Author Topic: Return to Paradise in Search of Old and New Memories, by PBaruch (Hawaii - 2022)  (Read 3655 times)

Offline PBaruch

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We hope ya'll aren't getting bored with our Hawaii trip reports, because here we go again.  We last visited Hawaii in 2018, when little one was 4-years old.  (https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=95603.0) However, he had no memory of being in Hawaii except for eating (melted soupy) ice cream from Lappert's and one other thing, as discussed below.  Hawaii has been such a large part of the kids growing up and since little one had very few memories, it was time for a return visit.  I know what some of you are going to say - going back again?  It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't visited Hawaii, but even putting the natural beauty of the place aside, there really is something special about Hawaii.  There are many nationalities that live together and everyone seems to get along.  Hawaiian culture respects elders and cherishes children.  Although Hawaii is a liberal state, the bathrooms are still labeled "Kane" and "Wahine" (from what I could tell).  And, call me crazy, but the "Mana" of Hawaii is very strong.  Because of these reasons, we are drawn to Hawaii and continue going back.  I also arranged for some new experiences that we had never done before, to make the trip a bit more interesting.

Part 1 - Planning and Preparation

We decided to stay 5 nights in Honolulu to recuperate from packing/preparing for the trip, the long flight, and to visit Pearl Harbor again so that little one would hopefully learn about and remember being there.  We had stayed at several hotels in Honolulu in the past - none of them being perfect for our needs.  While researching various Marriott branded hotels (I had MT points to use), I was drawn to the Ritz Carlton Residences, which had full kitchens and in-room washing machines and dryers.  Although not directly on the beach (it was a 10-minute walk to Waikiki beach) the tradeoff was well worth it.  Information about the Ritz Carlton Residences in Honolulu can be found here:

https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/hawaii/waikiki?scid=2f55c429-fbd4-47ae-a6f5-7dacc3f46b9a&ppc=ppc&pId=ustbppc&nst=paid&gclsrc=aw.ds&gclid=Cj0KCQjw2_OWBhDqARIsAAUNTTH1sQZhFSxmsQNtub5abTDaft2CXetcZycCdFWRZAX3EZ4coR2_rfoaAvqXEALw_wcB

After Honolulu, we booked 10 nights at the Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island.  Although I swore never to stay there again after our last visit, apparently that memory wasn't quite so sharp anymore.  While the grounds and resort activities are nice, the lack of a full-size refrigerator and the smallish room (even after an upgrade) was just torture.  One nicety about our upgraded room was the ground level lanai leading straight to the pool area, so the kids could come and go as they pleased.  Information about the Hilton Waikoloa can be found here:

https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/koahwhh-hilton-waikoloa-village/?WT.mc_id=zlada0ww1xx2psh3ggl4ampbrd5dkt6multibr7_327310291_1003528&gclid=Cj0KCQjw2_OWBhDqARIsAAUNTTH2Zn6B0rFgBvHS6SfpixiuelPA-8r49h7k24jf45cfd7uEjrSL0fkaAjVoEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

We ended our trip with 6 nights in Volcano at a 3-bedroom bungalow with a full kitchen.  This was the only hotel stay paid for with cash.  We stayed at the Oma's Hapu'u Hideaway with Volcano Hideaways.  Although the bungalow was largely sufficient for our needs, the lack of a washing machine and dryer became a major inconvenience.  Volcano Hideaways rents several bungalows (one of which does have a washer and dryer), information about which can be found here:

https://www.volcanovillage.net/index.html

The flight to Hawaii was booked on Hawaiian F using Hawaiian miles.  Interisland flights were likewise booked on Hawaiian using Hawaiian miles.  The return flight was booked on United J using points. 

