Blake accidentally posted this post a little earlier without all the pictures, SO... here it is in all it's ENTIRETY with all the juicy details!!
In college I had the opportunity to go on dance tour to both Islands of New Zealand AND Fiji (which gave me a huge love/appreciation for Polynesian Culture) but this was officially my first trip to Hawaii and did it ever seal the deal!! It was AMAZING. Huge shout out to Damon and Lahela for booking my Wedding Photography services and making it happen! And of course to Marliss for the fabulous referral!! I actually got to fly down w/ Marliss and little Mr. Banner and spend lots of time with the Manning family. What better way to make the most of your visit, then to spend it w/ seasoned Hawaiians!!
It was a lot of work, but a LOT of fun and so worth the trip!! Here's the recap:
We flew in to Honolulu... 9pm local time - 3AM our time!!! Ahhhh... we are looking a little shabby, but SO HAPPY to be there
Day one we started with the most delicious island breakfast buffet - my official introduction to Coconut Syrup (after that, each morning I spent inducing myself into Coconut Syrup coma... that stuff is so good! Anyway, we drove up to North Shore, hung out at Waimea Bay, got snow cones at Matsumotos etc...
We drove around BYU-Hawaii and ended the day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Their new show "HA, Breath of Life" is INCREDIBLE!! If you are in Hawaii, it is a MUST SEE! I was choked up the entire time.
Um, Hi... can we get a picture with you?
Friday we hiked Diamond head... gorgeous views and not a bad hike at all. We fit in some pool/beach time and some shopping before we did a little Island hoping. We flew to the big Island since the wedding was the next day in Kona. We stayed w/ Marliss' older bro's adorable family! It was a blast, but it was also time for me to buckle down and get in wedding/photog mode
Saturday - the BIG day - was spectacular (I am running out of superlatives here!!). The weather was great and we got some really pretty shots before the ceremony. Durning the ceremony in the temple (they do not allow cameras) I stayed out side and took an hour to edit the pictures from the morning. I pulled about 100 of my faves and made a slide show to be played later that day at the reception! I was feeling super high tech with my makeshift editing bay.
Immediately following the ceremony and a few more pics, we hoped another flight back to Oahu for the reception that evening. I'm going to give a huge thumbs down to "GO, Airlines" for their awful service, major delays and super HOT airplanes (yep, no air!). The good news is, we made it in time for the reception and it was a gorgeous evening. Can I just have this weather, lighting and location for every photo shoot? Here are a few faves (Damon's Bro caught a few shots of me shooting hehehe). For a few more collages, visit my H2H blog here
So, that was a pretty intense wedding day. Between the early start time, the flying, huge families to photograph and a very active reception, it was definitely one for the record books!! And of course one of my all time favorites as well :) THANK YOU AGAIN, for choosing Hart to Hart!!
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday went way tooooo fast!! But I was/am so grateful and happy I had that time to relax and enjoy the Island. Monday, I met up with Brandi - a great friend from high school in San Diego. I hadn't seen her in 15 years, so that was a lot of fun! Also, I would highly recommend staying at the Hilton Hawaiian!! WOW, what an amazing place. The pools, restaurants, beaches, lagoons... everything surrounding that place was heavenly in my opinion. I had the best time floating back and forth from the pool, to the beach, to the lagoon and so on.
Can I just tell you how much I love the Ban Man. This little chuberooni was so fun to have around. This is Marliss' little guy and he is a doll. Miss him to pieces even if he does eat sand!
Non-stop fun in the sun!! I even tried a paddle board, which is a lot easier than it looks!!
Of course I have to end with a picture of my beloved CSP... Coconut Syrup Pancakes. Yes, I think I had them everyday... mind you they were ALL YOU CAN EAT!! Ahhhhh, can we say rolls. But that's okay. The last three mornings I took my laptop across the street the the Wailana cafe and sat and ate and edited for as long as the waitress would let me. Then it was back to the beach... it's a rough life!
I had actually heard that "Pirates" was filming that whole week we were in HI, but never thought anything of it. Then, when we first got on the plane, I kind of felt bad for Elaine b/c she had to sit next to this guy that was at least 6'4", black hair down to his waist, long straggly beard and a bit of a scary face. Well, as we joked by the end of the flight: never judge a book (or a Pirate) by it's cover! This guys was seriously SO cool. He gave us the inside scoop on Johnny Depp & Penelope Cruz and showed us some really cool pix. We were surrounded by pirates, hahaha! Now, I can't wait to see the movie and find him - he said he's the tallest pirate and you can't miss him. They were headed back to LA to for some more filming.
Speaking of LA, we had a day/night in LA before my plane left the next morning. Elaine and I decided to venture out and hit some favorite hotspots. We drove down rodeo, sunset, hit Beverly Hills etc... We were bound and determined to have a celeb sighting so when we saw a cluster of paparzzi outside of BOA restaurant, we had to stop! Just so happened to be Enrique Iglesias. Yes, I was too star struck to get my camera out in time. Oooopss... is he even really that big of a star? What is my problem!?! LOL, here's one of the paparazzi pics from that night!! All in all a great way to end the trip!
Well, if you made it to the bottom, thanks for letting me share!! I mostly wanted to journal all the details so I can pull them out on an off day and remember how lucky/blessed I am. It's been a rough week getting back. That 6 hour time change is a doozy... that and the Coconut Syrup withdrawals I was experiencing had me in a haze... BUT, the month of September (my favorite month) is almost here and I'm ready to be back to the grindstone! I missed my hubby and kids like crazy.... next time we're all going... WHO'S WITH ME!!