Gift registry

After years of having homes, we have lots of vases and dishes and napkins and the like.  What we really thrill to is travel, and that is the gift that would make us genuinely happy.

From the day I met Stephen I have wanted to go to Hawaii. He read Astrophysics at Cambridge for his PhD and did his field work up a giant mountain in Hawaii, where, after passing through six different forms of vegetative habitat to reflect the changing climate and significant hypoxia, you get to the world-leading astronomical observatory where Stephen worked out how stars throw out matter in the process of their creation.

We have said for years, therefore, that if we married we would go to Hawaii on honeymoon, and indeed so we shall.  We’ll probably go via San Francisco on the way out and LA on the way back.  If you wish to give us a wedding gift, therefore, please buy us a piece of that trip.

We have now put  together a menu of items from our planned trip for you to buy for us as gifts if you wish, ranging from cocktails at sunset on the beach, to a trip up a volcano, to a night in one of our hotels. Some of the items are big chunks like plane fares. Rather than having us artificially chop them into packages, please feel free yourselves to contribute little bits towards them.

If you would like to contribute an item, or part of an item, please contact Jessica (JDick@vardags.com)

Day 1 (Monday 30th of June)
Ayesha’s flight to San Fransisco £800.00
Stephen’s flight to San Fransisco £800.00
Visit to Alcatraz for 2 £43.00
dinner in the Fairmont £170.00
night 1 in the Fairmont in SF £280.00

With the celebrations duly concluded (and hopefully recovered from) the happy couple will be whisked away from London to the eclectic West Coast city of San Francisco. Home of hippies, the infamous Alcatraz and the glorious Golden Gate Bridge, this with be a memorable first stop on an unforgettable honeymoon.

The trip starts with a visit to the most famous prison in the world – Alcatraz. ‘The Rock’ has hosted many of America’s most famous criminals, from Al Capone to the Birdman of Alcatraz. Now a museum, Ayesha and Stephen will be able to walk the gangways and step inside the cells of the escape proof super-prison.

Whilst in SF, Ayesha and Stephen will enjoy the 190 built Fairmont Hotel, which offers guests the grandeur of historic San Francsico, coupled with exceptional service. The 5-star property is located in one of SF’s most prestigious neighbourhoods, and offers elegantly decorated rooms alongside exceptional service. The hotel has two restaurants – the Tonga Room featuring Asian cuisine and the Laurel Court which provides regional dishes.

The Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco

Day 2 (Tuesday 1st of July)
Brunch at Brenda’s French Soul Food Restaurant £45.00
Shopping trip to Union Square £200.00
Lunch for 2 at The Rotunda (Neiman Marcus) £120.00
Tea in the North Beach £30.00
Dinner- tasting menu at Aziza £115.00
Night 2 in the Fairmont in San Francisco £275.00

Opened in 2007, Brenda’s has become the top rated brunch spot in SF. Whether it’s the New Orleans doughnuts or the grits’n’eggs this promises to be a delicious start to the day. After dining here the couple head to the crown jewel of West Coast shopping – after a short hop on the tram Ayesha and Stephen will be able to while away the morning amongst the high-end boutiques of the picturesque Union Square.

Lunch will be eaten at the Rotunda, the elegant in-store café offers high quality American staples from lobster club sandwiches to popovers with strawberry butter beneath a signature stained glass ceiling.

After lunch a trip to the North Beach,  the multi-ethnic, eccentric neighbourhood that nestles up to the Frisco bay. It gave the world Joe Dimaggio and the beat generation as well as America’s first topless bar. Now slightly more  sedate, tea houses and cafes sit alongside independent bookshops to give the area a quirky and welcoming vibe.

The stained-glass ceiling at the Rotunda

Day 3 Wednesday 2 July
Ayesha’s flight from San Francisco to Honolulu £350.00
Stephen’s flight from San Francisco to Honolulu £350.00
Lunch on Waikiki beach for 2 £40.00
Dinner at Bin1901 (in Moana Surfrider Resort and Spa) £60.00
1 night at Moana Surfrider hotel £225.00

Leaving San Francisco behind, the honeymooners fly to the island paradise of Hawaii.