Part 2 - Flight to Honolulu

Hawaiian F is a nice product and, in some ways, superior to the offering by United.  Upon boarding, the flight attendant made the beds for us and placed a nice thick padded sheet over the seat.  We were also provided with a thick blanket and received a nice amenity kit.  However, the lack of a kosher meal somewhat soured the experience.  Despite flying Hawaiian F several times in the past, speaking to various flight attendants, and emailing Hawaiian Airlines, there has been no change in their policy.  Hawaiian Airlines refuses to offer kosher meals in F.  I know that most of the time the airlines meals are barely edible, but it is still nice to have the option of getting some food, especially on such a long flight with kids.

Flight to Hawaii

jfk-hnl by P Bryan, on Flickr

PXL_20220623_131639055 by P Bryan, on Flickr

PXL_20220623_170549644 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 3 - Honolulu

We arrived in Honolulu on a Thursday afternoon and checked into the Ritz Carlton Residences:

Ritz Carlton, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ritz Carlton Residences, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

In room washing machine/dryer at the Ritz Carlton Residences, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Little one swimming in the pool:

Ritz Carlton Residences. Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, the first course of business was Lappert's. In fact, this is what the kids had all been looking forward to the most.  Go figure. We went to Lappert's every day, except for Shabbos, while in Honolulu.

Lappert's at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Trying a Green Tea Smoothie:

Green Tea Smoothie at Lapperts, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

So many choices!

Lapperts, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 4 - Shangri La

DW had read in Oahu Revealed that the Shangri La Museum - Doris Duke's former home- was recommended, so that is what we did on Friday.  Information about Shangri La can be found here:

https://www.shangrilahawaii.org/

Doris Duke was a meshuga billionaire tobacco heiress called the "the richest girl in the world." She amassed an "impressive" collection of Islamic art in her home, which was turned into a museum after her death. Although I wasn't exactly thrilled to visit this museum, I went along.  In the end, it turned into a disaster.  After parking in a lot by the Honolulu Museum of Art, we walked across the street to the front of the museum to wait for our shuttle bus to Shangri La.  While there, we noticed that little one broke out in a bumpy rash on his face and back.  After arriving at Shangri La, little one wouldn't budge and took a nap.  When we were ready to leave Shangri La for the return trip to the museum, little one became dizzy, couldn't stand, and fell on his head.  Once again, at least one of our kids had to go to the emergency room on a trip.  By the time we arrived at the nearby hospital, his symptoms began to subside.  We were told that little one had an allergic reaction to something, but we had no idea to what and the doctor said it was impossible to know.  Perhaps little one was allergic to Islamic art.

Photographs taken at Shangri La

Shangri La, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Antique tiles:

Antique tiles - Shangri La, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Wooden Panel:

Shangri La, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

19th Century Gem-Set Enameled Footed Gold Cup with Bird and Floral Motifs

Shangri La, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

The grounds:

Shangri La, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Shangri La, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Sunday was beach day and I took Oldest and Little One swimming at Waikiki.  We asked at the hotel where it was best to swim and were told that the beach near the Duke Kahanamoku statute had a rock wall and was safe for young children:

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 5 - Pearl Harbor

On Monday, we visited Pearl Harbor:

Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

We initially visited USS Bowfin Submarine:

USS Bowfin, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

USS Bowfin, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

USS Bowfin, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

USS Bowfin, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

USS Bowfin, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

USS Bowfin, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

View of the USS Nevada historical marker from the USS Bowfin:

View of USS Nevada from USS Bowfin, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

The next stop was the Arizona Memorial:

Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Then we visited the famous Battleship Missouri:

Battleship Missouri, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

The big guns:

Battleship Missouri, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Incoming - is it a friendly:

Battleship Missouri, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

The surrender deck:

Battleship Missouri, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Playing with the controls:

Battleship Missouri, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

And finally, we visited the Pacific Aviation Museum, which we did not have time to see on our last visit. 

