Ten Reasons I Miss Hawaii

By Kate Riley March 19, 2010

Every now and then I get misty.  Misty for the Aloha state.  Actually, it’s every time I pass the mai tai mix at the supermarket.

Years ago when I was A) collecting a real paycheck and B) had no infant car seats and C) hub’s real estate practice was totally booming, we would vacation in Hawaii once a year.  There are Ten Big Reasons Why I Miss Hawaii and am secretly plotting to use my miles to somehow return very soon.

#10  You can wear really loud bright colored shirts and no one, and I mean no one, will dare say ‘Boo’ to you.  In fact, loud floral themed aloha wear is encouraged.  No, let me rephrase.  It’s required.

hawaiian couple

#9 The flora is breathtaking.  And smelly – in a good way.  Have you ever known the heavenly scent of a plumeria lei ?

pink hibiscus

bird of paradise


#8 The sea creatures are right up in your grill face.

Like this octopus . . .

mini octopus

And this shark . . .


OK, sometimes behind glass, like at the Maui Ocean Center.  Thank goodness, because I’m terrified of sharks ever since my two brothers made me watch ‘Jaws’ when I was nine.  That’s a real brother for you – inflicting terror and all the while laughing at the sight of my horror and fear.

#7   Mai Tais and other fantabulous tropical concoctions with little umbrellas.

umbrella drink


#6  The many wonders, like the ‘mini’ Grand Canyon of Waimea (Kauai). . .

waimea canyon

Spouting Horn (Kauai)

spouting horn

the Oheo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools, Hana Maui) . . .

seven sacred pools

the Napili Coast of Kauai

napili coast

and Big Island lava flow !

#5   Keikis in swimsuits.


#4  Beautiful old historic churches


historic church


#3  The Grand Wailea where I spent my honeymoon.

grand wailea

#2  Waterfalls

waterfall in hawaii

#1 Sunsets at the beach, but of course.

glorious sunset

Have you ever visited the Aloha state ?  True paradise, right ?

Wishing you a fantastic weekend, and a very large mai tai.

Aloha friends  :-)



  1. Kauai was were we spent our honeymoon 4 years ago and we promised each other we’d return at our 5th anniversary. Fingers crossed me do, but til then – thanks for the reminder of how heavenly that place really is! What a great way to start a Friday!

  2. WOW! What wonderful photos and what appears to have been a very special vacation time.
    Glad you were able to do such a thing!
    Can easily understand missing that; but, you’ll go back again. No doubt.

  3. It reminds me so much of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I can certainly understand why you would miss it. My girlfriend just honeymooned in Hawaii last year.
    Also, I L-O-V-E your blog. Feel free to check mine out…it’s new!!!

  4. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I can practically see and taste it through those photos! Gorgeous!

    My mom, who lived briefly on Guam, had a plumeria plant – in our New England home – and the smell and beauty of that flower are breathtaking.

    I hope you’ll be able to return to Hawaii soon!

  5. Love love love that place! My favorite place to visit again and again. It is magical! I’m totally with you on all the flora and fauna..I couldn’t get enough of it! I can almost smell the Kona coffee right now! thanks for reminding me of a wonderful place I have been…hope to return someday!

  6. Thank you for sharing. As a young child, it was suggested by a medical doctor that my father move to a place such as Hawaii and go on disability for his heart condition. This was 1969. We never made it to the islands I believe that my father didn’t want my mother to be a young widow with two small children all alone off the mainland. Her family was in Ohio.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing paradise with me…and everyone.

  7. I love Hawaii! Parts are secluded and lush and green and laid back like New Zealand…but you get the great shopping too! You have wonderful weather all year round (except the rainy season! but that’s kind of cool too). It was funny because I was an uncommon mix in New Zealand, being half Japanese, half New Zealander…but over there everyone was 1/4 this 1/8 that…it was great! Felt right at home!

  8. I’ve never been to Hawaii :( I’ve always wanted to but living in the midwest the airfare is very expensive. I’m afraid if I went I would never want to come back…your photos make it look so very beautiful. If you could only go one more time, where would you visit??? Where would you recommend someone visiting that will only have one trip there? Thanks.

  9. Beautiful pictures! I love Hawaii. I have been their twice and the one thing I miss is the smell. It is so fresh and clean, it truly is Paradise. Oh, and sitting by the water with my Pina Colada! :)

  10. I spent a very happy summer in Hawaii in 1996. I took myself and my back pack. I got off the plane, didn’t know a soul there and had no idea where I was staying but had a contact who was going to teach me how to dive. It was completely fantastic. I still sit and watch the video of my first dive in Hawaii, and grin the whole way through. I also remember going to see the film “Independence Day” on Independence day there and the cinema was chock full of American navy personnel, all cheering when the aliens got blasted. It was so much fun. Your pictures are beautiful. I love Hawaii too.

