Author Topic: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)  (Read 859 times)

Offline PBaruch

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Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« on: September 09, 2018, 11:16:29 AM »
The draw of Hawaii is very powerful.  So much so, that the mere suggestion of skipping a trip this summer was almost sacrilegious to DW and the kids.  In the end, the desire for a new destination was overpowered by the allure of paradise on earth.  It was decided - we would return to Hawaii in the summer of 2018 (for our second summer trip).  DW had been itching to return to Maui (with a day trip to Lanai) as we hadn't been able to see everything we wanted on our last trip.  Our next stop would be Kauai and then finally the Big Island.

We booked UA J from EWR-HNL-OGG with an initial 6 night stay at the Grand Wailea (475k HH).  After the Grand Wailea, we booked the Travaasa Hana for 3 nights (with their twice a year discounted 3 night package).  We then decided to return to the St. Regis in Kauai for 5 nights (140k SPG).  The remaining 9 nights would be on the Big Island split between the Sheraton in Kona (40k SPG) and our favorite lodge in Volcano (paid in cash).  We would stay a total of 23 nights in Hawaii - our longest trip to date.  For the most part, there was no set schedule.  Aside from a few pre-planned days, our schedule would be dictated by whim and weather.

Many thanks to Something Fishy for his help in planning the Lanai portion of our trip.

Part 1 - Flight from EWR - HNL - OGG

ewr-hnl-ogg by P Bryan, on Flickr

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

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

Since we were flying right after Tisha B'Av, UA gave us cheese blintzes for breakfast (presumably leftovers from the 9 days menu):

IMG_20180724_094713 by P Bryan, on Flickr

We finally moved to the last bubble of this is our "More than 10th" trip:

IMG_20180724_153719 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part II - Maui (South Side - Wailea)

It was a difficult choice to decide where to stay in Maui.  We didn't care for the Westin where we stayed last trip and I didn't want to bother with the hassle of trying to book the Andaz.  In the end, I was trying to decide between the Marriott (which I heard great things about) and the Grand Wailea.  Not wanting to skimp, I chose the Grand Wailea.  Prior to our departure, I emailed and called the assistant director of the front office at the Grand Wailea, asking about an upgrade to the Napua Tower, which would give us lounge access.  I never heard back.  At check-in, I again asked about an upgrade to the Napua Tower but was told it was not available.  Instead, we were given an upgrade to an ocean view room.  Having Hilton Diamond status (from the Hilton Aspire card), we received two (mostly worthless) $15.00 vouchers per day to use at breakfast.   We weren't overly impressed with the Grand Wailea but it was still way better than the Westin where we stayed last time.

Our room:

Grand Wailea Hotel, Maui (DSC_2202) by P Bryan, on Flickr

View of a reflecting pool and the ocean beyond:

Grand Wailea, Maui (DSC_2497) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Despite being somewhat jet lagged, we hit the ground running on our first full day in Maui.  We first visited the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm:

Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, Maui (DSC_2209) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, Maui (IMG_20180725_124255) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We then made our way to Haleakalā National Park.  We stopped by Hosmer Grove for a picnic lunch and hike in the forest:

Haleakalā National Park, Maui (DSC_2240) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Haleakalā National Park, Maui (DSC_2277) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Haleakalā National Park, Maui (DSC_2314) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we visited the Skyline Trail:

Haleakalā National Park, Maui (DSC_2321) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Skylinr Trail, Haleakalā National Park, Maui (DSC_2330) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Skyline Trail, Haleakalā National Park, Maui (DSC_2341) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Finally, we went to the summit and stayed for sunset:

Haleakalā National Park, Maui (DSC_2356) by P Bryan, on Flickr

On the following day, we visited ʻĪao Valley State Monument:

ʻĪao Valley State Monument, Maui (IMG_20180726_131955) by P Bryan, on Flickr

ʻĪao Valley State Monument, Maui (DSC_2425) by P Bryan, on Flickr

ʻĪao Valley State Monument, Maui (DSC_2421) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We stopped by Dragon's Teeth:

Dragon's Teeth, Maui (DSC_2457) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Dragon's Teeth, Maui (DSC_2449) by P Bryan, on Flickr

And then headed back to the Grand Wailea for sunset:

Wailea Beach, Maui (DSC_2467) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Wailea Beach, Maui (DSC_2482) by P Bryan, on Flickr

The next day was Friday so we took it easy.  We first visited the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum:

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum, Maui (DSC_2547) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum, Maui (DSC_2579) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum, Maui (DSC_2585) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we returned to the Grand Wailea as the kids wanted to go swimming and we needed to prepare for Shabbos.  Our older kids very much enjoyed the Tarzan Swing:

Rope Swing at Grand Wailea, Maui (DSC_2593) by P Bryan, on Flickr

While staying in Wailea, we would frequent Lappert's, located in the Shops at Wailea, about once a day.  One day while eating our ice cream just outside the store, a piece of my cone broke off and fell to the ground.  Before I could move, it was gone, snatched by a bird.  Who needs janitors if you have birds?

