My Hawaiian Adventure


My mom and I just returned from a ten day trip in the heavenly state of Hawaii. 🙂 For my college graduation gift, my wonderful mother planned a mom-daughter trip to the Aloha state. The following pictures, captions and stories are from our Hawaiian adventures. 🙂 The purpose of this post is to share with my readers my trip down memory lane as my mom took me back to the places I used to run and splash around as a baby.  I hope you enjoy the post, or at least find it somewhat entertaining.


Mom and me before we take off on the 10 hour flight from Atlanta to Hawaii.

I believe she is getting her last words in with my dad before they are cut from all lines of communication for 10 hours. Haha

The flight was gruesome. Well, I might be exaggerating a little bit. The flight consisted of sleeping, movie watching, reading and wine drinking. I guess it wasn’t too bad other than the fact that my butt and back were killing me by the time we landed. Not like I had room for complaints.


This is the very first view I had of the islands from the plane. 🙂 I was that rebel that turned my phone on while we were still in the air. I couldn’t find my freaking camera and I wasn’t about to let that view go un-captured.

Our first five days of  our Hawaiian adventure was spent on Oahu. Fun fact about Court, I was born in Kailua, which is a quaint town tucked into the mountains on Oahu. My mom and I lived in Hawaii until I was four, then we moved back to Ohio. Well, I take that back, my mom moved back to Ohio and I moved to Ohio. Just to be more technical. Anyways, we stayed in Waikiki, but spent most of our days venturing around the island of Oahu.

Our second day in Hawaii, we took a stab at surfing. Haha. If only we had a water proof video camera- we would have definitely made Youtube’s Top 20. We were smart about it and took the lessons so we didn’t make complete fools of ourselves, but my mom had this bright idea to have our surf instructor, JP, snap pics of us with the cheap water proof camera we bought at the ABC store. lol. Needless to say, JP is the worst photographer on the face of this earth. **JP, if you are reading this post please know that I am not attacking you personally. I am only attacking your crappy photography skills…if you want to call them skills.**  JP got the most unflattering photos of us, but of course didn’t get the great pics of my mom and I actually riding the waves. Oh well.

For those surfer enthusiasts out there, I am thoroughly impressed with your abilities. It takes a lot of strength to paddle yourself out and balance on those boards…. Let alone catch those crazy waves that are bigger than Texas mansions.

After surfing, mom and I went to the famous Dukes restaurant that Jimmy sings about in his song “Dukes on Sunday”. The picture below is me before I stuff my face with fish tacos. 🙂


Mom and I about to take in the sunset at Waikiki Beach.

Might I add, right before I snapped this pic, we were watching the cutest little island boy with his long sun bleached hair looking out at the waves from the rocks while he ate his bag of chips. Super cute. See below. (I know I am a total creepo for taking a picture of this little kid without him even knowing, but I really couldn’t help myself.)

The next picture is of Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay is a natural pool that was formed in a volcanic crater thousands and thousands of years ago. The more incredible part of this natural pool is that it is home to a diverse family of sea creatures. Because the Bay is a safe haven for several different sea critters, it inevitably is an extremely popular tourist destination. Why you ask? Well, the snorkeling is phenomenal. I went snorkeling for the first time at Hanauma Bay and there are no words to describe the beauty of the Pacific underwater. The fish were just little swimming canvases of color. It was breathtaking.

I would like to take a short second to credit the state of Hawaii and their preservation efforts of the land. Before entering Hanauma Bay, it was mandatory that guests watch a ten minute video of the history of the Bay and how to protect the sea creatures and the land. At first you’re a little annoyed because you just want to run to the beach and jump into the crystal clear waters, but after watching the film you have an entirely new perspective and respect for the Bay and the entire state of Hawaii. Sorry for the tangent, but I just wanted to share how happy it made me to see the Hawaii government regulating, educating and preserving Hanauma Bay.

The Polynesian Culture Center.