We saw one of the few remaining Japanese Zeros:

Japanese Zero, Pacific Aviation Museum, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Japanese "Good Luck" Flag - doesn't look like it brought this pilot "good luck":

Japanese Good Luck Flag, Pacific Aviation Museum, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Japanese Nakajima B5N “Kate”:


Japanese Nakajima B5N “Kate”, Pacific Aviation Museum, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Boeing B-17E "Swamp Ghost" that has seen better days:

B-17 at the Pacific Aviation Museum, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

The famous Ford Island Control Tower - the first radio broadcast of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor came from this tower at 8:05 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941. At the same time of the announcement, the tower was being bombed and the lower-level windows were shattering:

Ford Island Control Tower, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Playing in the antique fire truck:

Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Look closely and you can still see bullet holes from Japanese airplane guns in the glass of this airplane hangar:

Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Window pane from the airplane hangar with bullet holes on display:

Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 6 - Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island

It should not come as a surprise that we chose to spend the remainder of our time on the Big Island, split between Kona and Volcano.  Since I had a bunch of Hilton points, and not enough Marriott points left over after staying at the Ritz, we booked 10 nights at the Hilton Waikoloa.  Although our last stay at this hotel was less than satisfactory, it is better than shelling out $$$ for a hotel stay.  While the rooms are lacking for our purposes, the grounds and pools are quite nice.  There were also quite a few free resort activities, which DW and older kids participated in.  The lack of a kitchen and full-size refrigerator, however, proved quite challenging.  In the future, I will seek other more suitable accommodations with a full kitchen.

Our upgraded room with a lanai leading to the pools.  The room had a king size bed, chair that opened up into a bed, and we received a free rollaway bed:

Hilton Waikoloa, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Our room had a lanai opening to the pools.  We preferred this setup because the kids were able to come and go from the room straight to the pools without having to trudge through the hotel.  It proved to be very convenient:

Hilton Waikoloa, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Hilton Waikoloa, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Dorky shoes with a view:

Hilton Waikoloa, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 7 - Wild Hawaiian Ocean Adventures ("WHOA")

Although we twice went out with WHOA in the past, it was so much fun that we just had to do it again.  Information about WHOA can be found here:

https://www.wild-hawaii.com/

They certainly did not disappoint:

Wild Hawaiian Ocean Adventures, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Wild Hawaiian Ocean Adventures, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Shortly into our adventure, the crew spotted a floating and moving laundry detergent bottle. As was explained to me, when certain fisherman try to catch tuna at night, to prevent sharks from coming up and eating all their bait, they will bait a hook connected to a jug in order to lure sharks away from their tuna bait.  This particular baby Silky shark was caught in the trap, and the crew was successfully able to free it:

Saving a baby Silky shark, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Saving a baby Silky shark, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Saving a baby Silky shark, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we spotted some Pilot whales and jumped in the ocean to snorkel with them:

Snorkeling with Pilot whales, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Snorkeling near Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Pilot Whales near Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Pilot Whales, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

The grand finale was snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay:

Snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 8 - Our Great Big Fishing Adventure

For a few years now, my bucket list included a deep-sea fishing charter to catch a tuna and have a BBQ. Not knowing where to find a good boat, I asked for recommendations from several people, and was ultimately referred to Ku'uipo Sport Fishing which booked our charter using the boat "Maggie Joe."  Although it was a great experience based upon the fish we caught, I would not recommend the "Maggie Joe." One of the crew was verbally abusive and unprofessional, and the captain did absolutely nothing to put a stop to it. 

Despite our less than satisfactory treatment, the fish were definitely biting that day.  I caught a 15-pound skipjack tuna, Middle Kid caught a large 200+ pound marlin (which we let go), and DW caught a 100+ pound yellowfin tuna (which the boat kept - if I paid another $300 for the charter, I would have been able to keep everything).

