July 22, 2009

Hawaii - The Big Island (More)

Friday - Monday

We were sad to leave our cozy little cottage in Volcano Guest House, but excited to get to the Kona side for some total relaxation time.

Part III of our trip was on the West Coast of Hawaii – the Kona coast – at the mega-resort Hilton Waikoloa. To get there we took an incredible drive up the East Coast of Hawaii and then across the island from East to West. What a great scenic drive – the change in climates and landscape all within a two hour drive was incredible. We went from Rain Forests with towering plants and lush greens to vast pastures of green rolling fields with cattle and sheep grazing to dusty brown cowboy country to black lava fields to sandy beach resort.

Along the way we passed through this tiny town near Akaka Falls that had a rain forest gulch and my favorite canopy banyan tree ever. Check out the size of this thing!

Akaka Falls, in a tropical rain forest, was another beautiful stop along the way. (Lest you think its all happiness and light for the Kasdan family, we will share the kids were acting so badly in the car and at this stop - they were unimpressed with the rain forrest and waterfall, as it interfered with a movie they were watching on the portable DVD player in the care - that we almost left them there. Well, at least that was the end of in-car movie-time! Its scary when the gang up on you! At any rate, Mike and Ilena enjoyed it!)

Later on the trip, we also drove through Honakaa – a little old former sugar cane town with a very Wild West Main Street. And as we crossed Hawaii, we drove through Waimea, home of numerous cowboy ranches, green pastures, and rolling hill.

Later in the day, we arrived at the Hilton, which was a pretty over-the-top resort. It sits on a bay with black rocks and has a salt-water lagoon with boating and sea turtles, large pools with huge water slides, rope walkways, tropical birds in the lobby, and walkways that are lined with sculptures, cultural museum pieces, and art from Polynesia and Asia. A boat and monorail take you around the sprawling grounds.

Basically, we chilled and relaxed for our last three days at the different slide pools, boated and snorkeled with fish and sea turtles in the lagoon on paddle-boats and paddle surfboards. . We actually spent a lot of time hanging out with our new friends from Oahu that we met in the airport on the way to the Big Island. They have a girl that is Jacob's age and a boy that is Lauren's age, so it worked out pretty nicely! Their younger boy referred to Lauren as his "puppy love” and Jacob trailed his new friend around like a puppy dog.

These pictures, pretty much tell the tale of our time at the Hilton:









So that was Hawaii. A terrific terrific family vacation; a great stop-over from Japan on our way back to home. And reality. . . .

1 comment:

dyana said...

Good post.....


thanks for sharin with us......

________________
DyanaDevis

Online Marketing of your brand