I am so excited to share with you all my recap of our LA/Hawaii trip! I wanted to really put a good amount of detail in this so I wanted to wait until we got all settled so I could focus and give this post the TLC it deserves. I hope you all enjoy it and if you have any questions at all about our travels or tips/places to go if you are visiting the same areas please feel free to reach out. Enjoy Crohnies xx.
Matt and I love being able to escape real life for a few days here and there and by time this trip was here we definitely needed some R&R as well as some new adventures. My mom has a timeshare in Maui so we knew we would be visiting there almost a year before the actual trip. Being the crazy reality TV obsessed person I am I insisted to Matt that we stop in LA on the way to Maui so that we could go to SUR. Yup. I requested we visit a city just to go to a restaurant. Matt vetoed that idea unless we spent a few days hanging out and checking out the LA life. I was thrilled, found an Air B&B and the rest was history.
I was definitely nervous for this vacation because our last vacation that we went on I got really sick a couple of days in and I wasn't really prepared. This time I did my due diligence, which you can read all about in my traveling with a chronic illness post. There were a few speed bumps but we had an amazing time! Instead of letting being sick stop me from traveling I use my travels as practice to get better and better at traveling with Crohn's. More of a reason to take more vacations right?
PART 1: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
We left on a Friday morning and got to LA midday which was the perfect time to grab lunch at In N Out Burger before we checked into our Air B&B. Neither of us had In N Out before so this was a BIG freaking deal. They are so gluten free friendly I am absolutely obsessed. I got my burger "animal style" of course and I don't think I've ever eaten a burger to quickly in my entire life. So good. Next time I fly to the West Coast it might just be to go to In N Out..... just saying. I finally understand all of the hype.
Our Air B&B was in a perfect location in West Hollywood, walkable to The Grove. It was so cute and had everything that we needed for such a good price. Matt and I took a serious nap that we really needed thanks to the time difference and were ready to take on the town. We got all LA ready (photo above) rocking my Stassi inspired look. Our reservations weren't until 8:45pm so we figured we would stop at this wine bar down the road that I saw had gluten free avocado toast. There will be a whole separate post on this goodness within the next few days so stay tuned. I have to say it was probably the BEST avocado toast I have ever tasted in my life.
SUR was and everything I thought it would be. Very Lisa Vanderpump. A lot going on. And, yes I did go to the famous bathroom where everyone cries. We met DJ James Kennedy... the legend himself, and his girlfriend... and his roommate. He is a reality TV gem and let me tell you he is just as out of control in person. I will leave it at that. His roommate bought me a drink and told me I looked like Stassi so uh life freaking made. I made sure to obnoxiously mention this to Matt for the rest of our trip and tell him that people will probably start asking for my autograph soon. Being delusional and optimistic works for me. Lisa's son, Max, was our server and really killed it. He was very knowledgable about gluten free dishes which made me like him even more. The food was, to my surprise, actually really great. I got the lobster bisque and the seafood risotto. The signature drinks were a bit too sweet for me to I switched to my usual Tito's and soda water but they had a great fruit selection so I had them add some raspberries. Now that's my new thing. After SUR, we went to Pump and it was everything you would ever dream of Pump being. Lots of scantily clothed attractive gay men, a lot of pink, and a lot of over the top everything. It was great. We didn't stay out too long because we were pretty jet lagged and had a big day the next day but I accomplished my goal and finally made it to SUR! Plus side, Matt also enjoyed himself.
We made a game time decision on Saturday to do a super touristy celebrity home tour which actually ended up to be awesome even if it was a little corny. Beforehand we went to brunch at The Guild in West Hollywood. We hadn't heard of it before, we just kind of stumbled upon it but it was absolutely amazing. The decor was so on point and the owner actually hung out with us for a while and explained his design decisions. He made all of the beautiful reclaimed wood tables in the whole restaurant. I got some herbal tea, bottomless mimosas, and duck confit nachos. SO. GOOD. If you are in WeHo I totally recommend you go here. You can sit outside and enjoy good weather and the service and food are so spot on. After our delicious brunch experience we made our way over to our tour and spent the afternoon cruising around WeHo and Beverly Hills. I'm usually not into really touristy things but I am happy we did this tour. It was an easy was to see everything from celebrity houses to the Hollywood sign, without having to rent a car or get lost. It was nice just to enjoy the beautiful day and the sights with Matt worry free.
That night we were supposed to go the The Parlour which I was super excited for but I just did not feel well. A lot of times my first few days of vacation for me are rough with the different foods, sleep schedules, and just changes in general. I wanted to really feel great by time we got to Hawaii so we had an early night and just got to enjoy time together watching movies. I felt a little lame that we were doing exactly what we would be doing at home on vacation but it was actually great because at home we have a million other things going on so we never get to just actually, really chill.
Overall, LA was amazing. There are so many more details that I probably could have done seven different posts about but I won't bore ya'll with that. I can't wait to make my way back to LA for a bit more time.... that trip will be hopefully coming sooner rather than later! We both loved it.
