whole island is just all military.

All branches of the military have a presence here on Oahu. There is the Marine Corps Base at Kaneohe Bay, Schofield Barracks (Army), Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (Navy and Air Force), and even the Coast Guard has a small installation at Barber's Point.

Even though we don't live on base, I feel like I spend a lot of my time on a base, somewhere. Whether it's renting stand-up paddleboards at the Marina on Kaneohe Bay, having dinner with friends at Sam Choy's on Hickam Harbor, or shopping at the commissary on Schofield. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind it. In fact, it's a good feeling and a it's safe feeling.

I think living in Hawaii is a very unique opportunity as a military spouse in that I have the opportunity to connect with spouses with all different kinds of military backgrounds. I also feel completely immersed in the culture, more-so than I probably ever will be again; and that, is what I mean about it being a completely different experience.

What has been your experience living in or near a military installation? Have you ever lived in Hawaii?

 
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