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My First Trip Report of My First Trip to Hawaii (The Big Island)

My First Trip Report of My First Trip to Hawaii (The Big Island)

Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 12:35 PM
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My First Trip Report of My First Trip to Hawaii (The Big Island)

Travelers included myself, husband, and husbandís family plus aunts and uncles and friends. Purpose of trip was for Husbandís brotherís wedding. Thirty-eight people from Montana flew to BI to attend.

Day 1:

Our day started at 4:30am with a few tears -- we left our daughter with my parents for the week, and even though we were very excited to visit Hawaii, it was difficult to leave our baby.

However, tears quickly dissipated once we were at the airport and realized that we had a week free of diapers, bottles, baby food, and temper tantrums; plus, weíd be in Hawaii!

We loved landing in Kona. The lava fields were different than anything we had seen before, the ocean was right there, and we loved the open air airport. Husbandís parents, aunt and uncle and cousin had flown in a few days earlier and met us at the airport with leis and an impromptu hula dance complete with coconut bras.

We rented an SUV from Alamo. Several people on the board have complained about Alamo, but we had no problems.

Condo: We stayed at the Outrigger Kanaloa,a couple miles south of Kailua-Kona. We rented two condos each with two bedrooms and two bathrooms (one for Husband and myself and Husbandís brother and his wife and the other for Husbandís parents and Husbandís sister and her husband). The rest of the wedding party stayed in Kohala.

One condo had been recently updated. Ours was a little dated and worn, but we did have an ocean view from our bedroom lanai. The condo complex has three pools, one overlooking the ocean. Air conditioning costs an extra $20/day, but each bedroom has a ceiling fan and we didnít need to use the air conditioning. Housekeeping was less than thorough Ė some days we had a bath mat, some days we didnít. Some days the garbage would be emptied but they would forget to take it with them and would leave it by the stairs. Once they left garbage on top of the bedroom dresser. All minor annoyances as overall the condo was great.

We ate a late dinner at the Kona Brewing Company. The pizza was great and the beer was fantastic.

Then we headed back to the condo and fell asleep to the sound of birds and the ocean.

*to be continued
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 01:12 PM
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Hello kureiff - very good start to your report. I can just picture the scene at the airport pickup, with the coconut bras and all LOL!

We rented a place once (England) where it was a "pay-as-you-go" heating and A/C system. You put quarters (or their equivalent) into this little parking meter like gizmo, and it worked fine, except the time during a shower when the hot water was gone - brrr!

Keep it coming. I look forward to reading more about the wonderful islands.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 01:23 PM
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Day 2

After tossing and turning for an hour we gave up trying to sleep at 5:30 am. We made some Kona coffee and watched the sunrise from our bedroom lanai. Waking up in Hawaii sure beats waking up at home!

After breakfast we made plans with the family to go to Mauna Kea beach. The beach was beautiful and we had fun playing in the water. However, MIL and FIL never made it.

Apparently, MIL and FIL didn't understand our directions: "Turn at this mile marker at the sign that says Mauna Kea Hotel."

We met up with them later at Hapuna Beach. (I guess the sign for Hapuna beach was bigger and more visible) We loved Hapuna Beach! Beautiful clear water, white sand, and palm trees.

Husband and I headed to the Waikoloa resort area and checked out some of the hotels. Then we went back to Kona for some lunch.

We had lunch at Quinn's Almost By the Sea. We shared a cajun ono fish sandwich and fried zucchini. The fish sandwich was a little dry but the zucchini was good.

We walked around Alli'i drive for an hour and then headed back to the condo to get ready for dinner.

Husband and I had made dinner reservations at the Keei Cafe a couple of weeks before our trip. The rest of the family was going to Kohala to have dinner with BIL, fiance, and fiance's family. We felt bad missing the family dinner, but really enjoyed our dinner at the Keei Cafe.

We had ono and seared ahi tuna, eggplant rolls, salads, and dessert. The food was great, but the service was slow e.g. appetizers came before wine, no water refills, etc. There was one server for the restuarant; he did a good job but he just couldn't keep up with all of the tables.

Dinner and drinks came to $70 which we felt was an incredible value given the quality of the food. I wish we would have had time to eat there again.

Then back home to bed. So much for staying up and partying; we were asleep by 10:30 every night!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 03:24 PM
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Day 3

Awake again at 6am! After coffee and a quick phone call to check on our daughter (who who shook her head "NO" when asked if she wanted to talk to us), we decided to check out the cinnamon rolls at Island Lava Java.

We had read in our guidebook that the cinnamon rolls at Island Lava Java were big and delicious, and I think my husband had been looking forward to the cinnamon rolls more than almost anything else in Hawaii since we had bought the guidebook in November. He wasn't disappointed, the rolls are big with cream cheese frosting and carmel.