PART TWO: MAUI, HAWAII
Our flight from LAX to Maui was on Virgin Airlines which I had never flown before but I was definitely blown away. Their customer service and their branding are so on point. They also really won me over with the cheese plate that came with gluten free crackers. I spent our flight devouring cheese and reading Andy Cohen's new book. Needless to say it was a very enjoyable flight. I'm a sucker for cheese plates and Andy Cohen.
Once we got to Maui we got a cab from the airport to the other side of the island. The ride to our resort was absolutely beautiful. Looking at the coastline made me feel like I wasn't even in the real world. Matt and I were so blown away. We made it to the Kaanapali Beach Club where we were staying and immediately got some pina coladas and hit the pool. We explored the resort, checked our our suite which was insane (shout out to my mom for seriously hooking it up for us!), and we grabbed some groceries for the week from across the street. By time we were all settled in my mom and her boyfriend had made it to the resort so we all had dinner and got our leis!
Our whole week was an absolute whirlwind of fun but we still found pockets of time just to relax and take in our surroundings. I got to spend quality time with not only Matt but also my mom who just moved back from Rome. I got to do a ton of blog planning and read a few great books. I was completely wowed by the amount of cool things that we got to do and the places that we were able to go. I tried to really be present and in the moment with a lot of this things that we were experiencing so I wasn't on my phone documenting 24/7. I compiled the highlights of where we went and what we did though!
We went on a beautiful dinner cruise out of Lahaina and watched the sunset on the water. The night was complete with some baby whales making an appearance right next to our boat. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect and romantic night.
My mom treated us to a mouth watering dinner at one of her favorite spots on Maui, Duke's! I got the seafood risotto which was loaded with fresh lobster, shrimp, and scallops. Partnered with a chilled glass of Pinot and I could not have been happier.
I got to live out my Playboy Mansion fantasies, kidding, or maybe not. The pool at our club had the coolest grotto that we spent time relaxing in. Between the pool, the grotto, the beach view, and the poolside bar, I probably could have stayed and just hung out at the club for a full week.
We found this hole in the wall Mexican place that was walking distance from our club. They had the best fresh margaritas, ceviche, and fish tacos. Needless to say, we were there a lot throughout our stay.
Matt, my mom, and I went on a day trip on the Road to Hana. It was honestly one of the coolest experiences of my life. The views were unbelievable and we had the chance to really experience the Hawaiian culture. This tour really put into perspective for me how so much of the island really does live off of the land. They have true respect for nature and appreciation for the land that provides for them. We had the opportunity to do a lot of hiking and explore everything from red beaches, to black beaches, to ocean caves, and the Seven Pools. It was a long day but worth all of the bumpy roads.
Even though we were busy adventuring, we did have time to explore the town of Lahaina and relax on the beach right outside of our club for a bit. Even just relaxing by the beach you have a view of dolphins hopping out of the ocean and whales breaching. For someone who is obsessed with marine life, these views were an absolute dream. While we were at the club I also had the opportunity to do yoga right next to the water which was definitely a bucket list experience. I also went with my mom to some great water fitness classes. In Hawaii it seems that everyone at the resorts and clubs are so focused on wellness which I love. It also made it easy to eat pretty healthy because everything is so fresh.
I had these super fresh fish tacos at Pacific O's in Lahaina and was so in love. If you know me, you know I am constantly on a mission to find the best fish tacos and I think these may be topping my list at the moment. Matt became obsessed with ceviche on this trip which he had never had any interest in before. He may be disappointed when he tries to get it here in Maryland... not the same!
Pacific O's also had kombucha on tap which I was kind overly excited for but it was amazing so clearly I deserved to be. I'm going to be doing a whole post on kombucha. There actually was someone on site at our club that taught us how to make kombucha. It's big in Hawaii and its big with me. Match mad in heaven.
Our last big event was also one of the coolest things I've ever done. We went snorkeling on the coast of Molokini and Lanai. We started off our journey pretty early in the morning so we saw a ton of mother and baby whales breaching as we made our way out to the snorkel spots. The sunrise on the water was absolutely beautiful, I literally felt like I was in a different world. The first snorkel spot was home to a lot of interesting fish and some resident sea turtles which we got to get on camera (thanks GoPro!). The second spot was my favorite. It was an abandoned sunken bridge that is now home to a variety of different fish as well as turtles and even some sharks. My dream has been to swim with sharks and even thought these were just some reef sharks not a Great White it got me a bit closer to my goal. Being out in the water is one of my favorite things because there is always a bit of unknown when you jump off of the boat into the ocean. You never know what you are going to see so there is constantly adrenaline pumping.
This trip to Maui was a once in a lifetime experience that I am so thankful for. If you have the chance, definitely try and visit because it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, the locals are so incredibly friendly and helpful, and the nature experience you can have in Maui are beyond what you could ever imagine.
If you have any questions or want any more details about our trip feel free to comment or email me!
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.
Welcome to my unfiltered commentary on crushing chronic illness in your 20's and everything that goes along with that.