  11. ooh I love hawaii, I went when I was 19. And had the time of my life. Loved seven pools in Maui, And the road to Hana, We stayed next door to the Grand Wailea. What a beautiful place.

  12. Love Hawaii! Lived there several years when I was a kid and then went back to visit a dear friend a couple of years ago. He doesn’t know it yet but I am planning on making the trek back in 2011!!

  13. Looks beautiful! My in-laws are headed there tomorrow to visit my brother-in-law. He’s stationed there in the navy. We should try to visit before he has to leave in a year!

  14. Hawaii is beautiful!! We went to the Grand Wailea on our honeymoon too! Didn’t you just love how they have fresh juice everywhere…and it’s ice cold! Fun post; made me miss it too! -shaunna :)

  15. Oh Kate,
    How I long to go back to Maui! We went as a family in April 2006 for 2 weeks and it was THE most glorious vacation ever. We adventured high and low all over the island. We stayed in Kihei, got up at 2am to drive up Mt. Haleakalah to watch the sunrise (40 degrees!), drove the road to Hana, snorkeled, ate fish tacos, oh and SO much more! It. was. a. blast. Hubs and I want to go back someday. Oh and the 4 of us went 1st class thanks to airline mileage points, it made the 14 hr trip much more bearable! I think next time we’ll fly to CA, stay overnight and then fly over to break up the length. For now one can only dream and/or relive the memories….hope you go back soon.

    ~judi ;)

  16. Ever been to the Polynesian Cultural Center or Hanauma Bay? Tourists traps, maybe. But a must-see. (I used to live on Oahu.)

  17. “Bah-dum. Bah-dum.” Now I’m going to be hearing that Jaws music in my head. Older siblings are so kind, aren’t they?

    I’ve never been to Hawaii, but seeing your photos makes me think the long plane ride might be worth it. My parents were there in August 1977 when Elvis died. . . funny how something like that will stick in your head.

    I do like a good Mai Tai, which I can have right here in Durham. But I’m thinking the island atmosphere might make it a little more special.

  18. How funny you post this today ! Just last night I was missing HAWAII ( I lived there for 3 years…on Oahu, and honeymooned in Kauai ).
    Anyhow, I got out my Hawaii cookbooks last night, and I’m going to start cooking out of the Maui Tacos book I got there.
    If you like Maui Tacos, keep an eye on my blog for salsas and tacos and burritos ! Yum !
    Also, my Sam Choy cookbook……..I met him while I was there, and he signed my cookbook.
    He was so kind…………… and makes such yummy food !!!!!!!

  19. Ahhh! You posted this just in time for me. I am FINALLY going to Hawaii in May, after many failed attempts to get there in the past. I am so excited!!!

  20. My husband and I finally made it to hawaii last summer and OH MY WOW. We had the best vacation, the best time, the best food, the best vistas, the best pictures. In fact, I can still taste the Coconut Shrimp from the Shrimp Station right before you drive into Waimea Canyon…Afraid Hawaii will have to wait until my girls are older since it takes so long to get there from Texas.

  21. Hawaii is so on my list of places to visit. For some reason we always go to Europe or south, I always forget about Hawaii!

  22. I grew up in Hawaii, so it’s nice to read reasons why other people love that place. my husband hasn’t been there. so we’ll end up there one day. i say we have a blogger’s retreat there!

  23. Hawaii is my favorite place to vacation. I have been several times and it is my favorite place in the world. I feel your pain…..i only wish my hubster shared the same love for it that i do! I would give just about anything to hop on a plane today and head for the Aloha state.

  24. Thank you for all those beautiful pictures. I’m even more excited now. I’ll be going to Hawaii for my first time in May with hubby, without the kids. Yay!

  25. I’m from Hawaii and miss it everyday of my life. There are times when I regret moving from there. The plumeria used to be my favorite flower but before I left it had become the white ginger. Absolutely fantabulous. All the flowers and greenery is. The island life is like nowhere else. You cannot find it anywhere in the world. We call it the Aloha Spirit. No one is as laid back as we are. Wish I could go back. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

    Much aloha,
    The Caretaker

  26. Oh Kate, now I’M dreaming about Hawaii!I also love it there and have been to almost all of the islands (except the big island). I can just feel the warm wet air if I close my eyes and think hard. There is nothing like it…..

  27. Agreed! I’ve only visited once (Kauai) and since we were in serious running training, we ran several times from Poipu beach to Spouting Horn before breakfast. It was just gorgeous.
    Oh yes, and cocktails at the other end of each day were pretty good too!

