We've been back for a few weeks so I thought it was time to write the Trip Reports. My husband and I, both 30, spent 2 weeks on three islands. We were on Maui for 5 days, the BI for 5 days and Oahu for 4 days. We left our 3 kids at home with grandparents and by the time we got to Oahu we were starting to get a little homesick, but we had a great time anyways.
We arrived on Monday, June 9th at about 3 pm after a short flight on Hawaiian Air from Kona. We had no issues with our luggage and no wait to get out rental car at Budget. We headed over to our hotel, which was the Waikiki Resort Hotel. It was a great location and we could walk everywhere. We reserved a partial ocean view and received one, so we were happy. After being in roomy condos on Maui and the BI, it took some getting used to with the smaller space, but we managed. Apparently this is a popular place for Korean tourists because they were everywhere...event the restaurant in the hotel is Korean food. :-) The service was outstanding and the rooms were clean, but small.
We unpacked and then walked down the beach until we got to Shorebirds for dinner. This was a great place to eat. You cook your own meat on the grill and they have a well stocked all you can eat salad bar. We also had the best dessert of our entire trip with the brownie sunday. It was fresh out of the oven and delicious.
Tuesday morning, we were up bright and early to go to Pearl Harbor. We got there about 7:15 and the line was already pretty long, but once they opened at 7:30, it moved quickly. We got the audio tour and started it on the museum while we waited for our group to be called. We were group number 4. We enjoyed the film that show before the boat trip to the actual Memorial. The Memorial itself is one of the most moving things I have ever seen. To see the ship still under the water and realize the sacrifice made by so many is unexplainable. You really could hear a pin drop...it was so quiet. We then finished the audio tour and headed over to buy tickets for the Bowfin and the Missouri. We ate lunch at the restaurant they have at the Missouri...uneventful fats food. We decided to get the guided tour of the Missouri since it was the same price as the audio tour. It ended up being a private tour becausre no one else signed up for the same time we did. It was very interesting and informative. We really enjoyed it. We then headed back over to the Bowfin and took the audio tour of that. It was also interesting. It was 4:30 by the time we left. It was definitley a long day. We eneded up eating at an Italian restaurant called Arancino and it was just ok. The portions were small and the prices weren't.
Wednesday we woke up and headed to Diamond Head. We got there about 8:30 and no problems with parking. We did the hike up and back in about an hour. It was relatively easy, but it did start getting hot so I'm glad we did it early. The view at the top is beautiful, but it's crowded so it takes away from it a little. We were back in the parking lot by 9:30 and it was full. Cars had to wait for people to leave before tey could park, so that's another reason to do it early.
After the hike we went to Duke's for the breakfast buffet and it was really good. It's worth the $15. After breakfast we went back to the hotel took a nap and then headed to Hanauma Bay. We got there at 1:30 and literally just as we were approaching the turn off to the parking lot, they removed the "parking lot full" sign and put up the "parking lot open" sign...it was our lucky day! Hanauma Bay was go gorgeous and the snorkeling was great! It was a little crowded but we expected that. We even saw 2 turles while we were snorkeling...the only ones of our entire trip. It was ruined for us though once a teenager AND his father grabbed the shell of one of the turtles and the turtles darted off. They got an earful from me. Had they not just watched the video and learned how harmful and illegal it is to touch the turtles.
After Hanauma Bay, we drove to Kailua to check it out and see if we wanted to kayak there or the sunken island the next day. We ended up eating dinner in Kailua at Los Garcias. The service was fantastic and they had the best strawberry margaritas I have ever tasted. The food was delicious as well.
Thursday morning we decided to stop at Leonards for some Malasadas since we had heard so much about them. They were the best things I had ever eaten. The ones filled with chocolate were the best and I am considering just flying to Oahu every morning so I can get me some! :-) After eating perfection, we headed to Kailua to pick up our kayak and then we drove to Kaneohe Bay and kayaked to the sunken island. It really was amazing to be 1.5 miles from shore and only knee deep in water because of the sand bar. We had a picnic lunch in just floating over the island and then we kayaked back...only took about 30 minutes each way. Loaded up the kayak and drove back to Kailua to drop it off. We then headed to the North Shore. We stopped at a few scenic places and then went to Shark's Cove to snorkel. We loved this place. It was difficult to get into since it is so rocky, but once we were in the water there were so many fish. I highly recommend snorkeling here. We then headed over to Waimea Bay. This was my favorite beach other than Hapuna Beach on the BI. I watched my hubby jump off the big rock 3 times and then decided I was going to take the plunge. I did it and I am so glad I did...it was a blast. After Waimea Bay, we headed to turtle beach, but it was close to sunset and there were no turtles in sight. We then took off and ate at some BBQ restaturant near the Dole Plantation and then headed back to the hotel.
Friday morning, we packed, checked out and grabbed breakfast at...you guessed it...Leonard's! After breakfast we headed over to Hilo Hatties for our souvenir shopping and then to the airport. It was Aloha to Hawaii and hello real world. :(
We loved our trip and can't wait to go back. Thanks to everyone on this forum for all of your help in planning our trip1