We took one of the earliest flights out and the best part is the flight was only about 40 minutes. So easy, so fast, got our rental car all within 30 minutes of landing. We took the kids boosters seat with us as a carry on which worked out great. We chose such an early flight to make the most of our day. The Big Island is so much bigger than Oahu so we knew we needed extra time for driving everywhere. We drove along the south shore stopping at South point and Black sand beach on our way up to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Here are some of the spots we checked out.
I must say it was nice to be a tourist and have these areas not be overly crowded. We were able to really experience the beauty of the Island, the people and sights, all on our own terms, which is probably one of the main reasons why we like to visit this Island.
As we made our decent up to the volcanic area, we could start to feel the elevation change, and change in weather. It’s about a 20-degree difference from the coast. Since it’s a national park, you have to pay upon entering, but military was free. We went straight to the hotel, checked in, and dropped off our stuff. We also needed to do an outfit change, put on our sneakers, and grab our jackets.
We stayed at Kilauea Military Camp, great grounds and things to do for service members and retirees. We only had a few more hours of sunlight and wanted to walk the volcanic trail so off we went. We stopped by at the park rangers, and quickly learned that a lot of the trail was closed due to the recent disastrous eruption back in April.
Last stop of the day was driving back down to Ho’lei Sea Arch for sunset. It was such an amazing view and picturesque scene. We had dinner back at the hotel, which also had a game room for the kids! We ended the night relaxing and staying in our room, with the fireplace going. The temperature at this point was about 38 degrees!
We ended our stay at KMC with exploring and walking the grounds of the camp that morning. We then made our way to Kona to finish out the rest of our stay at the Hilton Waikoloa Village hotel. We’ve stayed at this hotel a few times before, and I personally think it’s one of the best Hilton’s I’ve ever been to. The hotel includes a monorail, boat taxi, award winning restaurants, waterslide pools, a lagoon, waterfront views, and a dolphin excursion viewing just to name a few.
We headed to Hilo for the morning half of the day to check out the Mauna Loa Macadamia nut factory. Lets just say, it was sample galore, and pretty cool to learn how much and why macadamia nuts cost so much to produce. On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the Rainbow Falls lookout. The rest of the day was spent relaxing poolside.
We jam packed the first 3 days with sights and activities for the purpose of keeping the last two days to enjoy all the hotel amenities, relax and enjoy each other.
This was a trip to remember, we did a lot, saw a lot, and also relaxed a lot. With the New Year ahead of us, it makes me look back and appreciate my time I have with my family so much. I consider us lucky to be able to make these memories, and take a step back from the monotony of our everyday routine, because sometimes, we need a break, we deserve a break, and need the moments to enjoy all of life’s joys; laughter, love, and smiles all around. Happy New Year!!