They begin in Waikiki, the quintessential beach resort where white side meets blue ocean – once the preserve of Hawaiian royalty, Waikiki now remains the quintessential beach resort.

Whilst in Waikiki Ayesha and Stephen will stay at the Moana Surfrider. Built in 1901 the Surfrider was Waikiki’s first hotel and is considered a renowened Victorian landmark. Modern décor and Hawaiian influences adorn every room, with most offering views across the pacific. Bin1901 is the hotel’s signature restaurant, offering an intimate setting and beachhouse inspired cuisine.

The Moana Surfrider

Day 4 Thursday 3 July 2014
Ayesha’s flight from Honolulu to Kahului £78.00
Stephen’s flight from Honolulu to Kahului £78.00
Snack on Ka’napali beach and visit to the Whalers Village Museum £20.00
Drinks an dinner by the pool side at Umalu restaurant (Hyatt regency Hotel) £70.00
1 night at Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa £170.00

Day 4 sees the honeymooners head to Maui, arriving in Ka’anapali. This resort centre offers 3 miles of golden beaches. First on the itinerary is a trip to the Whaler’s Museum, which charts the history of the trade which once sustained the island.

Ayesha and Stephen will stay at the Hyatt Regency. Situated in 16 hectares of beachfront and landscaped gardens, the hotel offers fine views over the island and the ocean. Umalu is the hotel’s casual poolside venue – providing light food alongside a dazzling array of cocktails and beers.

The Hyatt Regecny Maui

Day 5 Friday 4 July 2014
Full Day shared excursion – Cultural tour of Lanai with snorkelling £100.00
Dinner at Son’z Maui £120.00
1 night at Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa £170.00

 Ayesha and Stephen depart early for Lanai island. Breakfasting on a catamaran as it cuts through the waves of the Pacific, they will be given the opportunity to snorkel amongst the wildlife. A barbeque lunch will be served, followed by a guided tour of the beautiful and historic island.

Returning to the Hyatt Regency the couple dine at Son’z Maui, home to the largest collection of wines in Hawaii.

The golden beach of Lanai

 Day 6 Saturday 5 July 2014

Spectacular Haleakala Sunrise Tour for 2 £82.00
Breakfast at Swan Court £25.00
Spa afternoon for two £60.00
Dinner at Son’z Maui £120.00
1 night at Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa £170.00

Rising at 02.20, the couple will be whisked from their hotel to 10,000 foot high mountain Haleakala – renowned for its raw beauty and unique scenery – to watch the spectacular sunrise over the island.

On returning to the hotel, Ayesha and Stephen are set to enjoy the Spa Moana, which boasts not only soothing treatments but a 2000 square meter pool and two championship golf courses.  

The spectacular sunrise of Haleakala

 Day 7 Sunday 6 July 

Walking tour of Ka’anapali beach £10.00
Lunch and Ka’anapali beach hotel £20.00
Cocktails at Alaloa Lounge £25.00
Dinner at the Beach Club Restaurant& Bar £50.00
1 night at Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa £170.00

A relaxing day of exploration and rest. After taking in the golden beach of Ka’anapali, Ayesha and Stephen will enjoy a traditional tiki lunch at the authentic Ka’anapali beach hotel. In the afternoon they will enjoy cocktails at the Ritz-Carlton’s beach lounge – voted the best on the island – before dining at the Beach Club, home to some Hawaii’s finest seafood.

The Alaloa Lounge

 Day 8 Monday 7 July

Visit to Ka’anapali coffee farm £20.00
lunch at the Cliff Dive Bar £35.00
Dinner at Kimo’s £60.00
1 night at Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa £170.00

A final day in Ka’anapali offers a chance to explore the coffee plantations which form an emerald patchwork across west Maui. This offers an unrivaled opportunity to see the unique community where agricultural traditions and green, open spaces are preserved.

