Day 5 in Hawaii was a bit of a sad day as we had to leave Hilo to head to the other side of the island. We had only been there 4 days, but already we were starting the “Hawaiian tourist” conversation with ourselves of “what-would-we-do-if-we-lived-here”. It was awesome in Hilo. But we were booked for only 4 days on that side of the island, and it was time to move on to Kona. Before leaving Hilo, we wanted to explore a bit around the park next to our hotel. Note that Hilo is the much quieter, simpler world compared to the hustle and bustle of Kona (the other side of the island). Which isn’t to say it doesn’t have a strip with Walmart and restaurants and stuff, it does, but no giant cruise ships docking, no “pier mentality” that exists in a lot of tourist ports. It just seemed like there were a lot more regular people around. » Read the rest
Andrea and I had seen the big volcano and the lava fields, and the volcano itself was an item on my bucket list that had now been checked off. It was a good month for bucket list items — I’d gotten married for love, we were in Hawaii, seen a volcano, it was all good. But day 4 was a chance to check off the volcano again, combined with another bucket list item — go for a ride in a helicopter!
Blue Hawaiian had the best configuration for us, and had flights out of the Hilo airport rather than the big one back by Kona. We got set up the day before, I think, and went out to the airport for a mid-afternoon flight. I was pretty excited, and a bit nervous. Lots of stories flooded the guidebooks about people going on the flights and not being able to sit together, or the flight not going at all because of weight distribution (i.e. » Read the rest
Andrea and I awoke to a slightly cloudy, hazy day on Day 3. High on my personal bucket list, and even higher on our trip “to do” list was to see the volcano. We had seen an old lava field the day before, but we knew that there was an official volcano park, with exhibits and active steam vents and lava fields, oh my! So off we went for the day. The main road that goes along the southern coast of the island passes right through the park — it’s the only road — so it is extremely easy to find. Once you get close, you can see that yes, this is still an active volcano — smoke and steam are constantly rising through micro steam vents. The ground smokes constantly around the upper caldera.
To the lay eye, lots of the crevices look like the volcano is extremely active, but of course it’s not. » Read the rest
Andrea and I awoke to a beautiful day on day 2. We were staying in Hilo, and since we had come in from the Northern coast, our goal for Day 2 was to start exploring South. Primarily that was a tidal pool area and an old lava field.
We basically drove South along the coast to get our day started, and we soon found a small beach with some waves rolling in over a protected reef.
Looking North along the Coast past Hilo, you could see the Island rise towards the centre.
Just next to the beach was a nice little pond area, with great colours and trees.
It was awesome driving through the side roads, as the tree canopy was almost complete in some places.
We continued even farther south to a tide pool area. Now, according to the guide books, some of the best and warmest tide pools are on private land, and while the books almost encouraged trespassing, we decided to opt for a public park instead. » Read the rest
Andrea and I were married on a Saturday, did the brunch thing with guests on the Sunday, took the Monday to relax and pack, and then headed to the airport on the Tuesday. We over-nighted in San Francisco and then on to Hawaii (the Big Island) on the Wednesday. We had decided to spend about 10 days on the Big Island, splitting our time between Hilo (on the East) and Kona on the west. Since the airport is just north of Kona on the west coast of the island, we had to pick up our rental car and drive to the other side of the island to Hilo.
Despite our early morning flight to the island, we weren’t in any rush to get to Hilo. We wanted to see some of the island, and since we thought we would probably take the Southern route on the way to Kona after we were done in Hilo, we decided to take the Northern route. » Read the rest