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    Travel Diaries: Waikiki, Hawaii 

    The sunshine, the clear blue water, and the feeling of the sand between your toes is the ideal expectation for any tropical vacation. Hawaii was just that — and much more. I was not an active part of trip planning when my husband and I were mapping out our stay in Hawaii. He occasionally asked me for approval on certain activities and booked everything based on instinct and likability. Little did I know that we would be taking the honeymoon of a lifetime.  Waikiki, located in the city of O’ahu, south of Hawaii should be on every couple’s bucket list.

    We stayed in Waikiki for 5 nights at the Coconut Waikiki Hotel. The place was steps away from Waikiki Beach along with every brand name shop and an ABC shop on every corner of the street. Serving a continental breakfast every morning and the most refreshing variations of flavored water throughout the day, the Coconut Hotel truly became home for us for the week.

    The highlight of our trip was certainly the Escape Waikiki Tours, guided by Kevin. He was the sweetest third-wheel a newly-wed couple can ask for, and his one-liners are that for the books. Kevin took us to locations outside of your typical tourist destinations, allowing for a private and personalized experience of the city; just me, my husband — and Kevin. We got a glimpse of the celebrity lifestyle, as Kevin snapped professional photos of us throughout the tour, using his iPhone 7 Plus. A consensual papparazzi was just what we needed to capture our smiles, laughs, and kisses. The photos were the cherry on top to an amazing day, as it gave us enough content to get those likes generated on Instagram and gave us memories for a lifetime. (Still trying to conclude which one is more important ;)! )

    Our Hawaiian outfits were courtesy of a small boutique located minutes away from our hotel. Upon arriving, my husband and I went for a quick stroll around the block, where we decided to walk into this boutique. There, we met an elderly resident and owner of the store who immediately fell in love with us — mainly me. It was safe to say Bengali women were rare on the island as this woman proceeded to boost my self esteem and inflate my ego to the size of a hot air balloon. Commenting again and again on my beauty and treating us with such care and hospitality, she quickly won over my husband’s heart. She helped pick out our blue ensemble, which was light and airy under the Hawaiian sun and proved to be an asset to our drool-worthy snapshots.

    The shaka sign is a gesture of friendly intent often associated with Hawaii, and surf culture.

    When we weren’t taking a swim at the beach or munching away at the island’s delicious seafood favorites (Fish Tacos, anyone?), we were doing sporty activities, courtesy of Hawaii Water Sports Center — a fun pastime for both our adventurous selves. Parasailing, although daunting, was a rather peaceful experience and allowed for a beautiful outlook of the island’s landscape. Jet skiing was a first for me, and brought out my inner Tom-Cruise-in-Mission-Impossible moves. However, the most adventurous experience was bumper tubing. The activity called for us to lie down on our belly on a large tube while being tied to a jetskii. The aim was not to fall off the tube, which proved to be difficult after a total of 10 seconds.

    There were many firsts on this trip. Snorkelling was another first for me. I hadn’t been swimming in years, and there is a big difference between Lake Ontario and the Pacific Ocean. After holding on to a life tube for 15 minutes, I slowly got the hang of floating on my own. Soon after, the Turtle Canyon Adventure became the experience of a lifetime. We had purchased a water-proof camera for the activity, but soon realized that the film we should have been saving for the turtles, had been used up while on the boat. #TeamiCloudStorage. The fact that we have no photographs of our snorkelling experience made the day a little more enjoyable because the memories we have of me inhaling way too much salt water out of sheer joy and excitement is something that cannot be recreated or look backed upon — except in our minds.

    Overall, Waikiki was a beautiful week. The weather was sunny and bright every day. However, when it rained, it rained so softly that it was reminiscent of a romantic comedy. The fact that it only lasted an average of 10 – 15 minutes made way for the most cheesy moments between me and my even cheesier husband. The air in Hawaii screams salt-water vibes, as even with temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees Celsius, the atmosphere was never humid. Even on a Tuesday afternoon, it seemed everyone is always on a vacation in Hawaii. The uniform for employees are Hawaiian shirts! The people there are friendly and full of life, and the old Asian ladies sure know how to make a girl feel beautiful. (Thanks, ladies!) A big shout-out to my husband for planning our trip and a big shout-out to me for letting him do his thing and going with the flow. It was a great week to get to know each other and a great start for many, many more trips and getaways to come – inshallah!



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