We returned home yesterday from a 10-day family trip to the big island of Hawaii. We spent the first part of the vacation on the leeward side of the island (the Kona area). You can read about some of our Kona adventures here. The second part of our trip was spent on the windward side of the island (the Hilo area). What a contrast!
First of all, travelling along the Saddle Road which traverses the island revealed multiple diverse micro-climates, topographies, and lava formations. The drive alone was something else. We stopped at the Kaumana caves, a non-commercialized but absolutely amazing lava tube we had all to ourselves. We spelunked about a half mile into the tube before I made the command decision to turn around, much to the chagrin of Cade and Ella. It was awesome and just a little creepy to be that deep into the tube and all on our own. It’s something I think we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives.
We stopped at the farmer’s market in Hilo where Yan introduced Cade and Ella to authentic Hawaiian Spam musubi. They couldn’t eat enough of it! I opted for “real” Hawaiian barbecue and fresh made macaroons. Then it was up to Volcanoes National Park to visit Kilauea – not just the most active volcano in Hawaii, but the most active in the world. We were mesmerized and stayed at the rim until after nightfall experiencing the presence of Pele and feeling awe at her power much like I imagine the ancient Hawaiians did. We spent the night in the park and the next day exploring the steam vents, visitor center, and old rim road (which is now partially swallowed by the crater).
The final leg of our trip was spent at The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls, a bed and breakfast smack dab in the middle of quintessential paradise. Here we picked, cracked and ate countless raw macadamia nuts, hiked and explored the surrounding rain forest, and kayaked and swam in what has to be one of most beautiful waterfall pools anywhere in the world. It was relaxing and rejuvenating. The “Aloha spirit” filled us. We tuned into our mana. And we returned home better for our experiences over the last ten days.
Mahalo, again Hawaii.