Tuesday morning we set our alarms for an early trip to the airport ready for our adventure. I took over 850 pictures of our trip. You might be glad to know I have whittled them down to 33 to share with you 🙂
We left the cold behind and headed West, over the Rockies, and into Oakland for a brief stop, just long enough to get some lunch and buy dinner and board another flight… West again. The weather co-operated and we got a clearer view of the bay than last December!It was dark when we landed in Honolulu so we had to wait until morning to see the view from our hotel balcony… just about an ocean view?Let’s take a closer look at the water.I knew that I wasn’t going to go right into the water but we did walk along the beach to Waikiki Aquarium. We found Nemo and his friends.A view of Diamond Head before we walked back into town.We stopped along the way for a lunch with a view. Is it OK to have fish tacos after a morning at the Aquarium? (asking for a friend)By a happy coincidence my friend Joan and her husband were in town and they had a car. We were up bright and early on Thursday for the drive to Kailua Beach Park where we watched the sun rise.The day included a visit to the Byodo-In Temple in Ahuimana, Paddling in the ocean at Kualoa Regional Park,Drinks and dessert at the Turtle Bay Resort,Where we saw a whale (can you see it?)And a stop in Pupukea.We saw a lot in eight hours!
Back in time to catch the sunset.That was Thursday. We had a slower day on Friday but it did include lunch at the beach bar of the Sheraton hotel. These sand lizards caught my eye in the reception area.The adventure continued on Saturday with another early alarm call, this time for a flight to Big Island. The sun had just risen before we took off over the city.I took far too many cloud pictures on the short flight!A very different shore line awaited us as we flew into Hilo airport.We picked up a rental car and headed inland to Volcanoes National Park. A ranger gave a short orientation and we headed off to see Kīlauea. We could see the steam rising as we approached.But there was more. A lava fountain!!The Ohi`a Lehua trees attracted my attention. Read about them here.We drove down through the park towards the coast a couple of miles. The flora there was classed as rainforest with giant ferns and lush greenery. We followed the path to the lava tubes. The wonders of iPhone photography made the tube a lot brighter and less creepy than it actually was.Onwards around the island! We stopped at Punalu’u Bake Shop (the southernmost bakery in the USA) for lunch and then headed North up the coast.
Lava flows at Captain Cook…And back to Hilo across the Saddle where none of my pictures do justice to the scenery so I will keep them to myself.
We did briefly spot the summit of Mauna Loa through the clouds. There was snow at 13000 feet.
Kamehameha in a park in Hilo.And back to the airport. 220 miles round trip!
And that’s where we met Lovi. We were well on our way to see the volcanoes when I realized I had left my retainer on the airplane. I called the Southwest number and was advised to fill out a form for lost and found which I did… but just suppose someone had found the retainer before the plane had left Hilo and it was still there? Lovi was working in the luggage drop off area where I explained my sad tale of woe. She didn’t need asking twice. We visited the lost and found office… no joy, but that didn’t deter her! I don’t know how many calls she made around the airport AND SHE FOUND THE RETAINER!!So no embarrassing explanations to the orthodontist needed. Thanks to Lovi and all the other people who found and cared for my retainer last Saturday!!
A wonderful day out.
We took it easy on Sunday. Brunch (with cocktails!) at 11.30 and another wander along the beach.One last day. Steve had a four hour meeting in the morning and I did some research. I found a downloadable walking tour around the older buildings in town. We took an Uber to the Iolani Palace (it’s closed on Monday).Photo op at the King Kamehaneha Statue and Ali’iolani Hale, home of the State Supreme Court (and Hawaii Five-0 in the TV series!)
Lots more walking. Here’s the Aloha Tower at the harbor.We managed close to five miles by the time we stopped for lunch… We took an Uber back to the hotel for a brief sit down and to pack our bags before a last walk to watch the sun set and get ice-cream!And then all that was left was the trip home. The sun was setting as we crossed the California coast.The plane stopped in Vegas just long enough to let people off and then reload for the final leg to Chicago.
It was our first trip to Hawaii. It did not disappoint! I do hope it won’t be our last.
(Did I say have another 800 pictures on my computer?)