Oahu and Maui 2011 plus a giveaway

Did you miss me?  Did you know that I was gone?  :)

We just got back from a 10 day trip to Waikiki and Maui- it truly was the trip of a lifetime for us.
We don't do a lot of big vacations.  Last year, our only one we took was a weekend getaway to a nearby lake for some camping and water skiing.  So this was a really big deal for us!

Since it was such a long trip, I wrote up several 'beachy' posts before hand, and I hoped you enjoyed those while I was away.

Here's some of the photos and highlights from our trip:

This was our view from our lanai in Waikiki.  Our hotel, the Hilton Hawaiian Village, was at one end of Waikiki beach.
The entrance to the Hilton was spectacular with bronzed hula dancers, tiki torches and lush gardens and ponds.

The lobby entrance was very close to our tower, which you can see in the background to the right- the Rainbow tower.  It's an iconic mural in Waikiki, frequently used in photographs.
We also found out that this area is used for filming TV's 'Hawaii Five-O'.
Beautiful leis for our arrival!
We decided to go to Oahu first while we still had lots of energy, and did all the typical touristy things while we were there.  Pearl Harbor was at the top of the list, and we felt like Hannah was at a great age to appreciate the memorial.

This picture was taken through the top of the memorial. 


With my love of the '40's, this information site, photo, and button were irresistible.

We ate LOTS of yummy food while we were in Hawaii!  My husband caught an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, right before we left, and he had visited this place:

Puka Dog!  (Pooh-kah Dog)  They serve their dogs with Hawaiian flavored relishes and the buns are completely solid, except for a hole in the middle.  They put the buns on a special cooking rod that toasts the inside of the bun right before they add the relish and slide the dog in.  I tried the mango relish, and Jon and Hannah tried the pineapple.  We loved it!


We enjoyed a nice walk down the beach one morning- a gorgeous view of Diamond Head:


While we were out on the walk, we spotted a gorgeous, jaw dropping hotel. The Moana Surfrider.  Absolutely stunning!  We went back that evening to do a mini tour and see the street side of it:

Isn't it amazing?? I just loved the staircase. That's some serious inspiration.

One of the main reasons we went to Hawaii during the time that we did, was for Mother's Day! Yes, I'm a lucky girl.  :)  With both our families in the same town, it's hard to do any holiday away, but we felt like this was one we could do. We flew to Maui the day before, and stayed at the Maui Westin Resort and Spa.

Hannah wanted to do a 'sleepover', so Saturday night was girl's night.  ;)
(please excuse the bedhead....)
The next morning, we got up, and Jon and Hannah got me a plumeria lei.  It smelled heavenly.  It's the smell I always think of when I think of Hawaii.  Jon had booked a brunch for us at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel's Tiki Terrace in Maui. It was so much fun, because there were so many Hawaiian families there.  It felt like a big happy family gathering.  There was so much food, I never even saw all there was to offer!  It was also a champagne brunch, and my glass was never empty.  Amazing.

Every mom got a long stem red rose for the day.  They also had a Hawaiian fashion show and hula.


The desserts were amazing.  I got my first taste of Haupia.  It's a traditional Hawaiian coconut 'pudding', although the consistency was more like a custard.  I had it three times while we were on our trip!  I loved it so much, I even searched out the recipe, and hope to share it with you all this week for Foodie Friday. It's almost invisible on my white plate, but it's to the right, with a bit of toasted coconut on top....

Another favorite find was the Aloha Mixed Plate.  There is almost always a 30 minute wait to get in, but it's great food and inexpensive (a rare find in Hawaii!)


I had the Kalbi- Hawaiian teriyaki short ribs, and some Thai chow mein. 


While we were in Maui, we just ate, relaxed, soaked up the sun, and spent our time going between the slide at the pool and the beach.  I loved getting up early every morning and going for a long walk on the golf course side of our hotel. 


The water was warm and crystal clear.  We loved to float on our $2 tubes and look at the reef below.
No snorkeling for me.  It really freaks me out to be in water with fish swimming around me!


The grounds and pool area of the Westin were a virtual oasis of waterfalls, tropical birds, lush plant life and multiple pools.  After walking the boardwalk close to the end of our trip, we were really happy with our resort- great beach area, not too stuffy, and pools that offered lots of different views.  Plus we liked the adult pool was separate from where we were.

We made a point of going to a luau while we were there.  We attended the Royal Lahaina luau.
It was a fun show and we all enjoyed it.  They had the best Mai Tai's!




I know this last photo looks a little weird. 
In Oregon, it's illegal to pump your own gas, so when it was time to return the rental car, I had Hannah jump out and 'learn' how to do it!  I myself have only pumped gas once in my entire life!
I'm sure everyone around us at the station thought I was the wacko tourist for snapping photos of this.
Hawaii's gas prices are crazy.  Around $4.99 per gallon!  Ouch!