Part III - Lanai

The only current sensible option to visit Lanai from Maui is by ferry, information about which can be found here:

http://go-lanai.com/

Wanting to maximize our time on The Pineapple Isle, we opted for the 6:45 a.m. ferry from Maui to Lanai:

Ferry from Maui to Lanai, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ferry from Maui to Lanai by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ferry to Lanai, Hawaii (DSC_2632) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ferry to Lanai, Hawaii (DSC_2650) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We rented a Jeep from Jeep Lanai, information about which can be found here:

http://jeeplanai.net/

The owner of Jeep Lanai, "Lanai Mike," met us at the harbor and gave us the keys to our Jeep, with a warning that he was off to Maui for the day and wouldn't be around to rescue us if we got into trouble. 

After stopping at a local grocery store for cold drinks and ice to put into the complimentary cooler, we were off to our first stop on Lanai - Shipwreck Beach.  Lanai Mike cautioned us to park near an abandoned cottage and not drive all the way to the beach, as folks had gotten stuck on a sandy stretch of the road close to the beach.

Road to Shipwreck Beach:

Road to Shipwrech Beach, Lanai (DSC_2712) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Road to Shipwreck Beach, Lanai (DSC_2709) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Our parking spot:

Parking Spot before Shipwreck Beach, Lanai (DSC_2662) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Shipwreck Beach:

Shipwreck Beach, Lanai (DSC_2699) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Shipwrech Beach, Lanai (DSC_2684) by P Bryan, on Flickr

I wanted to send my drone out to take some photos of the shipwreck from directly above it, but I had forgotten the iPad Mini in the hotel, and couldn't get the DJI app to work on my phone.

Our next stop was Keahi Kawelo, or commonly known as Garden of the Gods.  It's a rather large rock garden.

On the way to Garden of the Gods:

On the way to Keahi Kawelo, Lanai (DSC_2746) by P Bryan, on Flickr

On way to Keahi Kawelo, Lanai by P Bryan, on Flickr

Keahi Kawelo, Lanai (DSC_2742) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Keahi Kawelo, Lanai (DSC_2744) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Garden of the Gods:

Keahi Kawelo, Lanai (DSC_2727) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Keahi Kawelo, Lanai (DSC_2735) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Keahi Kawelo, Lanai (DSC_2739) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We then stopped off at the Stables at Koele thinking the kids could go on pony rides.  However, we were told that the stables were owned by the Four Seasons and that we needed to go to the Four Seasons to sign releases and book pony rides directly through the hotel.  Since we didn't have time for that, we merely stopped by for a visit and the kids had a chance to interact with miniature horses:

Stables at Koele, Lanai (DSC_2770) by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC04677 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180729_130026 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we made our way to Hulopoe Beach, which is adjacent to the harbor where we would catch the ferry back to Maui:

Hulopoe Beach, Lanai by P Bryan, on Flickr

MVIMG_20180729_145424 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part IV - Road To Hana & Our Stay In Hana

We packed out of the Grand Wailea and miraculously were able to fit all our luggage into our Ford Explorer (no larger vehicles were available at the time I picked up the rental).  Despite not getting too early of a start, we were still able to stop off along the road and enjoy the day.  The Maui Revealed App came in handy and was very helpful in mapping out our stops.

Mile 0 on Road to Hana, Maui (DSC_2806) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Our first official stop was Waikamoi Nature Trail, where my older kids and I hiked the trail, while DW and my little guy waited in the car:

Waikamoi Nature Trail, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2807) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waikamoi Nature Trail, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2808) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waikamoi Nature Trail, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2810) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waikamoi Nature Trail, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2825) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waikamoi Nature Trail, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2853) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We then stopped at Wahinepe'e, where I hiked alone up a hunting road to a bamboo forest.  No one else was around and the only sounds I heard was bamboo swaying in the wind and knocking against each other. 

