Kona to Hilo

We left Mermaid Dreams on Boxing Day morning after another fabulous breakfast. We drove the Saddle Road to cross the island, which took us through a variety of landscapes – lava fields, ranch land, an Army training area and airfield, rainforest when we reached the Hilo side. We only stopped once for pictures, where I got this shot of Mauna Kea.

We gassed up the small rental car, drove to one rental place to pick up our minivan for the week, and then I followed Domingos to the airport to drop off the small car at another rental place. Busywork done, we picked my parents up at the little inn they had stayed at the night before, and we all went to have lunch together at Mo’s Fish & Chips in Hilo, which was fantastic (aside from the fact that all of their ketchup bottles were empty).

Next, we decided to visit the small Pacific Tsunami Museum one block away from Mo’s. It was housed in an old bank building, which was very cool. We even watched a film inside the former vault!

Near the entrance, they had a sign listing recent earthquakes. I saw one listed for that very morning and realized I had felt it over at the B&B right before breakfast.

We had a chatty volunteer give us a lot of Hilo tsunami history, and then we browsed the rooms. Most of the exhibits consisted of a lot of writing mixed with photographs, but there was also some old equipment.

The 25-minute video helped pull all the information together and was very informative.

After the museum, we had some coffee (hot chocolate for Mom), went to a drugstore, and then finally it was time to pick Dirk and Tracy up at the airport!

It was about a 40-minute drive to our Airbnb in Pahoa. The house and grounds are gorgeous, and the owners provided so many welcome amenities – eggs, bread, and half-and-half in the fridge, plenty of fresh fruit, robes and slippers in every room, a telescope to stargaze… I will do a separate post on the house and grounds to do it justice.

After settling in, we drove 10 minutes into nearby Pahoa for dinner at a Thai restaurant. It was packed, but they kindly squeezed us in even though we didn’t have a reservation. A great first day of the family vacation!

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