Like I said, the trip of a lifetime. 
We so enjoyed all of the Japanese vacationers in Waikiki.  Such beautiful families who were so modest, polite and family oriented.  The Hawaiian people are all very laid back and super friendly, and we had some great encounters with a few of them. 

Thanks for letting me be a little self indulgent with the family vacation photos today.  We were gone for so long, I just had to share what I've been up to, unbeknownst to many of you.

I am so rejuvenated and excited to get back to creative projects! I have lots waiting in the wings, and a fresh eye for projects around the house.
You didn't think I would come back and not bring a gift for you, did you?
I found this adorable bag at a new favorite shop, Sand People, located only on the islands. 
(for you moms of boys, I promise it has nothing to do with Star Wars characters!)
They have the most fabulous beach home decor, jewelry, and clothing.  I could have dropped some serious cash there!!

You can use this little cutie for the beach, pool, or shopping- maybe here:



Enter my giveaway for a chance to win the bag and a $25 Pottery Barn gift card!
The giveaway starts today, May 16, and ends Saturday, May 21 at 5pm PST.

*You must be a follower of PinkPostcard to enter- leave me a comment letting me know, for one entry.
*Leave me another comment if you post this giveaway on your Facebook page or Tweet this, for another entry.
Good luck!

One winner will be selected via Random.org.  I will notify the winner by email and announce on May 23!

*This giveaway is now closed*

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Whisperwood Cottage Vacation Memories

50 comments

  1. Looks like you had a SUPER time!! I am so jealous...but in the nicest way possible!

    I am a follower and would love me some PB!!

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  2. what a fabulous trip!!! your daughter will always remember this!!!!!!

    sign me up...who doesn't LoVe pottery barn!!!

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  3. I was sooo glad to see your post! We are going to the same location in about 5 weeks and I have never been before. My husband is working there for a few months so we are going to visit him (free hotel! :) ) Thank you for sharing all of your pictures, I loved looking at them! Gorgeous family you have.

    ~Shanon

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  4. Wow, what a wonderful vacation you had, I so enjoyed the pictures especially Pearl Harbor!
    Love the bag, so cute, please enter me!

    Rondell

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  5. Tweeted!! I have no idea how to prove it but if you look at @littlebrickranc it should be there...I anew to Twitter - can you tell?

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  6. how fun! looks like a fabulous trip! :)

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  7. Oh my gosh Denise, what a beautiful and special trip! I'm so excited to see your pictures! We too have been hoping to take this trip of a lifetime to Hawaii. My husband and I have been saving to take our kids there for 3 years. He travels for work and we are saving his airline and hotel "miles" (to stay in a Hilton - the one you stayed in looks gorgeous!!) and have our kids saving with us at home. After seeing your incredible trip I am looking forward to the day we get there even more.

    So glad you had a wonderful time as a family. I didn't know your little girl's name was Hannah BTW - that's my daughter's name too :)

    {How sweet of you to have a giveaway - thank you for the chance! I follow you.} Lisa

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  8. What an awesome time you had! Soooo jealous! I've been to Maui once, but I was there for work and not with my husband - not quite the same experience (although still beautiful!). Glad you had such a fab time!

    And OF COURSE I'm a follower! ;) Would love to win!

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  9. What awesome photos of you and your family in one of the most beautiful places in the world!

    Lucky you to be able to go, and have such a wonderful family!

    Sherri

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  10. hi Denise-
    Looks like you had a wonderful time. I went a few years ago for 10 days and stayed with friends. They took us to so many places, plus it was nice to see how the locals live.
    Your photos came out great. Did you have Shave Ice?

    My best- Diane

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  11. Looks like a fantastic trip.Yeah for you.Thanks for sharing.I am indeed a follower.

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  12. I just got back from Maui on Mother's day, it is fabulous there. We were there 5 years ago and stayed at the Westin, the pool with the slides was so fun. This time we stayed at the Ritz at Kapalua. That part of the island is very secluded and quiet, we left our kiddos at home so it was perfect.

    Welcome back, reentry is always tough!!

    Great give away

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  13. What a wonderful trip and fabulous photos. You all look like you had a blast! I wanna go now! =) Thanks for sharing! XOXO ~Liz

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  14. Sounds like an amazing trip! I am a follower :)

    vickdn@live.com

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  15. I love Hawaii and would love to win this gift card! Im a follower

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  16. How fun - a giveaway!!! It looks like you had so much fun on your trip! Thanks for sharing pictures with us! Love your blog!

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  17. Love your photos of paradise Denise! We just got back from Kona (the big island)May 10th after spending 2 weeks soaking up a lot of aloha. It is always hard to come back to the PNW and cool rainy weather, huh?

