We spent a week on Oahu (which is where Honolulu is located... I knew nothing of Hawaiian geography before this trip), and then came to The Big Island (aka Hawaii) last Sunday. Thursday was our final day there, and it was also the last day of 2009.
I've been trying to think of what to write and I think the most interesting thing would be to just say what we've been doing in Kona, as it has all been quite interesting. The whole family is here and there have been laughs, yells, and everything in between as usually happens when families reunite.
So the first day we were here was Monday and I was ready for vacation to be over. After being away from home for a week or so, I think vacation fatigue is pretty common. Anyway I didn't feel like doing much, so it's good that we decided to climb a mountain this day. We drove a little ways to Pu'u Wa'awa'a and there's no way we'd know about this place, except it was in the guide book. The trail is located on a working ranch and we had to open and close a gate we we drove to a little place to park the car and sign in. We didn't see anyone for the 4 hours we were at the mountain. It was about 45minutes to walk up a steep paved road to the place the trail to the top started. We couldn't really find the trail, so we just walked up the steepest part and figured the trail was probably about as difficult. Actually not. But I'm glad we went up the way we did. It was foggy at the top and we couldn't see the view, but we read all about it in the guidebook as we stood there. I got a lot of cool shots of trees through the fog and the hike was one of my favorite things we did in Hawaii.
Tuesday we took a boat to go snorkeling in the place where Captain Cook was killed, Kealakekua Bay. I learned a lot of strange history this day that I won't get into here. But if you ask, I will tell. And I learned that while Great Britain ultimately rejected Hawaii's petition for colonyhood, they do still own the ground surrounding the monument dedicated to Capt. Cook. Snorkeling really reminded me of my long lost life in the Philippines. I really need to go back there this year.
Wednesday was local agriculture day. We started the morning with a cup of 100% Kona coffee high atop the island at the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation. We toured processing the facilities and bought enough coffee to last the winter. Hopefully this will cure others in my household from making added flavor coffees in the morning... We took a minute to admire the view and take pictures. Then we went to lunch at the Kona Brewing Co. I had the Waimei Wheat and it was quite good- very light with hints of tropical fruit. We had a brief stop over at the University of the Nations to take a look around. My parents and I have both known people associated with YWAM over the years.
And Thursday was spa day. I enjoyed the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage and hair oil treatment, once reserved only for royalty. That evening was New Years Eve and we had dinner at the hotel buffet and played games in the room, watching the ball drop 5 times before the new year reached us.
So, from my vast experience (2 weeks) of travels in the Hawaiian Islands, I would recommend you jet over to Kona :-) And thus concluded end of 2009 and the Christmas in Hawaii Chronicles. Peace.