On our way back to the condo to meet up with the family we drove by White Sands (or is it Magic Sands?) Beach. The waves were pounding and all of these little kids were boogie boarding, so we decided to stop and watch them. These kids are talented and so much fun to watch! Husband grabbed our boogie board and tried it, too. I made him leave after a few rides so I could get my suit and try boogie boarding, too.

We rounded up the family and headed back to the White Sands Beach and boogie boarded for a couple of hours. Wow! So much fun! And so much sand --I didn't know you could accumulate that much sand in your ears, hair, suit! The waves can really pound you at this beach (one knocked me head first into the sand and rolled me into a backwards summersault and I still have sand in my ears), but what a ride!

Next we headed down the road a mile or so for snorkeling at Kahalu (sp) Beach. I had never snorkeled before and was a little nervous, but it was great. We saw a couple of sea turtles and hundreds of fish.

We went to the Farmers Market for fruit and brought some back to the condo for an afternoon snack with wine and beer.

Dinner was up in Kohala. We barbecued at the Fairway Villas after the wedding rehearsal. It was (sort of) nice to meet up with friends and the bride and groom. The bride's parents were stressed and difficult at the rehearsal, the bride cried, the dinner was rained out. But, hey, we were in Hawaii so no worries!

Back to Kona and to bed.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Day 4

Another sunrise and coffee on the lanai and then we were off to White Sands Beach for more boogie boarding. We loved being at the beach at 6:30 and riding the waves.

When we felt like we had accumulated enough sand in our suits we headed back to Island Lava Java for cinnamon rolls and coffee.

Why can't home be like Hawaii (sunrise, swimming, boogie boarding, second breakfast with giant cinnamon rolls and good coffee)??

After breakfast we changed into sand free swimming suits and headed to the Place of Refuge. On the way we noticed an antique store that sold ice cream; although, the ice cream was not antique. Mmmm . . . what delicious ice cream. After trying two different flavors we made it a point to stop wherever Tropical Dreams ice cream was sold and try other flavors. I am happy to report that of the several flavors we tried, none were bad. We are also willing to continue our research if someone will pay for our trip or if you would prefer to ship the ice cream directly to us, that will work, too.

The Place of Refuge is definately worth exploring. We did the walking tour and enjoyed it very much. After the tour we walked over to "Two-Step" and snorkeled.

We preferred Two Step to Kahalu Beach for snorkelling as the coral was more interesting. It was also less crowded, and I thought it was much easier to get in the water at Two Step. We snorkeled for an hour or so and then had to leave to get ready for the wedding.

The wedding was held at the Waikoloa Marriott near the A-bay. The setting was beautiful and the weather was hot! The wedding went very well and the bride was beautiful. My BIL and new SIL were/are very happy!

We attended the luau at the Marriott after the wedding. We had four tables near the front that were reserved for our party. The open bar was welcome after baking in the hot sun. The food was fine and the show was good.

My husband and I haven't attended any other luaus, so I can't compare. This one was nice, but maybe luaus aren't really our thing. It was $75/person, and we would have been much happier spending $150 on a nice dinner in a quiet restuarant. But now we've been to a luau and we don't have to wonder whether we should ever attend another one. Plus, the mai-tai's were good.

And so ends another day in paradise and my BIL and new SIL live happily ever after.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 03:56 PM
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Day 5

We've fallen into a routine: up at 6, boogie boarding at 6:30, breakfast at Island Lava Java at 8:30. What a routine!

Husband and I headed back to Two Step to snorkel again. It was more crowded and we saw less fish, but still very cool.

We were back at the condo before lunch to pick up my MIL and FIL for a trip to Volcanoes National Park. We picked up more film at WalMart and a picnic supper at Safeway and then headed south.

We stopped for ice cream again; two new flavors and both still delicious. We also stopped at South Point and walked around. We planned to hike to the Green Sand Beach but we were running out of time and decided to save it for our next trip.

We arrived at Volcanoes Nat'l Part at 5 pm and hurried down to the Chain of Craters road. We were walking by 6pm.

We really enjoyed walking over the lava. It looks different than anything we had ever seen, but the hiking is very similar to a lot of the hiking we do at home. We made it to where the lava was flowing just as it was getting dark.

It was amazing. The lava exploded a few times sending sparks and lava into the air. Truly spectacular!

to be cont.



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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 03:57 PM
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"fell asleep to the sound of birds and the ocean" Hi kureiff--that statement brought back fond memories of my first trip to Hawaii--thank you for that

Great trip report--makes me glad I cancelled my solo day trip to the BI in January so that one day I could explore it further with the husband. I agree with you on the luau--once is enough. You must be happy to be home again with your daughter.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2005, 10:24 AM
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Day 5 (continued)

After watching the lava explode and flow into the sea, we started back. Hiking lava at night is a challenge; we were glad to have two headlamps and a flashlight. There is no trail so we figured we probably added a mile to the walk as we zigged and zagged our way back to the car.

We had a clear night and the stars were just as impressive as the lava -- beautiful. Not so beautiful were the cockroaches that scurried across the road. It was the first time I had ever seen a cockroach -- once is enough!