Heading out:

Heading out to sea, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Lines all set up and waiting for the fish:

Lines all set up, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waiting and waiting and waiting for the fish:

Waiting and waiting for the fish, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

After a few somewhat boring hours, I caught a 15-pound skipjack tuna:

Caught a 15 pound skipjack tuna, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Several additional hours later, Middle Kid caught a marlin.  The marlin weighed about 200 pounds, which is double the weight of Middle Kid:

Marlin off the coast of Kona, Hawaii Island (we let it go) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Marlin near Kona, Hawaii Island (we let it go) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Near the end of the charter, DW caught a 100+ pound Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna):

Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna) near Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ahi (Yellowfin) near Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

At one point, we hooked a piece of an old fishing net, which was reeled in.  There were a bunch of small crabs living in the old net, which Little One enjoyed interacting with.  He named them Spikey, Crabby, and Pinchy:

Small crabs living in a piece of an old fishing net we snagged, near Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

We asked the captain to clean the 15-pound Skipjack tuna for our BBQ:

Cleaning the Skipjack Tuna, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr
« Last Edit: August 10, 2022, 11:01:06 PM by PBaruch »
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Return to Paradise in
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2022, 10:46:58 PM »
Part 9 - Beach BBQ

It has become a tradition for us to have a beach BBQ with our friends, so we planned to meet up a few days after the fishing charter at a beach near the Kona airport. 

Beach BBQ, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Of course, we BBQ'd the Skipjack tuna.  The tuna starts out deep red:

BBQ of the Skipjack tuna we caught, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, it turns white:

BBQ Skipjack tuna, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Little One playing in the tide pools:

Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Tidepool, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

After the BBQ, we visited our friend Cal's property, which has avocado trees, macadamia nut trees, and bee hives:

Avocado Tree, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Bee Hives:

Bee Hive, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Bee Hive, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Bee Hive, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Macadamia Nuts - I tasted a raw one and it wasn't bad:

Macadamia Nuts, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Cal also has some farm animals, including this very confused duck raising a chicken:

Duck raising a chicken - who knew, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

These chickens were most certainly not confused - they knew they were chickens.  Cal did mention, however, that the chickens lay eggs all over the place:

Chickens, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 10 - Greenwell Coffee Farm

Another family tradition has been a visit to Greenwell Coffee Farm, where we take a family photo, enjoy awesome Kona coffee and tour the farm.  The farm tour is free and we highly recommend a visit to Greenwell, information about which can be found here:

https://www.greenwellfarms.com/

As usual, we were not disappointed.  While at the farm, we asked if our friend Chai was around, and we were very happy to see that she was still working there and doing well. 

Greenwell Coffee Farm, Kona, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Greenwell Coffee Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Greenwell Coffee Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Greenwell Coffee Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Young coffee trees:

Greenwell Coffee Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Mature coffee trees:

Greenwell Coffee Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

I told the kids I'd buy them some souvenirs if they found the resident chameleon:

Greenwell Coffee Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

They didn't find the chameleon but I ended up buying the kids souvenirs anyway.

Part 11 - Pololu Valley

Although Waipio Valley is still my favorite, it is presently indefinitely closed to non-residents because of hazardous road conditions.  Pololu Valley, another beautiful valley is still accessible, and is a short but steep hike to the bottom.  I had hiked down to the bottom with Oldest Kid once before, but this time we all went down there together.  When we were there last, it wasn't very well known, but the word has since gotten out.  It is not unusual for there to be one thousand visitors per day.  If you decide to go, make sure to visit early in the day.

Pololu Valley, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Pololu Valley, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

On the way down:

Pololu Valley, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Pololu Vally, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Pololu Valley, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

When we reached the beach, we had fun flying our drone.  It was almost blown away by the high winds, but I managed to fly it back:

Pololu Valley, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Having fun with the drone, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Drone shots:

Pololu Valley, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Pololu Valley, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

This next photo was taken while playing with long exposures.

Pololu Valley, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Little One playing on the beach:

Pololu Valley, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

We found a Portuguese Man of War washed up on the beach - these things are deadly:

Portuguese Man of War, Pololu Valley, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 12 - Mauna Kea

We have all been to the Mauna Kea visitor center in the past, and I have been to the summit several times.  However, a return visit is still fun, or so we thought.  While driving to the mountain, we found out that since the protests against the telescopes at the summit began, volunteers no longer bring out telescopes for use by tourists at the visitor center.  Also, since we didn't have a 4WD vehicle (4WD is now required) and have two kids under the age of 16, a visit to the summit at this time was not in order.  But, as we were already driving to the mountain, we still decided to go.

Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Walking to the top of a hill near the visitor center for sunset:

Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waiting for sunset:

Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

After dark:

Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Moon Picture taken at Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Once it got dark, the cold set in and we couldn't linger very long.  It was time to call it a night.

Part 13 - A Rare Relaxing Beach Day

I know it's rare, but once in a while we do relax and take it easy.  On this particular day, we enjoyed water toys and went snorkeling in the Hilton lagoon:

Hilton Waikoloa, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

There were quite a few turtles hanging out in the lagoon:

Hilton Waikoloa, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Little One making friends with a turtle:

Hilton Waikoloa, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

That evening, we went to Anaeho'omalu Bay, to hang out with more turtle friends:

Anaeho'omalu Bay, Hawaii Island - Hanging out with the turtles. by P Bryan, on Flickr

Anaeho'omalu Bay, Hawaii Island - Hanging out with the turtles. by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 14- Awesome Beaches and Snorkeling in Kona

Apparently, there are some folks who are under the misconception that the Big Island does not have nice beaches.  I can definitely say that this is not the case. 

Snorkeling in Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Snorkeling in Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Snorkeling with my turtle buddies, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Snorkeling in Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Snorkeling with turtle buddies, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 15 - Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm

After relaxing and snorkeling at the awesome Kona beaches, we booked a last-minute tour at the Seahorse Farm.  Although we had previously visited the Seahorse Farm, everyone had a great time so we didn't mind going back.  We wanted to visit the Octopus Farm instead, but it was fully booked.  This became somewhat of a recurring theme during our stay on the Big Island - various activities/tours were fully booked and unless you made reservations in advance, you were out of luck. 

Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Hawaiian red shrimp - used to feed the seahorses:

Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Holding a seahorse:

Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm, Kona, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 16 - Moving to the Other Side of the Island - Volcano

After 10 fun filled days in Kona, it was time to move to the wilder side of the island - Volcano.  Since our favorite spot in Volcano was no longer being rented short term, we booked a stay with Volcano Hideaways at the Oma's Hapu'u Hideaway Bungalow.  Although I wouldn't characterize the place as luxurious, it had 3 bedrooms and a full kitchen. I'm not sure if we would stay here again, but it was mostly sufficient for our needs.

Photographs of the exterior:

Volcano Hideaways, Volcano, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Volcano Hideaways, Volcano, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

The master bedroom in the loft:

Volcano Hideaways, Volcano, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

The two ground floor bedrooms:

Volcano Hideaways, Volcano, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Volcano Hideaways, Volcano, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 17 - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The main reason we like to stay at Volcano in the close proximity to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ("HVNP").  Being a few minutes away from the park is great, and we were able to come and go during the day, with stops at the bungalow for snacks and drinks.  Our first stop at HVNP was the Sulphur Banks Trail. Here, volcanic gases seep out of the ground along with groundwater steam. These gases are rich in carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide -- the gas that smells like rotten eggs. Some sulfur gases deposit pure crystals at Sulphur Banks. Other sulfur gases form sulfuric acid which breaks down the lava to clay. This clay is stained red and brown with iron oxide.

Photographs taken at Sulphur Banks:

Sulphur Banks Trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Sulphur Banks Trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Even in this unforgiving landscape, Ohi'a lehua trees were flourishing:

Sulphur Banks Trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

We then drove down the Chain of Craters road to the end, where we viewed the Holei Sea Arch.  Shortly after our visit, we learned that massive waves damaged the sea arch, causing a large chunk to fall into the ocean.