Wahinepe'e, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2869) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we stopped at the Garden of Eden:

Garden  Of Eden, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2884) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Garden Of Eden, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2895) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Garden  Of Eden, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2898) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Garden  Of Eden, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2903) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We wanted to stop off at Ching's Pond but saw a few locals hanging out and burning a piece of clothing in the bushes.  Unsure of what they were up to, we decided to skip it.

And then we finally made it to Hana:

Hana,  Maui by P Bryan, on Flickr

The Travaasa Hana is one of our favorite hotels and we were looking forward to returning for more than the one night we stayed there the last time we were on Maui.  However, the rooms do not have air conditioning (or TV for those that want it) and, for some reason that might have been related to an incoming hurricane, it was really hot and humid.  It was quite uncomfortable even with two ceiling fans and a floor fan positioned right by the beds.  Luckily for us, we discovered that the fitness center, right next door to us, had both AC and TV, so we were able to go there to cool off and relax. 

Photographs taken at the Travaasa Hana:

DSC_3195 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Travaasa Hana, Maui (DSC_3084) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Travaasa Hana, Maui (DSC_3113) by P Bryan, on Flickr

On our first full day in Hana, we visited the Pools of Ohe'o:

Self Explanatory Sign, Maui (DSC_2973) by P Bryan, on Flickr

On way to Pools Of Ohe'o, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2975) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Pools Of Ohe'o, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2996) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Pools Of Ohe'o, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_2995) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Pools Of Ohe'o, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_3006) by P Bryan, on Flickr

The pools had been closed to swimming for a while:

Pools Of Ohe'o, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_3001) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, I hiked the Pipiwai Trail.  DW gave me 1 hour before I had to turn back as we had another activity scheduled for later that day.  I set the timer on my phone for 1 hour, and that is pretty much how long it took me to arrive at the bamboo forest and take some pictures before I had to turn back.  About a pound of sweat went into the making of this picture as I had to lug my camera backpack and tripod uphill for about a mile:

Pipiwai  Trail, Road To Hana, Maui (DSC_3018) by P Bryan, on Flickr

While on the way to the bamboo forest, I realized that my lens cleaning cloth had fallen out of my pocket.  Sure enough, on the way down the cloth was draped over a branch.  This was the second time I had lost and found my lens cleaning cloth on Maui.

After returning from the Pipiwai Trail, we visited the Ono Fruit Farm.  We booked an exotic fruit tasting tour at Ono Fruit Farm through the Travaasa Hana.  As part of the discounted booking, we received a $300 credit to use towards activities (the credit is $150 but they doubled it since we didn't use the included air tickets for two to fly into Hana).  Normally the credit is split between activities, spa, and the restaurant.  Since we weren't interested in the spa and couldn't eat at the restaurant, we asked and they graciously allowed us to use the entire $300 credit towards activities.  This particular activity cost $35x4 (our 4 year old was free) - no way we would've done it if we'd had to pay out of pocket.

When we arrived at Ono, DW explained that we kept kosher and had our own knife.  They were very gracious about it all, and every fruit that they cut to hand out samples, gave us a whole fruit for our family.  When they were about to cut a fruit that there was only one of, they apologized about it, but one of the audience suggested a workaround:  have us cut it with our knife.  It was touching that a stranger cared that we should get a taste, too.  One of the group even joked that the food was now blessed. 

Photographs from Ono Fruit Farm:

Ono Farm, Maui (DSC_3058) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ono Fruit Farm, Maui (DSC_3045) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Lilikoi Fruit, Ono Farm, Maui (DSC_3043) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Soursop  Fruit, Ono Farm, Maui (DSC_3039) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Jackfruit, Ono Fruit Farm, Maui (DSC_3057) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ono Fruit Farm, Maui (DSC_3052) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Giant coconut:

Ono Fruit Farm, Maui (DSC_3071) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ono Fruit Farm, Maui (DSC_3077) by P Bryan, on Flickr

The following day, DW and my older kids went horseback riding along the Hana coast.  This was our second activity booked through the Travaasa Hana (using the remainder of our $300 activity credit).