The drive back to Kona was long. We had gotten so used to going to bed at 10 and so to leave the lava fields at 10 for a 2.5 hour drive was grueling. Plus we hit an unidentified animal on the way home. We still not sure what it was: taller than a mongoose, faster than a rabbit. Hmmm....

Next time we'll stay in Hilo for two days so that we can explore the rest of the park. We just didn't have enough time this trip because of the wedding.

We rolled in Kona at 12:30 am glad to be home. If you have the option of staying in Hilo, I'd do it.
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Old Jun 4th, 2005, 02:52 PM
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Great trip report! Thanks for posting -I'm planning a similar trip for the BI in 3 weeks. Planning to hit up many of the same spots too. How was parking at Mauna Kea Beach and Hapuna Beach? A few of the books I've read say that it can be difficult unless you get there very early...though early to me probably means something different to you! Thanks!
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 06:23 PM
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WendyWhy: We got to Mauna Kea Beach at 9 am. We were the 19th car admitted to the parking lot (the hotel allows 30 cars at a time).

Parking at Hapuna Beach isn't a problem. It's a state park so there are several places to park.

We were the most excited to see Mauna Kea beach, but we actually ended up preferring Hapuna Beach to Mauna Kea. The waves were higher and better for boogie boarding at Hapuna.

Have fun! We're excited to go back . . . someday!
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 08:37 AM
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Our last day in Hawaii (or the day we lost both our drivers licenses, two credit cards and $40)

We woke up very early and headed to White Sands to boogie board one more time. And then we went directly to Kahalu to snorkel one last time. We also went back to Island Lava Java for one last cinnamon roll.

After showering and packing we dropped our luggage off at a friend's apartment and then drove north to Waimea.

The drive to Waimea was beautiful. We surprised to see cactus growing along the road.

In Waimea we had lunch at Daniel Thieabaut (sp). The restaurant is in an old general store. We had a great lunch: fish (ono) and chips, seared ahi tuna nicoise salad, strawberry daquairi, brownie topped with Tropical Dreams tahitian vanilla ice cream. Lunch was delicious and cost about $45.

After lunch we drove north to Polou (sp? I don't have my guide book) Valley lookout. This was a great drive! We could see Maui, the valley was beautiful, and we enjoyed a little bit of the rainforest. This was our favorite drive of the trip.

We then headed back towards Kohala and decided that even though it might mean riding home on the airplane full of sand and saltwater, we had to stop at Hapuna Beach. We were already running a little late to get back to Kona, shower, fill the car up with gas, and get to the airport. But how could we leave Hawaii and not stop one last time at the beach?

So we hurriedly jumped out of the car and grabbed the boogie board. My husband had been keeping our i.d.'s, two credit cards and about $40 in cash in a waterproof packet that fit into a zippered pocket in his swimming trunks.

The waves were big and we both had a couple of great rides on the boogie board before running back to the car and heading to Kona all the while worrying about how late we were running.

When we reached Kona I asked Husband to hand me my i.d. Husband reaches into his pocket and there is no i.d. Apparently, he forgot to zip the pocket and our i.d.'s, credit cards, and some cash probably floated out to sea while we were boogie boarding.

(to be cont.)

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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 10:53 AM
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We called the police and were told that they would send an officer to our friend's apartment to write up a report. We were concerned about how much time this would take as we still needed to return the boogie board, get gas in the car, and get to the airport, but we were assured that an officer would be there shortly.

The officer never showed and after a couple more calls to the police station we decided it would be more efficient just to go to the station. We dropped the board off on the way and hurried to the station where we waited another 15 nerve racking minutes for an officer to do the report. In the meantime we cancelled our credit cards and worried about missing our plane.

We made it to the airport with a few minutes to spare, dropped off the rental car and proceeded through security. We went through additional security due to lack of picture identification. It was my first experience being patted down! The people at airport security were very nice and understanding. What a relief to make our plane!

Husband and I congratulated ourselves on not yelling at one another while worried about missing our plane. I guess we don't have to worry about being an ugly and argumentative couple on the Amazing Race!

We arrived back in Montana in the middle of a snow and sleet storm. It was certainly depressing after Hawaii; however, a fierce, tight hug from our 14 month old daughter more than made up for the snow!

This forum was an incredible resource for us in planning this trip. We learned so much reading other trip reports and from the responses we received to our questions. Thank you all so much!

And now on to planning the next trip . . . Paris? Charleston? Both? Any suggestions?
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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Great trip report! DH and I are not really "beach people" but your report almost makes me want to plan a trip to Hawaii!

By the way...my vote would be for Paris!

Tracy
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Old Jun 7th, 2005, 09:04 AM
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Thanks Tracy! My husband and I weren't sure we were beach people either. We enjoyed boogie boarding and snorkeling and then were ready for the next adventure. The nice thing about the BI is that there are a lot of adventures!
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