Hawai'i

Mar. 16th, 2008 10:20 am
elvendoll: (big world)
[personal profile] elvendoll
So I just culled my Hawai'i pictures to 90, so it's a good time to post about the trip.

Hawai'i was just amazing, and all those things people said it would be.
We spent the first two days at a B&B near Volcano National Park and being, driving and hiking around the lava was a great way to make the body and brain realize that I'm far from home. The colors and textures were just amazing. The pictures will show it better then I can describe it, but the texture of the lava, the colors of it, and the way the lava overtook the vegetation and the way the vegetation was taking the land back were all awe-inspiring.
After 2 days there, I felt like I could spend the rest of the week there as well. [livejournal.com profile] sol3 and I were so happy to rediscover how travel-compatible we are - it's more important to both of us to do things without a rush, and let each thing take it's time - so we did less hikes, but savored each one. The three notable ones that we did were up to a summit that let us see some of the older craters and the steam coming off of Pu'u Po'o as it is spewing lava, a hike down into Kiluea Iki, where we got to roam around what was a lava lake just 50 years ago, a walk through a lava tube, and a drive and small hike to an overlook of the coast from within the park.

From there, we drove to the south of the island and stayed at a B&B that's within 5 miles of the southern tip. On the ride there, we pulled over at a scenic overlook, and spotted our first whale plumes off the coast. Whales!
We checked in, lounged for a little bit, and realized we need to hop in the car and go if we're going to catch the sunset at South Point. That sunset was totally a highlight of the trip for me - sitting on the edge of cliffs, with just a little bit of land/rocks below, and then just the Pacific and the setting sun. *swoon*

The next day, after an absolutely amazing breakfast and some logistical issues, we hiked to the green sand beach. It was a pretty great hike, and the beach at the end was absolutely amazing. [livejournal.com profile] sol3 and I brought books, but barely touched them because it was just so wonderful there that staring at the sea and beach and rocks was enough. And on the hike back we saw a lot more whales splashing off in the distance - and it looks like I caught a couple of not-terrible shots of them.

The day after, we went to one of the black sand beaches for some contrast, and hung out there looking at sea turtles swimming just offshore, sticking their heads & fins out of the water every once in a while. Then, we drove over to Kona Village Resort to begin our four days of rest - and were very amused to see several turtles just chilling on the beach there.

Kona Village was exactly what my mental picture of an ideal/paradise resort has always been - great beach, palm trees, amazingly friendly people (both staff and other guests), amazing food and total relaxation.
At Kona Village, I read 3 books, snorkeled (with turtles! with turtles that were being cleaned by bright yellow fish!) and really relaxed like I haven't in years - enough so that on day 4, I was ready for more adventure : )

The adventure we got, though, was a bit different then expected - checking in at the airport to head home, I made a joke about wanting to stay longer and asked if they were looking for volunteers to get bumped from the flight. Turns out they did, and put us up in the Kailua Sheraton for a night with tickets for a Sunday flight home and $400 vouchers (to go back to Hawai'i : ) ). It was great to get an extra day, extra snorkeling and affirmation that what we paid for Kona Village was totally worth it, as it was easily twice as nice (if not more!) of an experience as staying at the Sheraton.

And the pictures are here
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