Horseback Riding at the Travaasa Hana, Maui by P Bryan, on Flickr

Then we hung out at the hotel a little, making plumeria leis, throwing Hawaiian spears, and playing in the game room:

IMG_20180801_144839 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180801_153201 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180801_135724 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we visited Waianapanapa State Park, which has a black sand beach:

Waianapanapa State Park, Maui by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waianapanapa State Park, Maui by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waianapanapa State Park, Maui (DSC_3143) by P Bryan, on Flickr

My camera setup:

Waianapanapa State Park, Maui by P Bryan, on Flickr

We stopped by the Ono Farm Fruit Stand in Hana, where I had the opportunity to slice open a coconut using a machete:

Ono Farm Stand, Hana, Maui (DSC_3169) by P Bryan, on Flickr

I then filled up the car with gas:

Price of gas in Hana, Maui by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we visited Red Sand Pocket Beach:

Red Sand Pocket Beach, Hana, Maui (DSC_3253) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Red Sand Pocket Beach, Hana, Maui by P Bryan, on Flickr

The following day we packed out of Hana for our trip to the airport.  We had intended on driving the "backside" but it was closed for construction.  Instead, we had to drive back the way we came.  On our way to the airport, we stopped by Whole Foods to get lunch, since I had a "free" Whole Foods gift card (from the recent Amazon deal).  While there, we picked up a 4-pack of Pretzilla rolls for Shabbos, so DW wouldn't have to bake.  (For our other two Shabbosim, we purchased challah from Chabad.)

Part V - Kauai

OGG-HNL-LIH by P Bryan, on Flickr

After our visit to the St. Regis last summer, we couldn't wait to get back.  The St. Regis is one of our favorite hotels in Hawaii.  (Recent rumor has it that it might be sold and leave the SPG program.)  At check in, I asked if we could get the same room we had last year - a premium ocean view room overlooking the bay.  Unfortunately it wasn't available when we checked in but we were told we could transfer to this room in the middle of our stay.

Photographs at the St. Regis:

St Regis, Kauai (DSC_3323) by P Bryan, on Flickr

St. Regis, Kauai (DSC_3435) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Nene, Kauai (DSC_3471) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Nene, Kauai (DSC_3505) by P Bryan, on Flickr

The day after we arrived was Friday, so we took it easy, going to Lappert's for ice cream (the Princeville store has no pastries), and preparing for Shabbos.  Coming from the airport the day before, we should have stopped at the Safeway in Lihue.  It's slightly out of the way to Princeville, but carries Kedem grape juice and is significantly larger than the one in Kapa'a.  Not wanting to drive all the way back to Lihue, we picked up some wine at the Princeville Wine Market, which is owned by a Jew.  Also in the Princeville shopping center is Foodland, where we bought some groceries for Shabbos.  They had a sale on eggs:

Sale on eggs at Foodland, Kauai, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

Just inside Foodland is a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, but when we asked about its kosher status, we were told that it was a separate entity from the mainland Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and in fact NOT kosher.

On Sunday, we transferred to our preferred room, then headed to Waimea Canyon.

Our first stop was at the Lapperts near Poipu, where the selection (including pastries) was almost as varied as on Oahu.  Continuing on, we made a quick stop at Russian Fort Elizabeth, followed by the Capt. Cook Monument:

IMG_20180805_155115 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_3268 by P Bryan, on Flickr

We then went to the Waimea Canyon Overlook:

IMG_20180805_170027 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waimea Canyon Overlook, Kauai (DSC_3307) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waimea Canyon, Kauai (DSC_3305) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waimea Canyon, Kauai (DSC_3274) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Waimea  Canyon, Kauai (DSC_3281) by P Bryan, on Flickr

On the way back, we stopped at the Hanepepe Swinging Bridge:

IMG_20180805_182911 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180805_183035 by P Bryan, on Flickr

When we returned to the hotel, I cooked dinner on the lanai.  When I came in and closed the doors, I noticed they weren't aligned, so they wouldn't lock.  I tried getting them back on the track, but they were not cooperating.  Instead, one of the doors fell out and crashed to the ground, while the other remained leaning against the frame.  Suffice it to say, this was a first for Hotel Engineering.

On the following day, DW and my older kids did an outrigger canoe trip while I went swimming with my little one.  They went up the Hanalei River until the bridge.

IMG_20180806_105514 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Upon returning to the hotel, DW went to photograph the remains of Russian Fort Alexander, on the grounds of the St. Regis.  There were a couple of nenes who thought they were king and queen of the fort.

IMG_20180806_184400 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180806_184625 by P Bryan, on Flickr

The next day we checked out of the St. Regis and headed over to Kilauea Point, one of my favorite spots on Kauai:

Kilauea Point, Kauai by P Bryan, on Flickr

Red Tailed Tropic Bird:

Red Tailed Tropicbird, Kilauea Point, Kauai (DSC_3877) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Red Tailed Tropicbird, Kilauea Point, Kauai (DSC_3523) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Great Frigatebird:

Great Frigatebird, Kilauea Point, Kauai (DSC_3794) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We then headed over to the airport for our flight to Kona on the Big Island.

