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Hawaii - Part 1

We had an AMAZING trip to Hawaii. We spent a week on the Big Island, the largest and the southeastern-most of the Hawaiian islands. The island is divided into several districts and we stayed in Kailua-Kona, or “Kona”.

We were absolutely spoiled and stayed at Hilton Grand Vacations.

The resort was FABULOUS – 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, full kitchen, beautiful facilities, large pools and right next to a golf course.

Everything around the resort was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

They even had a cold plunge. I tried to convince Tim to do it, but we never got up the nerve. A brave person would have sat in the hot tub and then take a plunge in the freezing cold pool.

Oh, and did I mention we left this weather for beautiful 80 degree days? I’d laugh if it wasn’t so sad.

Day 1: Habuna Beach

On our first day, we headed to Habuna Beach to soak up some rays. It was a great beach, not too busy and the sand was nice and smooth.

We spent a lot of our first day making our vacation to-do list over cocktails and guacamole.

Best thing about our resort – a full kitchen and grill. Each couple took turns making dinner. It was so nice to have some healthy meals while one vacation.

Day 2: Day Trip to Hilo.

We took Saddle road to Hilo and along the way we saw so many different landscapes. One minutes we’re passing lava fields with small craters and the next we’re emerged in the jungle. We stopped into town and grabbed a couple pictures at the side of the road.

We grabbed lunch at Hilo Bay Cafe. Don’t let the outside of the building scare you. While it looks a little run down, the inside is contemporary and bright. The menu has a great variety of items. We loved what we ordered.

Next, we went to Rainbow Falls near downtown Hilo. Waianuenue (Rainbow Falls), has an 80-foot drop and is known for the rainbows that are formed in the surrounding mist.

Close to the falls lies an enchanted looking forest. I seriously felt like I was in Harry Potter.

The Big Island is built from five separate shield volcanoes that erupted somewhat sequentially, one overlapping the other. Mauna Loa and Kilauea are both active in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983.

The Volcano National Park has a lot of great things to see. We started our tour by visiting the Thurston Lava Tube. Here we walked through lush rain forest and explored a 500-year old lava tube.

We stopped and saw all the steam vents. There we looked out over Steaming Bluff and grabbed a couple of great photos.

We got some great views from the Halema’uma’u Overlook. Up top lies the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum and a breathtaking panoramic view of Kilauea Caldera, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The volcano changes hourly so you never know what kind of view you’ll get. We didn’t see a lot of lava erupting, instead just a bunch of smoke.

We made reservations for dinner at the Volcano House. The food was delicious and the restaurant offers great views overlooking the volcano. They even had volcano themed cocktails!

We’ll, that’s the first part of our trip. Stay tuned for more…


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