Named for its iconic location at Black Rock, which has hosted the famous cliff dive ceremony since the time of Chief Kahejili, the Sheraton Cliff Dive Bar offers the best BBQ on the beach with inspired gourmet skewers offering the best of local produce, prepared over an open flame. While local tradition holds that the souls of the dead escape to the afterlife, Black Rock is now a place to escape into a land of relaxation.

In Old Lahaina Town, dinner of Pupus and island favourites is served at Kimo’s, a staple in the Maui BBQ circuit, which offers al fresco dining with a view across the ocean.

Cliff divers at the black rock

Day 9 Tuesday 8 July
Ayesha’s flight from Kaluhui to Kona £120.00
Stephen’s flight from Kaluhui to Kona £120.00
Guided tour of Mo’okini Heiau Temple £40.00
Dinner at Malolo Lounge £90.00
1 night at the Hilton Waikoloa Village £120.00

Leaving Maui behind, it is a short flight to the Kohala Coast in north western Hawaii. First on the itinerary is Mo’okini Heiau, one of the oldest and most historically significant temples on the islands. Dating back over a thousand years, this temple hosted sacrifices to the Mo’o reptile goddesses and was only opened to those outside of Hawaiian royalty in 1978.

The Malolo lounge provides a taste of old Hawaii, with light refreshments provided alongside signature cocktails crafted from local ingredients.

The Hilton Waikoloa sits amongst 25 hectares of tropical gardens on the Kohala coast. The resort boasts a number of man-made lagoons, including a dolphin lagoon, as well as cascading waterfalls, exotic wildlife and hidden grottoes.

 

Ruins of the ancient site

Day 10 Thursday 9 July 2014 

Full day Grand Circle Island tour for 2 £110.00
Dinner Imari £75.00
1 night at the Hilton Waikoloa Village £120.00

A full day tour and 260 mile trip await on day ten of the honeymoon. The tour will take in the beautiful bays, rolling hills and luscious coastlines. As a particular highlight is the trip to the Hawaii Volcanoes national park, including a visit to the Kilauea Iki crater, the Thurston Lava Tube and a number of dramatic steam bluffs.
After a day of exploring, Ayesha and Stephen will dine at Imari, the hotel’s Japanese restaurant, before spending another night at the Hilton.

The volcano crater

Day 11 Friday 10 July
Swim in dolphin lagoon for 2 £80.00
Brunch at Water’s Edge £50.00
Romantic evening excursion: Mauna Kea Tour – Ayesha £150.00
Romantic evening excursion: Mauna Kea Tour – Stephen £150.00
Cocktails at sunset in the observatory £30.00
1 night at the Hilton Waikoloa Village £120.00

On day 11 the newlyweds take advantage of the hotel’s lagoons to enjoy the unforgettable experience of swimming with dolphins. After a simple brunch, they take the trip to the summit of Mauna Kea – the world’s tallest mountain. Considered by Hawaiians to be a scared spot, it stretches 32,000 feet from the ocean floor. Desolate lava flows give way to rolling pastures, dry forest and then rain forest. Ayesha and Stephen will enjoy a romantic picnic dinner before sumitting the mountain to see the sun set, followed by guided view of the spectacular night sky.

Stars over Mauna Kea

Day 12 Saturday 11 July
Ayesha’s flight from Kona to Honolulu £105.00
Stephen’s flight from Kona to Honolulu £105.00
Spa afternoon for two at the Surfrider Hotel £60.00
Cocktails at Rainbow Lanai (Hilton Village Waikiki) £30.00
Dinner at Bali Steak and Seafood (Hilton Village Waikiki) £150.00
1 night at Moana Surfrider hotel £225.00

Returning to Honolulu, the couple begin the final leg of their Hawaiian adventure. Another relaxing spa day sees Ayesha and Stephen unwind, followed by cocktails and dinner at the finest venues the Hilton Waikiki can offer.