Part VI - The Big Island - Kona

LIH-KOA by P Bryan, on Flickr

We decided to stay at the Sheraton in Kona (40k SPG) for the first part of our trip on the Big Island as we have been treated well at this hotel in the past.  However, on this occasion we were "upgraded" to a room facing the back of the water slide.  Despite the fact that we had always been upgraded to ocean view in the past, we were refused a free upgrade to an ocean view room and I ended up paying $50 per night to get the room we wanted.  I was told that the reason I couldn't get the upgrade I wanted was due to changes resulting from the Marriott merger.  I convinced the hotel to only charge me $50 a night for four nights since the fifth night was free.  However, they had no qualms about keeping our food in the freezer.  Next time we are in Kona we will likely try out the new Westin instead of staying at the Sheraton.  (We had decided against staying at the Westin on this trip since we have never stayed at a Westin that we liked.)

On our first full day on the Big Island, DW started the day by taking my oldest to a Beginners Hawaiian Language class offered at the Sheraton.  This was followed by a visit to Big Island Bees Honeybee Farm.  We learned all about bees and honey production:

Big Island Bees, Hawaii Island (DSC_3897) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Big Island Bees, Hawaii Island (DSC_3912) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Big Island Bees, Hawaii Island (DSC_3926) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Big Island Bees, Hawaii Island (DSC_3933) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Big Island Bees, Hawaii Island (DSC_3936) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We picked up a nice variety of honey for Rosh Hashanah that we are looking forward to.  The bee farm was one of my little one's favorite things to do on this trip, so much so, that I overheard him telling the flight attendant on the flight home that she "should go" there.

We then visited one of our favorite spots, Greenwell Coffee Farm:

Greenwell Farms, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Greenwell Farms, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

This time, we found one of the resident chameleons:

Greenwell Farms, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Chameleon, Greenwell Farms, Hawaii Island (DSC_3967) by P Bryan, on Flickr

While at Greenwell Farms, we bumped into Robert G., a local Kona coffee farmer and former interpretive guide.  Robert sells his coffee beans to Greenwell and buys the finished product, at a discount, for his own use.  He described himself as a Christian Buddhist, who also happens to blow the shofar.  Robert is also a strong supported of Israel.  After admiring my camera setup, we started talking and Robert mentioned some nice areas to photograph honeycreepers.  He also mentioned that he was going to the Palila Forest Discovery Trail located on the slopes of Mauna Kea.  He invited us to join him, but we had a kayaking trip scheduled to Kealakekua Bay, so we told him we wouldn't be able to join him.

Afterwards, we went over to Anaeho’omalu Bay for sunset:

Anaeho’omalu Bay, Hawaii Island (DSC_4059) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We found turtles on the beach:

Anaeho’omalu Bay, Hawaii Island (DSC_3990) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Anaeho’omalu Bay, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Lava Lava Club on the beach:

Lava Lava Club, Hawaii Island (DSC_4080) by P Bryan, on Flickr

The following day, we headed over to Aloha Kayak Co., for our afternoon kayak tour to Kealakekua Bay.  However, once we arrived, we were told the tour was canceled due to strong surf from Hurricane Hector passing offshore.  We were also told that the kayaks from the morning tour were flipping over from large waves.  Instead, we decided to join Robert at the Palila Forest Discovery Trail.  We didn't have much luck at Palila either.  Every time we thought it was clear enough to go and attempt to photograph the endangered honeycreepers, the rain picked up.  Finally, after hearing distant thunder, Robert said it was best we get going.  We made arrangements, however, to meet up the next day at an area of Kona called Kaloko.

The next day, Friday, we met up with Robert and his sidekick Dixie at Kaloko.  The weather cleared up and it turned into a beautiful sunny day.  Photographs taken at Kaloko:

MVIMG_20180810_135805 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_4101 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_4105 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Dixie (DSC_4081) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Picking and eating Ohelo berries:

Ohelo  'Ai Berries, Hawaii Island (DSC_4118) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ohelo 'Ai Berries, Hawaii Island (DSC_4125) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Ohia Lehua - the food source for honeycreepers:

Ohi'a lehua Tree, Hawaii Island (DSC_4083) by P Bryan, on Flickr

On shabbos, our middle daughter celebrated her 11th birthday on her 11th trip to Hawaii.  This time we purchased a cake from Chabad, so we wouldn't have a repeat of last year's Broiled Brownies Birthday Cake Fiasco.