Trust me, you aren’t losing your mind. There really is two men climbing the palm tree. As a witness, I will testify that these two men climbed that tree with nothing but their hands and feet in less than three minutes. Looking at this picture, I am still amazed. My mom and I went to the Polynesian Culture Center, which was by far my favorite experience of Hawaii. The Polynesian Culture Center opened to the public in 1963 and has dedicated its time and efforts educating and sharing with the world the cultures, diversity and spirit of the nations of Polynesia. Those nations include Samoa, Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Easter Island. The most interesting part of the PCC is that it is ran by the Brigham Young University in Hawaii. BYU-Hawaii offers scholarship and internship opportunities for students from the Polynesian nations to come and work at the PCC. Other students that attend BYU-Hawaii are offered opportunities to work at PCC also. The PCC is made up of  different island villages representing the different nations of Polynesia, museums of artifacts, gift shops, a water parade,  music and dancing, tasty and entertaining luaus and an evening show. Everyone at the PCC is more than welcoming and burns of passion for their culture and heritage. It was so inspiring. (On a side note, I will say that the men are extremely muscular, friendly and attractive. Also, the women are unbelievably gorgeous. I have never met a group of people with such flawless skin, awesome bods and beautiful hair. Makes me wish I was Polynesian.) I have attached more pics from the PCC below.

Oh yea, I forgot to mention that my mom volunteered to go on stage and Tahitian hula. Haha. Fun fact, she did the same thing 20 years ago when I was in her stomach. Technically, my mom has taken me to the PCC twice. My first time, I was still a baby in her belly. The second time was a few weeks ago… I was 21 years old. Matter of fact, when my mom took me to the PCC before I was actually born, one of the Hawaiian natives gave me a name. I can’t for the life of me remember how to spell it so I am going to share what it means. My Hawaiian name means “dances to the beat of the drum”. Anyways, this is my momma below doing the Tahitian hula. 🙂

And this kid, he stole my heart. He is the cutest kid I have ever seen. He was part of the Fiji village and did a Fijian dance for the crowd with two other guys. It was so cute because I think one of the guys dancing with him was his dad.

Beautiful Maui.

Maui, unlike Oahu, is completely serene. On Maui, you’re able to experience and enjoy true Hawaii- not the touristy obnoxiousness. The picture below is at the top of Mount Haleakala. Haleakala makes up almost 75% of the island of Maui. It’s tallest peak stands at 10, 023 feet. Matter of fact, Mount Haleakala is the world’s largest dormant volcano. There is a road that takes you all the way up the mountain to look over the 7 mile-wide crater. Mom and I drove all the way up, which wasn’t enjoyable to say the least. I have a small case of car sickness and a large case of MaryBeth’s driving sickness. Needless to say, when we reached the top I wasn’t feeling the greatest, and the 40 mile per hour winds didn’t help my queasiness. The temperature dropped at least 40 degrees from the bottom the mountain to the top, too. Nevertheless, the view was breathtaking. We were above the clouds looking down into this grand canyon-like crater. Absolutely gorgeous. Enjoy the pics below. 🙂

Yea, that’s right! I survived.

Not trying to make this post super packed with information, but this is really interesting. Approximately 90% of Mount Haleakala’s flora is only found in Hawaii.  Including this beautiful Silversword plant.

One thought on “My Hawaiian Adventure

  1. MaryBeth Tipton says:

    This is very nice Courtney. I am sure your readers sympathized with you over the long flight, TO HAWAII! As my BFF would have said, and has said many times, “This sounds like problems of the priveleged.”

    As for our surfing adventure, our lesson was about 3 minutes long, but our athleticism prevailed and we had much success! JP, however, was not successful at convincing you to move to Hawaii and date him, nor was he successful at capturing our many rides! Instead, I have the most unflattering picture ever taken of me as my sole proof of wave-riding that day! And let’s not forget that you had your first Mai Tai at Duke’s and scored the Tiki glass it was served in! We ended the day with a hike up Diamond Head and beautiful views of Honolulu and Waikiki, as well as the blue Pacific.

    Also, worth the mention about your first snorkeling adventure to Hanauma Bay, you saw the Hawaii state fish! The humuhumunukunukuapuaa! And let’s not forget that your mom was so moved by the conservation and preservation of the coral reef that she cried. Yes, I literally cried tears of appreciation.

    I am enjoying this blog and look forward to more stories and embellishments!

    MaryBeth, aka Mom


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.