Thursday, December 29, 2011

To Lei or Not to Lei?

We’ve been driving a lot lately (Santa Fe to Chicago, then Chicago to Cleveland, recently back to Chicago, and eventually back to Santa Fe), which has given us a lot of time to discuss our first big issue for the honeymoon adventure: whether to visit Hawaii.  We have discussed this at some length, and thought it would be good to get some outside input on the idea, as well.

We both agree that it would be ideal to spend some time on (or at least near) a beach, immediately after our wedding, to decompress, relax, and generally prepare for adventures to come.  Where we disagree, though, is on which beach(es) to do said relaxing.  Melissa is of the opinion that Hawaii could be an awesome place to visit, and Trevor – though he’s coming around – is inclined to disagree.

Trevor: If you can go anywhere in the world, why pick Hawaii?  After all, we have a limited number of places we can go, and we also have limited time in which we can go to those limited places.  Given our constraints, it seems like Hawaii – part of the United States, after all – would be a waste of precious time.  Meanwhile, there are lots of other Pacific islands we could aim for, or we could alternatively pick some place in the Caribbean to launch our adventure.  I just can’t see Hawaii being worth it.

Melissa: I really have no idea whether Hawaii is “worth it,” but neither of us has been there, and I’ve heard amazing things about it.  I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii, and, from what I understand, it has a culture that is totally unlike anything else you’ll find anywhere in the world.  Yes, it is part of the United States (and a cliché honeymoon spot), but I imagine there is a reason for that – gorgeous beaches certainly don’t hurt.  Plus, it’s not just beaches; there are lots of adventure-esque things to do as well, like surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, exploring, hiking, etc. (after all, wasn’t “Lost” filmed there?).  Also, Hawaii is a pretty long (and usually expensive) flight, so it’s not like it’s a trip that we could just do anytime.  Overall, I think it could be a great way to start our honeymoon.  Plus, if we go east, it could be a welcome break in the middle of an otherwise-miserable flight across the Pacific.

Since we originally conceived of this post, we’ve asked a few friends for input, and the general consensus seems to be in favor of Hawaii.  One person explained that, while he originally shared Trevor’s viewpoint, actually visiting Hawaii completely changed his mind and he now visits Hawaii at least once every year.  He said that you can do all kinds of fun activities in the water.  He also said that there is better scuba diving and snorkeling elsewhere for a variety of reasons, but that there is a lot to do on the island(s), too.  Another friend explained that Hawaii is consistently underestimated by Americans, but echoed the sentiment that Hawaii is, in reality, quite cool.

So... what should we do?  Is Hawaii worth it when your time is limited?  Is there a better option?  Is it worth it as a first stop, but perhaps not worth it as a last stop?  And, given that Melissa tends to win these types of arguments, what should we do if (when) we visit Hawaii?  We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


Trevor and Melissa

Taken from


  1. I've been to Hawaii and I love Hawaii. That being said, I used to trade my shore house with another family's Hawaii house (so they could visit the NJ shore--SUCKERS) for a month in the summer and one time we overlapped for a little bit and it was much cooler to see the local point of view than the touristy hotel view. I also think if you can go there and you don't run out of coupons, you should-- it's totally y'alls style with volcanos and hiking and shit--and once you're in other places you might take alternate transportation, BUT...

    I tend to be a more adventurous traveler (ie visit not as touristy destinations) so I totally agree with Trevor on the why go to Hawaii now question-- there are SOOO many other (arguably cooler) places to go and Hawaii (despite being a long and maybe expensive flight) will likely be MUCH easier to do in the future. I also think Hawaii would be a silly place to spend like 2 days and you might not want to waste a week in the United States when you only have 8 weeks to partition among other further destinations. Finally, Hawaii is EXPENSIVE (especially to do it up Honeymoon Style). Obviously, travel costs money, and everyone has different ways of budgeting and whatnot, but I don't love going to the more expensive places first because I'm always worried about the rest of the stuff i might want to do elsewhere whereas by the end of the trip I get into the you'll only do this once mentality. You guys could be different.

  2. Trevor, "Happy Wife, Happy Life". Man, if you don't go to Hawaii and the place you pick is shite... no way.

    Realistically, how different is Guam going to be from HI? I think we need to know what the alternative is. Do your flights even go to some of these little islands like Palau?

    I feel the same way as Trevor but my brother lived in HI for a couple years and he can't stop talking about it. Who doesn't love ukeleles and Jack Johnson? (btw, ukeleles are super easy to learn. Buy one and travel with it like an OG)

  3. Having just returned from Hawaii myself, I'd say it's a must! Relaxing on the beaches of Maui is the PERFECT way to rest up for the exciting things to come! Can't wait to follow along.

  4. I loved Hawaii the one time I went there, but I'm fully on board with Trevor's initial reaction - why go to Hawaii when you can go anywhere in the world? There are so many incredible-looking islands in the Pacific that you'll likely never have the chance to get to again. But Hawaii is pretty easy to get to and sounds like a good, say, 10th anniversary trip.

  5. I have been to Oahu and will be there again this summer. I have traveled to many warm water locations and I have to say, "Hawaiian waters are the most welcoming. You can walk into them without all the shock to the boys. (If ya get what I mean, Trevor) Air and water temperature, when I went, was ideal." I have not been to the other islands of Hawaii but I hear Maui is beautiful as well. As are others. If you are flying to China or Japan or Thailand, anywhere Asian, it is a nice layover and very relaxing. In Oahu, Hialeawa and Waimea (Home of the Bonsai Pipeline, huge surfers paradise) are must see beaches. The snorkeling on Oahu is awesome.

    If it would take away a flight ticket from another destination, I would skip it. It is an easy flight from the west coast and you could easily visit Hawaii some other time within your life together.


    Just a quick two cents worth.

    with love from your Uncle Mark.

  6. Skip it and go to Ko Samui, Thailand. Not sure if I spelled that correctly.

    Mark again.

  7. Since you cannot go to Tahiti, I would suggest Maui. Lahaina is a fun town to visit, and the hotels / beaches in the southern area (Makena and Wailea) are amazing.

    Uncle Greg