On Sunday, I booked another snorkeling tour for myself and our older kids with Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures, as we had all had a great time with them last summer:

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

Kona Blue:

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

We snorkeled with Pygmy Whales and dolphins.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get clear photographs of the whales using my GoPro.  This was the best I could get:

Pygmy Whales, Kona, Hawaii by P Bryan, on Flickr

I was able, however, to get decent pictures of various fish at Kealakekua Bay, where we went snorkeling later in the trip:

Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

We also snorkeled in Keauhou Bay not far from the Sheraton, so DW was able to get some photos of us from the hotel:

DSC04707 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we checked out of the Sheraton and headed over to meet our friends for a beach BBQ:

BBQ in Kona, Hawaii Island (DSC_4160) by P Bryan, on Flickr

BBQ in Kona, Hawaii Island (DSC_4158) by P Bryan, on Flickr

We then headed over to Volcano, where we would spend the remaining four nights of our time in Hawaii.

Part VII - The Big Island - Volcano and Hilo

We were looking forward to seeing some serious lava action on the Big Island.  A huge volume of lava had been spewing out of Fissure 8 in Leilani Estates for three months straight, and had covered some of our favorite spots.  Earthquakes were a regular occurrence in Volcano Village, due to the collapse of the summit crater from draining magma.  And then, just as we were heading to the Big Island, it all stopped.  With unexpected time on our hands, we filled it with many new things.

On our first day in Volcano, we took a guided hike through an old growth rain forest with the Volcano Art Center.  We then visited a glassblowing studio, which was somewhat interesting, but we didn't feel welcome at all. 

IMG_20180813_133215 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_4273 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Akatsuka Orchid Gardens was OK, and they did have some nice soaps in the gift shop.

IMG_20180813_135325 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Orchid that smells like chocolate:

IMG_20180813_135651 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Then began our Afternoon of Waterfalls.  First, we headed over to Umauma Falls:

Umauma Falls, Hawaii Island (DSC_4285) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Next was Akaka Falls State Park, where DW and the kids ran ahead and left me in peace to take photographs.  I really enjoyed photographing at Akaka Falls State Park:

Akaka Falls State Park (DSC_4325) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Akaka Falls State Park, Hawaii Island ( DSC_4332) by P Bryan, on Flickr

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

And finally, we visited Rainbow Falls:

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

Rainbow Falls, Hilo, Hawaii Island (DSC_4361) by P Bryan, on Flickr

I woke up early the next morning to photograph honeycreepers right outside our cottage in Volcano:

MVIMG_20180815_074604 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_4386 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_4406 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Afterwards, we headed south to the Green Sand Beach.  Here, Hwy 11 passes through the national park, and there are many cracks in the road, with signs advising caution and warning not to stop. 

Our "shuttle" to the beach was literally held together with bungee cords and duct tape:

Shuttle to Green Sand Beach, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Shuttle to Green Sand Beach, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Green Sand Beach, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

We then visited Punaluu Black Sand Beach:

Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Island (DSC_4447) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Island (DSC_4485) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Green Sea Turtle Nesting Site:

Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Island (DSC_4494) by P Bryan
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 11:29:16 AM by PBaruch »
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Offline PBaruch

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 11:35:07 AM »
Lilly Pond behind the beach:

Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Island (DSC_4460) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Island (DSC_4475) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Since my little one loves trains, we visited the Laupahoehoe Train Museum the following day:

DSC_4536 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_4530 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_4526 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DSC_4538 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180815_113512 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180815_113702 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180815_115342 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180815_120317 by P Bryan, on Flickr

We considered going down to Laupahoehoe Point, but ultimately decided against it.  At the end of the day, we regretted this omission.  Instead, we headed back to Hilo, to the Farmer's Market:

Hilo Farmers Market, Hilo, Hawaii Island (DSC_4539) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Hilo Farmers Market, Hilo, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Hilo Farmers Market, Hilo, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

We then made our way to the Mokupapapa Discovery Center.  In addition to its displays on Papahanaumokuakea, it is currently used as a temporary place for park rangers displaced from VNP.  We listened in a bit to a ranger talk about the eruption, but the best thing about the place was that it was air conditioned.

