THE LOCALS CALL IT “PARADISE” FOR A REASON

Since the day Shawn and I got engaged, we have always said that our first vacation together would be to Hawaii. We both had never been! I know it’s hard to believe, but that was over a year ago. In all honesty, we are two of the busiest kids in all of the land. After the show, we had our fair share of appearances, show obligations, family trips and business opportunities. We were all over the map! We were always grateful for getting the chance to fly to new cities and the opportunities that came our way. However, on all of those trips, we never had the chance to just relax, enjoy each other and switch into vacation mode. Hawaii was the perfect place for us to do all of those things. A couple of my close girlfriends told me it’s their “happy place” – and now it’s ours, too.

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Let me start with the smell. IT HAS THE BEST SMELL. I got off the plane and decided I already didn’t want to leave. Hawaii smells like a little slice of heaven, mixed with the ocean and fresh flowers (and Mai Tais). I could smell those from the plane. We headed to the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina where we were greeted with Leis and the friendliest staff. They escorted us to our beautiful ocean front suite – the kind of room you dream about. They told us about all of the fun things we could do – and that relaxing by the beach the entire week was acceptable too! We definitely did both.

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On our first night, we watched the sunset and enjoyed a romantic Italian dinner at a restaurant called Noe. We put our phones away (until later for pictures, of course) and had such great conversation. Chef Ryo Takatsuka gave us the tasting menu, where we got a little bit of some of their best dishes. We were in HEAVEN. I love Italian food. Now pair that with some good wine, a hot date in Hawaii – and life is good. We were quite tired and with a full tummy we were ready for bed. After all, we had a Hawaiian blessing in the morning from the one and only Auntie Nettie.

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This blessing was extremely special to us. Auntie Nettie lives “where heaven meets earth.” A beautiful area with crystal lagoons, views of the mountains and a couple of cozy huts surrounded by coconut trees. Auntie Nettie greeted us with a smile and I knew this was something we would never forget. She is a Kahu, which means she is a spiritual advisor. She told us about her family and their history as we walked down to one of the lagoons. She gave me a wooden bowl to fill with water from the lagoon, so she could use it to bless us. She took two giant leaves to bless us with. We all put our right hand in the water and said a Hawaiian prayer. Shawn held the bowl while she dipped her fingers in and blessed me first. She blessed my mind and my heart, and then did the same for Shawn. She hugged me close and said that I have good, strong energy. She hugged Shawn and said she liked his energy as well. We then went into the lagoon and went fully under the water to cleanse ourselves. After our cleanse, we presented Auntie Nettie with a gift. It is said that it is a good way to close your blessing and show your respect. Even something small. It was the perfect way to start our trip.

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If anyone knows us well, you know that we are HUGE Lost fans. When we found out we were going to the island where Lost was filmed, we geeked out big time. The Four Seasons Resort was so good to us. They booked us a tour and we were two kids on Christmas morning heading over there. We got to do a full tour of the island, swing a club on Hurley’s golf course and hang out on the docks where they filmed many scenes. It was amazing! We were on a high on our drive back, reminiscing of the time we watched the show and how it kind of brought us closer together. We stopped at a couple local spots on our drive back and for the rest of the day, we relaxed by the infinity pool, which looks over the ocean. It was a pretty perfect day.

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Seeing how on the show I got to have two helicopter dates, I figured it was only fair to take Shawn on one in Hawaii. He deserved it. Makani Kai helicopters took us up for a bird’s eye tour of the island. If you ever go to Hawaii, this is a must. I can’t get over its beauty. I’ve been to a lot of places in this world and there’s just something about Hawaii. My words won’t do this ride justice.

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If you follow us on Snapchat, you would have seen that we ended up taking an incredible hike one morning. It’s called Palehua Palikea, a restricted hike. Not many get to do it so we felt very lucky. It was myself, Shawn, and our leader Anu. What’s really special about doing these things in Hawaii, is the local people who are so knowledgable about the land, the culture and the history there. I learned so much! They don’t care about social media or who you are on TV. They care about where you come from and in turn share their story. This hike was no joke. There were times were I had my back against the mountain taking baby steps saying to myself “don’t look down, don’t look down.” It was a breeze for Anu, He’s done that hike hundreds of times. Shawn and I kept looking at each other with fear in our eyes, but also loving every minute of it. Breathtaking views, stories of the land and a good work out! What a way to start our day.

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We did a few other things on our trip – went to a couple local bars, drove around, hit a few beaches off the resort. We visited Pearl Harbor and paid our respects. That meant a lot to Shawn.