  28. Such a tease! Yes, been to Kauai and loved it more than words can say. I can’t wait to get back… someday.

  29. I love Hawaii and would love a return trip. I lived in Honolulu for several years in the late 60’s and even attended the University of Hawaii. Such a beautiful place.

  30. We were married on Maui. I can still remember stepping off the plane and smelling the sweet air. We look forward to going back once we are no longer dealing with car seats too! Great post, thanks for the memories!

  31. Also lived there for 4 years for college. Now I don’t and wish I had never left.

  32. My best friend is getting transferred to Hawaii, and I CAN NOT wait!!! The smells, the beauty, the relaxation. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

  33. I have been a reader of this blog for quite a while but have never posted until now. Oh Hawaii, how I love you! :) My husband is in the Navy and we just left Oahu after living there for 2 1/2 years. It was our first home and one we will never forget. The air really does smell like flowers, it is just such a special place. I really believe everyone needs to spend a few days there at some point in their life. The people of Hawaii are warm and friendly and made our lives there true paradise. Dreaming of Aloha on this sunny afternoon…

  34. I just want to go somewhere tropic. My inlaws go to Hawaii every year for two weeks (sometimes more). They rent a house/condo with a few of their friends. I’m so jealous!

  35. Also, last night I dreamed of surfing at someplace with palm trees, orcas, and sharks. Perhaps my brain is too connected to your blog :\

  36. I grew up in Hawaii and I wouldn’t go back there to live permanently, but I look forward to the time when the hubby retires and finds us a winter home on Wailea….I also don’t mind staying at the fantabulous Four Seasons!

  37. Hi-I live here and you can come visit me whenever you’d like to! I admit I take it for granted sometinmes all this beauty around me…its great to be thankful and appreciate it! I do miss the seasons on the mainland..fall leaves,snowy nights,spring flowers…and family living closer by me. But every state has its own beauty -just need to remember and appreciate what we all have -yes?
    Love your blog!

  38. I Heart Hawaii. I know what you mean about the shirts. The first time I went to Church on Oahu, the minister had a fabulous Hawaiian shirt on and the ladies that sang all had mu mu’s on. It was the most laid back service I have ever been to and it was awesome! “Hang Loose” The plumeria flower is my favorite flower. I loved the smells of the flowers in the air there too! The beauty of the Islands are amazing. Yeap, I want to go back right now!! I liked going to the Polynesian Cultural Center too.

  39. Ahhhhhhhh , you brought back so many great memories of my trips to Hawaii. It is my favorite place to go. Ive been to Oahu, Maui, and the big Island. The Big Island tho is my favorite. If you want lots of people….you can find that there. If you want peace and quiet and no one around, you can find that there too. Theres an instant relaxation moment that hits you as soon as you get off the plane. Nothing else in the world like it. Maybe, just maybe some day Ill get back there. I loved wearing colorful clothes that hang loose so your comfy. I loved barely wearing shoes, only when I had to. I loved having sweet smelling flowers hanging around my neck. I loved Tuna sammichs made with maui onions on Hawaiian bread. I loved the luau on the beach, yes on the beach, not at the hotel grounds. I loved the sunsets, sipping pina coladas with Hawaiian music drifting around in the background.

  40. I haven’t even been there yet and I miss it just from the photos! I’m sure it is so spectacular and can only imagine how you feel. I hope you get to go again soon . This is a must visit for me…very soon! :)

  41. Ahh I love Hawaii :) My husband and I hope to get stationed there one day! I have a friend that has been stationed there for about 4 years now and just found out they’ll be there for another 3. She’s more than ready to leave the island.

  42. I have never been to Hawaii, but would love to go sometime, it looks spectacular. I am lucky enough to live in a place that has similar temperatures and all those flowers are in my backyard. Maybe one day I will get to visit, in the meantime, I can look at your photos.

  43. Maui is my favorite place on earth. My hubby and I have been there 3 times. I know what you mean about the smell of Hawaii – it is just magical!

  44. I used to live on Haleakala in maui in a shack(lean to) right before me and my husband had kids. He quit lawschool and we needed to have some fun. It was the best experience of our lives. He returned to school and I returned 8 months pregnant with a huge moo moo on and uggs. We moved to chicago in the middle of winter. Maui makes me misty too, it’s balmy and magical and smells like plumeria and pineapples. I love your blog so much by the way.

  45. I hear ya! We’ve been to the Big Island and to Kauai twice and they are just gorgeous! I know exactly the smell you are talking about with the flowers. It’s my favorite smell ever!