IMG_20180815_135710 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180815_142643 by P Bryan, on Flickr

DW and the kids then went to the Pacific Tsunami Museum, with plans to go up Mauna Kea for stargazing. However, cloud cover caused the cancellation of the public stargazing.

IMG_20180815_144240 by P Bryan, on Flickr

IMG_20180815_144622 by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part VIII - Mauna Kea

I'd been dreaming of photographing the sunset and milky way from the summit of Mauna Kea for years.  However, it seemed to elude me on each visit to the Big Island.  I asked my buddy Bruce Omori if he had any time to go and photograph from the summit and he graciously took time from his busy schedule to take me up.  The last time I was at the summit of Mauna Kea was in January of 2010, when I drove up with my friend Alex.  We didn't properly acclimate and, when we reached the top, raced each other like wild dogs to the summit.  I felt quite miserable from altitude sickness afterwards and couldn't appreciate the sunset at all:

Mauna Kea Summit, Hawaii Island (DSC_0439) by P Bryan, on Flickr

This time, however, Bruce and I properly acclimated for an hour at the visitor center before heading up. 

Bruce's truck:

Mauna Kea Summit, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

We photographed the setting sun:

Mauna Kea Summit, Hawaii Island (DSC_4553) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Mauna Kea Summit, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr

Mauna Kea Summit, Hawaii Island (DSC_4791) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Although Bruce has contacts that usually let him stay at the summit after dark, we had no such luck this time and were chased off the summit.  Luckily, we hid out at a spot a bit below the summit and were able to get some awesome night shots. 

Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island (DSC_4824) by P Bryan, on Flickr

It felt almost like Star Wars up there.  We heard machine sounds and voices over loudspeakers coming from the nearby telescopes.  Notice the laser from the Keck Telescope beaming into the sky.  Bruce was upset that the lasers were ruining his milky way shots but I thought the lasers were awesome.

Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island (DSC_4814) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island (DSC_4832) by P Bryan, on Flickr

While we were shooting the radio telescopes, we saw a pair of headlights coming down the road towards us.  I initially thought it was a park ranger coming to bust us.  Bruce, however, knew better and said no ranger would be driving with headlights at the summit after dark.  I'm not sure who the bozo was but she/he did me a great favor by illuminating the foreground on the following long exposure shot:

Mauna Kea, Hawaii Island (DSC_4845) by P Bryan, on Flickr

Part IX - The Flight Home

The following day we packed out of Volcano and flew home.  We flew Hawaiian F home for the first time.  It was definitely a superior product compared to United except we were unable to obtain kosher meals.  At the present time, Hawaiian does not offer any special meals in F.  Towards the end of our flight, the flight attendants came over and thanked us individually for flying Hawaiian, which we thought was really nice.

ITO-HNL-JFK by P Bryan, on Flickr

HA bedding kit:

Bedding Kit on Hawaiian Air F from HNL - JFK by P Bryan, on Flickr

Sleeping in the lie flat seats:

Hawaiian Airlines F from HNL - JFK by P Bryan, on Flickr

After we arrived at home, I had the post-Hawaii blues for about a week, before I snapped back into reality.  As usual, we had an amazing trip and look forward to returning again next year.

Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoyed this trip report.

Punaluu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Island by P Bryan, on Flickr
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 02:58:14 PM by Something Fishy »
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Offline ludmila

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 03:25:48 PM »
Thank you so much for such a great TR, and great pictures.
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
Pele Good,Maradona Better, George Best.

Offline tzifanya54

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2018, 11:07:30 AM »
Can I be nosy and ask what you do for a living that allows you to take this much time off?

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2018, 11:22:54 AM »
Always a pleasure to read and check out your TR's!!

Thanks for sharing!

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 12:40:50 PM »
Can I be nosy and ask what you do for a living that allows you to take this much time off?

Self employed attorney handling primarily accident cases in New York and New Jersey.  I have my office with and partner with a firm so that if anything comes up while I am away, I have it covered.  The summers are usually pretty slow for attorneys and a lot of judges take August off, so its also a good time for me to take off.

I was previously with a firm for 11 years and was miserable for a long time so I resolved that it's time for me to enjoy life.
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Offline tzifanya54

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 12:46:33 PM »
Self employed attorney handling primarily accident cases in New York and New Jersey.  I have my office with and partner with a firm so that if anything comes up while I am away, I have it covered.  The summers are usually pretty slow for attorneys and a lot of judges take August off, so its also a good time for me to take off.

