Alex and I traveled to the big island of Hawaii in August 2010 with my parents. We visited many places on the big island, and tried to see as much as possible in the week we had there. On the first day, we arrived in around mid-afternoon, so we didn’t have much time to go out and enjoy the scenery. After eating at the Ultimate Burger on Makala Blvd, we checked into the Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort then went to check out a beach along Alii Drive where we saw our first honu (sea turtle).
The next day, we went to the beach at Kekaha Kai state park in the Manini’owali section of the park. Apparently Friday the 20th of August was Admission Day, which meant a 3-day weekend for most Hawaiians. The beach was quite crowded, but just as pretty as a crowdless day. We finished off the day at Pancho and Lefty’s mexican food restaurant. A visit to the Volcanoes National Park was in order on the next day, but we failed to see any flowing lava during our visit. Thurston lava tube was as big and wet as ever and the steam vents were pumping out sulfurous steam in massive quantities. After the national park, we visited Akaka Falls state park. I have included a video below of the falls in all their glory. They seemed to be a little light on the water, due to it being the summer season and less rain has fallen to fill the river.
We patronized Captain Zodiac in Kailua-Kona and it was a spectacular ride. They take you out on the open sea in a Zodiac Hurricane for a wild ride, and the into the Kealakekua bay marine sanctuary for a few hours of snorkeling and a nice sandwich lunch. It was a great experience and I highly recommend it! Thank you Captain Carl and Kamalu!
After a few more days of relaxing in the Hawaiian sun, it was almost time to head home. We spent the last night on the island at a lu’au at the Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. I had never been to a lu’au, and I probably will not go to another one. It wasn’t a bad experience, but it wasn’t very entertaining, and the food was not spectacular. It was probably worth the experience once, but maybe not on repeat visits.
The final day we drove up to Waimea, where we found out that the Parker Ranch restaurant was closed since the last time we visited. That was where I ate the best burger in my life, so it was sad to find out that they were no longer around to serve us. We ate in the food court that replaced the restaurant, but it was a disappointment. It’s a shame that Waimea couldn’t sustain the big restaurant, but it is understandable. After the less than stellar food, it was time to head home which was going to prove to be a long trek. After two hours spent waiting for our flight out of Kona, we waited another hour or so in Honolulu before finally boarding our overnight flight to Los Angeles. Overall the trip was a great success and I hope there are many more trips like this one in the future!