My cousin Michele got married in Hawaii which is pretty significant since she grew up there. It was symbolic that she start a new life in the same location as her previous life. Since I was going on my own, representing my dad's family, I opted to live cheaply. AirbNb - put me on a couch in a living room for 4 nights with a spectacular balcony view.
Though my cousin did far better than me, getting a roof top suite for $100 a night last minute. You win younger cousin.
We had a rooftop party with soju and spam musubi from Musubi Cafe Iysume.
Life is so hard!
Dinner was a treat with this cheese garlic dish I've never heard of - Ninniku CheeseAge from Izakaya Tako-No-Ki.
Michele's mother passed away before she could see this day. But her dad was there to take her down the aisle. It was so beautiful.
And then some shrimp scampi from the Honos food truck in North Shore! Just as good as Giovanni's!
Wash it down with shave ice from Matsumoto. YUM!
Cousin selfie stick picture!
Reception time! I wanted to do a speech and tell Michele that she has always been a role model and that we will always look up to her for inspiration. But we were short on time so I added that to my gift to her in a photobook.
They got handmade soaps for everyone! What a great parting gift!
Dinner ended with fire dancing and hula dancers of course!
Michele was so happy I caught this moment. Family members from both sides of the family doing the Aloha wedding song dance sung by her uncle.
The day after the wedding I spent some alone time hiking diamond head with a few hundred other tourists. The view is definitely spectacular.
Such a beautiful day too!
My Airbnb hosts were wonderful enough to take me to the Waialua plant to learn about cocoa and soap.
My hosts even took me out to Pali lookout where we discovered an abandoned highway. It was a great hike. They should fix it up to be open to the public, but for now it was for us to explore. I was pretty lucky that they had time to take me out. They even took me to the airport to catch my flight. They are a modest couple trying to enjoy life and stay positive about everything they experience. I loved their energy.
In the evening I caught up with my cousin on the Maita'i Catamaran. Unlimited Maitais? Yes please!
Despite the cost per luggage and non reclining seats, the flight was pleasant and only $421 from LAX. Though Hawaiian Air was the same price closer to the wedding date. Darn.
It was a nice trip. To be with family, to experience a beautiful wedding and to spend time with myself exploring the mountains of Honolulu. It's also good to know how close it is and how a weekend trip isn't impossible. Next time I go, I'm going to find the places that my dad use to hang out - their old apartment and high school.