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  18. I'm a gfc follower.

    hewella1 at gmail dot com

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  19. What a wonderful vacation! I'm a follower and I'd love to win! And seriously, it's illegal to pump your own gas?

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  20. i am a follower...and would love the goodies!!

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  21. Welcome back!! Your trip looks A.MAZ.ING!!!!
    I am a follower : )
    Tammy : )

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  22. hi! i really enjoyed seeing your family trip photos...looks so lovely and you all look very happy in Hawaii (how could one not)!!
    such a nice giveaway...consider me entered :)

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  23. What a lovely vacation and sooo perfect that you got to be there for Mother's Day. We've stayed in the Rainbow Tower, too. Just can't beat it for the views. Love that sweet tote!

    Thanks for such a fun giveaway, too! I've just become your newest follower. I thought I already was because I have you in my Google Reader, too!

    Did you hear I'm hosting my Wedding Blog Party and Giveaway on June 10th? I do hope you will join us as I'm sure you would share such sweet things!! Read all about it on my blog!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Stephanie
    Angelic Accents

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  24. hat a beautiful family you have and these pictures are AMAZING. What a fun time. Call me when you are free sweetie!!! =)

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  25. Opps, forgot the W..... ;)))))

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. Beautiful pictures!! I used to live on Oahu in Waipahu... makes me miss the island!! Now my step-son and his family live there. Please enter me in your give away and I will repost on Facebook also. Thanks for sharing!!

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  28. Aloha! Mahalo nui loa for the giveaway. I am so happy you and your family had a fantastic time on Oahu and Maui. I am a new follower!!

    Blessings, Teresa

    tteague2@triad.rr.com

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  29. I'm over from Slice of Suburbia...
    Thanks for the chance to win this adorable bag and the gift card to my favorite place. :)
    I am a new follower.
    xo b

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  30. I will post your giveaway on my sidebar.
    xo bj

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  31. I knew you were gone! I have some of your items on my "Favorites" list at Etsy and noticed that they said, "on vacation". And....what a magnificent vacation you had! Take your breath away beauty, did you feel like you were in paradise? The pics of you and Hannah are so sweet!

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  32. Welcome back! I have stayed at the Hilton there and had such a blast!

    I am a follower! Crossing my fingers!

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  33. I am already a follower, thanks.

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  34. So glad you and your sweet little family had such an amazing Hawaiian vacation! Your pictures are so beautiful! Looks like a really wonderful trip! And what great timing too...you escaped all of the cold, rainy days we had here! Welcome home and thanks for sharing your lovely photos!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,
    Amanda

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  35. I'm a GFC follower!!
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

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  36. I am a GFC follower... looks like you had a wonderful time on your vacation.

    dragonfliez34 {at} gmail{dot}com

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  37. Denise, what beautiful photos of an amazing trip. Fun to see these because I haven't been to Hawaii since early 1970s. That trip was my first big splurge after I began working. Guess it's time to splurge again. LOL
    Would love to be included in your gift giveaway. I'm a new follower. Thanks! ~ sarah

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  38. From the pictures it looks like you had a fabulous time on vacation. I'm so happy for you. Hope I win the cute bag. ;)

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  39. I am a new follower of Pink Postcard. I love......the bag! Love Pottery Barn and I love Hawaii. Went there on our honeymoon. It looks like you had such a beautiful time on your vacation. I hope to take my kids one day.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  40. http://twitter.com/#!/mmalavec/status/71225152993640449

    I tweeted about the giveaway!

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  41. I am of course a follower! I ♥ your blog!

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  42. I am a follower, loving the pics, looks like so much fun!!

    simplysara83@gmail.com

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  43. I tweeted about the giveaway!!

    @SimplySara83

    simplysara83@gmail.com

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  44. I also facebooked about the giveaway!!

    Sara Haga Gore

    simplysara83@gmail.com

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  45. I hope to visit Hawaii someday. What a beautiful place you stayed and I am sure that you all had a great time with oodles of good memories to keep. I would love to enter your giveaway. I follow you.

    Danielle

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  46. I follow on google connect as "anash"
    Thank you kindly! hawaii looks larger than life almost! wow- that hotel was stunning
    anashct [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  47. I tweeted here: http://twitter.com/anashct/status/71794002541805568
    Thanks for the chance!!
    anashct [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  48. Oh looks like you had a great time! Your daughter looks exactly like you;}
    I would love to go to Hawaii one day....
    I am a new follower, I found you surfing the sidebars!
    Thank you for sharing your trip and the opportunity!

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  49. I shared on Facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-in-La-La-Land/163899937000512#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=150829014987803&id=163899937000512

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  50. thanks everyone for the kind comments and entries! I will announce the winner on Monday! Good luck!

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