We took a full day to drive around Volcanoes National Park, and I’d love to go back some day and spend longer hiking and exploring the park. We started out at the Visitors’ Center, which was extremely crowded. I was nervous that the whole park would be jam-packed, but for the most part it wasn’t bad at all.
The airbnb that I booked for us turned out to be absolutely perfect. It was located on Leilani Estates in the Puna district near the town of Pahoa. The hosts Robert & Konrad were very helpful and friendly, and checked in on us several times to make sure we had everything we needed. The house was stocked with every amenity you could think of – fresh eggs, bread, half & half, and chocolates waiting for us in the fridge; lots of fresh fruit in a bowl on the table with an open invitation to pick anything we’d like from the garden and fruit trees on the property; a juicer for fresh-squeezed orange juice; a blender for smoothies; a Keurig machine with a huge supply of K cups, as well as a drip coffee maker and French press; a fancy telescope to use out on the deck; an abundance of clean, white linens as well as beach towels for our use; snorkel equipment and headlamps; a high-efficiency washer & dryer; earplugs in case the frogs were too loud at night; and probably a bunch of other things I’ve already forgotten or didn’t use. Continue reading “Pahoa Airbnb”
On our first full day in Pahoa, we visited the nearby Lava Tree State Monument, a small park that has a 0.7-mile paved loop path through a forest of lava tree molds.
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.
Dirk, Tracy, Domingos, and I decided to sign up for a guided lava hike. We used Aloha Lava Tours, run by husband & wife team Cheryl and Scott. They were absolutely fantastic – professional, knowledgable, informative, humorous. Most importantly, they found us great lava to view!
We finished up Christmas Day with a tour to the summit of Mauna Kea, which was truly spectacular. Our meeting place was in Kona, and the tour was fully booked with 14 guests. Our guide, Justin, was very informative, and as we drove through lava fields he gave us a lot of historical and geological information.
Christmas morning at the B&B was wonderful. The breakfast was delicious, we were each given a stocking with various goodies inside, and we pulled Christmas crackers to find little numbered instruments inside, with which we valiantly tried to play several Christmas songs.
Heather and Bud have only been running Mermaid Dreams Bed and Breakfast in the Captain Cook area of the big island for a year and a half, but the ease and warmth with which they operate, as well as their gorgeous home and property, make it feel like they’ve been in the business for decades! From the moment we walked in the door, we felt like part of the family. They provide a wealth of information about the area, and will help guests book any and all activities they’re interested in trying. Our room was lovely, and the entire house is decorated with interesting and unique mermaid art, shells, and other art celebrating the ocean.
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, by Matthew Sullivan: A bookstore patron commits suicide in the store, leaving his favorite clerk to unravel the mysteries of both his life and her own buried past. It’s not a typical mystery, as the author tends to reveal his hand with little fanfare (on purpose? Hard to say). So perhaps it’s not exactly a mystery, but a book about families and secrets. VGR Continue reading “December 2017 Books”
We left Chicago on the afternoon of the 23rd. Our flights were ticketed through to Kona, but our first flight out of O’Hare took us to Oklahoma City overnight, which was a bit of hassle when having our bags tagged properly. The airport was hopping, but once we sorted out our bags we sailed through TSA Pre-check and were lucky enough to both be upgraded for our short flight. OKC was a fairly small airport, and the shuttle for our hotel (Hyatt Place) arrived promptly. The hotel employees were very friendly and helpful, and arranged for the shuttle to take us to our flight the next morning at 4:30am, despite the normal operating hours starting at 5. We headed right next door to the hotel for dinner at San Marcos, a local Mexican chain, and ended up having a fabulous dinner. Continue reading “Traveling to Warmer Climes”