Hawaii – Oahu and Kauai – April 2012
We chose Hawaii for our honeymoon in mid-April (admittedly somewhat stereotypical choice of destination). It was a surprise for Elisa up until the week of wedding, at which point it made sense to tell her so she could pack accordingly (and since I filled a suitcase with hiking gear – more on that later).
Since we only had about 9 days, we went to just two islands: Oahu for 4 days and Kauaii for 5. Mayne had been to Hawaii once before on a cruise that stopped at almost all islands in the chain, and knew which were his favorites for best combination of sights/food/relaxation.
Our hotel while we were on Oahu was in downtown Honolulu at the Marriott Courtyard. It’s a converted apartment building several blocks off the beach, but the price was right. From there were spent a day in honolulu, a day at Diamondhead and snorkeling in Hanauma bay (where Elisa discovered her fear of being in water with fish), and a day driving around the island. We had some fantastic food such as the chef’s tasting menu at (the single most expensive meal of our lives, but in hindsight definitely worth it). fabulous and athentic ramen at Marukamen Ramen, ice cream mochi at Bubbies and ahi poke at Ono Seafodd. We would love to return to Oahu for the food alone!
Our second stop was the island of Kaua’i, where we hoped to find some good relaxation and enjoy the scenery of the island chain’s oldest island. Here we stayed at the courtyard marriott near Kapa’a which was a fantastic property! Although it was a ‘business’ type property, with a business center and free parking for guests, it definitely had a resort feel. We enjoyed free Mai Tais upon entering and had a lovely corner, executive room. Mayne paid with points.
We spent a couple of days touring Kaua’i by car, north and south. We attempted to hike the Na Pali coast trail (and lugged all of our camping gear from TN in the hopes of camping on one of the remote beaches a few miles in), but were stymied by a raging river without a bridge to cross.
We loved hawaii and are already longing to return for the big island and Maui! If it weren’t for the location (pretty much in the middle of nowhere pacific and 8-10 hours flight from family and friends) we would try to find jobs there and move in a heartbeat.
However, I will say that if you are looking for a beach vacation without much more ambition then to lay on the beach and hang in a hotel, and have not yet been to the caribbean, there is really no reason to head all the way out to Hawaii. It’s a looonng way and is more expensive then the mainland for pretty much anything in your travel budget.