Postcard From Hilton HHonors Beach Volleyball Challenge

Oahu, Hawaii
Hilton HHonors Volleyball

Hilton HHonors Volleyball

Photo by: Hilton HHonors

Hilton HHonors

Oahu, Hawaii

By Jimmy Im

Kerri Walsh Jennings
Photo by Hilton HHonors
Kerri Walsh Jennings
Kerri Walsh Jennings needs no introduction. The American, professional volleyball player is a three-time, Olympic gold medalist (2004, 2008, 2012). Additionally, she hosts a weekly, one-hour radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Faction 28 station. Pregnant with her third child, Kerri took some time off the court to host Hilton HHonors Beach Volleyball Challenge on Waikiki Beach this past weekend. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

I got into volleyball because: I started playing volleyball in 5th grade. It was the first sport in the school year since it started in the fall and my mom was a volleyball player.

I went here to: Hilton HHonors and USA volleyball have come together to have the beach challenge and it’s something that I’m really excited to help promote. It’s 2 amazing promoters of the sport that I love so much. And Hilton HHonors is a huge sponsor of the US Olympic Committee and without sponsorships like Hilton HHonors I would have to have a 9 to 5 job and I wouldn’t be able to chase my Olympic aspirations and my dreams. So I’m really grateful to be here and to say thank you to them and help put on a great show. And then USA Volleyball is obviously in the sport to grow it and I will do whatever I can to help. So it’s just a good combo and the setting is absolutely beautiful. I haven’t been here in so long so it’s a fun welcome back.

I traveled here with: Myself. I know! So now that I’m here I really wish I would have brought the boys and we could have stayed here a little bit with my husband … but they’re in school. So it’s just my time to enjoy this beautiful Hilton hotel and this beach and this setting -- it’s pretty amazing.

The best way to travel here is: First class (laughs).

I stayed at: The Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach. It is my first time at this property and it’s amazing. It truly is a little village -- it’s a one-stop shop, which is really fun because you’re getting all the shops and the rooms are gorgeous and you have a beautiful beach outside. So I’m so happy to be here -- I can’t wait to walk around and experience everything.

When it comes to packing, be sure to bring: It depends where you’re going, and I’m in Waikiki so bikini, for obvious reasons, sunscreen, for obvious reasons, and an iPod or good book. I actually didn’t bring a book this time as I slept the whole time -- I’m a sleep-deprived mother.

The best thing I ate was:
Oh my gosh, I just had coconut shrimp with a sweet and sour dipping sauce and it was fantastic at the hotel’s Tropics restaurant. We also had a seared ahi salad. It was delicious. The dressing is very good.

I wish I hadn’t: Left behind my 3 boys -- my husband and my 2 boys. I shouldn't be here without them because you know we’ve worked so hard and it would be so fun to celebrate and be here with them. Aside from that -- I’m sure if I forgot something at home, I’m here at the Hilton Hawaiian Village -- I’ll pick it up. I’m not that worried about it.

Don’t miss: Oh -- whatever you do you’re going to have a great time. Try stand-up paddle -- I think everyone should try that. It’s a fun workout and it’s a challenge. I would try that, it’s really fun and addicting and active. And after you do that -- go get some food at some of these amazing restaurants.

Next time I will definitely: Bring my family! And stay longer. But I’m happy to be here because I’m supporting the sport I love so much and supporting the people who support my sport -- Hilton HHonors and USA Beach Volleyball -- so I’m so happy to be here.

My favorite part of the event was: Being here to support Team USA!

My favorite beach to play on is: Oh, wow. I have to say my home beach, which is Manhattan Beach. That’s kind of where beach volleyball was created in it’s most organic form and I owe a lot to that place. And I live just right up the street.

When I’m in Hawaii, I also like to: I like to snorkel. I like to eat. I like to attempt surfing, in any of its forms. I love to read books on the beach. And take walks at night.

My advice would be: Leave your phone in your room, to unplug and to enjoy your surroundings. Live every second of your vacation.

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