January 2, 2009 – 2:44 pm

I had the opportunity to spend 2 weeks in Hawaii in December 2008.  We spent a few days on the island of Oahu, and the rest of the time on the Big Island of Hawaii.  We went during the rainy season, and spent a lot of time on the rainy side of Hawaii, so we got rained on a lot.  While we were getting wet from warm tropical rain, our home was getting pummelled by an ice storm, so I really can’t complain.

Island of Oahu
We were able to visit the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS MIssouri while staying on Oahu.  Many friends have visited the USS Arizona Memorial and told me how powerful it was.  They were not exaggerating.  The Park Service and the US Navy do an excellent job not only of marshaling large numbers of people through the memorial, but also of putting the memorial into context and allowing each person to have their own private experience.  

The USS Missouri exhibit is located such that the Mighty Mo is watching over the Arizona.  The staff at the Missouri are keen to point out that placing the two next to each other is a fitting way to symbolize the start and end of America’s part in World War II; the Arizona marking the start, and the Missouri marking the end where the enemy surrender was signed.  If you do visit the USS Missouri, I highly recommend the Explorer Tour.  It’s more expensive, but you get a small group guided tour of areas of the ship not accessible to the general public, from inside the Gun turrets down to the reduction gear from a steam engine to a screw.

Island of Hawaii

The big island of Hawaii is an incredible place.  With a varied and always changing landscape, it hosts most of the world’s climate types.  We started our day there by visiting the Farmer’s Market in Hilo.  Fresh papaya and bananas that we would eat for snacks the rest of the trip.

We spent most of our time inside the Volcano National Park.  Unfortunately, an erruption that started earlier in 2008 is still producing very toxic levels of Sulfur Dioxide, so there are some portions of the park that are proibited for your own safety.  This includes the long walk across the lava beds near the ocean where visitors used to be able to walk right up to the red hot lava.  Signs clearly indicate not to get much closer than a mile from that spot.   You can still see lava spewing in to the ocean at night, outside of the park at a site maintained by HI DOT.  Unfortunately for us, the night we went we had to leave a little early because the wind shifted and the plume of Hydrochloric Acid Mist and volcanic glass shards headed our way.  

Despite the rain, we managed a great hike through the Kilauea Iki crater. Feeling the heat of steam vents and scrambling over new earth that is less than 30 years old was exhilarating.

Kilauea Iki Trail, Volcano National Park, Hawaii at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

After visiting Kilaueau, we took a trip to the top of Mauna Kea (13,700+ ft.). The view from there at sunset is breathtaking. Or it might have been the thin air. Probably both.

We then headed over to the Kona side of the island, staying at a place called the Lucky Farm B&B, in Captain Cook, HI just south of Kona.  This is a fruiit, macadamia nut, and coffee farm that also runs a Bed and Breakfast.  My only advice:  Book now.  This place is fantastic.  As a coffee lover (and now a passionfruit lover) this was a perfect place to stay.  It’s also very convenient to two fantastic snorkeling sites and far enough out of the city of Kona to still be remote. I’ll have to write an additional post about Kona coffee.

As for the snorkeling, we went to “Place of Refuge / Two Step” and were blown away by the number and variety of fish and coral.  Then we took a trip via kayak to Captain Cook’s monument in Kealakekua Bay.  Also a spectacular experience.

I can’t wait to go back someday. 



  1. 5 Responses to “Hawaii”

  2. Looks like you had a great time! What a nice way to end 2008.

    By Mary on Jan 2, 2009

  3. So when are you going to send your poor old units?

    By Mom on Jan 3, 2009

  4. Can’t wait to read about Kona coffee!!!
    great pictures

    By Ely on Jan 7, 2009

  5. Great pictures of Hawaii. What a wonderful trip.

    By Jill on Jan 13, 2009

  6. Hawaii is such a beautiful place. I’ve been to Maui and Kauai and wished we had gone to Volcanoes National Park and the Big Island when we were there. If I go back, it is on the list.

    The snorkeling is breathtaking isn’t it? I was blown away by the beauty under the sea when I was there. Your photos are amazing. Sounds like a fabulous trip!

    By Kim on Jan 13, 2009

Post a Comment