We went to Hawaii for 10 days in July 2016. Here is my travelogue.
Day One (July 6)
This was the day we landed on the island, so I didn't write too much originally.
Day 2 (July 7)
Hawaii trip day two update: we did some amazing snorkeling today in the ocean. It was like being inside an aquarium. I also ate waaay too much shave ice. No regrets. The boys have become much more comfortable in the water. Looks like this is the vacation where they finally become capable swimmers.
Day 3 (July 8)
Day 4 (July 9)
Today was another amazing day in Hawaii. First we drove to Waikoloa. Waikoloa is really, really windy. Then we took the saddle road up to Mauna Kea. We went from the sticky tropics of Kona straight up to the observatory visitor center at 9200 feet. That was only a drive of some 40 miles. It wasn't too chilly up there in the afternoon, but once the sun went down it got cold very quickly. We took a one mile hike to see the sunset from the top of a hill. Hiking at that elevation is quite the workout. There were a bunch of amateur telescopes set up so we got to look at things like Jupiter's moons. I think this was the first time the boys actually saw the Milky Way. The boys of course were exhausted and slept all the way home. In just an hour we were back in the warm humid evening of Kona on the water.
Tomorrow is going to be a mellow sit at the pool sort of day I think.
Day 5 (July 10)
City of Refuge
Day 6 (July 11)
Hawaii update: today we hiked! We drove up the coast until the highway just ended. Somehow that was comical. The road just kept going and going until it hit the edge of Pololu valley and that's where the road builders just threw up their hands. To be fair, that's the beginning of a series of very deep, narrow valleys, so continuing the road would be difficult and pointless anyway. I think the funny part was how the paved road just literally turned in to the extremely steep and switchbacky three quarter mile trail down to the beach.
Before we got to Pololu, we stopped in the town of Hawi for some really excellent ice cream. It's astonishing how quickly the terrain and vegetation changes as you drive along the coast. The Kailua area where we are staying is fairly tropical, but right on the edge of he dry lava plains to the north of town. Once you drive the 40 or so miles to the north end of the island, suddenly you are in an intensely wet and tropical area with much different vegetation than around Kailua.
The hike was wonderful. It's just under a 500 foot drop down to the beach in under three quarters of a mile. Once you get down to the bottom there's a beautiful expanse of black sand beach with no signs of civilization whatsoever. The boys ran all over and played while Liz and I wandered around. Even the rain here is pleasant - it rained fairly hard while we were on the beach but it just served to cool us down nicely. Or total was just under two miles of walking.
I fee like we really got the perfect stereotypical Hawaii experience today. We even stopped after the hike and bought a $6 local pineapple to eat. It was the best damn $6 pineapple I ever tasted, thats for sure.