The bar at the Hilton Lanai

Day 13 Sunday 12 July

Volcano National Park and Rainbow Falls Tour for 2 £84.00

Dinner at the Trump Hotel £90.00

1 night at Moana Surfrider hotel £225.00

Taking another opportunity to explore Hawaii’s geological brilliance, Ayesha and Stephen set out for another tour of the volcano park, capped by seeing Rainbow Falls – a spectacular waterfall named for its daily rainbow.
Dinner is taken at the extravagant Trump Hotel which offers a rang of fine dining options. Be it sushi or steak, Trump provides inventive and delicious international cuisine alongside the ‘liquid artistry’ of its bartenders.

 

Rainbow Falls

Day 14 Monday 13 July
Tour-Arizona Memorial City and Punchbowl (Pearl Harbour) for 2 £106.00
Dinner at Top of Waikiki £150.00
1 night at Moana Surfrider hotel £225.00

Memorial City offers a chance to visit Pearl Harbor and learn about the ‘date which shall live in infamy’ – 8 December 1941. The site of the Japanese attack which propelled the USA into the Second World War now forms a poignant and permanent memorial to the sacrifice and valure of United States Servicemen lost in the conflict.
Following the visit Ayesha and Stephen sample the contemporary Hawaiian cuisine of Lance Kosha at Hawaii’s only revolving restaurant.

The Top of Waikiki – Hawaii’s only revolving restaurant

Day 15 Tuesday 14 July 

Dinner at Halekulani £120.00
1 night at Moana Surfrider hotel £225.00

A day of relaxation sees Ayesha and Stephen spend the evening dinning at Helkulani, one of Hawaii’s finest hotels. The hotel restaurant, La Mer, offers five diamond service and is the only restaurant in Oahu to be given five star status by Forbes Travel Guide. French cuisine infused with local ingredients is sure to make for a memorable meal.

Sunset at Halekulani

Day 16 Tuesday 15 July
Ayesha’s flight from Honolulu to New York £350.00
Stephen’s flight Honolulu to New York £350.00

Leaving Hawaii behind, Ayesha and Stephen change pace with a visit to the city that never sleeps.

They’re going to wake up in the city that never sleeps…

Day 17 Wednesday 16 July
Brunch at Lafayette £70.00
Dinner at TBC £200.00
1 night at the Harvard Club £235.00

Ayesha and Stephen being their time in New York with a splendid brunch at Lafayette. Here the menu spans the regions of France, and offers delightfully modern twists on traditional French favourites.

Nights in New York are spent at the exclusive Harvard Club of New York City, with its well-appointed rooms and Georgian-style architecture.

 

Brunch at Lafayette

Day 18 Thursday 17 July
Visit to the Empire State Building for 2 £35.00
Lunch on the upper east side £90.00
Visit of MOMA for 2 £30.00
Dinner at Balthazar (Soho) £120.00
1 night at the Harvard Club £235.00

No trip to New York would be complete without a trip to the Empire State Building, and on Day 18 Ayesha and Stephen head straight to the top of the iconic 1250 feet high sky scraper. This is followed by lunch on the Upper East Side, and a visit to the museum of modern art before rounding of the day with dinner at traditional bistro Balthazar in Soho.

The Empire State of Building

Day 19 Friday 18 July
visit to Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for 2 £25.00
Dinner at TBC £120.00
1 night at the Harvard Club £235.00

Spanning 52 acres, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden houses a wide variety of speciality plants. Including the first public Japanese garden in the US, the vast Cranford Rose Garden and the Shakespeare Garden – which features every plant mentioned in the bards plays- this is sure to be a perfect romantic experience.

The cherry blossoms of New York Botanic Garden

Day 20 Saturday 19 July
Ayesha’s flight from New York to London £600.00
Stephen’s flight from New York to London £600.00

All good things must come to an end, and the time will finally come for Ayesha and Stephen to depart New York and return to London. The final chapter in a glorious honeymoon, and the first in a long and happy return to normality.

Home, sweet home

 

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