By the end of our trip we were feeling like locals. We even felt brave enough to swim with sharks. I’m telling you. This was not on my bucket list, but it was on Shawn’s so I wanted to be there and do it with him. We will see what he has to say when we go sky diving, which is on my bucket list. He is hooped now! That was an insane experience. We had such a fun car ride on the way there. We dressed up in silly Hawaiian shirts with two dollar sunglasses from the gas station, not thinking about what we were about to do. We got in with a father and his three boys. They own the little company called Island View Hawaii. They were pretty much born to do this. So calm and just great local guys. Once we got out there, I was like “ok, theres no turning back”. We went about 20 minutes out and the boys jumped in. I was like, “wait a second, we don’t have to sign anything? We are just jumping in and swimming with sharks?” I didn’t let myself over think it and I jumped right in with them. At first I was panicking and couldn’t even put my goggles on in the water to see what was around me. But, eventually, Shawn and the guys made me feel calm and as comfortable as one could be swimming with sharks. There were a few just swimming around us, I even made eye contact with one. It was terrifying. What was stopping them from having me for lunch? They said usually people start to get comfortable in there after the first few minutes. But to us, it just kept getting scarier. More sharks started showing up, circling around us, which makes for great photos but after abut 25 minutes we called it quits. We got in, we swam with them, got some pictures and now can say we did it. Would I do it again? HELL NO. But I suggest doing it once in your life. Pretty wild experience. And Shawn was super proud of me – so that counts for something.

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The Four Seasons Resort really gave us the Four Seasons treatment. They go above and beyond for their guests and I can’t wait to go back. I sprained my toe and they even had an ice pack waiting in my room just from watching our Snapchat story. SO thoughtful and the whole stay there was life changing. I mean that. We had such a romantic, relaxing, exciting, magical time.

Screw Disneyland. Hawaii is the happiest place on earth.

Love,

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12 thoughts on “THE LOCALS CALL IT “PARADISE” FOR A REASON

  1. Melanie says:

    Sounds like you had a great time! If you are ever in need of a unique vacation let me know! I am the owner of a Caribbean villa company and we are actually visiting the island of Virgin Gorda in May 2017 and we’d love to have you tag along!

  2. Trudy Gillis says:

    I want to book a trip! My husband works too hard, hence a vacation. We swam and snorkeled while dating, but not in a locale like this.
    We did have other memorable adventures in the water on the Atlantic Coast.
    Love hearing from you.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Sounds like a great time; wish you would have checked out camp Anuenue. 😁 I stalked your snapchat and was waiting for it. I’m glad you guys had a great time. Best vacation I had, and miss it every year around this time.

  4. Summer says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me of how blessed I am to live here in Hawai’i. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of everyday life makes me forget about how truly lucky I am to live here.
    I’m glad you folks enjoyed yourselves..
    Aloha…

  5. Zoraida says:

    Kaitlyn, I am so happy for you and Shawn. He was my favorite. I am so excited you had a wonderful time to get to know each other. Hawaii has been a place my husband and I would love to visit. We keep saying we will do it but never same to have the funds. Hopefully for our 25th Anniversary in 4 yrs. June 24 will be our 21st Anniversary. Your story makes me feel more at ease to go there. Thanks.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Sounds amazing💦

  7. Bethany says:

    Oh my goodness! One of things on my bucket list is to be in a shark cage. I don’t think I could be as brave to swim with them!! Your trip sounded like paradise indeed. I’m so happy ya’ll were able to take the time to do that together. Those times nurture your souls and relationship together beyond words. ❤

  8. natalie says:

    Looks like a fantastic trip. Now you have to visit the other islands!!

  9. Ali says:

    It’s such a pleasure that you share a little piece of your world with us. I could always sense the love between you two as authentic and that you are the most genuine humans The Bachelorette has ever seen. I look up to you both and hope to find a love as pure as yours one day. I am so happy you had the time to unwind in Hawaii together, what an amazing place to share your love! Sending all my blessings to you both and God bless❤️

  10. Alayna says:

    So I’m positive this isn’t the end for Hawaii for you both, sounds like you guys had a GREAT trip ! You guys are probably going to go to Hawaii more, huh? Screw Disneyland….so you guys won’t ever go to DisneyLand ever for a vacation?

  11. Julia says:

    Hawaii definitely is a vacation spot. I live here on Oahu and I can’t tell you how much I just want to go to Disneyland for a vacation. And the chickfila omg the chickfila there’s no freaking chickfila on this island. Anyways it looks like you had a fantastic time! If you come back I suggest checking out the big island or Kauai , their beauty is not poluted by over population hahha.

  12. Rachel says:

    Honestly really digging Shawn’s flow

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