View of the ocean on the way down:

Chain of Craters Road, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

The Holei Sea Arch:

Holei Sea Arch, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Oh no, the floor is lava:

The floor is lava! by P Bryan, on Flickr

On the way back, we stopped to hike the Puʻuloa Petroglyphs trail:

Puʻuloa Petroglyphs trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Puʻuloa Petroglyphs trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Interesting lava formations on the way to the petroglyphs:

Puʻuloa Petroglyphs trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

The petroglyphs:

Puʻuloa Petroglyphs trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Puʻuloa Petroglyphs trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Puʻuloa Petroglyphs trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Time to head back:

Puʻuloa Petroglyphs trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

We then went back to the bungalow to relax and eat, in preparation for an evening of lava viewing at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.  The current best view of the lava lake within the crater is a short hike from the Devastation Trail parking lot.  The parking lot was full but luckily, we found a spot:

Devastation Trail Parking Lot, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

When we first arrived at the viewpoint, it was like combat viewing, with folks jockeying into position.  However, as the night wore on, the crowds thinned and we were able to get a spot at the front for a view of the lava lake:

Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

The following day was also spent at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  We first visited Thurston Lava Tube:

Thurston Lava Tube, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Thurston Lava Tube, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Thurston Lava Tube, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Thurston Lava Tube, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we hiked the Kīlauea Iki trail, which begins across the road from the Thurston Lava Tube:

Kilauea Iki Trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Kilauea Iki Trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Kilauea Iki Trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Kilauea Iki Trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Kilauea Iki Trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr)

Time to go back up:

Kilauea Iki Trail, Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Since we still had plenty of daylight left, we decided to do another hike in a part of the park where it is common to see Nene (Hawaiian Geese).  We had last visited this area of the park in 2016 (https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=66190.0) to see the many Nene that hang out there.  Unbeknownst to us, this area is now closed and the previously posted signs were removed.  We hiked right past the entrance to this area, before DW then realized where the sign had been.  So we trudged back up the road to where we parked.  Although we were all quite miserable after hiking back and forth for nothing, the surrounding foliage was quite beautiful:

Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 18 - Hilo, Kalapana and Waterfalls

No visit to the Big Island is complete for us without stopping at Kalapana, where we used to hike to the lava ocean entry and visit the nice black sand beach.  Although there is no surface flow at the moment, the black sand beach is still there:

Kalapana, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

The waves were quite high and rough and it was a powerful sight to behold:

Kalapana, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Life beginning anew on the barren lava:

Kalapana, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

The following day was spent in and around Hilo.  We first visited Rainbow Falls:

Rainbow Falls, Hilo, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards we visited one of my favorites - Akaka Falls State Park.  The greenery is just spectacular:

Akaka Falls State Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Akaka Fall State Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Akaka Fall State Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Akaka Falls State Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Akaka Fall State Park, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

The waterfall - taken during our 2018 trip - because this time the shrubs were a bit overgrown and I couldn't get a picture of the entire waterfall:

Akaka Falls, Hawaii Island (DSC_4359) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We next visited the Laupahoehoe Train Museum ("LTM") - Little One's favorite.  As soon as we arrived, Little One shouted - "I remember this place!"  Little one had a great time exploring the museum and the train cars, and of course he just had to get a souvenir.  Pictures from LTM:

Laupahoehoe Train Museum, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Laupahoehoe Train Museum, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Laupahoehoe Train Museum, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Laupahoehoe Train Museum, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Old time train memorabilia:

Laupahoehoe Train Museum, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we stopped by Laupāhoehoe Beach Park, which DW regretted not having visited the last time we were at the train museum.  We visited the memorial to those who perished during the April 1, 1946 tsunami:

Laupāhoehoe Beach Park by P Bryan, on Flickr

The beach park:

Laupāhoehoe Beach Park by P Bryan, on Flickr

The next stop was Umauma Falls:

Umauma Falls, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

The following day would be our last full day in Hawaii.  We took it easy and visited the Hilo Farmer's Market, where we bought exotic fruits and souvenirs for friends back home:

Hilo Farmer's Market, Hilo, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Hilo Farmer's Market, Hilo, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Hilo Farmer's Market, Hilo, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Hilo Farmer's Market, Hilo, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Hilo Farmer's Market, Hilo, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

And our final hurrah of the day was a visit to Punaluʻu Beach.  I was rushing to get to the beach before dark and might have been driving a bit spiritedly.  Luckily for me, there were two cars following me, and the fuzz only managed to get the third car in the line.

