Hawai’i - The Big Island Adventure
The Plan and Getting Here are the first parts in this series. Our 'first day’ in Hawai'i we landed around 4pm, grabbed a rental car, and arrived at the hotel around 5pm. The Hilton Waikoloa Village is 62 Oceanfront Acres: Since it is so big, they have a tram to make getting around a bit easier! Thankfully they did, since our room was the furthest from the check-in desk. It took about 15 minutes to get to our room on the tram, then we quickly unpacked a few things, and then enjoyed a Mexican Restaurant meal (fresh fish tacos!) since it was right ‘in’ our building, and then just relaxed out on our room’s balcony as the sun set. Since it was such a long day (14 hours travel, 4 hour time difference, way too much sitting) it was really hard on my body and was in a lot of pain (here’s why). I didn’t get to sleep at all until 1am local (5am at home), because my body doesn’t sleep on the pain prescription they gave me and I took it too late to have a chance of being slightly comfortable as I waited for them to kick in. Lame.
(I'm numbering the days in which I woke up in Hawai'i, since I hardly count the travel day as Day 1 because it was mostly on an airplane. The days we travelled to a different island will stay in sequence, instead of starting over in numerical order.)
Day 1 was relaxing at the resort, we rented an ocean front cabana and spent the whole day (9am-5pm!) soaking up the sun, ocean, and breeze. 🏝 It didn’t cost that much at all, and our hostess just kept our water filled and chatted here and there with us. My body, mind, and spirit really needed that.
Day 2 we had breakfast at the buffet, (they made me gluten free pancakes upon request!), did a little snorkeling in the lagoon on property, if you swim to the left you'll go into the channel and end up in the ocean. We hung out here for a few hours, and then went for a road trip up the North West coast, it was pretty and fun to see the little towns. But it took so long, and I was not prepared for that. When we got back I was in a lot of pain after such an adventurous day, the rental car we had was very uncomfortable so I was practically crying and very crabby. Thankfully the security office had wheel chairs to borrow, and were more than amazing helping me get to a bathroom since our hotel room was 1 mile away (this resort is over 50 acres of property) and boyfriend was parking the car. We were fortunate to be able to swap that car for a JEEP Wrangler, at no additional cost to us, since the resort had a rental shop on site! After the bathroom break, the security guy decided the wheel chair wasn’t going to work out entirely (a mile walk to the room!) so he went and grabbed a golf cart to drive me to the building and then wheel chair it up to the room. Well, this property was built with employee tunnels underground and we drove SO FAST through those tunnels,🏁 it was awesome.
Day 3 we wandered around the resort as much as I was able, and just really enjoyed the environment. We then hung out watching movies in our room, with the patio door open enjoying the tropical breeze, and I did some reading out on the patio for a few hours, as well.
Day 4 we checked out of the resort (but not before we bought $100 in Kona coffee, the only American grown coffee, all for our relatives!) and made our way to Hilo (on the East side of the island). On our way, we drove up Mauna Kea 🏔and checked out the space telescopes and the amazing view from almost 14,000 feet! This drive requires 4x4 if you plan to make it to the top, as well as cold weather clothing because it’s about 30 degrees Fahrenheit year round due to the elevation. It was so breath taking, but the drive down made me a little sick since I’m afraid of heights and it was a winding road. The fresh and warm air at the bottom as we finished our drive into Hilo helped ease my stomach and my mind.
Day 5 we drove out to Mount Kileaua🌋, and since this side of the Island is technically a rain forest it was humid and rainy. Since the clouds were so low, we weren’t able to see anything spectacular at the caldera of the volcano, but since we had the whole day we drove up and down every road we found in this National Park and explored on foot as much as my body allowed. We didn’t do the 1.25 mile (one-way) walk out to see the lava flow, but we are definitely going back (hopefully soon) and it’s on the list of MUST DO. Plan a FULL DAY here, do not skimp! We were also in the rainy ‘season’ and happened to be a record rainfall as we were there. A local of many years said he’d never seen the river swell that much, ever.
Day 6 it rained 🌦the whole day, but we checked out a few natural wonders near our AirBnB and hung out. For dinner I wanted some kind of quinoa bowl, so we ordered take-out from Big Island Booch, I had the ROASTED VEGGIE BOWL and it was AMAZING! We spent a few hours when planning the trip looking for the right AirBnB and we were RIGHT on the edge of a river that had cascading falls. WAY better than a hotel could offer. Here's where we stayed: Reed's Island - at half the price!
(This is my favorite Island that we visited, it’s less touristy and more adventure!)
Day 7 began with an EARLY flight to Maui (early as in it’s 10am back home, HAHA), and saw a rainbow as we were taxiing. 🛫