Monday, May 22, 2017

Home From Hawaii

View of Diamond Head from Puu Ulalakaa Park
We've been home for 6 days from our 2 week trip to Hawaii. Sunday was the first day we woke up and were not still exhausted. It was a fabulous 13 days, but the 14th day, the travel home day, was a nightmare and left us the most exhausted we've ever felt.
View from Makapu'u Point (I think)
I was never much interested in traveling to Hawaii. It was where, it seemed for a while, everyone went for their honeymoon, ugh. We don't swim, suntan, surf, paddleboard, kayak, hike, fish - what would we do? Turns out there is plenty for us to enjoy - we ended up feeling like we wanted an additional 1-2 days in each place.
Walking along Waikiki Beach
We started off our trip in Honolulu. We stayed in Waikiki at Hilton Hawaiian Village. I think this was an excellent location. We had a lovely room view, our own private balcony, and we were right on the beach/the paved walkway along the beach. On the other hand, it took a very long time to check in, to check out, to get an elevator going down, and to get the car from the valet. It seemed as if the lobby was in perpetual chaos. And for the last 3 nights there were four loud, inconsiderate 20-somethings in the adjoining room (those doors to join 2 rooms do not keep out noise; we could hear everything).
La'ie Point
Here's what we did/saw on Oahu:
Sunset, Waikiki Beach
 After a week, we flew to Kona and drove via Saddle Road to Hilo where we spent 3 days seeing:

View from our room in Hilo (Grand Naniloa Doubletree)

Ahalanui Park
Next we drove along the Hamakua Heritage Corridor to get to our hotel on the Kohala Coast. Along the way we stopped at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and we tried to see Kahuna & Akaka Falls but the falls are not wheelchair accessible and SP didn't want to leave me sitting in the hot sun while he hiked it.
Onomea Falls
Our first full day in Kona we took a helicopter tour of the entire island with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. It was amazing, even if I did have to take some of airplane meds to handle the helicopter ride! After the helicopter tour, we drove around the northwest/Kohala area.
Lava and steam from Halema'uma'u crater, seen from Jaggar Museum & Overlook
The next day was our final day in Hawaii. We drove south to Kona, through town, all the way down to Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. The park is not wheelchair accessible. I sat in a pavilion and listened to a park ranger presentation while SP toured the park. He got super sweaty and hot while I stayed relatively cool! After that, we drove through coffee country, and the rain, and it rained all the way back to the hotel so we didn't stop anywhere else. When I say it rained, I mean it really poured. Neither of us wanted to stop to pop into a shop or coffee tour. The pier in Kona was even closed off.
Sunset view during dinner at Kamuela Provision Company
The next day was the nightmare trip home, which I'll write about later.

It was an amazing trip and I'm so glad I finally changed my mind about traveling to Hawaii.

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