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…Aloha Hawaii. It’s rare for my family to veto me when it comes to travel locations but half way into my Tour of France planning, I got the word that neither my husband nor my daughter wanted to spend their vacation on an extended road trip. They both preferred two weeks on a beach in Hawaii. It’s been six years since I’ve seen my Big Island family and friends so I immediately changed my focus to Hawaii.

I’ve booked my first AirBnB! I was very apprehensive due to several horror stories I’ve read but, even though it’s called the “Big” Island of Hawaii, it’s really a close-knit community. Once I found the “perfect” place to rent, I contacted a friend who lives in the same town & wasn’t surprised that he knows the owner. I feel much better about prepaying the entire stay when it’s the friend of a friend.

A few photos from our previous visit to Hawaii to get us into the Aloha-Spirit…

 

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Being from Hawaii, I don’t worry much about natural disasters. Whether it be earthquakes, tsunamis, lava flows or the every few decades hurricane. Lately, it seems every time I call my brother or cousin who live on the Big Island (Hawaii), it’s to ask them about a natural disaster. Last month there were two hurricanes heading their way and now it’s a change in the lava flow which is heading directly for the area of Puna (specifically the town of Pahoa) where my brother’s family lives. Kilauea volcano has been erupting since 1983 so the islanders will no doubt take it in stride and know everything will work out as it should.

Volcano Lava Flow river
Lava River

Caution sign at the Volcanoes National Park
Not for the faint of heart or health

Volcano Lava flow 1994
Lava Flow

Overlapping lava flows
Overlapping Lava flows

Crater at Kilauea
Lava Crater

Lava reaching the ocean
Lava Reaching the Ocean

Lava walking
Walking on the Lava

Offerings for Pele
Offerings to the goddess of fire, Pele

Beautiful drive coming from Kalapna area
Beautiful drive in the Pahoa area ~ hope it’s not affected by the current lava flow

Rock at Puako
Puako Beach, Big Island, Hawaii

Another gorgeous sunset at the Mauna Kea
Another gorgeous sunset at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

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Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island Hawaii

Throw Back Thursday on Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii in 1994. Good times, great memories.

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After a vacation, it’s tradition that we list our top 5 things about the trip. We went to Oahu for a quick three-day trip and here’s our Oahu top five:

1) Snorkeling at Shark’s Cove on the North Shore. The ocean is calm in the summer and we got to the cove early enough to get a prime spot on the beach. The snorkeling was fun and being back in the pacific ocean felt fabulous.

2) Spending time with our friends, The Karamaths and The Petersons. Always great to see Army family again.

   Heather, CJ and Hayden

 Jake, Shelley and Hoss

3) Parasailing with Hawaiian Parasail Inc ($62 per person and $30 for their photos) in Waikiki:

4) Paddleboarding in Haleiwa, lots of turtles in the river/bay:

5) Driving along the North Shore ~ checking out all the beaches such as Sunset and Waimea Bay. For a few days, I was no longer a Displaced Beachbum. I will never tire of being on a beautiful beach!

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Hawaii: Smuggled Lava?

A Big Island legend is if you take lava off the island, Pele (the Fire Goddess) will be angry and you’ll have bad luck until you return it. There used to be a display at the Volcanoes National Park Center where letters and returned lava were displayed on a board. People wrote letters begging the park rangers to return the lava so the bad luck would go away. I’m not an overly superstitious person BUT I’ve never been tempted to take lava off the island.

John, on the other hand, always teases me that he’s going to sneak some lava back.

Since we’ve been back from Hawaii, we’ve had a strange week. On Wednesday, I overslept AND had set the alarm incorrectly so poor FG missed her bus, then my mom’s dog died, and Favorite Girl had to go to the emergency room to have x-rays taken after a cheerleading accident. There were other things happening which were just “off”.

I finally called John on Friday from work, when yet another thing went wrong, and asked “This is serious, are you sure you didn’t bring any lava back?”

He promised me he didn’t but did mention the women in front of him getting on the plane had a big chunk of lava. Hmmm…

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Hawaii: Home Again

We’re back in New York. As much as I love to travel, it always feels so good to be back in my own home. And one day, that home will be on the beach!

Even though we had a great flight without delays, I don’t do well on “red-eye” flights and this one was no exception. Thankfully, we’ve got tomorrow off and can recover.

Don’t know if I mentioned that my mom made the trip to Hawaii with us. John has always been her favorite but even more so now ~ not only was he OK with his mother in-law traveling with us but he gave her his upgrade miles so she could sit in First Class and have the extra leg room. That’s why I married the man ~ he’s a great guy!!

We like to list our top favorite things about our vacation and here’s a compilation of our combined top five things we enjoyed during our visit:
1) Horseback Riding in the South Kohala Mountains
2) Snorkeling at the following beaches: Puako, Hapuna, Lapakahi
3) Helicopter Ride over Hilo and the lava flow
4) The Eisenhower House at Kilauea Military Camp
5) THE FOOD ~ we ate a lot!

There’s so much to do on the Big Island so we’ve made a list of what we want to do the NEXT time we visit. Yes, we’re already planning a return visit:
1) Green Sand Beach
2) Black Sand Beach
3) Waipio Valley
4) We’ll stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel or in a rental villa. It’s nice to have access to a kitchen
5) Play a round of golf at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

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Our Last Full Day of Beach Bumming

We plan to take full advantage of our last full day on the island ~ we have plans to snorkel in at least three different spots ~ Puako, Spencer Park and Lapakahi State Park.  Then this evening we’ll be back for a swim at Hapuna Beach which is where we’re staying:

It’s so convenient staying at a hotel on the beach. Favorite Man spent last evening sitting on the beach under the stars and a full moon. I’m guessing he enjoyed a beer and cigar while there. I stayed in the room because FG was exhausted from all the swimming and walking around we did during the day.

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