how we planned our nearly perfect honeymoon:
Jay and I love a good adventure, we love spoiling ourselves on food and unique experiences. Our first trip together was camping along the Oregon coast. Our second, a road trip across Uruguay’s coastline from Colonia to Punta del Diablo. Both were awesome, in different ways.
When we started thinking about the honeymoon we thought seriously about far off places, hidden places, hidden romantic places, hidden romantic places with adventure a la Indiana Jones. We were so tired from planning our wedding that we both eventually agreed Maui was our best option for proximity, adventure, ease, and relaxation. Here’s what we thought about when planning our nearly perfect honeymoon in paradise (because nothing can ever be quite perfect, although these two weeks came very close).
As in spoiling yourself with comfort. We decided that the same comfort level we had at home was just fine for us when picking a home base, if the home base had everything else we wanted. We stayed in a jungle “tree” house that was surrounded with lush trees and local fruit. The house was not fancy, but it had everything we needed. The savings on comfort level allowed us to do more extravagant things together during the trip, and we were able to stretch out the length of our honeymoon with the extra savings.
Location of Home Base
We thought about what setting for our home base was most important to us. Being the match made in heaven that we are, we really did want some Indiana Jones type surroundings (well, more so me and Jay lovingly agreed). Although our tree house was fairly basic our setting was everything we could have hoped for. We wanted adventure and privacy, and what did we find? Our own secret pools a five minute hike behind our backyard banana grove, and viewpoints with trails down to our own little rocky beach just a 15 minute walk away. We were also stuck in the trees unable to see anyone else and hidden from anyone else’s view.
Jay and I were both on the same page with what we would not give up. Privacy and seclusion were our top two non-negotiables. By getting some things you have to give up other things. In our case we gave up proximity and walkability. It was a 20 minute drive to the nearest (most amazing) organic grocery store and there were no stores within walking distance. Although traveling into town cut into our time we enjoyed the nearby top of our list attractions so easily, and we felt like we got so much more for it.
Our Idea of a Memory
A big part of what we wanted to remember about our honeymoon was our romantic adventures together, and photos of these to put up on the mantle. We wanted things to tell our children about – like our drive along the barren and breathtaking backside of a volcano, and things for us to cherish like our outdoor banana shower (!). Our honeymoon destination gave us so many incredible, irreplaceable memories that other destinations wouldn’t have. We knew we made the choice, and love thinking back and reminiscing about our time there.
Activities We Love to Do at Home
On our honeymoon we had to be able to do the activities we love doing together in our city at home because, those are the things we love to do! Our honeymoon location had to offer us amazing locally grown, fresh and delicious food for good prices. Even more important to us than food (I am not kidding, even a little bit) was that we found amazing coffee. Of course Hawaii is the perfect place for this. Jay and I experienced a once in a lifetime brunch (another one of our favorite things) with both of these combined at Mona Café in Paia. The coffee there is incredible, from Hawaii and not sold in any stores. Our honeymoon destination also had to have unique walking adventures and good vintage shopping. The closest town to us was Paia and really offered everything on our list.
Measure the Worth of Tourist Attractions
People will tell you that you should or that you “have to” do a certain thing that they loved when they were on vacation. Our feeling was that if it didn’t appeal to us, we weren’t going to do it. We would do other things more appealing to us. But if our excuse to not do something was that we were too tired or lazy, we pushed ourselves to do it anyway. We didn’t want any regrets. This caused us to get up at the ungodly hour of 4 AM and drive two and a half hours in the dark up the side of a volcano to watch the famous Haleakala sunrise. The viewing area was full of only tourists, packed and shivering. Let me tell you, it was absolutely magical. Pure magic. Every time we think about that morning we smile and sigh. It truly was a moment in time.
If you are travelling to Maui I recommend using mauiguidebook.com, written by a local dad. The guidebook has the best advice and ideas that we found showcasing great things from a local’s point of view [please note that I am not in any way reimbursed for mentioning this and do not have any affiliation with Maui Guidebook]