  46. We are going there next summer and taking our son who will be 17 at the time. It will be our 20th anniversary. I can’t wait.

  47. I have only been once and the word I used over and over to describe it was “paradise”. I spent my first vacation with my husband in Hawaii and I have wanted to return ever since. Guess I will just have to live vicariously through you when you go on your next trip, hmmmmm…………………

  48. We lived in Hawaii for 2 and half years and got “cabin fever” after a year. I am a 4 season girl who really missed the fall. However, there isn’t anything like the wonderful smell of the plumeria flowers:) A few years ago we went back with some friends who hadn’t been and it was nice to “see” it through their eyes. Since we now live on the east coast it is quite a long plane ride to Hawaii so we head to the Carribean instead. But I do encourage people to go at least once in their life.

  49. I have never been to Hawaii, but I would love to go sometime. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures. Love & blessings from NC!

  50. LOVE Hawaii. Was married there 7 years ago. Nothing like a romantic beach wedding in Paradise.

  51. Love love love Hawaii. We’re going back for our 10 year anniversary, in like 5 YEARS. Ugh! The water was pristine. The air fresh, the people were nice.

  52. My husband was stationed there and we loved it. Your post makes me miss it sooo much! AHH.. I hope to get back there asap! :) Everything there is so easy going and everyone is so laid back… it’s like a different world. lol


  53. My husband and I went to Maui last month. We first went to Kaui on our homeymoon 6 years ago, and we finally got back. So beautiful! I posted some pictures on my blog (of course many sunsets included).

  54. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, yes………….the unforgettable state. My Hubbs was born in Honolulu and lived in HI for 45 years……and now in the Pacific NW! What a weather shock. :-) His family is still there so we go often. Love Maui and Kauai, but Oahu is still my fav.

    Hope you’ll make the trip soon……

    Warm blessings,

  55. How perfect the timing of this post is for me! I have been to Hawaii several times and share the same love for the islands that you do. In fact, we leave to go for a two week visit this Tuesday morning. First to Lanai, then to Maui and finally a few days in Honolulu to visit with my sister-in-law who is lucky enough to live there. It is a long trip for my 4 and 8-year-old boys but I cannot wait to smell the plumerias and ginger! I know they will love it, too.

  56. I got a little tear in my eye looking at your photos! I actually spent my entire childhood growing up on Maui, and am part Hawaiian. My heart often yearns for that salty air that makes my hair curl just right, the smell of fern during a late night rain fall, and the mud slides in Hana that we use to boogie board down. It’s a truely magical place. I miss the Aloha Spirit and my family there and only wish my husband could understand my need to go back (we have only been once in 8 years).

  57. I miss Hawaii too! I was lucky enough to live their for 2 years after college and met my husband there! There is nothing like the island life! We’ve been back to visit a couple of times since, but not enough as far as I’m concerned. I, too, am saving some miles to get back some day!

  58. omg i no what you mean. we visited for a week in early march and i haven’t stopped missing or thinking about o’ahu yet. it’s just great there

  59. We had to move to the mainland a few years back, I cried like a baby during the entire flight. Leaving Hawai’i felt like I was being torn away from my mother’s arms. I miss it every single day. Rainbows aren’t as abundant out here.

  60. I LOVE the pictures! I was born and raised in Hawaii :) I moved to Atlanta 5 years ago but I visit often. I am actually going back in April! Let me know if you want anything and I will be sure to send it to you!

  61. I’ve taken pictures of the beautiful green church too! On the road to Hanalei, so wonderful is the island of Kauai. We are planning a trip back to Poipu next summer. I think once you’ve visited Hawaii it is always on your mind. We had a Plumeria tree right outside our rental house. Heaven!

  62. What’s the second “beautiful old historic church” in your post? I think we went to it back in 2009 and I’ve been dying to figure out the name of it for my scrapbook page!! Thanks for sharing, you made me remember the smell of Hawaii!

  63. Ahhhhh, the Aloha state. Yep, I know the feeling. I get that way every time I see my MaiKai card from Foodland. My husband and I are in a moral delimia right now….go to HI this year {yeah} OR go see family in OH and PA {blah}. You may know this wonderful line of body products…Malie? Its made on Kauai and let me say….”it is AMAZING stuff”. It will take you right to the islands! Check it out http://www.malie.com

  64. That’s funny because I live on Oahu and miss Seattle! But home is where the Navy sends us and we’re enjoying our 3 years of sun. :) and I’m proud that my son is kama’aina!
    Some of my favorite things about Hawaii… amazing asian and fusion cuisine, hot malasadas, gathering our own coconuts for fresh haupia or coconut water…. and living only ten minutes away from some of the most beautiful beaches!

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