A Mirror into Ken's Past -- 2003

Our Hawaiian Vacation


Before I say anything else -- WOW! What a beautiful place. Even the "dry" side of the Big Island (Hawaii itself) is amazing, which is where we stayed. What I'm going to do is break things out below into individual days of the trip to Hawaii, because I want to put as much detail in as I can remember, which will go with the tons of photographs we took while there ...

We did this trip with Don and BJ Gerth. BJ is Carolyn's best friend, and Don is one of the coolest people in the world and a good friend as well, so there you go. We've done some smaller vacations with them in the past, and love hanging with them. They've been to Hawaii several times, and they prefer "The Big Island", as it's often called. I think some of it is because of BJ's interest in vulcanism, but it's a nice place, and not as crowded as some of the other islands. It is the biggest of them, and of course has Kiluea on it, which is pretty spiffy to see.

I took my camera and used up many many many rolls of film. Don and BJ took their camera and took less photos, but we're doing double-prints and sharing them. Carolyn is talking about doing an album of some sort, but it'd have to be huge, as I took 15 rolls of film ... (okay, granted, many of them probably aren't all that good, but still ...)

The following is a breakdown of what we did, day by day, with the 'thumbnail' images for each day, some of the photos are by me (or Carolyn) or by Don (or BJ). More photos added from Don and BJ's shots (Days 4 and 5 below) on April 8, 2003 ...


Day 1 - March 21, 2003 - Friday (Arrival ...)
Day 2 - March 22, 2003 - Saturday (Painted Church, Place of Refuge)
Day 3 - March 23, 2003 - Sunday (Akaka Falls, Botanical Garden, Volcano)
Day 4 - March 24, 2003 - Monday (Helicopter Tour)
Day 5 - March 25, 2003 - Tuesday (Whale Watching ...)
Day 6 - March 26, 2003 - Wednesday (Luau)
Day 7 - March 27, 2003 - Thursday (Misc. Shopping, etc., dinner with Kylson/Robin)
Day 8 - March 28, 2003 - Friday (Leaving Paradise)


Summary
The trip was great. Don and BJ were pleasant travel companions. Carolyn is probably more relaxed than I've seen her in years. I'm feeling fairly relaxed, a bit tired still. But wow. The trip was well worth it, I'd recommend it to anyone.

Recommendations:
Stay at a condo if you want to save money on food, but make sure you do it with another couple to defray costs -- they're not cheap. Otherwise do some checking with hotels, you can get some good deals that include packages of airfare, hotel, and car rental, sometimes if you go for x days you'll get another day free, that sort of thing.

Restaurants on the Big Island - recommendations based on having experienced them, not in any specific order:

Try the local coffee. Check out "Donkey Balls". Snorkle. Swim. Check out the volcano. If you go you'll find "This Week" fliers (thick) with maps and ads and details of things to do. Check 'em out. Don't plan too detailed or you'll go nuts. Most of the folk driving around on the island are in no hurry, and while they are polite (for the most part -- probably tourists more than anything else who aren't) they also often do not drive fast. Relax ... it's an easy place to do it. I've been told by those in the know that the temperatures we experienced (70s to 80s) are standard for the year around. The humidity levels are mostly the same, although a bit more rain during the winter. Breezes help a lot ... the combination of temperature and humidity would have been horrible except for the breezes which made everything very very pleasant. Wear light clothes -- don't wear blue-jeans -- seriously -- you'll get wiped out from the heat. Shorts, tshirts, "hawaiian shirts", etc. Sandals ...


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