I was previously with a firm for 11 years and was miserable for a long time so I resolved that it's time for me to enjoy life.
Wow nice! Thanks for sharing. Amazing TR as usual. Kuddos to you for taking the leap to become self employed. It definitely sounds like you are using your newfound freedom to its fullest!

Offline yoohoo

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2018, 01:13:12 PM »
nice! a lot of stops, how did you manage with luggage/keeping food frozen?

Offline a good yeshiva bachur

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2018, 01:31:44 PM »
Great TR the pictures are beautiful
I'm just wondering why do you keep going back to Hawaii, there's so many other places...?

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2018, 01:35:42 PM »
nice! a lot of stops, how did you manage with luggage/keeping food frozen?

Luggage:

We shipped the bulk of our luggage (including winter coats for Mauna Kea) directly to Hawaii to make things more manageable.  Once there, we shlepped everything from island to island.  We had a lot but not an obscene amount of luggage.  I pretty much had to do laundry every 5 days, which isn't too difficult.  Some hotels did not have self service laundry so I had to go to a local laundromat on one occasion. 

Food:

We took a cooler full of meat with us.  All of the hotels we stayed at had no issues with letting us keep our food in their freezer.  Naturally, we couldn't shlep enough food for a 3 week trip so we purchased lots of non meat food in Hawaii.  We had no problem finding kosher bread, non cholov yisroel cheese, lox/salmon, jams, canned goods, cereals, etc.  We also bought frozen veggie sausages, veggie burgers, and french fries that I cooked up on our camp stove.  For shabbos in Maui and the Big Island, we purchased food from Chabad.  We also ate copious amounts of ice cream and pastries from Lappert's (everything that Lappert's sells is kosher, including pastries but not every Lappert's has pastries). 

Also, Chabad of the Big Island offers a service where you can order meat from Western Kosher and have it shipped to them.  Chabad of the Big Island graciously only charges their shipping cost without markup.  Here is the text of the email from Chabad of the Big Island:

Chabad is excited to announce that you can now order kosher meat, chicken, and many other kosher products to the Big Island at minimal cost.

Each person can place his/her own order from Westernkosher.com with any zip code on the Big Island. Delivery is done by a company called Calhono, which specializes in frozen and refrigerated shipments to Hawaii. Their fee is based on the total weight and volume of the entire order, so the exact amount will be determined & due upon pickup from Chabad in Kona. It will be about $1.00 per LB (in addition to the price paid to Western Kosher for the products).

The next delivery will ship on Friday, the 8th of Dec 2017. Please place your order as soon as possible, but no later than Thursday morning. The order will arrive to the Big Island on Tuesday the 19th.

Please click here for more info on how to order.

We hope to be making orders once a month or so. If you are interested in future updates please let us know.

This arrangement is being provided by Chabad as a service to the community at cost price.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

All the best,
Levi

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Offline PBaruch

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2018, 01:41:37 PM »
Great TR the pictures are beautiful
I'm just wondering why do you keep going back to Hawaii, there's so many other places...?

We did do something completely new for our first trip of the summer:

https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=93831.0

Also, believe it or not, but not every trip of ours to Hawaii is identical.  Yes, we do some old favorite activities but this trip included lots of new things that we never did before.  For instance, we had never been to Lanai before.  We also did some new activities around Hana and on the Big Island.

Hawaii is a great place to just hang out in the summer with the family.  Instead of sending the kids to day camp and sleep away camp, we all get to hang out in paradise in a place where finding kosher food isn't a problem.  It's kind of like going to a bungalow colony for us.   :)
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 02:58:09 PM by PBaruch »
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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2018, 05:15:38 PM »
Self employed attorney handling primarily accident cases in New York and New Jersey.  I have my office with and partner with a firm so that if anything comes up while I am away, I have it covered.  The summers are usually pretty slow for attorneys and a lot of judges take August off, so its also a good time for me to take off.

I was previously with a firm for 11 years and was miserable for a long time so I resolved that it's time for me to enjoy life.
Smart choice.
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
Pele Good,Maradona Better, George Best.

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2018, 06:03:35 PM »
How much did it cost to get from Maui to Lanai and back? trying to decide if its a worthwhile day trip

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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2018, 06:07:02 PM »
The round trip ferry tickets to Lanai were $60.00 per person. The Jeep rental for the day was about $100.   
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Re: Hawaiian Family Adventures by PBaruch (July - August 2018)
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2018, 06:52:04 PM »
Awesome TR as usual!

Shame that IslandAir closed down.

Have you done Molokai and Niihau yet?

No desire to try out the GHK?
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.