My favorite lily pond behind the beach:

Punaluʻu Beach, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Little One playing on the beach:

Punaluʻu Beach, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Punaluʻu Beach, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

It took a lot of washing to get all that sand out of those little fingers and toes.

We said our last goodbyes to our turtle buddies, before it was time to head back:

Punaluʻu Beach, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part 19 - The Flight Home

The next day we flew home.  At the airport in Hilo, the HA agent told us that she was able to interline our bags to our UA flight from HNL to EWR, because we paid for the interisland flight with HA miles.  I was later told that others weren't able to interline their bags, which is a major hassle at the HNL airport.

At the HNL airport, we were able to gain entry into the UA Club.  There wasn't much we could eat, but we did get hot water for our Gefen instant soup cups and ate some uncut strawberries:

UA Club, HNL by P Bryan, on Flickr

UA Club, HNL by P Bryan, on Flickr

And then it was time to board the flight:

UA J - HNL - EWR by P Bryan, on Flickr

We were not offered a bedsheet and no one offered to make the bed (as the HA flight attendant did for us).  Also, the provided comforter was very thin, small and didn't keep us warm (unlike the nice thick comforters provided in UA J in the past).  However, we received somewhat edible Kosher meals:

PXL_20220715_023914624 by P Bryan, on Flickr

PXL_20220715_024029643 by P Bryan, on Flickr

PXL_20220715_024413506 by P Bryan, on Flickr

PXL_20220715_024651309 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Views from the plane:

Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean..... by P Bryan, on Flickr

And that's a wrap.  Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoyed this trip report. 

Aloha.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2022, 11:05:25 PM by PBaruch »
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Offline Yehoshua

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Wow, very nice TR. Thank you for sharing!

Offline ponash123

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Amazing!

Offline ushdadude

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Awesome!

Online tavster

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Great TR and beautiful pictures.
Thanks for taking the time

Offline coffeebean

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Amazing TR

Offline CountValentine

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Great TR. The little one is not so little anymore.
Only on DDF does 24/6 mean 24/5/half/half
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Offline Moshe123

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Bookmarked. These are always amazing.

Offline njmacman

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I always love these. I would add on the Big Island- 2 step beach and canoeing by the Captain Cooke monument. Also, Costco has the cheapest gasoline and many kosher products.

Offline PBaruch

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Great TR. The little one is not so little anymore.

He's still little to us.  :)

I always love these. I would add on the Big Island- 2 step beach and canoeing by the Captain Cooke monument. Also, Costco has the cheapest gasoline and many kosher products.

We brought frozen meat/chicken from home and also purchased some frozen meat/chicken from Chabad on the Big Island. We also purchased some prepared food from Chabad on the Big Island. We didn't go to Costco but Safeway and Walmart has many of the same kosher products you find on the mainland.
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Offline Joe4007

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Amazing. Wholesome.

Offline Dan

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Awesome TR, thanks for sharing and preserving the memories.

Happy we did TBI in 2008 when we were able to horseback ride around Waipio, dip in deserted hot springs, drive Mauna Kea in a convertible, and view the planets from telescopes though. Seems like so many more restrictions now.

How did you bring exotic fruit home?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline PBaruch

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Awesome TR, thanks for sharing and preserving the memories.

Happy we did TBI in 2008 when we were able to horseback ride around Waipio, dip in deserted hot springs, drive Mauna Kea in a convertible, and view the planets from telescopes though. Seems like so many more restrictions now.

How did you bring exotic fruit home?

I may not have been clear about the fruits in the TR. The fruits were for us to eat while the souvenirs were for friends and family back home. We were a bit overzealous about how much exotic fruit we purchased and ended up eating only some of it. The rest was left in the bungalow.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2022, 08:39:54 PM by PBaruch »
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