I just wanted to thank everyone for their help with ideas for my wife's and my recent Hawaii trip. we had a blast.
we spent 3 nights in Honolulu (so, so), and 6 nights in Maui (awesome).
We stayed across from Waikiki beach which was an absolute zoo. waaaay too many people for my tastes. we did some paddleboarding and hanging on the beach which was fun, but just too many damn people for my tastes. we took a tour of Pearl Harbor, which was a bit of a letdown to say the least. you only get like 10-15 minutes on the Arizona memorial, and there are like 300 other people with you crammed on to it. not really what I expected, but was worth it as an American to be there and pay my respects.
out tour took us on a drive around the island and we got to spend a little time in Haleiwa (which is where I would stay if we go to Oahu again), and we stopped at Waimea, Sunset, Pipeline, and other tourist stops. the tour itself sucked, but we did not want to rent a car, and we had no idea you could take a city bus to all the places we went. sadly, we did not end up doing the Stairway to Heaven. we were a little sketched out about the whole thing, as far as the trespassing issues. plus, without a car, we were going to have a tough time getting there. the Pali lookout was pretty neat. not sure how hard the winds were blowing up there, but I am guessing 80 mph +.
stay away from the big food joints if possible. our best meal was lunch on our last day at some place called Sams Kitchen. BYOB, and he prepares everything outside.
Maui was great. we stayed at the Marriot Resort in Wailea. we zip lined in Kaanapali, snorkeled in Makena (awesome trip. kayaked out to a few snorkel spots with a guide, who took pictures for us. worth the extra coin) spent most of our time on the beaches in Wailea, hanging out in Kihei, and eating fresh fish as much as possible. picked up a couple meals from a place called Eskimo Seafood market in Kihei. couple pounds of Ahi Poke and a side costs under $25, and we would take it back to our hotel and eat outside while the sun sets. a couple restaurants in kihei had good food though, for reasonable prices. the Puupu lounge, and Cafe Olei.
planning a second trip with the entire family for 2013. doing Maui again, and will be renting a condo in either Kehei, or Kaanapali. thanks for the info again WWorlders! attached a few pics.