Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So Where has Closeacademy been?

We just spent 14 wonderful days in Hawai'i. On September 25th we flew to the Big Island of Hawai'i and stayed with a wonderful woman in Kailua-Kona which is on the west side of the island. Her house was at 1200 feet above sea level which was absolute perfect weather. There was no need for heat or air conditioning.

So what did we do?

On Wednesday we went to Costco to stock up on supplies and went to Snorkel-Bob's to buy snorkel gear for my husband and rent snorkel boards for our girls. We then went to a highly recommended beach and found it to have too rough of surf so we took a drive up to a little area called Waikoloa. It was windy up there.

On Thursday, we went to a wonderful beach in the heart of Kailua called King Kamehameha beach or King K beach. The surf was as gentle as could be but the water is cold because it is spring fed. We discovered some tide pools there and found small black crabs, hermit crabs, schools of fish and a needle fish. We walked along the sea wall to find lunch and walked past the palace which is closed most of the time due to heavy damage from the earth quake last year.

On Friday, we tried to take the girls to the best snorkeling beach in all of Hawai'i called Kahalu'u beach. But the girls were afraid of the rough surf and it was rather crowded there so we went back to King K.

On Saturday, we drove down to the southern most spot in the United States--South Point, Hawai'i. This is the spot that the Polynesians first landed and a popular fishing spot. It is very windy down there and it is quite a drop from the black lava cliffs into the rough sea waiting to take you to Antarctica. We also visited the southern most city in the United States--Na'alehu. We had shaved ice at the farmers market and sandwiches at the bakery before heading over to Punalu'u to see the black sand beach and the turtles.

We finished off the day with a 50th Birthday Luau for a friend of the woman we stayed with. I have to say that the food was the best luau food (we had been to the Hyatt on Maui). The impromptu hula was beautiful as well. We really were made to feel welcome.

On Sunday, We spent the day at King K beach again and our girls made friends with two little girls vacationing from the other side of the island. They had a wonderful time together and the pictures we took came out beautifully.

The next few days we spent a lot of time at King K beach even though we tried various other spots to see if the girls would like them but they liked this beach the best and made a mix of friends. Some friends were from the cruise ships, others from the hotels but quite a few of them were local. It happened that it was fall break for the schools on the Big Island.

We did take Tuesday to go to the place of refuge and found it to be beautiful and interesting. A Honu (turtle) actually swam up to us and poked its head out of the water to see us. My oldest liked finding the numbers for the displays and then I would read the guide to what we were seeing.

On that Friday we woke up and decided to drive to Hilo on the east side of the Island. So we took the Mamalahoa Highway north to Waimea. On the way to Waimea there is a valley where the wind blows strong over the lava and there are some really neat cinder cones. Waimea was really nice but it is colder and rainier up there.

From Waimea we drove down the Hamakua coast. You would think that this would be an awful drive along steep windy roads but it was actually quite pleasant with only a few scary places. The views of the ocean were awe-inspiring. And the waterfalls not to be missed. We loved Akaka falls. It truly was such a long, clear waterfall and the bontanicals that grew along the walk were gorgeous. There was one small waterfall that had a breeze coming off it across ginger and it smelled like beauty. I could have stayed in that one spot all day long.

Hilo is a wonderful old style Hawai'ian town. It is quite busy with traffic compared to the other places we went on the island and full of narrow streets and seaside houses. We drove along Banyan drive and had lunch at a mixed plate place. I love mixed plate and need to learn how to make it at home.

From there we drove south into Puna the rain forest/jungle part of the island. Then we retraced our route and drove home. It was quite a day and we got to see some of the beautiful parts of the island.

On Saturday, we went up to a little town called Hawi where they were holding the Kohala county fair. It was lots of fun. There was hula, food booths, craft booths and lots of stuff for kids. The girls loved the little train and the petting zoo that featured rabbits as the main attraction. We also got to decorate a nice cloth book bag that says We love Kohala with a picture of the banyan tree on it where the fair was held.

Sunday was our last day at the beach and Monday we spent picking up last minute gifts to bring home. Tuesday was the day that we left but before we headed for the airport we went and visited Mountain Thunder Coffee Farm which has been featured on "Dirty Jobs." The woman we stayed with sold her coffee beans there. My husband said that the coffee was like cappuccino.

Now we are home and we be starting school back up next week.


LisaWA said...

I know I’m not supposed to be an envious person.... but OH how I would love to go to Hawaii with my family!!!!! Yes, I would!

What great memories you made.... and how nice of your friend to let you stay with her! Makes it more affordable.....

Welcome home.... are you going to post a few pictures???? *Ü*


CloseAcademy said...

We actually rented a studio above a garage but the woman we rented from became a good friend.

The trip was wonderful and well worth it.

I may post pictures once I start loading them up.

Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, pictures!! : )

Diane said...

I can't wait to see pictures. We are going to Hawaii in 2009, we are so excited! Great week.

CloseAcademy said...

Where are you going in Hawai'i? I just got the pictures uploaded to my computer so I will try to add some this next week.

Thanks for stopping by Dawne & Diane.


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