Well, I'm back from my honeymoon in Hawaii!!
I've actually been back since Friday afternoon but I have been depressive, staying up until 3am and sleeping until 1pm. Jet lag is kicking my ass. But now it's back to work and back to the real world.
I also wanted to extend a big "Thank you!!" to the 11w community for all of their suggestions. We tried to do as many as we could but didn't have as much money as we thought we would. We had to watch our spending a bit.
A few highlights from the trip --
The Flight - The 10 hour flight out there was actually not that bad. We had a newer plane with touch screen TVs in the back of each seat. They had a TON of movies, TV shows, music to listen to, games to play and even had an up-to-date flight path that showed you exactly where we were and our ETA. The TVs had a USB port so I could charge my phone and there was an outlet between the seats that I could charge my laptop... The only thing that was missing was WiFi but I won't complain too much.
The Weather - Everything you hear about Hawaii weather is accurate. We were there for 10 days and every day was sunny and in the mid 80's. It rained once just enough to cover the ground (like 5 or 10 minutes) and then was sunny again. One of the weirder things about the weather is that it would drizzle just a bit when there were perfectly blue skies. Just like one of those little mist bottles to cool you off...
The Food - The food was incredible. We went to Duke's early on and it was some of the best food I've ever ate. We got some of the Poke Rolls for an appetizer and they were great. My wife got some sort of fish and it was easily the best fish I've ever had. I don't like fish all that much but this stuff was like butter. I got chicken which seems boring, but it was great (I sound like a broken record). We even got serenaded by a 3 piece hula band! We went to a couple other places that were really good and even got some poke from a local grocery store that was pretty good.. but nothing really stacked up to Duke's so thank you to those who recommended it.
Luau - We went to a luau on the West side of the island and it was beautiful. It was a pretty large luau (about 1,200 people) so there were some long lines and crowds. But it was still great. The food was excellent (of course) and there were some cool activities and nice (expensive) drinks. There was also a very beautiful sunset since we were right on the beach.
Pearl Harbor - I'm a minor history buff and I especially enjoy WWII history so I loved Pearl Harbor. Crappy part of it is that the USS Arizona Memorial was already sold out when we got there. I was pretty bummed out about that. But everything else was great. We went to the USS Missouri which is where the Japanese signed their surrender. So I got to stand in the exact spot where WWII ended (that exact spot was in Tokyo Harbor at the time but it's still the same spot). We also went to the aviation museum and a WWII submarine.... very cool experience.
Sea Life Park/Makapu'u Beach - The Sea Life park was decent. Kind of like a small Sea World. This was one of the places we couldn't spend as much money as we wanted to (my wife really wanted to swim with dolphins). But the highlight of the day was walking across the street to Makapu'u Beach (I think this was the name.. I could be wrong). The beach was in a small bay and had pretty decent waves... But the best part was just the view. You were almost surrounded by high hills and mountains and you looked out towards to large islands. And the water was as blue as it comes... very beautiful.
Hanauma Bay - This might have been the coolest thing I have ever done. We rented a car that day and drove up there in the morning. We rented some snorkel gear and stayed there for probably 4 or 5 hours just snorkeling. There were a ton of different wild tropical fish just swimming around a couple feet in front of your face. We even saw a sea turtle and swam with him for 5 minutes or so. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Thanks to those who reccommended this as well.
Some lowlights from the trip -
Expense - As anyone who has been there knows, everything is super expensive there. We stayed in a condo so we got some food to cook and eat from a grocery store and the difference in prices is ridiculous at times. A regular bag of Doritos was like 6 or 7 bucks!! We ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut one of the last nights we were there and it was $18 for a medium one topping pizza. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings one night and spent almost $40... we got 2 orders of the smallest size of boneless wings and nachos for an appetizer and drank water the whole time. $40.
I knew that everything was going to be expensive but the fact that we had a little less money than I thought we would kind of sucked. But we had enought money to have a good time... just not enough to splurge like we wanted.
USS Arizona - I was really looking forward to seeing this and it was a bummer that we couldn't. We went to Pearl Harbor a little later in our trip so we didn't have a chance to go back.
Sunburn - I didn't get burnt much, but I got it really bad when we went to Hanauma Bay. We would spend 45 minutes to an hour out in the water just floating on our stomachs... so the sun was just beating down and you couldn't really feel it. We felt it later.
Drowned Phone - The last day we were there, we had to check out by 11am and our flight wasn't until 7:30pm. So we checked out and then went down to the pool and just laid around for a while. At some point when we were there, we left to get some ice cream. While we were getting ice cream, my wife put her phone in my pocket for me to hold on to. When we got back, I went to the bathroom and she got in the pool. I came out of the bathroom and walked straight into the pool with her freaking iPhone in my pocket. Both of us totally forgot it was there.... It's dead now. RIP iPhone.
Flight Back - The plane that we took back wasn't nearly as cool as the one we took out. No touch screen TVs. No outlets to charge my phone. No fun.
It was only about a 7 hour flight and I slept for a few hours so it wasn't all that bad.
Delayed Luggage - We had a short layover in Chicago before flying back to Cincinnati and they didn't get our luggage on our Cincinnati flight so we had to wait an hour and a half for the next flight to come in. Lame.
Other than that, we mostly just laid around by the pool or beach/lagoon and relaxed. It was a great time and we definitely plan on going back at some point. Maybe our 10 year anniversary.
Thanks again to all of those who suggested places to go and things to do. It really did help. Sorry for the long post!